Impact of Commercial Animal Production on the Planet
Does 150 billion seem like a huge number to you? It’s an astoundingly large number, especially when you realize it’s the number of animals killed every year (worldwide) in order to put meat on our plates, milk in our glasses, and eggs in our cartons. It’s more than 20 x the number of people on the earth today and the impact of animal production is no longer sustainable!
Commercial animal production is no stranger to Australia either; concentrated (or confined) animal feeding operations (CAFO) or factory farming, is the primary method for raising animals in this country.
The resources required to meet the demand for this many animal products across the globe can no longer be supplied by the small family farmer. Beyond the obvious effect on the vast number of animals that are slaughtered, what is the impact of commercial animal production on the planet? The meat, egg, and dairy industries would have you believe the impact is minimal; however, the facts speak for themselves.
Raising large numbers of animals for food means we have to sacrifice our land, water, and energy. And in staggering amounts!
How much land? Up to 80% of all land which is used for agricultural purposes! Commercial animal production takes up more land space than any other food production system in the world due to its need for:
• Feed crops
• Factory farms
What are lagoons? Lagoons are uncovered, open areas of land where animal waste is stored. Animals raised in the United States produce over 1 million tons of waste every single day; and that’s just in the U.S. These lagoons are breeding grounds for bacteria, seep toxins into the surrounding waterways, and release methane into the air, a major contributor to global warming.
The rainforests are at risk too! According to National Geographic almost 20 percent of the rainforest in the Amazon has been cleared in the past 4 decades! Why? In order to keep up with the amount of land required for raising animals, the food to feed them, and sadly, to provide meat eaters with a less expensive hamburger at McDonalds. Soybeans are grown there to feed the animals which feed the people. Soy fields have a lifespan of only 10 years after which the land is completely useless.
Water is one of our most cherished resources and is used very inefficiently when it comes to raising animals for food. A prime example: 1 pound of grain-fed chicken requires almost 420 gallons of water to produce while 1 pound of grain requires only 25.
Water is needed for various aspects of commercial animal production and includes:
• Crop irrigation
• Waste clean-up
• Drinking water for the animals
The amount of fossil fuel used to bring an animal from its birth to its death and then to the consumer’s plate is difficult to calculate; however, it involves:
• Production (raising the animal)
• Transportation (to the slaughterhouse, the store, and the home)
• Processing (feed lot, slaughterhouse)
Food production in general presents problems and concerns; however, a meat-based diet is simply not sustainable, while a plant-based diet, especially one which contains no animal products of any kind, is much more planet-friendly.
For more information on how you can help and learn more about this growing environmental concern, click here.
How Can You Help?
I’m known as The Gut Whisperer because of my work in helping people understand how the gut works and why we need to consume more plant based proteins instead of meat protein. As you can see, the positive impact a vegetarian and vegan diet has on our own bodies also benefits the land that we walk on. It reduces the suffering of animals at the same time who, at the present time, are used solely for our selfish and unnecessary desires. It’s no secret that humanity, as a race, are getting sicker and sicker and the concern over Global Warming and the devastation of our planet is a concern for millions of people around the world.
Eat Clean and Eat Lean
By eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, we not only clean up our own internal environment (our insides) but we also sever our relationship with the brutality of animal slaughter for food as well as the scarring left behind by deforestation and unsustainable crop farming for animal feed.
There’s an abundance of healthy foods growing all day every day that does not involve harming our environment. The increase in consumption of fresh organic fruits and veggies indicates that the tide is turning… but we need to do more. Our own HEALTH depends on it.
Let’s Eat Raw
Since the launch of my recipe book ‘Let’s Eat Raw’ in July of this year, hundreds of people are now enjoying the benefits of eating good clean food that leads to natural weight loss – more vibrancy – clearer skin – lower food consumption overall! Now that’s got to be good for the planet!!
Scott Mathias is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC) and a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Scott is a Digestive Health and Raw Food Educator who takes an integrative approach to solutions, based on functional aspects of the body and his own ‘self healing’ experience which led him to create his own iLifeFoods range of plant-protein healing products. A former television network presenter both in Australia and New Zealand, Scott is the author of ‘Understanding The Divine Gut – How To Eat Your Way To Ultimate Digestive Health’ and the acclaimed, ‘Lets Eat RAW’ Vegan recipe book. Scott lives in Noosa, QLD with his partner Clare and his 14yr old Maltese/Shitzu dog ‘Toasti’.
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