The world’s population keeps increasing by the day, and it’s estimated to hit about 8.1 billion in 2025. Consequently, meat and dietary products consumption have also increased significantly. But do you know that the meat you eat has dire consequences on the environment? That aside, do you know the animals undergo several harsh conditions before landing on your plate? So can you cut down your meat consumption by half? After reading these 7 alarming and interesting facts about meat production, it may change the way you eat.
1. Impact on the Environment
Animal farming especial livestock causes significant damages to the environment. Effects on the environment include land and water degradation, deforestation, damages to biodiversity and climate change. Statistics show that about 18 percent of human-produced greenhouse emission comes from animal farming. The number is much higher than emissions from the transport sector. Considering the numbers, livestock farming’s contribution to climate change is enormous. So, reducing your meat eating can help reduce the impact of climate change.
2. The Harm to Animals
With the vast global protein needs, livestock is produced under very harsh and unethical conditions to achieve early maturity period. What we forget to accept is that animals, just like humans, also deserve some dignity and welfare. The animals have to endure little space with little or no room for movements. Having them suffer because of our selfish gains is therefore not acceptable.
3. It hurts Global Food and Water Security
We are relatively battling with livestock for the food we eat especially cereals and grains. Livestock consumes a large number of grains before being slaughtered. In addition, their need for water cannot be overemphasized. All these build-ups can affect our food security when it comes to cereals and grains in the long round.
4. The Use of Antibiotics in Animal Farming
Do you know that you are unknowingly consuming veterinary antibiotics? Antibiotics are used in animal farming to reduce infections and achieve weight gains. In the United States about 70 to 80 percent of antibiotics produced for the market land in the animal farming industry. Though the FDA approves a controlled use of antibiotics, some livestock farmers are accused of using over this recommended dosage. The phenomenon has contributed to the high rise of antibiotics resistance in humans and is threatening to cause serious health problems in the future.
5. High Cost of Grains affected the Poor
As mentioned above human are now competing with farm animals for grains. This has increased the demand and supply of grains; hence, prices have shot up. With grains being the staple food for most people in developing countries, the price hike affects the poor, worsening their living conditions in the process.
6. Require Huge Land, which can Better Serve other Purpose
Livestock farming requires huge land for grazing, hence viable agricultural lands are converted for this purpose. Aside from that, numerous trees are fell to create these grazing lands contributing to deforestation. In essence the meat we eat we bring about desertification.
7. Time to Look at Fish Farming
Considering the vastly negative impact of livestock farming on the environment, fish farming, especially salmon farming, can be a suitable alternative. Though it also comes with its cons, ethical salmon farming poses less environment threat. Fish take lesser time to reach consumption stage, making it the best option for the worlds huge protein needs.
If we love mother earth and are determined to conserve nature, then reducing our meat intake is the way to go. We can also look at other sustainable methods of animal farming with less impact on the environment.