Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 95: Environment

       So by now if you have been reading my blog you know about a little bit of nutrition, a few vegan recipes, some great books and restaurants, as well as about the miss treatment of animals in our society, but the one thing I haven't touched on too much was how being vegan helps the environment. The other night I told my boyfriend how I was going to write my blog on this great free product to help people recycle in there homes and workplaces and he said "how does that relate to being vegan?". So instead of writing about my nifty recycling box I just got (which I will probably write about tomorrow any ways for it is really cool), I am going to write about the connection between being vegan and being environmentally conscious. Most vegans are environmentally conscious for they are aware of the negative effects that the meat and dairy industry has on our environment, as well as many of the other things people do about their daily lives. Here is a little bit, for those of you who might not already know, about the immense negative affects the meat and dairy industries have on our world.

The negative affects of meat and dairy production on out environment:

* Climate Change - Livestock from meat and dairy industries are the major source to blame for this epidemic for they are responsible for 18% percent of green house gas emissions alone, as well as 64% of anthropogenic ammonia emissions which contribute to acid rain and acidification of eco systems.

* Water - Livestock uses 8% of the world's water supply and is also one of the largest sources for water pollution from animal waste (a single cow can produce 120 pounds of wet manure a day which is the same amount of waste as 20 to 40 people produce in one day) , the antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures. These all contribute to the "dead zones" in coastal areas, and degradation of coral reefs. Here is a fun fact, the U.S Environmental Agency estimated that 40% of america's rivers and 46% of american lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, and aquatic life.

* Land Degradation - Expansion of livestock production is one of the key factors of deforestation. In Latin America 70% of previous forested land is now occupied by pastures.

* Biodiversity - Since livestock production is one of the leading sources of deforestation, land degradation, climate change, pollution, and over fishing it has been speculated that it could also be one of the major sources of the loss of biodiversity.

     This is just a glimpse of what the meat and dairy industry are doing to our world. Also note that the term "livestock" refers to all farm animals including pigs, birds raised for meat, egg-laying hens, and dairy cows. If you are interested in more information you can see where I got most of my information at Vegan Outreach or get more in depth information at The Vegan Society from their article "Environment: How Your Diet Could Change the World".

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