Meaty economy creates waste

By: Lexi Sheeley

You may think you live on a planet, but really you’re living on a giant farm broken up by cities, forests and ocean. Around 40 percent of the world’s land surface is used to keep all seven billion of us fed, and 30 percent of the world’s total ice-free land is not used to raise grains for us to consume, but for the feed of farm animals. Ironic, huh? We’ve slowly started to kill the Earth, so animals can be killed for our own needs.

Our home we call Earth (a giant farmland if you’re starting to see things in my view), is such a beautiful place, but that’s fading. There are many reasons why the beauty has slowly faded, but highly inefficient food production is a leading cause. This often means forests are cut away in order to create room for the grazing of cattle. This eliminates important carbon-sinks necessary in reducing massive C02 levels that fight global warming. Clear-cutting can also increase the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface, which also contributes to warming. Meat production also generally consumes much more energy than other forms of farming. It forces a significant amount of carbon into the air because most of the energy involves carbon-based fuels. I find this disgusting. As consumers, we should really think about cutting the amount of meat we eat, not only for animals but also the planet.

Raising animals is hugely wasteful in land. Plant crops require a small part of the space to produce the same amount of calories as livestock. So, theoretically, if everyone ate a vegetarian lifestyle, there would be little need to chop down trees and ruin the land.

Along with the land trouble, thousands of fish are caught in nets and suffocated. Lobsters and crabs are caught in traps, only to be boiled alive in a week or two. The oceans will some day be emptied out, and many sea creatures will cease to exist. The Earth we inhabit is slowly crumbling due to human error and choices.

So, when the weather over time becomes incredibly unpredictable or polar bears are wiped out, don’t just blame the people who don’t carpool or the people who disregard recycling. Look toward the unnecessary use of land just for the slaughter of animals that distributes chemicals into the air.

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