Factory Farming and The Impact It Is Having On The Environment

In this day and age very few of our farm animals are able to roam freely. Today, the majority of animals live out their shortened lives behind closed doors, within sheds, or in confined cages against their will for the purpose of factory farming. I once read that 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms. Whether this be 100% accurate or not, it still gives a pretty clear indication of just how many animals live out their short lives in these horrible conditions. Not only is factory farming the cause of extreme animal suffering but it also has an extremely negative and harmful impact on our environment. It has been found to significantly contribute to green house gas emissions, use an extensive amount of water and resources, as well as being the main contributor to deforestation.

Now, what exactly are green house gasses? Greenhouse gasses are the gases in the earths atmosphere that absorb radiation and play a big role in the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is when radiation of the earths atmosphere that is absorbed warms the earths surface to a temperature above what it would be without the atmosphere, however with the demand on animal agriculture, more and more greenhouse gas emission is occurring which in turn is one of the leading causes of global warming. In the 2014 film Cowspiracy it was said that 51% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are a result of animal agriculture and 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions are a result of livestock transportation, and not to mention that the amount of water used for this production reaches 34-76 trillion gallons annually and is responsible for 70% of water used worldwide because the livestock are fed grains that require large amounts of water to produce.

Another alarming result of factoring farming is that it is believed that the earths beautiful rainforests could vanish within the next 100years if the current rate of deforestation due to factory farming (Approximately 1-2 acres every second) continues which in the long run means less clean oxygen for humans and animals to breathe, and animal species continuing to drop in numbers due to their habitats being destroyed in the deforestation process. Although this problem is not going to go away overnight there are many small changes we as people can begin to make in our everyday lives that have a positive impact on this issue. Simply going one year without beef saves 3432 trees and by cutting down on the amount of meat you consume you not only stop supporting the factory farming industry but you also contribute to a better planet for both the people and the animals that call this planet their home.

Photo by Antonio Grosz on Unsplash