The Environment

“There is ONE single industry destroying the planet more than any other

But no one wants to talk about it…”

Factory farming and animal agriculture are destroying the environment:

  • A 2006 UN Food and Agricultural report states that livestock production occupies 30 per cent of the planet’s land surface, and is responsible for 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, as measured in CO2 equivalents – about 5 per cent more than all transportation. This is illustrated in this slideshow  – How Meat Contributes to Global Warming – by
  • Animal agriculture causes mass deforestation; 80% of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared for animal-grazing and crops to feed these animal
  • It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons
  • At least 70% of Earth’s usable fresh water is diverted into animal agriculture. A 2012 Stockholm Water Institute report states the world’s population may have to become vegetarian within four decades or face dire consequences
  • A Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority report traces the toxic algae polluting Lake Erie to phosphorous mainly from large-scale agriculture, especially pig farms
  • A 2001 McGill University report traced the 2000 Walkerton tainted water scandal, resulting in widespread gastroenteritis and 6 deaths, to animal waste
  • CBC’s The Nature of Things described Lake Winnipeg as “the most chlorophyll-polluted lake in the world” because of animal waste
  • The US Environmental Protection agency blames factory-farm waste for polluting more than 35,000 miles of rivers in twenty-two states
  • A US Department of Agriculture report cites nitrogen fertilizer, flowing into the Mississippi River Basin, as a leading cause of the Gulf of Mexico’s “Dead Zone” – an 8,000-square-mile area, almost the size of New Jersey, where no fish lives
  • An Ohio study revealed 31 per cent of water near pig farms to be tainted with the antibiotics pumped into pigs to speed growth and to enable them to survive overcrowding, contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • It also generates 64 per cent of ammonia emission, making it the key factor driving deforestation, land degradation and reduction in biodiversity

For more information on the environmental impact of animal agriculture, download “What should we say NO to?” by Debbie Fong.