by Frosty Wooldridge –
— NWS Editors Note: The Views expressed by the Authors are not to be held to be those of the Publisher or Staff – NWS Publishes & You Create It! NWS is the Free Press of & For the American People —
Part 13: America’s Immigration-Driven Population Predicament – raising animals for slaughter, consumption and feed “As far as food is concerned, the great extravagance is not caviar or truffles, but beef, pork and poultry. Some 38 percent of the world’s grain crop is now fed to animals, as well as large quantities of soybeans. There are three times as many domestic animals on this planet as there are human beings.
“The combined weight of the world’s 1.5 billion cattle alone exceeds that of the human population. While we look darkly at the number of babies being born in poorer parts of the world, we ignore the over-population of farm animals, to which we ourselves contribute…that, however, is only part of the damage done by the animals we breed.
“The energy intensive factory farming methods of the industrialized nations are responsible for the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels. Chemical fertilizers, used to grow the feed crops for cattle in feedlots and pigs and chickens kept indoors in sheds, produce nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Then there is the loss of forests. Everywhere, forest-dwellers, both human and non-human, can be pushed out.
“Since 1960, 25 percent of the forests of Central America have been cleared for cattle. Once cleared, the poor soils will support grazing for a few years; then the grazers must move on. Shrub takes over the abandoned pasture, but the forest does not return.
When the forests are cleared so the cattle can graze, billions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere.
“Finally, the world’s cattle are thought to produce about 20 percent of the methane released into the atmosphere, and methane traps twenty-five times as much heat from the sun as carbon dioxide. Factory farm manure also produces methane because, unlike manure dropped naturally in the fields, it does not decompose in the presence of oxygen. All of this amounts to a compelling reason…for a plant based diet.” Peter Singer, Practical Ethics
Harsh facts about raising beef cows for food: it takes 12 pounds of grain to add one pound of meat on a cow. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to add one pound of beef on a bovine. The average mature dairy cow, which weighs about 1000 lbs., produces about 148 lbs. of raw manure each day that equals 52,000 pounds annually. Source: Texas State Energy Conservation Office’s report. The average cow drinks and excretes up to 50 gallons of water daily. (Source: www.earthsave.org)
1.5 billion cows eat, crap, expel methane gas and more 24/7. Enormous amounts of fossil fuel burns to feed them, transport them, milk them, slaughter them and take them to market. The United States faces an added 122 million people by 2050—a scant 37 years from now. Will we possess enough water, energy and arable land to continue this enterprise?
With 1.5 billion cows on the globe, planet Earth must deal with trillions of pounds/gallons of manure waste, water waste and carbon footprint waste to feed the animals. Combined with the amount of fuel, arable land and water to grow the corn and grain encompassed in filling the stomachs of beef cows, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.”
While the United States of America expects to add 122 million more people within the next 37 years, it suffers seven states already facing water shortages with its current 316 million in 2013. By growing the population to the projected 438 million by 2050, America faces sobering realities not being considered.
“A United Nations report has identified the world’s rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife,” said Geoffrey Lean, environmental editor of The Independent. “And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.
“The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organization, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world’s 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.”
(Behind every bucolic farm barn, farmers burn anything and everything including plastics, chemicals, containers that held chemicals such as fertilizers, medicines, oil and unspeakable filth.) Photography by www.BurnBarrel.org
With the current 7.1 billion humans on the planet, another 3 billion within the next 37 years can only accelerate livestock destruction of the natural world.
Bovine overgrazing worldwide constitutes the major driver for deforestation. Eventually, those pastures turn to deserts. One liter (just over a quart) of milk requires 990 liters of water to produce it. That equates to 989 liters of waste water the planet must tolerate.
Steaming billions of tons of cow manure cannot be handled by the natural world. It poisons the soil, groundwater and atmosphere. Over 1.5 billion cows create inexhaustible waste worldwide in our water, oceans, land and air.
Feedlots and fertilizers over-nourish water, causing weeds to choke all other life. The vast array of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones ultimately migrate into drinking water and endanger human health. In dairy farm states like Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio—ground water contamination creates mega-problems for humans and animals alike. Cancer: Sandra Steingraber wrote a book about cancer caused by contaminated ground water, rivers and lagoons—Living Down Stream.
Agricultural contamination washes down to the sea, killing coral reefs and creating “dead zones” devoid of life. The Mississippi River absorbs and transports millions of gallons of contaminated water into the Gulf of Mexico. Recent reports show a 10,000 square mile dead zone in New Orleans.
The mind-numbing damage can only grow by insane degrees as the human race adds another 3 billion of itself by 2050.
“Our choices as consumers drive an industry that kills ten billion animals per year in the United States alone. If we choose to support this industry and the best reason we can come up with is because it’s the way things are, clearly something is amiss. What could cause an entire society of people to check their thinking caps at the door–and to not even realize they’re doing so?
Though this question is quite complex, the answer is quite simple: carnism.””
Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others