Feb. 3rd, 2008

anjel: (Default)
This article in Time accounts for a lot of the reason I'm vegetarian. There is a lot more to meat consumption in the US than just "it hurts animals". There are huge environmental costs as well:

Rethinking the Meat Guzzler

From The New York Times:

Once, these animals were raised locally (even many New Yorkers remember the pigs of Secaucus), reducing transportation costs and allowing their manure to be spread on nearby fields. Now hog production facilities that resemble prisons more than farms are hundreds of miles from major population centers, and their manure “lagoons” pollute streams and groundwater. (In Iowa alone, hog factories and farms produce more than 50 million tons of excrement annually.)

Animal welfare may not yet be a major concern, but as the horrors of raising meat in confinement become known, more animal lovers may start to react. And would the world not be a better place were some of the grain we use to grow meat directed instead to feed our fellow human beings?

This part is also something I wanted to point out:
The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States — much of which now serves the demand for meat — contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

This is mostly what is causing the Dead Zone in the Gulf that I might be working on doing research with. A lot of this industrial waste from these meat factories, which then in turn pollutes and chokes the Gulf fishing industry, which on smaller scale is a far more sustainable form of protein. Not to say that the Gulf Fishing industries don't have their own impact, but smaller scale fishing boat operations have less impact, and sea food is far more healthy.

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