Animal agriculture: Alarming global warming

Animal agriculture: Alarming global warming
When would we ever listen to nature’s scream? It is alarming the mankind to stop the heatwave generating activities which are making it unfit to support the life. Global warming denotes the increase in average temperature of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans that results from the rising levels of greenhouse gases. Do we know the fact that apart from deforestation and carbon emissions there is yet another major threat that is rapidly increasing like never before, taking us away from health, peace and harmony? And that is none but animal agriculture. It is becoming the primary cause of environmental degradation. Animal feeds (fodder crop) are grown in large scale using nitrogen-based fertilizers. When the organic matter (manure, urine, etc.) from the farmed animals breakdown, they release methane and nitrous oxide. Yes, nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, which is one of the top contributors to global warming. Methane is also 25 to 100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20-year time frame, as per the information from a leading science journal.

A number of chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs that are factory farmed throughout the world produce methane enormously during digestion, and via the backwaters that serve as a reserve for their faeces. Another threat to our earth comes in the form of livestock operations. Destruction of forests for various aspects of animal agriculture like using for fodder crop production, for grazing, for setting up animal farm houses and industries, etc. And when we look into the water consumption, approximately to produce 1 pound of beef, around 2500 gallons of water is needed. We are losing our forests and water resources drastically for dairy and meat as end products. This is drastically affecting our sustainability. We are directly impacted by the climate change as we talk about the increase in electricity bills to manage the weather conditions, higher medical expenses as the diseases and illnesses become more predominant, price hikes during natural calamities and so on. The impacts of the climatic changes are increasingly alarming the future generations.

When we start talking about fighting the climate change, our thinking should also be paralleled with factory farming. It is as important as planting trees, recycling and water management. A prominent suggestion to bring down the effects of animal farming is to gradually reduce the consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products and welcome more plant-based foods in the diet. People who in addition to being a vegetarian, avoids dairy products or seldom use animal products in any form are called as vegans.

A recent United Nations report shows that a global shift towards vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. This boosts the demand for vegetable farms, which could be one among the prominent ways to turn the industrial notion towards a greener world. Yes, it is not just GO GREEN anymore - which is like planting more trees on one side and causing increased greenhouse gas emissions on the other side. We need to address the problem at the root level by stopping animal agriculture. We need to GO REAL GREEN!!!

How to cite this article:
Sangeetha T. Animal agriculture: Alarming global warming. BioLim O-Media. 23 March, 2016. 4(3).
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