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8 Critical Ways That Factory Farming Is Impacting The Environment

8 Critical Ways That Factory Farming Is Impacting The Environment

There is plenty of evidence to show why factory farming should be stopped.

What is factory farming?

Factory farmingThis is intensive agriculture, which involves the confinement of large numbers of animals in small, inadequate living spaces to maximize profits for companies by selling their bodies or milk to customers. Factory farming can be done with many species, including chickens, ducks, cows or sheep.

Source: FollowYourHeart/Youtube

Routine mutilations, whether severing portions of birds’ beaks or lopping off the tails of cows and baby sheep, as well as the endless application of antibiotic drugs, are defining features of factory farms.

How can factory farming harm the environment?

Although factory farming may appear to be a cost-effective method of producing cheap eggs, milk, and meat products, these facilities are causing some of our most severe environmental problems.

1. Air pollution

Air pollution is a major problem ResultIt is not wise to confine large numbers in small areas or indoor spaces. Many people don’t realize that Poultry farmsAir pollution is most severe in areas where birds are raised for meat and eggs, and kept indoors for their entire lives. The toxic gas ammonia is released when large quantities of bird feces are allowed to ferment. Air pollution can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of both animals as well as workers and the environment.

2. Water pollution

Water pollution is another result of confined animals in small spaces. In the wild, they would be spread out over vast areas, allowing their wastes to fertilize the land and not harm it. Water runoff from factory farms happens when groundwater, surface water, or streams and rivers come into contact with sewage. The sewage is carried away by the water, eventually ending up in the ocean or along coastlines.

This pollution can cause dead zones in the ocean. These are areas where a proliferation in compounds (like the nitrates in animal waste) causes algal blooms which deplete oxygen and kill marine life. Agricultural runoff is one of the most serious. Leading causesThe US is a major source of water pollution.

3. Global warming

Certain gases, such methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, are responsible for global warming. They are collectively called greenhouse gases. An estimated 14.5%Animal agriculture is responsible for a large portion of the global greenhouse gas emissions. This includes beef cattle and other beef cattle. Industries of dairy.

Source: Action for the Climate Emergency/Youtube

4. Deforestation

There’s a reason you dont often see cattle roaming through forests. Farmers who want their cattle to gain weight quickly so they can be sold for slaughter in the shortest time possible, prefer open pastures that have plenty of grass. Cows grow faster on grassy areas. Because of consumer demand for steaks, hamburgers and the like, grasslands are not only found in many parts of the world.

Forests are also cleared to make room for large areas of cropland to grow food for the millions of animals kept in factory farms. Animals such as chickens, turkeys, cows, and cattle are fed crops like soy, corn, or other grains.

This combined attack is especially harmful to the Amazon rainforest, which is located largely within Brazil’s borders. The country is one the largest exporters of beef globally. Animal agriculture is a very important sector. Primary driversThis is a critical habitat that needs to be protected and the most deforested in the world.

5. Water use

Factory farms use a lot freshwater, which is a scarce resource that is becoming increasingly valuable. One dairy cow requires approximately 1.25 ml. 40-50 gallonsEach day, both for drinking and cleaning, because of the extreme crowded conditions found on factory farms, a constant battle is waged to reduce the excrement buildup.

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Crops grown for animal feed are also very thirsty. Corn, soy, and other grains are used in animal feeds. You may need to repeat up to 43 timesMore water than feed based upon roughage, such grass, or allowing animals graze. Animals in factory farm farms are often denied water for their entire life.

6. Wildlife and biodiversity

The huge tracts of land needed to produce meat, as well the deluges of pollution and other impacts on ecosystems, Threaten to the existenceThe biodiversity of the planet and wildlife. A study in 2021It was found that land-use conversions to meat production were the main driver of biodiversity loss. Lamb and beef cattle require the most land than any other proteins humans consume. And because of the growing demand for meat worldwide, wildlife habitats are being invaded at unprecedented rates. The destruction of habitat is a death sentence to the animals that live there, many which are already endangered.

7. Oceans and fisheries

Factory farming has many negative effects on the oceans. Two sources of agricultural runoff pollute oceanic habitats: runoff from crops that are grown to feed factory-farmed animals which contain high levels pesticides and synthetic fertilers, and animal excrement coming from factory farms. These runoffs can cause algae blooms and disrupt entire ecosystems.

Factory farms can also be immersed directly in the water. Fish factory farms are a type of aquaculture, which also includes farmed seaweed and farmed shellfish. They are concentrated animal feeding operations that provide food for species like salmon. These cages are open-water. often locatedFish excrement from fish farms can cause pollution in areas where there is little to no biodiversity. Factory-farmed fish can contract deadly and sometimes fatal diseases like parasitic lice. This can then infect wild populations of fish. An estimated 50,000 wild salmon are infected with lice each year in Norway.

8. Rural communities

Factory farming is a big business. Vertical integration allows these facilities to not turn to the local community to purchase equipment and services, but instead rely upon far-flung distributors. Their ability to lower the prices of smaller farms makes it harder for smaller farms compete. Factory farms are notorious for paying the lowest wages. This can lead to locals leaving the area to find better-paying work elsewhere. They also attract low-wage workers from abroad, many of whom are often undocumented, and often have to accept the worst pay and conditions. These effects have a compounding effect on rural communities, causing the destruction of the social fabric.

Rural communities must accept the negative environmental consequences of these activities, or else they will be forced to leave. People who live near factory farms complain about horrible odors. Swine operations are a major cause of air pollution and can cause severe respiratory syndromes and asthma. These conditions are especially common in young children. There are many other conditions that can be reported, including mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

Facts about factory farming and the environment

  • A dairy farm that houses 200 cowsProducesAbout 24,000 pounds per day of manure are required for a dairy farm that is mid-sized.
  • 2012 was a record year for factory farms. Nearly 370 Million TonsExcrement from animals
  • Roughlya quarterProducing meat and dairy is becoming more difficult due to the decreasing global supply of freshwater.
  • Estimates for 2021ProjectIf meat consumption does not decrease, over 1,000 species could see their habitats disappear by 2050.
  • Farmed chickensaccount for 57%List of all bird species in the world by weight

What you can do to help the environment

Factory farming is a serious threat to the environment and should be stopped from taking over the food industry. There are many ways to get involved in the fight to end factory farming. One way to make a difference is to cut down or eliminate your use of animal products. A plant-based diet is recommended. You can also check out The Humane League’s Take ActionFind out more about volunteering opportunities in your area.

We can all work together to force this industry into cleaning up its act and stop it destroying the environment that we all depend on.

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