Environmental effects of meat production essay sample

Except for vivid ethical issues, the production of meat raises concerns of environmentalists and advocates of sustainable development. Industrialization has largely contributed to intensive farming and turned the earth into a gigantic farm. Lands that produce food for livestock cover nearly one-third of the earth’s ice-free surface. Global GDP from farming is really huge, and meat production makes up 40 percent of the agricultural sector. Apparently, a greater part of the industry is shifted towards raising livestock instead of yields for human consumption. Therefore, the problem of intensive farming concerns both pollution of natural resources with animal waste products and an inefficient use of land.

According to the report of Food and Agriculture Organization issued in 2006, livestock production all over the world is responsible for almost 20 percent of human-made carbon emissions. The majority of meat, milk, and eggs in the world is produced either in North America or in Europe. Latin America is another region with high density of intensive farming facilities. Sub-Saharan Africa is the least developed region in terms of farming that produces a minuscule amount of meat as compared to the developed countries. Despite developed countries produce much more meat, they use efficient techniques that allow reducing the carbon imprint for every raised animal. In the developing world, animals need much more natural resources and pollute the lands more than in Europe and America.

Environmental pollution made by the livestock consists of several elements. Farms emit a lot of ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, and other gasses. Pesticides, fertilizers, and more chemicals are used to raise crops for feeding animals. Production of meat is extensive in the US; Americans eat more than 100 kg meat per year. A certain part of animal products is wasted, which means that greenhouse gasses were produced for nothing.