Animal Agriculture As A Source Of Food Production Essay

1111 Words Nov 13th, 2015 5 Pages
As people have been able to advance technologically, the impact on the environment has expanded enormously. Human actions have increasingly destroyed habitats, decreased biodiversity, polluted air and water with wastes and toxins, and released greenhouse gases that trap solar radiation, causing global climate change. In addition, population is expected to continue growing exponentially, worsening the impact and increasing the demand for food. While over consumption appears to be the main culprit of these environmental issues, the type of food that people consume may actually be an even bigger problem. A potential aggravator of many of these environmental issues is the reliance on animal agriculture as a source of food. Raising livestock is a highly inefficient form of food production because, by the second law of thermodynamics, energy is lost to the environment with every energy conversion. For all the energy an organism consumes, only 10% is transferred to the consumers on the trophic level above them. This means that animals could only feed one tenth of the population that plants alone could. The inefficiency of consuming animals shows that animal agriculture will be incapable of sustainably feeding a growing population. Livestock are also a major contributor to pollution and environmental degradation. Cows, for example, produce excessive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that has a greater effect on global climate change than carbon dioxide. Animal wastes can run…

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