Vegetarianism And The Environment: Vegetarianism And The Environment

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Vegetarianism and the Environment Is climate change real? Is the animal sector of industrial farming sustainable? Would consuming less meat have any impact on our current day environment? In our period of time we may have reached a tipping point with our environment, meaning if nothing is done to improve things, they will never be resolved. We are at the peak of the climate change debate right now, and one method considered viable to combat climate change is going vegetarian. A vegetarian can be defined as a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.
Justifying Vegetarianism Going vegetarian can be considered a lifestyle change, considering the effect meat has on
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“Food is the main global consumer of water, with irrigation taking 70% or more of all the water we use, apart from huge volumes of rainwater” (Kirby, 1). Having enough water available to grow crops is challenging enough, whereas being able to raise animals off of those crops and also allow water to the raising animals is plainly unsustainable. One can see how much little water is needed for crops compared to animals and their required feed. Pesticides can contaminate bodies of water through increased topsoil runoff, harming aquatic life and humans if it is used as drinking water. It is not uncommon for animal water to end up in bodies of water, again through runoff, causing virus outbreaks and even diseases. As food production has increased, water availability continues to decrease to a growing …show more content…
Methane, a greenhouse gas, is emitted by animals’ waste, further contributing to climate change as well as posing threats to near bystanders through contaminated water from runoff. The near presence of manure alone can cause “elevated incidence of headaches, respiratory problems, eye irritation, nausea, weakness, and chest tightness” (Horrigan et al., 451). Runoff can lead to acute short-term memory loss, cognitive impairment, asthmalike symptoms, liver and kidney dysfunction, blurred vision, vomiting, even infant deaths. On the other hand, primarily consuming meat Horrigan et al found that, “foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Of the approximately 1,800 deaths attributed to known

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