Now back to that sticky topic nobody likes hearing about, or talking about for that matter.
One of the biggest causes of carbon dioxide emissions, it is responsible for the decrease in bee population through the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers, it is a major polluter of our water sources, a cause of soil erosion and it is a completely unsustainable practice which does not make the most of our resources. When I talk about industrial agriculture and meat production practices, I am more specifically referring to intensive animal farming, industrial livestock production or as most of us call it, factory farming.
10 years ago, the United Nations released a report called Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, which discussed the environmental problems associated with meat production and how we, as a global collective can work to mitigate the surrounding issues of pollution. The report states; “the livestock sector is a major stressor on many ecosystems and on the planet as a whole. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution.” Dr. Henning Steinfeld, LEAD (Livestock, Environment and Devolpment Sector of the UN) Coordinator states that industrial-scale meat production is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems” and that “urgent action is required to remedy the situation.” If you want a bit of light reading, here is a copy of the report. If you ain’t got time for that, then here is a neat wee summary.
The ‘livestock sector’ and how we interact with it is politically and socially important, so why have we as a species not radically changed our practices in the 10 years since this significantly informative report was released? The majority of scientific research supports this report. Yet somehow the literature outlining agricultural problems is all too depressing and most of it can be overshadowed by the distraction of mainstream media and propaganda pushing.
Does meat somehow link to this archaic idea of manhood?