October 20, 2005
Vegetarianism and the environment
While reading chapter 9 in our environmental science text book I came across a section that brought up the issue of the way pigs, chickens and cows were raised in order to increase productivity. Many animals were given hormones and steroids to increase rate of growth, animals were kept penned up to increase the amount of fat within the meat which is more desirable for consumers. As a meat eater myself it never crossed my mind how animals were raised before consumption. Regardless of the ethical treatment of animals I thought long and hard about the food and agricultural side of becoming a vegitarian. Would a reduction in meat consumption reduce my intake of harmful hormones and steroids given to the animals? Am I better off consuming pesticides that remain on fruits and vegetables? Scientists say that consuming fruits, vegetables and grains directly is more efficient to humans then feeding it to animals and consuming them. Using land for growing plants for consumption will leave the land far less harmed then if it was used for animal agriculture. In South America the main cause of deforestation is due to animal agriculture. After becoming more educated on the environmental externalities of animal agriculture it makes me think twice about the way our land is being used for raising animals for human consumption. I believe this land could be better used for growing highly nutritious fruits, vegetables and grains that are much better for the human body then animal products.
Posted by at October 20, 2005 1:10 AM | 4. Land Use and Land Management