Nevada News Service
health and for animals, it’s also good for the environment. A new
report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has
reaffirmed what others have claimed: Livestock production is a major
contributor to climate-changing pollution.
Geoff Orme-Evans, public policy manager, Humane Society International,
said globalization and huge, concentrated factory farms are the
reasons meat is cheaper and people are eating more of it. He said 70
billion land animals are raised for food every year around the globe —
a number that is unprecedented.
“It’s really a wake-up call and confirms what we already know: The
sector is a huge contributor to climate change, and we need to start
figuring out what to do about it,” Orme-Evans said.
Orme-Evans pointed to several ways that today’s massive animal farms
affect the environment. One major problem is that having a large
number of animals on a very small area of land creates a concentrated
amount of animal waste, he said.
“There can be really bad effects to the waterways; there have been
fish die-offs; and in addition, there are climate change effects,” he
Other contributing factors to pollution are gases produced from manure
storage, fertilizer production, and in some cases, deforestation to
create more pasture, he said, as well as the energy required to
transport animals, meat and dairy products.
While the report offers some solutions to the pollution caused by
livestock, Orme-Evans noted that individuals can take steps, including
buying locally produced foods and eating less meat. Giving up meat
just one day a week, he added, is the equivalent of driving about
1,000 fewer miles a year.
The report, “Tackling Climate Change through Livestock,” is available