Arguing Cause Bw

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: Finding the facts and looking at everyone's views about my topic was very interesting.
This part was surprisingly difficult: At first, I had a hard time coming up with 1,500 words but then I added counter arguments and just went back and found more research.
Next time I would do this differently: My first draft of my paper, I put the solution in it. So next time, I need to pay attention to the assignment a little more. I kind of waited last minute to change things in my paper, so next time I will space out my time more so I'm not cramming to get it done.

Environmental and Health Risks Of Eating Meat

In American, meat is the number one food consumed every day. (*cite this**). When I talk about meat, I am mostly talking about red meat, but Americans still consume the most poultry, pork, and meat from animals that people hunt down themselves. There has been controversy over meat and if it actually impacts our environment and if it is bad for the human health. Meat is actually significantly bad for both. It is detrimental to the environment all around the world by producing pollution/global warming, forest degradation, soil erosion, and livestock abuse. In the human body; meat causes diseases, shortens the life span, and is causing humans to be obese.

The environmental impact is a serious problem that Americans need to consider. There are thousands of farmers worldwide that are just looking at the money aspect of farming and don’t actually care or know about what farming does to the environment. Farming animals produces pollution from farmers using pesticides, fertilizers, manure, and feed. These pollutants are released into the air and fresh water, making them not fresh anymore. One in six people around the world do not have access to fresh water. Thousands of years ago, people could drink straight from the rivers and today, we have to pay to drink water and buy it from companies who manufacture water in water bottles and jugs. Houses need reverse osmosis systems and water softeners to filter the water and make it safe to drink. The bottles we buy are made out of petroleum, which is detrimental to the environment. Another problem is that huge plantations produce so much manure, that is impossible to keep it stored properly. One single dairy cow produces 120 pounds of manure per day, which is equal to 20-40 people (EPA). If you times that by 100,000 cows, that is 12,000,000 pounds of manure produced each day. Since there isn't enough storage and room to keep manure on the farm, farmers use the manure as fertilizer, but don’t realize that it actually releases toxic gases including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, phosphorus, and methane into the air and seeps into the ground and pollutes fresh water. “In the United States, livestock are responsible for 37% of pesticide use and a 3rd of the loads of nitrogen and phosphorus into freshwater resources” (EPA). Manure also seeps into lakes and ponds and kills thousands of fish and degrades coral reefs and coastal areas. “The ammonia that is in manure, is highly toxic to fish even at low levels; nitrogen and phosphorus cause algae blooms which block waterways and deplete oxygen that ends up killing fish and other aquatic organisms. Microorganisms from the manure can be found in the water supply that are called Cryptosporidium, which cause deaths in humans” (EPA). As manure decomposes, it releases gases and toxins that pollute the air and deplete the ozone layer. Humans are going to start noticing ice caps are beginning to melt at rates faster than ever, rising sea levels, shifting weather patterns, drought, and spread of infectious diseases. Not only does manure pollute the air, but factory farms produce massive amounts of dust. A study in Texas found that "animal feedlots produce more than 7,000 tons of dust every year; more however, that dust contains active organisms including bacteria, mold, and fungi” (EPA). Not only is the air we breathe and water we drink a problem, but our land is being taken by these big factory farms, and soil is eroding.

More than two-thirds of all agriculture land is devoted for growing feed for livestock, while only 8% is used to grow food for direct human consumption. Meat consumption is increasing every year which means farmers need to find more land. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest has been cleared to create cropland. The land being taken away is mostly tropical forests and that causes global warming. For example, “in Brazil, during the years of 2004-2005; more than 2.9 million acres of the Amazon forest were destroyed for crop season” (PETA). Soil erosion is supposed to be a natural phenomenon, but human activity is causing it to drastically speed up. Farmers cause soil erosion by planting crops every year and plowing the field which exposes the topsoil. That topsoil often blows away by wind, taking the nutrients with it. Each time fields get plowed, they lose nutrients and eventually the land is unproductive. “Half of the topsoil on the planet has been lost in last 150 years and not only is erosion the problem but farming also impacts the land by compaction, loss of soil structure, and soil salinity. Lastly, soil erosion increases pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers, clogs waterways, and kills aquatic species” (EPA).

Animals consume most of the global food supply, which is another problem. “Animals raised for food actually take more from the global food supply than they provide” (WFAS). “There are almost 7 billion humans on earth and almost one billion of them are malnourished. 80% of the global soybean crop and 50% of the corn crop are fed to livestock. That amount of crop could go to humans who are malnourished. Animals eat large quantities compared to how much they produce. It takes 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. Livestock and farmers also need water. Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food. Farmers need water for the crops so the animals can eat, provide drinking water for the animals, and using water to clean the farms. Farms also use energy; it takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein” (PETA). Lastly, livestock isn’t treated humanely. Many people think livestock gets to roam around big, open pastures but that isn’t the case anymore. “The truth is, 80% of animals that humans consume actually come from concentrated animal feeding operations where the animals are maintained in confined spaces and quickly fattened through a high protein diet consisting of either corn or soy” PETA). Farms quickly fatten livestock and then slaughter them. Why is that a fair life for animals when we strictly raise them to eat them?

“Meat and poultry is the largest U.S. agriculture business; producing 92.6 billion pounds of meat in 2011. Americans diets consist heavily of red meat and consume the most meat than any other country. The average male consumes 6.9 ounces of meat per day and women consume 4.4 ounces per day. Humans are only supposed to consume 5.7 ounces of meat per day” (U.S. Meat Industry). Humans derive one-third of their daily protein from animal sources which is equivalent to a high of 273 pounds per person annually. By 2050 meat consumption is expected to double, to 465 million tons (Henning pg.65). The health risks that have been affiliated with eating red meat is because Americans eat too much of it but importantly, even if Americans only had 5.7 ounces per day there is still the risk of diseases and illnesses. Red meat and processed red meat is full of saturated fat and cholesterol which is unhealthy for the heart and leads to a shorter lifespan. Processed red meat is considered hot dogs, bacon, and salami. When it is cooked at high temperatures, it produces carcinogens on the surface which is unhealthy for the body (Harding). Recently, a study was done by Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic; "whom took a look at what was actually in red meat. He found lecithin in not only beef, but in egg yolk, liver, pork, and wheat germ. Lecithin when consumed turns into a compound called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) which clogs the arteries” (Imus). Since TMAO clogs arteries, it then can cause heart attack, stroke, or death. If you consider yourself healthy, exercise daily, have normal cholesterol, eating meat puts you at risk and you may not even know it. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States” (Vegetarian Times). Another study done at John Hopkins University found arsenic in chicken with levels exceeding the natural amount. Arsenic is a chemical element found in a lot of products and can cause death if high amount is consume (Imus). Another study was conducted by Harvard researchers over a span of 28 years and tracking 121,000 adults. They found that people who ate 3 ounces of red meat every day were 13% more likely to die from heart disease or cancer before the study even ended compared to people who didn’t eat meat (Woolston). Meat also has iron, sodium, and nitrates; if too much is consumed, that increases the chances of heart attacks.
Today, the numbers for obesity are getting higher and higher and it is do to with the consumption of meat and other foods that are strictly fatty foods, and not consuming enough plant based foods. 64% of adults and 15% of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (Vegetarian Times). “A study was gone at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California on weight and found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept it off 5 years later” (Vegetarian Times). There has been numerous studies done by best researches on this topic and no good information has come from it, except that red meat is bad for the health.

As stated already, this problem has been debated for years now. People debate that meat is not degrading to the environment and meat isn’t bad for human health. People believe meat is a good source of protein and nutrients including iron and zinc. An article in Readers Digest by Chris Woolston, "stated that in 2012 a report found that Americans who regularly eat lean beef get more protein, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B". Americans can eat other foods that give the same amount or even more amounts of vitamins.Some people believe that animals are on this earth for the purpose of providing food for Americans and that all animals do are eat, poop, and sleep so it isn't inhumane. But actually, eating meat is causing serious problems to the environment we live in by increasing global warming, pollution, soil erosion, and forest degradation. We are supposed to be stopping these environmental impacts. Meat also is very unhealthy for the human body because it causes heart disease, heart attacks, obesity, and cancer.


Resources

Brian G. Henning. "Standing in Livestock's 'Long Shadow': The Ethics of Eating Meat on a Small Planet." Ethics & the Environment 16.2 (2011): 63-93. Project MUSE. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.

Harding, Anne. "Study: Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Lifespan." CNN. Cable News Network, 13 Mar. 2012. Web. 09 Feb. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/12/health/red-meat-shorten-lifespan/index.html>.

Imus, Deirdre. "Getting to the 'meat' of the Matter: Is Eating Meat Good for You?" Fox News. FOX News Network, 20 May 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2014. <http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/20/getting-to-meat-matter-is-eating-meat-good-for/>.

"Meat Production Wastes Natural Resources." PETA. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/meat-wastes-natural-resources/>.

"What's the Problem?" EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2 June 2011. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.epa.gov/region9/animalwaste/problem.html>.

"Why Go Vegetarian or Vegan? | Vegetarian Times." Vegetarian Times.
Vegetarian Times, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2014. <http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/why-go-veg-learn-about-becoming-a-vegetarian/>.

Woolston, Chris. "Who’s Right: Is Meat Good or Bad for You?" Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest, July-Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2014. <http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/whos-right-is-meat-good-or-bad-for-you/>.

"World Hunger." Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://woodstocksanctuary.org/learn-3/global-environment-issues/world-hunger/>.

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