A third of the crops that are grown, all across the world, go to feeding animals. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. By the year 2050, the population of the world is expected to grow to 9 billion people. The issue of food production in the United States is no longer a financial debate, but a moral conflict that every human should face. Yes, there are many financial aspects of this problem to consider, but given the information below, it is time for each of us to make an informed decision about how we will continue to treat our planet and each creature on it.
Our earth is one organism, with every tree, animal, and insect carrying their weight in the responsibility of taking care of the planet. Humans are the one race that cannot seem to hold themselves accountable for their actions. Our food industry has taken the same route as many major corporations in the nation. The goal is no longer to keep people well-fed and living healthy lifestyles. The goal is to get us to consume as much as possible, as fast as possible, while obtaining the most amount of profit possible. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the beef industry alone is worth $95 billion dollars. If we look at all of the animal products produced in the U.S., this industry often exceeds $100 billion dollars. The first flaw in the agriculture system is that our health is no longer a priority and each person is simply an opportunity to gain profit.
Secondly, these companies will go to any lengths in order to gain profit. The food industry has had a tremendous impact on the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere in the past few decades. When accounting for all the greenhouse gases emitted by raising livestock, the estimated number is 32,500 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
By consuming the wrong products on a daily basis, one can have a horrifying effect on our incredible planet. Agriculture accounts for approximately 80 percent of the nation’s consumptive water use. Overlooking the way our food is produced, processed, transported and consumed has been a growing trend over the past few decades in the United States. Influences, like the government and meat producers, have successfully softened the role humans play in the current state of our precious planet. Realizing the severe effects that the food industry has had on the environment is the first steps towards change. It is important to understand the way our food is produced, and exactly just how it gets onto our plates. Many of these processes have been kept hidden from the public, but I’m about to take you behind the scenes so you can make smarter choices about what ends up on your plate.
The first step to becoming an environmentalist is to keep yourself informed. It is crucial to know the processes that take place in order to produce the food that we consume everyday. In order to bring one pound of meat to the table, 2,400 gallons of water are used in the process. This number may sound astonishing as it is, but let’s add a little perspective. To bring one pound of wheat to the table, only 155 gallons of water are used. It is easy to overlook how the food we eat gets to the plate in front of us. But it is time to put the knife down and make better choices. In order to truly call oneself an environmentalist, you must be aware of every purchase you make. The largest impact you can have on the environment as an individual is to eat a plant-based diet. The meat industry is destroying our planet and our health. What will you do to take a stand?