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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meat Production and Commercial Fishing Cause Animal Extinction

Livestock grazing is the number one cause of threatened and extinct species both in the United States and in other parts of the world. 

 In the U.S., livestock grazing accounts for 26% of the species on the federal endangered/threatened list. "The impact of countless hooves and mouths over the years has done more to alter the type of vegetation and land forms of the West than all the water projects, strip mines, power plants, freeways, and subdivision developments combined," states Philip Fradkin of the National Audubon Society. 

Worldwide, especially in the fragile rain forests, it’s estimated that each hamburger made from rain forest beef causes the demise of approximately 25 different plant species, 100 different insect species, and many more bird, mammals, and reptile species.

To satisfy the increasing demand for meat by the world population, enormous tracts of land are used to grow crops to feed the billions of animals raised for food each year. Smithsonian Institute scientists have estimated that the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed every minute, the majority of which is used to create grazing for farmed animals. About 80% of all agricultural land in the U.S is used in some way for livestock production—that's roughly 50% of the total land mass of the U.S.  It is generally thought that deforestation for the purpose of livestock only happens in third world countries; however, more than 260 million acres of forests in the United States have been clear cut to create crops to grow feed grain for the livestock production industry. 

Also at fault, the commercial fishing industry is causing species extinction in the world’s oceans. In fact, marine ecosystems are on the brink of collapse. The fishing industries have been indiscriminately pulling vast amounts of fish out of the sea, destroying the ecological balance, resulting in the demise of habitat and vast amounts of marine life. Fishing methods that include bottom trawling and long-lining devastate millions of miles of ocean and push many marine species close to extinction.

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1 comment:

  1. Great blog you are so right about our impact on this earth. Even if people could just eat less meat, it would be HUGELY beneficial to the environment.