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Anonymous asked in Environment · 1 decade ago

Describe what could be done to reduce the amount of waste of trees within our growing society. Please have a r

Describe what could be done to reduce the amount of waste of trees within our growing society. Please have a resource of any information.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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    1.Caring for the enviroment-

    America's meat eating habits are bad.Half of the water used in the U.S. is used for animal agriculture.Our topsoil is damaged by raising animals for food,we only have about 6 inches of topsoil left,it takes 500 years for 1 inch of topsoil to be created.Every year in the US an area the size of Connecticut is lost to topsoil erosion--85% of this erosion is associated with livestock production.

    .Animals create a huge amount of waste,a population of 60,000 pigs creates the same amount of waste as a group of 240,000 people,and our poop is flushed and filtered so the water can be used again,animals' waste is put into a manure lagoon or a small amount can be put back into soil,but most of it builds up.Think about what I said before

    60,000 pigs=240,000 people

    and now think of the 10 billion animals raised for food each year.Imagine the waste created.The number of farm animals on earth has risen fivefold since 1950: humans are now outnumbered three to one. Livestock already consume half the world's grain, and their numbers are still growing almost exponentially.This is why biotechnology - whose promoters claim that it will feed the world - has been deployed to produce not food but feed: it allows farmers to switch from grains which keep people alive to the production of more lucrative crops for livestock. Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world's animals or it continues to feed the world's people. It cannot do both.

    The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertiliser and the water used to grow crops. Every kilogram of beef we consume, according to research by the agronomists David Pimental and Robert Goodland, requires around 100,000 litres of water. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of abstraction by farmers.Approximately 1.3 billion cattle populate the earth at any one time. They exist artificially in these vast numbers to satisfy the excessive human demand for the meat and by-products they provide. Their combined weight exceeds that of the entire human population. By sheer numbers, their consequent appetite for the world's resources, have made them a primary cause for the destruction of the environment. In the US, feedlot cattle yield one pound of meat for every 16 pounds of feed. (Within the 12-year period preceding 1992, the number of chickens worldwide increased 132% to 17.2 billion.)It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. According to Newsweek, "The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer could float a destroyer." In contrast, it takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat.Feeding the average meat-eating American requires 3-1/4 acres of land per year. Feeding a person who eats no food derived from animals requires only 1/6 acre per year. Recent marginal growth in animal protein consumption in increasingly affluent developing countries has led to huge increases in the need for feed grains. In 1995, quite suddenly, China went from being an exporter to an importer of grain. World shortages are predicted as both populations and meat consumption rise together--an unsustainable combination. Early in 1996, the world was down to a 48-day supply of grain. According to Lester Brown of the Worldwatch Institute, the world "may have crossed a threshold where even the best efforts of governments to build stocks may not be enough."The passage of local laws favoring massive corporate pork operations in North Carolina recently propelled the state into the number two spot in national hog production, practically overnight. In terms of manure, the state might as well have grafted the human population of New York City onto its coastal plain, times two! Studies by North Carolina State University estimate that half of the some 2,500 open hog manure cesspools (euphemistically termed "lagoons"), now needed as part of hog productions there, are leaking contaminants such as nitrate--a chemical linked to blue-baby syndrome--into the ground water. In the summer of 1995, at least five lagoons actually broke open, letting loose tens of millions of gallons of hog waste into rivers and on to neighboring farm lands. No mechanical method of retrieval exists that cleans contaminants from groundwater. Only nature is able to purify things again; and that could take several generations.Worldwide demand for fish, along with advances in fishing methods--sonar, driftnets, floating refrigerated fish packing factories--is bringing ocean species, one after another, to the brink of extinction. In the Nov., '95 edition of Scientific American, Carl Safina writes, "For the past two decades, the fishing industry has had increasingly to face the result of extracting [fish] faster than fish populations [can] reproduce." Research reveals that the intended cure--aquaculture (fish farming)--actually hastens the trend toward fish extinction, while disrupting delicate coastal ecosystems at the same time.A scientist, reporting in the industry publication Confinement, calculated in 1976 that the planet's entire petroleum reserves would be exhausted in 13 years if the whole world were to take on the diet and technological methods of farming used in the US. Trees are being cut down at an alarming rate in the US, as well as around the world, for meat production. If tomorrow people in the US made a radical change away from their meat-centered diets, an area of land the size of all of Texas and most of Oklahoma could be returned to forest.It is estimated that livestock production accounts for twice the amount of pollution in the US as that produced by industrial sources. Livestock in the US produce 20 times the excrement of the entire US population. Since farm animals today spend much or all of their lives in factory sheds or feedlots, their waste no longer serves to fertilize pastures a little at a time. One poultry researcher, according to United Poultry Concerns literature, explains: "A one-million-hen complex will produce 125 tons of wet manure a day." To responsibly store, disperse, or degrade this amount of animal waste is simply not possible. Much of the waste inevitably is flushed into rivers and streams. Becoming a vegetarian does more to clean up our nation's water than any other single action.Methane is one of the four greenhouse gasses that contributes to the environmental trend known as global warming. The 1.3 billion cattle in the world produce one fifth of all the methane emitted into the atmosphere.Meat contains no essential nutrients that cannot be obtained directly from plant sources. By cycling grain through livestock, we lose 90% of the protein, 96% of the calories, all of its carbohydrates, and all of its nutritional fiber.Agricultural engineers have compared the energy costs of producing poultry, pork and other meats with the energy costs of producing a number of plant foods. It was found that even the least efficient plant food was nearly 10 times as efficient in returning food energy as the most energy efficient animal food.Since so much fossil fuel is needed to produce it, beef could be considered a petroleum product. With factory housing, irrigation, trucking, and refrigeration, as well as petrochemical fertilizer production requiring vast amounts of energy, approximately one gallon of gasoline goes into every pound of grain-fed beef.The direct and hidden costs of soil erosion and runoff in the US, mostly attributable to cattle and feed crop production, is estimated at $44 billion a year. Each pound of feedlot beef can be equated with 35 pounds of eroded topsoil.A nationwide switch to a pure vegetarian diet would allow us to cut our oil imports by 60%.Compared to a vegan diet, three days of a typical American diet requires as much water as you use for showering all year (assuming you shower every day). acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes, but only 165 pounds of beef. In the U.S., 260 million acres of forest have been destroyed for use as agricultural land to support our meat diet (over 1 acre per person). Since 1967, the rate of deforestation has been one acre every five seconds. For every acre cleared for urban development, seven acres are cleared to graze animals or grow feed for them.

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