The world population is now reaching 7 billion, the increase is expected to happen and until 2050 human population would be 9,6 billion. How would we be able to feed those people in the future? More deforestation?
Deforestation has already been an issue for decades, this happens mainly for agriculture and animal rearing. By cutting down trees we are not only worsening climate change but also threatening the extinction of plants and animal species. In fact, agriculture now is already listed as a threat for 2400 species from extinction by the IUCN Red List. If deforestation practice still continues, in the next 100 years world’s rainforest may be wiped out completely. In addition, these four commodities are responsible for current deforestation: beef, soy, palm oil and wood products.
Half of our habitable world is used for agriculture, which livestock (including grazing land) account for 77 per cent of it, yet its product (dairy and meat) are only 18 per cent of the global calorie supply and it responsible for 18 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emission, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport combined. We might have to rethink again, is it worth it?
Livestock emits greenhouse gas emission in several ways, starting from the process of burning fuel to produce fertilizer (to grow feed), and when producing meat and transport it, and when clearing vegetation for grazing. Their wind and manure also emit more than one-third of methane, which is 20 times worse than CO2, meaning, if livestock releases between 70 to 100 kg of methane per year, it’s equivalent to 2300 kb of CO2 per year. The effect is even broader as its pollution is also causing acid rain, which is very harmful to plants and aquatic animals.
As our agriculture depends on fertilizer, it can be very dangerous if not managed properly. Take, for example, a “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, it has an area of 8776 sq mi, which is roughly the size of New Jersey.
What we choose to eat shapes how we form and influences our planet! So choose wisely