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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Thematic report: how animal husbandry affects the environment

by Nikolay Dagaev | 21-05-2020 05:47 Comments 7 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

Friends, I hope you and your families are doing well. I thought for a long time about how to reveal the topic of the monthly report, the idea was suggested by my girlfriend. She is a vegetarian and environmentalist.
She offered to highlight the theme of the month in the context of the impact of animal husbandry on the environment, for which I am very grateful to her.
Today, the production of meat, fish, seafood and milk is a huge industry that is ready to make significant environmental sacrifices for its own benefit, explaining their mass need for such food. This industry is thriving, as it receives support at all levels (from the population to politicians). What is wrong with the environment?
A selection of facts about how significant and harmful to the environment is animal husbandry, set out below, we took from the documentary Cowspiracy collected a large selection of facts from publicly available research papers/notes.

1. Greenhouse gases

Animal husbandry leads to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions due to natural causes: carbon dioxide-due to animal respiration, and methane (CH4)* - due to the digestive activity of ruminants (it is estimated that one cow daily produces 250 to 500 liters of methane per day). This very methane has a much greater effect on the increase in temperature on earth, CO2 CO2.
There are other causes caused by direct human activity for livestock that contribute to the growth of greenhouse gases, such as:

use of additional chemicals (for example, fluorocarbons for cooling the resulting products);
* environmental consequences of treatment of zoonotic infections transmitted to humans from domestic animals (anthrax, brucellosis, foot-and-mouth disease, tuberculosis, listeriosis, tularemia, and many others);

* reducing the area of forests that are cut down for livestock production;

storage and transportation of products;

* disposal of animal waste.

How big is the impact of animal husbandry on the overall greenhouse effect?

A 2006 report by the Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations reported that livestock (cows and bulls, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry) account for 18% of the world's greenhouse gases. This is hard to believe, but all transport (including land, sea and air) forms only 13 %.

At the end of 2009, Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, long-time environmental experts from the world Bank Group, published an article "Livestock and climate change" (livestock and climate change) in the World of hours (an independent Institute of the same name), which presents the results of an analysis of data from the United Nations with more complete adjustments in their opinion. The result was impressive: livestock production and products of this industry cause annual emissions of more than 32 billion tons of greenhouse gases, which is more than half (about 51 %) of all emissions on a global scale [2].

2. Water consumption

Keeping animals is associated with the consumption of a huge amount of water, which is spent on growing crops, drinking, washing and other related processes.
The development of animal husbandry has led to the fact that most of the water today is not spent by people for direct drinking and personal economic needs, but for this industry. Estimates of the amount of water required to "produce" meat vary widely, but everyone agrees that this is a huge expense.

A widely quoted estimate is by Dr. George Borgstrom of the University of Michigan: 2,500 gallons of water is required for every 1 pound of American beef (I.e., about 4,300 liters of water per 1 kg of meat). At the same time, the authors of the article "Water resources: livestock and environmental issues" (water resources: on agricultural and environmental issues), published in the journal "Bioscience" at the University of Oxford in 2004, state that if 1 kilogram of cereals on average consumes about 1000 liters of water, then 1 kilogram of beef-43,000 liters [3].

3. Use of the earth's surface

Pastures, farms and other livestock lands not only occupy a significant part of the planet, but also:

lead to land degradation, including: chemical contamination, compaction and erosion of soils, the appearance of "dead zones" - areas in coastal waters where the amount of oxygen becomes insufficient for animal life;

* contribute to deforestation of the planet due to the need to "free" more and more territories for economic activities at the cost of deforestation;

accelerate the extinction of species, because people destroy natural predators and competitors for the grown and consumed in food animals.

In addition to causing damage to landscapes, livestock breeding is also responsible for the misallocation of resources on earth and, as a result, famine in many parts of the world. With the development of animal husbandry and the growth of the World's population, it is increasingly difficult to feed 7 billion people. But instead of growing edible fruits to feed humans, who consume much less, we are growing forage crops for livestock. One cow per day eats 10-20 kg of feed (or feed crops such as potatoes, beets, Jerusalem artichoke). For a single average family, this amount of food is enough for a week. But the main consumers of livestock products usually do not have problems with nutrition, and therefore it is difficult for them to imagine how many hungry children are dying around the world, who need only a bag of grain to survive.

4. Waste

"Production" of animal products is a very expensive process and in terms of waste generated, which, as we know, always "needs to be put somewhere". Whole ponds of animal excrement accumulate substances such as ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, nitrates, heavy metals, bacteria (Salmonella, streptococci, etc.).

Thus, we see that the environmental damage from livestock farming is disproportionately large compared to the benefits that consumers find in it.

1. http://ecobeing.ru/articles/livestock-farming-harms-ecology/

2. https://templatelab.com/livestock-and-climate-change/



Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Nikolay Dagaev, this is a mentor Sang Su Lee.

    Thank you for writing how animal farming can impact the environment in various ways. Many people waste food because they feel they are full when trying to eat so much beef that they roasted. Knowing this information, people should only eat what they can eat!!

    Green Cheers~!
    Posted 26-05-2020 22:48

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    Hello Nikolay Dagaev, this is mentor Taehyun!

    As I've seen before, it's also a good idea of how large farm cows/pigs can have a bad effect on the environment than small-scale cattle and pigs like the old ones! Especially, it was more persuasive because it had quantitative data along with a very specific reference! Try to eat less meat in our daily life seems really important step to the environmental action!

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 26-05-2020 02:31

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Nikolay

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about how animal husbandry affects the environment

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 24-05-2020 22:10

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings Nikolay
    I hope you are doing well
    I, personally being veterinarian can understand all these. I enjoy reading.
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 22-05-2020 13:58

Yuqing Yang

  • Yuqing Yang says :

    This is a very informative report. Thank you.

    Posted 22-05-2020 09:11

Sonika Pariyar

  • Sonika Pariyar says :
    Hello Nikolay!

    I hope you are fine and doing great!
    I enjoy reading your report!
    Thanks for sharing impact on animal husbandry on environment.


    Posted 21-05-2020 22:20


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Thank u for sharing your article!
    Posted 21-05-2020 20:43

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