The Meat industry Part 1: The environmental destruction.

in life •  last year  (edited)

Meat consumption versus our environment.

Bhishma said: "That man who wishes to increase his own flesh by the meat of another
living creature is such that there is none meaner and more cruel than he.

Greetings friends, I fear that there are many aspects of the meat industry that the common newsreader are not aware of, so I feel obliged to share some facts or rather THE facts that concern me the most.


Background

The time has come to stop eating beef and decrease meat consumption overall, and this is my contribution. This is the first of three posts, covering different aspects of the meat industry and meat consumption in general.

This first post focuses on the environmental damage that the meat industry causes. Devastation of rainforests, soil erosion, methane & CO2 emissions, water and air pollution along with the injustices that comes with the problems at hand. These are all direct consequences we put our planet and fellow humans through in order to eat meat, which is not even healthy, especially in the amounts we eat in America / Europe.

georaphical meat.PNG

Figure

Geographical overview of where meat is consumed, America consumes well over 100 kg / person and year.


Water usage:

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “The world is moving towards increasing problems of freshwater shortage, scarcity and depletion…” (Steinfeld et al. 2006, xxii). By the year 2025, the FAO estimates that 64% of the world’s population may live in “water-stressed” basins, And by 2050 the number of individuals living in severely stressed water basins is projected to rise from 1.5 billion to 3 to 5 billion (Houghton 2009, 193).

Link to cited study: The Ethics of Eating Meat on a Small Planet

I am 100% sure that you all know that clean and drinkable water is of paramount importance when it comes to the survival of humanity, as for all other known species. Water shortages have been felt in "rich zones" like Texas and California, and perhaps of even more dire consequences, water supplies in China, the world's number one pork producers, is going low. What are we doing about this ?

Well sadly nothing, meat consumption has increased steadily over the last 100 years. It has probably increased for the last 10000 years, but that is a problem for next part, regarding our health as herbivores. One thought, how can India be the biggest cattle farmers ? while so many have no clean water to drink ?

Meat production curve.PNG

Figure

Global meat production has increased rapidly over the past 50 years - as seen above, total production has grown 4-5 fold since 1961. But the meat consumption in pic 1, shows that the regions that has grown its meat production the most, has not grown its consumption. The meat is just exported to rich countries like America and France[1]. Europe actually reduced its meat production since 1980, but not consumption[1] They are cleaning their own house and wasting the water and forests of China, India, Brazil amongst others, instead of their own lands.

Now you might ask, what does water usage / spoilage have to do with the meat industry?



Water is used for growing food for the cattle, the cattle drinks water and loads of water are used to keep the farms sanitary which leads to high production of sewage water.

water cost.PNG

https://academic.oup.com/bioscience

Clearly it is correlated, since the amounts of water needed to produce beef is notoriously high. There is a decreasing trend towards smaller animals then diary and lastly the vegetables / grains. Rise production actually have high impact on C02 emission and water usage, so mixing the carbohydrate sources well can also have a small climate impact, if you eat mostly rice as it is, I sure did a few years back!

This is not my estimate but if it´s is somewhat accurate, the numbers look dire, 43000 liters / kg beef versus 700 liters / kg apples. Americans consume about 0.3 kg meat a day 2018, if it is all beef, that will cost us 43000*0.3 = 12900 liters per day. This sure makes the amounts many can´t get a hold of for consumption, to survive, look like nothing. Perhaps there are better ways to use the water? just a thought or idea rather....

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-02/have-a-meaty-new-year-americans-will-eat-record-amount-in-2018


meeeaat.PNG

Figure


Deforestation, land usage and soil erosion.

Did you know that Amazonas rainforests is being cut down to make way for beef cattle ? The meat of which will be sold to USA & even Europe ?
Did you know that the biggest cause of soil erosion, which leaves land areal unusable for farming, stems from the meat industry ?
Did you know that the most common use of farmland is meat production and in second place...food for the meat industry...and last and sadly least crops for human consumption ?
(Steinfeld et al. 2006,xxi, 5, and 271–72)

Ever heard that 90% of American soils are being depleted 10-15 times faster than the natural rate of replenish ?
(Pimentel and Pimentel 2003, 662s)

For millennia, agricultural production has been the driving force behind what is euphemistically referred to as “land conversion.” As the human population races toward an estimated nine billion people by midcentury,
the dimensions of this “conversion” are massive. Nearly a third of the Earth’s land surface has already been cleared to make way for a global farm and the rate of clearing is accelerating (Steinfeld et al. 2006, xxi, 5, and 271–72).
Though few people connect the steak on their plate to deforestation in the Amazon, the link is now undeniable. “In the Amazon, cattle ranching is now the primary reason for deforestation” (Steinfeld et al. 2006, 272). Indeed, the ever-expanding demand for beef is the single greatest contributor to deforestation worldwide.

Link to cited study: The Ethics of Eating Meat on a Small Planet

A third of all available land area have been converted, and the rate is growing. Cattle are the main reason for deforestation of Amazonas, but many Brazilians are poor? Why are they not growing crops ?

Well meat is expensive and makes a lot of money to the landowners, the American / international corporations owning these farms. So it actually increases starvation to produce all this beef, as well as changes the country to an infertile one, not able to sustain crops in the future would we like to or not.


Methane CO2 and transports

Did you know The meat industry has bigger climate effect then EXXON or SHELL ?

Did you know that producing beef needs almost 30 times more land area then pork or chicken ?

cattle.PNG

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars

The picture and link above is from the article "giving up beef reduce carbon footprint more than cars" which is an interesting thing to consider, a car, with median usage, versus your median daily meat intake.

I did not know, prior to writing this that a few actors in the meat industry causes as much GHG(greenhouse gas) emissions as EXXON or that quitting beef reduces my GHG(greenhouse gas) imprint more then selling my car. 15% of all GHGs come from the meat industry and is comparable with all vehicles in the world.

did you know that three meat companies – JBS, Cargill and Tyson – are estimated to have emitted more greenhouse gases last year than all of France and nearly as much as some of the biggest oil companies like Exxon, BP and Shell ?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/07/big-meat-big-dairy-carbon-emmissions-exxon-mobil

The average person needs around 50 grams of protein per day, but the report shows that getting this protein from soy products instead of beef could reduce daily carbon emissions by 12.16kg of CO2, the equivalent of 5 litres of petrol.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-meat-industry-creates-same-amount-of-greenhouse-gases-as-all-the-vehicles-in-the-a6747561.html


Others starve, while we get fat

I have decided to keep this part short, 1 Image that pretty much says it all, along with a few quick facts, or it will turn into a political theses pretty fast, and this is only science, nothing else.

geo land use vs beef.PNG

Figure

This statistics says it all, if the humanity would adapt USA´s meat consumption, 140% of the planet would be needed to harbor those animals, that´s 1.4 planet earths. Would we instead adapt the mean consumption of india, we would only need around 20-25% of the earth, and today we use 50%. We could free up 50% of our already used land for animals, to grow crops for humanity, this would more then be enough to feed a few more billion humans and save what we have left of our nature from being converted into cattle plains.


Immunity is spreading among bacteria and humans


There are many bacteria with antibiotic resistance out there and more spawning from the meat industry from time to time due to excessive use of antibiotics. The usage of antibiotics have gone to far and every animal, and consequently the meat we eat, are full of it.

I tested my own bacteria from my nostrils, Staphylococcus Aureus to name one, and found clear immunity to all four different antibiotics medium tested, strongest immunity was versus ampicillin, Amp.

First we have multi resistant strains spreading from e.g. swine farms, which are hard to fight with antibiotics, but some compounds like colistin still works on gram negative strains. I will show that there are plasmids with immunity for colistin spreading in already multi resistant strains, make the bacteria almost unstoppable without UV radiation or high dose concentration chemicals like chlorine, which off course can´t be used for treatments....

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria as a major public health concern

For example, a previous study performed in the European Union revealed that the worldwide antibiotic consumption in pig production accounts for 60% of all antibiotics used in animals. As a consequence, many countries have reported the occurrence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in swine waste , suggesting that such material is a serious threat to the environment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29145163

This study tested E.coli content and immunity in different steps in a swine farm wastewater treatment plant, and concluded that the wastewater indeed could spread the immunity to the aquatic environments where the water is deposited.

The immunity arising in the swine industry is clear, and the evidence of emission of multi resistant strains are there. When both WHO and EPA is worried, then you know something is wrong.


Genetic analysis of the mcr-1 gene was performed by PCR and in silico. The insertion sequence ISApl1, upstream of the mcr-1 gene, was identified by PCR (ISApl1-F 5=-TGATGAGTACTTCCTACCGACA-3= and CLR5-R [1]). Analysis of the genome with PHAST (11) confirmed the presence of the ISApl1-mcr-1 genes in the 49,379-bp prophage, which is part of the 100-kb pRC2-007 plasmid.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843718/

This plasmid induced gene, mcr-1, gives colistin resistance and was first found in China. This study, cited above, isolated a sample in Mexico and verified that the E.coli in a male swine indeed carries the mrc-1 gene. Colistin is a last resort method versus multiresistant bacteria and this gene is of great concern to our health and spreads via plasmids, bacteria to bacteria as easily as we send an email.

https://www.whocc.no/atc_ddd_index/?code=J01XB01

We have multi resistant strains being emitted into many different aquatic environments and to the sewage systems. We also know that China and Mexico among others, emit the mrc-1 gene, making last resort colistin use pointless. These environments make up danger zones for human health should the bacteria spread. Animals can spread the bacteria and the risks are only growing every passing day that we bring up animals for meat in these horrible conditions.


Think we are safe in Europe and USA? no...

Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat to livestock, human and environmental health. Although resistant bacteria have been detected in wildlife, their role in the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance is not clear.

This study used raccoons, and showed clear results when it comes to carrying and spreading multi resistant bacterial strains.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27829035

Wildlife in Ontario carries multi resistant strains, water pollution anyone ?


Both farmers and volunteers have been "infected" with bacterial immunity.

Carriage of animal-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clonal complex 398 (CC398) is common among pig farmers

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3485952/

Common among pig farmers! This looks relay bad, resistance is spreading in humans, multi resistant strains are becoming more and more resistant(to increasing number of compounds) and aquatic environments harbor more and more of these bacteria, making the risk of spreading ever higher via both animals and humans directly.

MRSA is immune to all common types of antibiotics, and must be treated intravenous which comes with severe side effects. Vancomycin is commonly used for this procedure, but now Vancomycin resistant MRSA is surfacing, and this is prove to me that we have already failed. The bacteria will NOT be stopped by antibiotics so creating pools of bacteria around the world, along with antibiotics is only speeding up our doom, not killing the bacteria obviously! This is like using water on Napalm, almost ^^

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancomycin


Capture.PNG

Figure

There are naturally resistant strains as well, one found in the article above is immune to 70% of known antibiotics. We should be careful or we will soon have 100% resistant strains, since bacteria clearly is capable of developing resistance. After millions of years of chemical warfare against other bacteria over nutrition, they have become very proficient at adapting to chemical dangers, prior to going extinct.




Conclusions

We slay ~2.7 trillion fish and ~70 billion land animals each year, at minimal , so we truly live in the shadow of a gigantic meat industry, eating away on our food, wasting our water and depleting our soils while emitting as much GHG as the entire fleet of vehicles on earth.

Knowing all these facts made me go vegan instantly I just could no longer support this industry. We act as a virus for this planet, eating away on our host and letting the peripheral units starve.

I would advise you to try stop eating meat for the sake of your children and this very planets health, or at least consume less meat, once or twice a week for starting! Or soon bacteria immune to all treatments will spread throughout humanity if not the food chain collapses first.

For all of us that have children or are planning to soon have children, how can you consume meat? Knowing that your children will have no water, no clean air, no soils to farm and no forests to visit? Are we that ignorant, that we consume away and destroy that which we will let our children inherit ?

We must start being responsible, and if you don't feel moved by what is happening to our earth, the next post in this 3 part series will focus on YOUR health, and how you simultaneously kill yourself with the planet. If that won´t do it either, the last part will focus on animal rights, animal suffering due to uneducated experiments and lack of veterinarians in the industry. NOTHING makes me more aggravated and sad, then to see the total lack of empathy towards the tortured and suffering animals, it is inhumane, immoral and plain sadistic.

Here are two great projects, even if they might be using numbers on the high end of the scale, they are very eye opening.

http://thevegancalculator.com/animal-slaughter/

On the first site, above, you can see in real time how many animals and of which kind that is killed every second! The site also contains great links to documentaries as well as books.

http://thevegancalculator.com/#calculator

The second link, above, calculates how much you save by going vegan. I put in my own stats, 5 years of veganism and this is what I have saved:

Gallons of water: 2,007,500

Sq.ft of Forest: 54,750

Animal Lives: 1,825

lbs of Grain:73,000

lbs of Co2: 36,500

Sounds nice : ) but might be somewhat over shot ? what do you think ?

And after spending 8 min and 26 seconds on the first site,Link again, this is how many animals died:

killed animals.PNG

What the.. Camels, donkeys, horses,goats and RODENTS, what are we even eating?




Reference list for the sources not cited or linked for any other reason,[x] Indicates where in the text they are used.



[1] Meat and Seafood Production & Consumption by Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser. 2017, Aug. https://ourworldindata.org/meat-and-seafood-production-consumption

[2]Standing in Livestock’s‘Long Shadow’The Ethics of Eating Meat on a Small Planet Brian G. Henning.URL




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This is so sobering, yet very inspiring, Great presentation. You are truly carrying the torch. Now I have to try harder. I've had that ancient Chinese disease lately, It's hard to kick. It's called Dragon ass.

Thank you :) I am glad to hear. Hrm not about your condition thou! that sounds wearying, mby spring time and some nice vegan cooking will cure you! :)

Peace

Thanks for writing this informative post 👌🏼 I was aware of many of those points, but I did not think about the huge water consumption! That's a really important point.

Thanks for reading, yeah water waste if getting out of hand!

  ·  last year Reveal Comment

You should, and avoid meat :)
Thanks checking in!

Wow, yeah as a vegan my self, I get your view and thanks for sharing all the great links & facts. Your work is inspiring and makes it easy staying vegan :)

Thanks you!

Thanks you for the kind words :) I am glad it can inspire someone! <3

Peace

Currenty traveling in Asia and finding anything Veggie in Thailand is hard. Flying to India tomorrow which we can be very glad is traditionally veggie or I expect global warming would already be noticably worse. We're working on a new paradigm innovation accelerator called Astralship. What's become clear is that project that change culture by spreading ideas are at least as important as technology innovations. Astralship will sail for these too.

I am glad to, that so many in Asia opt for vegetarian or low meat diets, and I agree, that it would have massive impact on the environment, would they increase the meat intake.

Sounds like a great project, any links?

Thanks for reading & commenting :)

Peace

sure check out astralship.org
this my intro post if you haven't seen: https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@astralliam/pirates-voyages-and-tech-innovation

There is also the @astralship steemit account and we're posting travel videos on youtube (but moving to a dtube first then youtube approach) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrA2JjxU6IDTxbDBwytDwCQ

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Thanks!

You are welcome!

this is crazy, good to know!

Many thanks for this very detailed and well constructed post. It is similar to one I posted myself recently on reasons why veganism or at least plant based is the future. We seem to share similar mindsets. Resteemed and you have a new follower. Keep up the good work.

Thank you so much, I sure will check your post out!

Peace

  ·  last year (edited)

This is a wonderful post.

I'm an Engineer and I believe that exorbitant water consumption is possibly the most significant problem induced by excessive stockraising for commercial purposes in combination with the dramatic increase of human population within the last 50 years. All points you raised are precise, I just wanted to emphasize on this one as it belongs in my area of expertise. We have to do something about this.

Please keep up the quality work and thanks for the information.

Hey, thanks for the kind words! I am glad to hear that you agree with the general information, it can be hard to access its value some times :)

Yeah we really need to think about how we use the water, it is clear that the same humans that drink bottled water or tap water like it´s nothing also consume meat without a second thought. It is time to spread the news, that water is a both scarce and precious resource, that many can´t even get in amounts of 1-2 liters a day, to enable the daily survival : /

What do you think about beef tax ? I feel it must be done, or at least something to make it more economical favorable to decrease beef consumption at least, since nothing else seem to work ^^

Peace

It is certain that wars will be fought over access to fresh drinkable water within the next century unless something changes drastically.

Beef tax is something I had never heard of up until now, sounds like a good idea but I personally believe it won't be effective. Call me a pessimist but I don't atually believe anything will ever change unless we the people start taking full responsibility of our actions and realize that the future generations depend on us. We have to stop killing animals anyway, or else we will undoubtedly destroy the natural environment.

Same goes for the dramatic increase in population. I'm too pessimistic about this as well. We're like a virus spreading on the planet's body, contaminating everything and killing the planet off. I don't see how things could ever change without the occurence of major catastrophic events. This is the point of no return.

  ·  last year (edited)

I agree, it seem impossible to force humans to do anything, so a change of perspective must come first. I don´t think 7 billions or 10 is a problem we could easily feed 10 billion, if we ate like the standard citizen of India. That would also save a lot of water, but again something must wake humanity up.

There might be no other way, only seeing first hand the consequences of our actions will be enough, but those consequences won´t come knocking on the door prior to a catastrophe, since it is as you say, the consequences will be catastrophical : /

I will stay optimistic, and do my best to inform fellow humans, of the time bomb we have set in motion, and hope that it won´t have to go boom :) Let´s go 10 billion humans in peace and prosperity :))

The war purse of America / EU / China, could clean water to humanity by it self. Bad focus here, and yes, we sadly acts as viruses atm

Great Post. I stoped eating meat 47 days ago today. I feel amazing! although my body hated me for a least a week, stomach craps, the sweats & even couldn't sleep well for two days 😳 WTF chemicals have I been consuming in meat to cause that?? following you sir!

Great job, Yeah it can be quiet a procedure to get used to :)

Hehe I am writing a post about meat and our health now, I might find something that could explain it, lets see!

Thanks for the support :)

Peace

Thanks @clausewitz it is great to see the science behind it. I am also very interested to know how radiation in our fish stocks is going to affect us in the longterm? it looks like in the future we won't even be able to eat fish from our sea's. we will properly have to rely on fish farms 😳. although its a great time to be alive, what we have done to this planet makes me sick!!! I think education is the only way forward keep it up buddy.

Resteemed, this is definitely worth it! I first stopped eating meat for environmental reasons, and still, each time I see the numbers, they shock me. I'm overwhelmed how people knowing these facts can live like they don't matter, or even more, deny them...

However, great article, I appreciate all the time and effort you've put into this! Hopefully as many as possible will read this through, and make even a small change in their lives. :)

I hope so as well, every little change counts.
Yeah it´s hard to understand how one can know about the problems and not care, but I think very few does realize the magnitude of this industry so thanks for spreading the word!

Thank you for the kind comment / the support and for avoiding meat off course :)

Tbh, it's not only the meat industry. Look what happened in Argentina, with the intensive culture of soybeans by big farms:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/argentina-new-river-soya-beans

  ·  last year (edited)

Yeah the system can´t take much more pressure, but swapping / converting cattle land to farm land would do a lot of difference both towards GHG emission, Stopping soil erotion, lower bacterial spreading and it would save about X0000 liter water per kg produced food.

It is the only way, there is no more land to make into cattle or farm land, and the system is already overloaded at the same time as meat consumption grows..This is a time bomb.

Making soy farms into alternative crop farms would have very little impact compared to converting cattle land to farm land :)

Thanks for checking in & sharing!

i guess it will take quite some time for people to get used to not eating meat.

Yeah true indeed, we should just start decreasing our beef intake at first, perhaps via taxation to gain some financial motivation :)

Thanks for reading, Peace!

Thanks for sharing all the great links and facts. Your work is inspiring and makes it easy

Thanks you!

Thank you for the kind comment :) I am glad to hear that!

Great post, well put together with relevant information.

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