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Livestock and Environmental Impact

            Today it is common to speak of pollution, environmental impact and climate change. Many people, in order to help the environment, recycle try to use organic products, prefer brands that support ecology and even try to consume products that promise to give a percentage of their earnings towards the reforestation of some forest or water treatment. Furthermore, it is known that activities like mining and oil extraction are highly polluting. However, something very few know is that livestock, an activity that is strongly tied to every one's lifestyle and daily consumption, is one of the most polluting activity and has one of the greatest worldwide environmental impact. Meat consumption becomes an activity that threatens the quality of life on the planet and whose reduction is very necessary. Opinions will be presented based on three arguments. Firstly, farming is highly polluting and harmful to the environment. Secondly, livestock is responsible for land degradation, deforestation in various areas around the world and the loss of biodiversity in these areas. Finally, people will see how the constant heavy use of aquifers and contamination due to organic and inorganic waste from livestock damages water resources and is the main cause of the marine biodiversity decline. All in all common activities such as eating at a barbecue, buying sausages or preparing a meat loaf are a very expensive cost to the environment.
             First, livestock is one of the most polluting economic activities and has major adverse effects on the environment globally, even dirtier than agriculture. According to FAO, the reason why livestock is considered as a highly polluting activity is that it is responsible for the formation of three major greenhouse gases and ammonia emissions. Livestock farming produces "65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential ( GWP ) of CO2 and it accounts for respectively 37 percent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain" (Mathews).

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