The True Cost of Meat
Meat and the Environment
Cultivating animals for food has profound ecological consequences. When you include the land, food, water, and energy it takes, the cost is astonishing. So the next time you’re eying that delicious, fatty steak in the supermarket, consider some of the following:
Animal farms use a tremendous amount of land. 30% of the Earth’s land mass is used for raising animals, grazing, and growing animal feed. That makes it the most land intensive industry in the world. Over 260 million acres of forest have been cleared to grow animal feed crops in the U.S. and worldwide, more than 7 acres of land are being bulldozed every minute to clear more room for livestock production. Continue reading
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Sustainable Agriculture: Meeting Current Needs Without Sacrificing Future Needs
Sustainable Agriculture: Managing Natural and Human Resources
Agriculture requires the dedication of many of our natural resources, including land, water, and energy. When the quality and quantity of our natural resources degrades as a result of unsustainable practices, it’s not only the environment that suffers–the viability of future agricultural operations is also put at risk. Sustainable agriculture is founded on the premise that our resources can be carefully managed and cultivated to make them last indefinitely.
And it’s not just natural resources that proponents of sustainable agriculture are focused on; it’s also human resources. Treating workers equitably helps cultivate our social and economic vitality, which can be eroded as easily as environmental health by unfair labor practices–and at enormous cost to our society.
Of course, profitability is also essential to sustainability. Every industry has to make money to subsist. So how do we reconcile the bottom line with the need for ecologically and socially responsible practices? The following are the 5 most important elements of sustainable agriculture. Continue reading