The third edition of our Sound Bite Series…
The UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, came out in late 2006 and reported how the livestock industry is seriously damaging our environment in four separate categories: Land and Trees, Water, Climate Change and Biodiversity. All four were covered in Chapter 4 of our book; for your convenience, a few sound bites are presented here for the first one: Land Degradation and Deforestation.
Bite #1. In 1987, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service reported that over 4 million acres (an area about the size of Connecticut) of cropland were being lost to erosion in the USA each year, equating to an annual topsoil loss of 7 billion tons.
Of this staggering loss, 85 percent was associated with the raising of livestock. And, as you can see from the more recent data, many parts of the world are doing a lot worse then twe are in the United States when it comes to taking care of our land. We are rapidly squandering our precious topsoil around the globe and have no idea what kind of havoc we are wreaking for future generations of humans.
Bite #2. As a result of erosion (caused primarily by our farming practices) over the past 40 years, 30 percent of the world’s arable land has become unproductive.
Dr. David Piementel of Cornell University reports: “The United States is losing soil 10 times faster—and China and India are losing soil 30 to 40 times faster—than the natural replenishment rate.”
Bite #3. Seventy percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is occupied by pastures, and feed crops cover a large part of the remainder.
In a recent post, we reported how they are now burning trees in the Amazon to provide land to grow feed for pigs in China. And the people in China and India are just now beginning to adopt our environmentally-destructive Western diet-style in a big way. At the current rate, the environment is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
All of the above is based on well-referenced information that appears in Chapter 4 of our book. While the U.N. Report was compelling in its findings, it offered precious little in terms of a recommended solution.
That’s because, it is very likely that a very large percentage, if not ALL, of the scientists working on the study still believe that we humans “need” to eat animal protein to be healthy. Until these great minds understand the complete truth about nutrition, they are not likely to recommend the obvious solution — a return to the natural diet for our species.
Sound bite series…
- Big Picture — First edition (7-21-11)
- Wasteful, Harmful and Cruel (7-26-11)
- Environment — Land & trees (7-27-11)
- Environment — Water (7-28-11)
- Environment — Climate change (7-29-11)
- Environment — Biodiversity (7-30-11)
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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