Rearing of cattle is an old practice that has been very beneficial to mankind. Before the discovery of wind and steam power, animal power was relied on as a major source of energy. Harnessing the power in animal muscles, communities ploughed their lands and carried produce to the market; increasing their economic productivity.
It must sound very surprising, strange and even absurd, to you my friends, to even imagine I can advocate for abolishment of beef farming in this country. Given we are all sons and daughters of farmers; you have every reason to consider anybody with my proposal insane. However, please do not dismiss me before hand. Allow me to explain to you my reasons and let see if they have some sense. I am convinced that our world would benefit immensely from a ban on beef farming.
Beef faming in this country and in the world as whole is very lucrative. Ladies and gentlemen, it is imperative for me to note how beneficial beef farming has been and continues to be to you. Meat and milk form a great bulk of people’s diets around the world. Consumption of quick foods like hamburgers in the streets of developed countries like the US continues to sky rocket.
Despite the negative effects of quick foods, people rely on them for convenience purposes. Most of the quick foods are beef products. It is projected that consumption of beef products is bound to increase fourfold by the year 2020 (Schossler 199). Therefore, for those established in the beef industry, huge margins or profits still beckon.
Cereal farmers are also making a kill in this by providing the animal feed that is on high demand due the increased animal farming activities. It is needless to say how beef consumption is beneficial to our body health. Consumption of lean meat, mark the word LEAN, is good for our health.
It is third behind cereals and grains as a source of iron. Beef is also an excellent source of protein, zinc and phosphorus which are important for our body nutrition. Proteins are very essential for our bodies. They are the building blocks for our bodies. I can already see living examples of users of these proteins here. They are well built and good looking.
Dear friends, you have all heard of Global warming, haven’t you? In the last couple of years, everyone was talking about climate change and global warming. We are all very afraid of the effects of global warming; aren’t we? From desertification in Africa to submerging of Islands to Increased Tsunamis, all these are basically effects of climate change. It is for this reason that the whole world has to pose as ask the question “What are the causes of global warming?”
The answer is simple, climate change and resultant global warming has to do with carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases form a blanket on the atmosphere and trap solar energy radiated from the earth’s surface. This leads to what we are calling global warming, which is causing adverse climate change. We all affirm that our cars, coal and our industries have very adverse effects on our environment.
However, I risk being stoned to death right now for pointing out that today’s diets, especially meat consumption, is a major reason why global warming is happening. This sound awry and maybe very absurd but let me explain. A 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) indicated that beef farms produce higher percentages of greenhouse gases into the environment than cars and industries (CIWF.org). That sounds like an exaggeration, but the report is out there for all of us to read for ourselves.
Compared to crop farming, beef farming produces as much as ten times the amount of greenhouse gases. Gases like carbon IV oxide (CO2), nitrogen IV oxide, and methane are produced in high quantities during beef farming, beef processing and beef transportation to the markets.
From the FAO report, current contribution of beef farms is between “14-22% of 36 billion tons of carbon IV oxide equivalent” (CIWF.org). This is a very high and alarming level. In this case, a small beef farm can produce the same amount of greenhouse gas that a car can produce when driven for several miles. In my introduction I pointed out that beef consumption is increasing all over the world. This boils down to increase in greenhouse gases; from expanding beef farms, thus accelerated global warming.
Additionally, the increased rearing of beef animals has led to increased deforestation as huge tracts of forest land, all over the world, are cleared to create room for pasture development. Clearing of forests for livestock keeping has seen the destruction of “over 25% of the forests in Central America since 1960” (Robbins 220). To clear forests, most farmers simply burn them down.
Away from the global warming issue, considering the amount of vegetation that cattle eat, one would wonder if these are not creatures of destruction. Land dereliction and desertification has been caused to a large extend by livestock all over the world. The cattle trample on the vegetation while devouring tons of vegetation on a daily basis. An animal feeds on approximately 900pounds of vegetation every month. Lack of soil cover due this leads to soil erosion and hence reduction in the soils output (Shiva pp 70-71).
Ladies and gentlemen, suppose some terrorist organizes a bomb attack that kills 4,000 people, how many of us will bay for the terrorist’s blood? How many of us will advocate for the cruelest penalty against the terrorist? My bet is many of us would want to personally lynch such a person. We all want to live well and guarantee a better future for generations to come. However, as I look around, all I notice is people killing themselves and ensuring the future generations will survive in pain.
Let us stop to think about it. How many people do we know that have obesity, suffer from heart attacks and other related conditions that are related to diet problems? Consumption of red meat as well as processed meat is harmful to our bodies. Therefore, to remain healthy, we have to cut down on the amounts of meat in our daily diets.
It is medically verifiable that cutting down on meat consumption lowers the chances of getting heart diseases or cancer. Most of the processed meat passes through irradiation. People consuming such meat risk of getting cancer, which is a terminal disease (Schossler 202).
Dear friends, in conclusion, I wish to reiterate that I appreciate the economic value of beef farming and the nutritive value of proper meat consumption.
However, the odds are against the rearing of cattle and consumption of meat. Global warming, climate change, desertification and land dereliction are not only caused by our cars and industries! In this essay, I have provided convincing facts connect beef farming and global warming.
Secondly, I have also shown how unchecked meat consumption is harmful for health. Finally, the quest for more pastures has led to deforestation leading to increasing desertification in some parts of the world. Considering all this facts, I am personally convinced that is it more beneficial and healthy if we switched to vegetarian diets. A vegetarian diet would assure all of us of good health but also decelerate global warming.
CIWF.org. Global Warning: Climate Change and Animal Welfare, 2008. 7th May, 2010.
Robbins, Richard. Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon, 1999
Schossler, Eric. Fast Food Nation; the Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Harcourt: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001
Shiva, Vandana. Stolen Harvest. New York: South End Press, 2000.