Environmental Destruction

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There is no such thing as a non-vegan environmentalist.
What you see above are aerial photographs of large feedlots and massive lagoons of waste. British artist Mishka Henner accidentally captured these aerial photographs that show the results of industrial beef farming. At first glance you may think it as abstract photography because of the geometric and vibrant images, or may even resemble open infected wounds, as you start to look closely however, you’ll see the details of the feedlots. The small black dots are only a small portion out of the billions of animals bred to become food. “While I was working on that series I was looking intensely at the American landscape, and that’s when I came across these really strange-looking structures, like a big lagoon, or all these dots that look like microbes,” Henner says. The massive waste lagoons waft up dangerous hydrogen sulfide fumes and contaminate groundwater with nitrates and antibiotics. Feedlots use large amounts of energy and water and saturate the air with odors that emit huge quantities of climate changing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is extremely damaging on the environment. “To me, as somebody in the U.K., looking at something [like] the feedlots I was shocked on a very personal level,” Henner says. “I think what the feedlots represent is a certain logic about how culture and society have evolved. On one level it’s absolutely terrifying, that this is what we’ve become. They’re not just feedlots. They’re how we are.”

HUMAN POPULATION NUMBERS AND THEIR BILLIONS OF DOMESTICATED FOOD ANIMALS (Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats and Horses), ARE WIPING OUT WILDLIFE. (The Green Bar in the graph above).
We are now at over four and one half times the earth’s terrestrial biomass carrying capacity. And we continue to wipe out our wildlife.

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Earth sustains us, feeds us, and shelters us. We have the privilege to walk on earth’s sacred lands and witness the beauty it contains. From the ancient mountains, to the silent forests, the changing seasons and changing colors of the sky, to the vast prairies and the endless rivers, lakes, and oceans. All that earth contains however, is being destroyed.

We are currently faced with water depletion, species extinction, habitat destruction, ocean dead zones, amazon and rainforest destruction, global warming, and so much more. The cause? Animal agriculture. The multi billion dollar meat and dairy corporations constantly bombard us with advertisements of milk, meat, and eggs, but we are never shown the truth. We never hear about animal agriculture using the conservative number of 2,500 gallons of water to produce only 1 pound of beef, or how only 5% of water is consumed in the US by private homes while 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture. We’re often told to report our neighbors for water waste, but who reports those in charge of exploiting fresh water for a burger? Every second 1-2 acres of rainforests are cleared, the lungs of the earth are perishing and plant and animal species native to those places are becoming extinct.

Earth can only give so much. When we constantly take from earth again and again, when we neglect earth’s needs and mistreat earth, we in turn receive backlash in the form of environmental destruction, which affects all on this planet. We are all held by this beautiful blue planet that we take for granted. We must stop thinking of ourselves as rulers and start encompassing humility and respect towards all beings and the earth itself. Each day by eating vegan you can help the earth and the animals. Opposing the exploitation of the earth and the 58 billion animals killed yearly for food is taking a stand. You are planting seeds and showing others that we must care for earth and its inhabitants.

Visit Cowspiracy’s home page for facts and sources.

Reaching up to 4ft in length the Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra chitra) is one of the largest fresh water turtles in the world, but also one of the most endangered. Listed as number 12 of the top 25 most endangered turtles and tortoises. This species has been heavily affected by poaching and habitat destruction, and could be lost without our protection.

These indicators have shot up since 1950 and there are no signs they are slowing down.

When economic systems went into overdrive, there was a massive increase in resource use and pollution. It used to be confined to local and regional areas but we’re now seeing this occurring on a global scale. These changes are down to human activity, not natural variability.

We are clearing land, we are degrading land, we introduce feral animals and take the top predators out, we change the marine ecosystem by overfishing – it’s a death by a thousand cuts. That direct impact upon the land is the most important factor right now, even more than climate change.

It’s fairly safe to say that we haven’t seen conditions in the past similar to ones we see today and there is strong evidence that there [are] tipping points we don’t want to cross.

If the Earth is going to move to a warmer state, 5-6C warmer, with no ice caps, it will do so and that won’t be good for large mammals like us. People say the world is robust and that’s true, there will be life on Earth, but the Earth won’t be robust for us.

Some people say we can adapt due to technology, but that’s a belief system, it’s not based on fact. There is no convincing evidence that a large mammal, with a core body temperature of 37C, will be able to evolve that quickly. Insects can, but humans can’t and that’s a problem.

It’s clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter’s generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn’t change. That’s where we are today.
—  Prof Will Steffen of the Australian National University and the Stockholm Resilience Centre

Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists
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