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Is raising animals for food in developing countries a good or bad thing for the environment?

Africa does not stay out of the headlines: drought, floods, refugees and wars, all of these keep the black continent at the top of the news, when the Western world initiates help and support for the troubled countries on the continent. The attention brings researchers and ecologists to a careful examination of the environmental conditions and the various factors that harm the environment.

A test submitted to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) revealed a surprising result: the "contribution" of domestic animals (cattle, sheep, pigs) to greenhouse gases is 18% higher than that of vehicles.

According to the authors of the report submitted to the organization's conference in Bangkok, "herds of domestic animals are one of the significant causes of environmental problems", and therefore remedial action is required.

The Ramat Haim elite (and population growth) causes a greater demand for dairy and meat products. In 1999/2001, the world consumption of meat was 230 million tons, the demand is expected to be 460 million tons in 2050, the consumption of milk was 580 million tons, and the demand is expected to be More than 1000 million tons.

The global cattle and sheep industry is growing faster than any other agricultural industry, the industry provides a livelihood for 1,3 billion people and accounts for 40% of global agricultural production, for farmers/herdsmen in developing countries, domestic animals are an important source of energy (burning dung) and organic fertilizer for their fields, but - Rapid growth exacts a high environmental price: according to the presenters of the report to the organization: "Just to prevent greater damage than the current damage, the environmental cost of growing sheep and cattle must be halved."

When you include the use of land in the livestock emissions calculation, livestock "contributes" only 9% of all carbon dioxide emissions, but its contribution to nitrogen oxide emissions is 65% (the majority comes from manure), and livestock also contributes to 37 % of methane emissions. Nitric oxide causes warming (two hundred times more than carbon) and acid rain. Methane is a greenhouse gas twenty times more active than carbon.

Animals in the dairy and meat industry make up 20% of the total biomass of land animals. Livestock uses 30% of the total land area, an additional 33% of agricultural land is used for food crops for livestock. The creation/vacation of pasture land (in South America) is the main cause of deforestation = 70% of areas that were Amazon forest are used for pasture.

Herds cause a 20% decrease in the vitality of the soil due to overgrazing and drifting, the surface flow cycles are damaged as well as underground water sources, large amounts of water are pumped to water the animals and even more to grow food for the animals. In dry areas, the damage is greater and causes midbor!

Livestock / cattle herds are considered to be the most damaging sector: because of the pollution of water sources and as a result the "tenth" of water bodies with residues of antibiotics, hormones, insecticides, nitrates and phosphorous and further damage to coral reefs (on which the pollutants reach).

Livestock is considered the main cause of pollution in the South China Sea. The report does not go into detail, but there is a reference to the "contribution" of livestock to outbreaks of epidemics in densely populated areas.

All the negative data appear in the report supported by the multi-institutional Livestock, Environment and Development (LEAD) Initiative and which was submitted to the United Nations Food Organization, so it is clear that solutions are required, since it is clear to everyone that livestock will continue to exist and to develop, therefore the authors of the report suggest ways to improve: to prevent damage to the quality of the soil - removing obstacles that prevent the movement of herds and thus movement on spaces that will allow the regeneration of natural pastures; - Use of soil conservation techniques: planting, prevention of erosion; Grazing in wooded areas / plowing without destroying the trees, (silvopastoralism); Treating huge cattle farms as any industry, meaning the ranchers must prevent pollution and pay for pollution and damage to the environment; Economical management of food crops for livestock, improved food quality to prevent methane emissions; establishment of facilities for garbage collection and biogas production; Improving irrigation methods and water use and applying the full cost to the users; Removal of herds / apartments / barns from water bodies and sources.

We started in Africa, therefore it is correct to point out that most of the recommendations of the "Multidisciplinary Institute" (LEAD) can be implemented in large farms in developed countries. In Africa, enormous environmental damage has been caused by growing herds of cattle: the strip of desert in the Sahel is expanding and growing, forests are growing, water basins are becoming polluted, but all this is caused by shepherds with small herds who gather together into many herds, not huge farms where improvements can be made, There are no bodies / ranchers with whom it is possible to change orders, there is no possibility of centralized control and guidance, in such a situation all the above recommendations, no matter how good, appropriate, essential and correct they may be, are not feasible! Therefore, after the damages are known and clear, the question remains: how can the environmental problems caused by herds of cattle and sheep in African countries be solved.

One response

  1. The absurdity and the urgent need for balance:

    Raising animals for the supply of meat, which is intended mainly for the satiated populations (despite the obvious damage to their health, such as obesity, etc.), in the developed countries (according to the appearance of the hungry populations in Africa, surely it is not intended for them), in disgraceful conditions of animal compression, on in order to increase the quantity; Which is a clear damage to the human spirit of the people.

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