The ethical issues of the meat industry you need to know about
There are many problems with the meat industry – some of which may be more obvious than others.
Here are the major ethical issues of the meat industry you need to know about.
1. It causes animal suffering
In a survey conducted in the US, 94 percent of Americans agreed that animals deserve to be free from abuse and cruelty.
However, the reality is very different from that. To meet the growing consumer demand and produce meat at the lowest possible cost, billions of factory farm animals are forced to endure suffering in horrible conditions.
2. It has a huge environmental impact
The meat industry has a devastating effect on the environment. Agriculture is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources – which threatens human survival since water is a finite resource.
Not only does it consume water – but it’s also is a major polluter of water. U.S. agriculture contributes almost 75 percent of all water-quality problems in the nation’s streams and rivers.
3. Extensive antibiotic use poses serious health risks
Did you know that around 80 percent of all antibiotics in the US are used on meat and poultry production?
The majority of those are used on healthy animals to prevent disease in unsanitary conditions. This widespread use of antibiotics disseminates antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment, posing a serious health risk to people.
4. It heavily contributes to species extinction
Even though animal agriculture already occupies about 40 percent of the Earth’s landmass, more land is cleared by the meat industry every day.
This not only causes significant harm to the environment but is also the leading cause of species extinction. In fact, scientists believe the meat industry is currently driving the sixth mass extinction on Earth.
5. It is a major cause of climate change
Meat and dairy consumption is responsible for creating more greenhouse gas emissions than the transportation industry (that’s all planes, trains, ships, and cars combined!).
According to UN reports, choosing a meat and dairy-free diet can substantially lower these emissions and help prevent the devastating effects of global warming.
Have you been considering cutting out meat or going vegan – but don’t know where to start? Check out these posts: