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The Impact Of Animal Farming On The Environment

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It is observed that in a year near about 42 million cows are going through the animal farming factories. Nowadays, many people start their business in the field of animal farming. Humans and animal have been co-exciting from 1000 of years and humans have relied on animal products in many ways. However, recently this has turned into a multi-billion industry and people in-charge of this industry has used natural resources in ways that were not exhausted or used before. The demand of the livestock products is increasing day by day due to dramatic expansion of population. In some countries animal farming products are most important factors, which is related to their national income because of the livestock products are responsible for the GDP- 40% of global agriculture. Some people think animal farming is the primary contributor for damage to the environment but others disagree. Although some Politician and environmentalist downplay the role that animal farming plays in polluting the environment there is plenty of evidence that animal farming contributes to air pollution, soil degradation and water contamination. These are major environmental issues.

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Some politicians have stated that manufacturing industries and transportation are primarily responsible for air pollution. They claim that transportation contributes to global warming. According to Begum (2012), “Low efficiency combustion of fossil fuels emits black carbon particles and precursor gases that lead to air pollution”. Black carbon (BC) and other gases like methane, carbon dioxide they absorb light and then produce heat. Green house gas effects occur when sunlight energy is trapped in the atmosphere due to this temperature of the earth goes up. No doubt transportation is the major cause of air pollution. Beside this other primary source of air pollution is animal farming. As FAO points out livestock production generates approximately 12% of the total emission of green house gas. These is because animals produce huge amounts of waste like manure and urine, which emit around 400 different kinds of toxic gases such as oxide, ammonia, endotoxins and hydrogen sulfide into the environment. These gases are the main contributor of global warming. Therefore, it can’t be deny the role of animal farming in polluting environment is primary.

The second most important effect of animal farming is the soil pollution. There are many factors happened by livestock production which are come under soil pollution. Soil is polluted by the usage of chemical in animal industries, cattle ranching, deforestation and others. Soil degradation happens when chemicals used in veterinary medicines and those medicines used to treat animals in most of the farm. When farmer give medicines to animal than their body absorbed this medicine partially and remains discharged into earth through urine and faeces. Furthermore, soil is degraded by cattle ranching, it happened due to livestock production. According to Hansel (2018) “Every second, 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared for grazing livestock or growing animal feed” in some rural areas grazing is driving force behind deforestation. Animal farmers need the place to make farm for animal that is why they cut the trees and make farms for them. Many insects, animals and plants are lost because of cattle ranching. Deforestation can affect biodiversity irreversibly. Although soil degradation is the major problem which leads to another more issues.

Finally, the underground water has become polluted as a result of animal farming. Nitrate leaching is the major cause behind the underground water pollution. Nitrate (N) contamination increases the ground water pollution problem worldwide (Harter, 2000). Nitrate leaching is happens when large amount of liquid manure stored in the farms. During one study environmentalist found that most of the times nitrate level was increase near manure storage ponds as resulted by animal farming. The study also revealed the animal manure contains many kinds of toxin metal. During storage these metals are discharged into earth and through earth they go down to water and polluted to water. Metal and nitrate transfer into plants through water, which not only cause many diseases for humans but also affect marine life.

In conclusion, the role of animal farming as a major contributor to environmental problems is ignored by many politician and environmentalists there is plenty of evidence that animal farming can damage the environment in multiple ways for example affecting the air, water and soil. Like other pollutant animal farming is also the major cause of environment pollution. Livestock production has many disadvantages like air pollution, soil pollution, water degradation, etc. This problem can be avoided if people are aware of the consequences that are occur because of large scale animal farming but in this case it is not common knowledge. These problems can be avoided in many ways. One solution is for human is changing their diet and rely more on vegetarian diet than meat products/animal products and another solution is raising awareness the governments should raise people awareness the affects of using livestock products.


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  6. Schwartz, S. (2016). 5 facts about animal agriculture and air pollution that you just can’t argue with. Retrieved from: https://www. onegreenplanet. org/environment/facts-about-animal-agriculture-and-air-pollution/.
10 December 2020

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