I have always cared deeply about the earth’s climate and the current state of the environment. With this in mind, I would like to go into depth about the issue of humans essentially poisoning and destroying the earth by ways of deforestation, pollution, and industrialized farming. Generally, the people who take into consideration the damage that humans do to the earth are people who can afford to buy more expensive foods to avoid eating cheap meat produced by industrial farms.
While people who do not have the luxury of buying exactly what they want to eat may care very much about the earth’s environment, it is often not easy for them to plan their lives around bettering the environment which only adds to the ruination of the environment.
For this reason, the country continuously chops down forests and grasslands to create more room for farms and crop growing. An example would be the United States buying the Amazon Rainforest with intent of chopping it down for large agriculture purposes.
The Amazon Rainforest is responsible for over twenty percent of the earth’s oxygen and is home to about half of the world’s ten million species of plants and animals. With the sources I chose, I would like to research possible solutions that have been discussed such as for everyone to just start eating what we are feeding to animals in industrial farms. For this to be possible, large food organizations and companies would all collectively need to lower the general costs for fruits and vegetables to make it easily obtainable for everyone regardless of social class and financial standing.
Throughout my research, I would like to answer the following questions: How could someone motivate people to care about the environment? Why is the subject of climate change not talked about more often? Why do people in power (the government) not implement more changes? How exactly do large agriculture and the meat industry ruin the planet? How can the average person make a change to better the environment?
The author of this article is Misty Earisman for Lafayette College. Misty received a B.A. in English and Biology at Lafayette College and is an aspiring science writer. She grew up in a vegetarian household and quickly gained a passion for environmental science. Her goal is to teach people about sustainability and regenerative agriculture. Her audience is anyone who is willing to gain more knowledge about sustainable diets and habits. In the article, Earisman explains the danger of factory farming and the negative effects (greenhouse gases) that is has in the environment. While the author provides links that elaborate how to go about eating less meat, she herself fails to give any tips she has on changing one’s diet.
The author is not mentioned in the article but provides plenty of sources to elaborate on points made throughout the article. One article cited titled “Tropical Forest Loss Slowed in 2017—To the Second Worst Total Ever” written by Stephen Leahy, an international environmental journalist, goes into brief detail of the issue of deforestation and how excessive it has gotten within the last few years. Described as a “Modern-Day Plague” by the writer, the article provides several links to articles and blogs about the issue that deforestation has on the environment. He explains that the destruction of natural forests is one of the main causes of global warming and droughts. The author, however, does not include numbers and/or actual statistics to defend his claim.
In the article, John Peterson talks about sustainable forestry, erosion control, stewardship, and REED incentives. He elaborates on ways to make deforestation, in simple terms, not so bad such as harvesting certain types of trees together and keeping trees of the same general age together. He also mentions only using older, more mature trees for harvesting and leaving the rest of the forest intact. He taps into erosion briefly by mentioning the effect that agriculture has on soil. Cutting down forests and using the space for agriculture leaves the land prone to erosion and loss of topsoil which makes is harder for the soil to grow plants naturally. Matching farming techniques with with the soil will make it easier to continue farming in one land area and not have to wipe out a new forest. Stewardship goes a long way in the sense that all action taken to clear out a forest must be logged to ensure that no laws are being broken and it is being done the best way. He mentions that the Stewardship Council oversees that the products meet certain criteria so that consumers choose foods and other good that are not contributing to the downfall of the environment. While several good points were made throughout the post, I would have liked to be provided with some links to back up his points to support his argument.
In this article, Justin Worland talks about how choosing a vegetarian diet over a carnivorous one may be the key to saving the planet from environmental decline. He provides research on a study that took place to determine the relationship between diet and the environment. In said study, the researchers found that going vegetarian would save over seven million lives. He then goes on to say that human consumption of meat is responsible for more than fourteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions and that a vegetarian diet would respectively cut those emissions down by about seventy to eighty percent. He also mentions briefly how much money would ultimately be saved by transitioning to a vegetarian diet with respect to healthcare costs and lost productivity. This information is helpful since placing a dollar amount on an issue tends to make a bigger impact on public policy. A weak point in the article that I noticed is failure to site some of the sources that the author got his numbers from. This makes it hard for the reader to read further on the greenhouse gas emissions and its effect.