According to The Guardian, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is expected to announce this week the largest recorded dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. But the dead zone’s cause is what’s truly shocking.
The meat industry, which is already known for being a main cause of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation in the Amazon, is the cause of the Gulf’s giant dead zone.
You see, toxins from factory farm runoff, mainly manure and fertilizer, leak into nearby waterways. These toxins promote the growth of algae blooms, which create oxygen-deprived zones that cause marine life to flee or die.
Animal agriculture is a major source of water pollution. In total, animal excrement and agricultural runoff have polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S.
According to Lucia von Reusner, campaign director at the environmental group Mighty, “This problem is worsening and worsening and regulation isn’t reducing the scope of this pollution. … A reduction in meat consumption is absolutely necessary to reduce the environmental burden.”
The group recently released a report that identified Tyson Foods, one of America’s largest meat producers with a record of abuse of both workers and animals, as a “dominant” contributor to the pollution crisis. In fact, another report from Environment America earlier this year found that Tyson is responsible for dumping more toxic pollutants into our waterways than companies like ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical.
In addition to destroying marine ecosystems, the toxins from factory farms contaminate our drinking water. A report from Environmental Working Group found that systems supplying drinking water to millions of Americans contain dangerously high levels of nitrates, which have been linked to an increased risk of developing certain cancers.
But not only do factory farms devastate the environment and compromise our health, they cause immense suffering to billions of animals.
Pigs, cows, and chickens at factory farms live tortured lives. They suffer unspeakable cruelties, such as extreme confinement, barbaric mutilations, and horrific deaths.
It’s abundantly clear that the meat, dairy, and egg industries don’t care about the planet, our health, or the welfare of animals. But you can boycott these destructive and cruel industries by withdrawing your financial support and switching to a compassionate vegan diet.
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