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by Haden M. 3 years ago in humanity

The Cure for the 6th Extinction?


As the world’s appetite increases, their need for meat also goes up. Meat is the number one source of food, and people have relied on meat since they were created. In fact, “humans derive about twenty percent of their protein from animal-based products” (Vidal). Because people heavily rely on meat, researchers predict there will be a food shortage in the near future. Many believe meat should be cut out of diets for the most part, and the population can be vegans. There are many reasons behind this, and they include: reducing chances of a food crisis, requiring fewer resources, and reducing pollution.

Because the world is growing and advancing, population is also expanding. This creates a need for food in many areas, for many countries are still developing. However, everyone is still eating meat which takes up precious land and time, for farmers grow, “grain just to feed it to animals increasing competition” (Tina). Everyone needs food, but certain countries, like Africa, cannot grow food or afford it. Therefore, it is up to countries, like America, to assist them. However, if America is wasting land and time to raise cattle, there is less land and crops to help the poor. By taking livestock out of the picture, there is plenty of food to distribute, and there is no need to fight for it. If the population becomes vegan, all of the crops grown can be used for eating instead of animal feed.

As population grows, the land diminishes, and more people go hungry. Resources are depleting rapidly, and most of them go into raising livestock. In order for a vegan to eat every day, it takes three hundred gallons of water, and it takes four thousand gallons to feed a meat eater (Tina). While livestock already requires more water than a vegan, the amount of land it takes up is even more. By centering meals on meat, people are using an acre or more of land and drying up water sources. By being a vegan, crops will only take up a portion of that acre to feed a family, and no one would need to worry about running out of water. There would also be more food to feed people, for when there is no livestock, a person only worries about their own meals. People should also consider the amount of coal and oil they use every day. With the technology that is in use today, farms are able to expand in size. However, by increasing in size, a farmer starts to depend on heavy machinery.

As the amount of equipment grows, the amount of pollution produced also increases. This machinery ruins the ground and compacts it while it assists the farmer in raising the animals and crops. It produces gases which create the greenhouse effect. Therefore, cutting out meat would reduce the need for this machinery. However, the mechanisms are not the only thing producing gases, for the animals are also creating unwanted air pollution and water pollution. Farm animals, cattle especially, form methane gas which is known as a greenhouse gas. It is released constantly by a cow’s bowel movements, and it eventually has a major effect on the atmosphere and creates a climate change. Then, there is the problem with the animals’ manure which gets washed into the water by rain. This causes eutrophication which kills off any life in the water by reducing the dissolved oxygen content. In the end, the “livestock renders the land dead and barren” (Tina). Animals only cause damage to the land, but they are kept around for human use. People would not know what to eat without having steak or some meat on their plate. However, they need to take into account the possibility that it might be better for the environment.

If something is not done soon, there will be a 6th extinction. This will be the first extinction witnessed by humankind, but it is also the only extinction caused by people (“The 6th Great Extinction”). It is near impossible for everyone to become a vegan, but it is a step in the right direction. However, while vegetarianism will help, it is not the only thing that can be done. There are many practices that should be used as well. People need to recycle and be environmentally conscious while they take the stand of no meat. The method cannot work alone to fix the damage humankind has left.


“The Sixth Great Extinction: A Silent Extermination.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 28 March 2012. Web. 12 November 2014

Tina. “Global Hunger: The More Meat We Eat, The Fewer People We Can Feed.” Earthoria. Earthoria, 25 March 2008. Web. 12 November 2014

Vidal, John. “Food Shortages Could Force the World into Vegetarianism, Warn Scientists.” The Guardian. The Guardian, 26 August 2012. Web. 12 November 2014

Haden M.
Haden M.
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