We should all be able to recognize by now that Industrial Animal Agriculture (CAFO systems aka Big Ag) is the LARGEST contributor to climate change and environmental pollution. These city-sized manure factories dump billions of tons of solid, liquid, and gaseous waste that degrade our environment, create antibiotic resistant diseases that contaminate other farms and in turn the public, and there are always evident workers' rights and animal welfare violations in such industrialized systems. Not to mention how unsustainable it is to filter all our natural resources through that dirty, inefficient system (water, feed crops, fuel, antibiotics, land, etc.) U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for environmental clean up, CDC costs, animal rescue, and ridiculous health care bills to name a few, totaling to billions of dollars lost each year. See below for additional information if you need any more convincing.
Great news though! Plate to Planet is new project from Farm Sanctuary! It will feature media and educational tools on the intersections between factory farming, how it affects the planet, and in turn human health.They produced a great video narrated by Jason Schwartzman, please watch it and check out their new site:
To find out more on why Big Ag hates the environment, check these out:
United Nations 2006 Report: Livestock's Long Shadow
Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production
The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Food and Water Watch
Price of Meat
CAFO: The Book
World Watch Institute: Livestock and Climate Change
Mother Nature Network: 25% of US Meat Contaminated
Nebraska Center for Rural Health Research: Report on CAFO's Potential Implications for Public and Environmental Health
American Public Health Association's 2003 Proposed Moratorium on CAFOs
UNESCO Report: Energy Flow, Environment and Ethical Implications for Meat Production Down on the Factory
And because environmental conservation and public health are just two pieces of a huge messy puzzle, here is just one case exemplifying the issue of food (in)justice. The U.S. government would rather spend money buying out food subsidies that make America's children sick and keep private corporations rich. The Catharine Ferguson Academy--a public school for pregnant teens in Detroit with a garden and daycare--is being defunded and shut down. A thorough piece on this obscene act at Grist and coverage from Rachel Maddow.