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Should we stop eating meat for the environment? Show more Show less
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Several forms of pollution - e.g. deforestation, eutrophication of water, leaching of nitrates, antibacterial resistance, release of ammonia, nitrous oxides and methane in the atmosphere - are associated to livestock production. Should we stop eating meat to prevent major environmental pollution?

Yes - We should all stop eating meat Show more Show less

Not consuming meat is the only way to prevent an ecological catastrophe
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Large-scale livestock raising leads to deforestation

Deforestation caused by cattle raising leads to the release of CO2 by trees and the destruction of animal habitat.

The Argument

Deforestation is an important environmental issue for three reasons. For one, trees absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is what causes climate warming. Losing our forests means losing a key component of the fight against climate change. Secondly, when trees are cut down, they release the carbon that they’ve been storing and create more emissions as they rot or burn. Third, the cattle and feed crops that replace the forests create their own greenhouse gases. With less trees to absorb and process these harmful emissions, this creates massive greenhouse gas accumulation, which inevitably leads to climate change. [1] Besides the ways that deforestation contributes to climate change, deforestation also destroys animals' habitats. Many endangered species rely on forests, especially the Amazon rain forest, to survive. Additionally, for people who value natural beauty, hiking, and observing wild animal and plant species, losing forests is a great loss. Meat production is the greatest cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Around 65 to 70 percent of all deforestation in the Amazon since 2000 has been for clearing land for cattle pastures. Additionally, there has been massive deforestation to create soy farms in the Amazon, which primarily are used for feeding livestock. Currently, Brazil is the biggest exporter of meat in the world, due to their 'success' with deforesting to make room for raising and feeding livestock. [2]

Counter arguments

Deforestation is definitely bad for the environment, but we could reduce its consequences and work actively to account for those consequences. Corporations could enlist climate scientists and other engineers to help innovate methods of deforestation that decrease CO2 output. For instance, finding a way to make trees not release their CO2 when they are cut down, or innovating and investing in resources that can reduce greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. If we could account for the negatives consequences of deforestation, then we could continue to eat meat.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/articles/relationship-between-deforestation-climate-change
  2. https://rainforestpartnership.org/the-beef-industry-and-deforestation/
This page was last edited on Monday, 29 Jun 2020 at 06:06 UTC

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