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  1. About 10 billion land animals in the United States are raised for dairy, meat, and eggs each year.
  2. Factory farming accounts for 37% of methane (CH4) emissions. Methane has more than 20 times the global warming potential of CO2.
  3. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that confined animals generate 3 times more raw waste than humans in the United States.
  4. The animal waste is often over-applied causing dangerous levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the water supply. In such excessive amounts, nitrogen robs water of oxygen and destroys aquatic life.
  5. Burning fossil fuels to produce fertilizers for feed crops may emit 41 million metric tons of CO2 per year. An additional 90 million metric tons of CO2 per year may be emitted by fossil fuels expended for intensive confinement operations.

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  1. Globally, deforestation for animal grazing and feed crops is estimated to emit 2.4 billion tons of CO2 every year.
  2. Corn, wheat, and rice, the fast-growing crops on which humanity depends for survival, are among the most nitrogen-hungry of all plants. They demand more than nature can provide on its own.
  3. On most factory farms, animals are crowded into relatively small areas; their manure and urine are funneled into massive waste lagoons. These cesspools break, leak, or overflow, sending nitrate pollution and drug-resistant bacteria into water supplies.
  4. Factory farms contribute to air pollution by releasing compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane.
  5. The US Department of Agriculture estimates that confined farm animals generate more than 450 million tonnes of manure annually, 3 times more raw waste than generated by Americans.
  6. The waste lagoons on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) not only pollute our groundwater, but deplete it as well. Many of the farms use the groundwater for cleaning, cooling, and drinking.

Sources

  • 1

    "An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Meat, Egg, and Dairy Industries." Humane Society of the United States. https://www.petfinder.com/docs/library-articles/animal-welfare-overview.pdf (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 2

    "Animal Agriculture & Climate Change." The Humane Society of the United States. http://www.hsi.org/assets/pdfs/hsi-fact-sheet-animal-agriculture-and-climate-change-international-version-march-08.pdf (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 3

    "An HSUS Report: The Impact of Industrialized Animal Agriculture on the Environment." The Humane Society of the United States. http://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/1/docs/levan/hsus-the-impact-of-industrialized-animal-agriculture-on-the-environment.pdf (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 4

    "Pollution from Giant Livestock Farms Threatens Public Health." Natural Resources Defense Council. http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/nspills.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).

  • 5

    Koneswaran, Gowri, and Danielle Nierenberg. "Abstract." National Center for Biotechnology Information. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367646/ (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 6

    "Animal Agriculture & Climate Change." The Humane Society of the United States. http://www.hsi.org/assets/pdfs/hsi-fact-sheet-animal-agriculture-and-climate-change-international-version-march-08.pdf (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 7

    "Fertilized World." Fertilized World. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/fertilized-world/charles-text (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 8

    "Pollution from Giant Livestock Farms Threatens Public Health." Natural Resources Defense Council. http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/nspills.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).

  • 9

    "Pollution from Giant Livestock Farms Threatens Public Health." Natural Resources Defense Council. http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/nspills.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).

  • 10

    "Animal Agriculture & Climate Change." The Humane Society of the United States. http://www.hsi.org/assets/pdfs/hsi-fact-sheet-animal-agriculture-and-climate-change-international-version-march-08.pdf (accessed July 23, 2014).

  • 11

    "Pollution from Giant Livestock Farms Threatens Public Health." Natural Resources Defense Council. http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/nspills.asp (accessed July 21, 2014).

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