A recent report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report warns of the dire environmental consequences of the world's growing meat and dairy production.
According to the report, animal agriculture uses 30% of the earth's land surface for pasture and feed crop production. It is the driving force in world-wide deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction. Eventually, pastures are degraded into desert through overgrazing, compaction and erosion.
Principal sources of water pollution are animal wastes, as well as soil particles, minerals, organic debris, fertilizers and pesticides from feed cropland. Most of the world's water supplies are used for irrigating animal feed crops.
Animal agriculture is also a key source of man-made greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, according to the FAO report.
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We don't have to wait for Earth Day to help save our planet. We can start with the next trip to the grocery store.