Is Animal Agriculture Sustainable?

Written by Kelby Johnson, ESLLC 2015-2016

The issue highlighted in the video is whether or not animal agriculture is a sustainable practice. Agriculture involving animals has been around for hundreds of years and is something so normal to society that it is hard to imagine life without it. But is it really a good practice that should continue at the same rate it is going today?

Animal agriculture is responsible for 51% of all greenhouse emissions. Its what causes the most species to become extinct, creates ocean dead zones, destroys habitats of animals, and pollutes water resources. It creates so many problems but it still covers 45% of Earth’s land. Animal agriculture is taking over so much of our resources and space and is so hurtful to the environment. Animal agriculture takes up 136 million rainforest acres which can be viewed as 1-2 acres being cleared every second for it. Not only the land, but also the atmosphere is being hurt by the practice. Cows make 150 billion gallons of methane to Earth’s atmosphere every day and the amount of agricultural emissions will increase by 80% by 2050. Even if we didn’t have fossil fuels, the amount of emissions produced would still exceed our CO2 emission limit by 2030. We are harming our Earth and its atmosphere by growing animals for slaughter.

Fish also are very affected by animal agriculture. 75% of the world’s fisheries are depleted or exploited as 2.7 trillion animals are captured from the ocean every year. Included in this statistic are 650 thousand dolphins and whales that are killed every year. At this rate, there is a possibility of a fishless ocean by 2048. Our rate of fishing is too fast for the amount of fish in the ocean.

The demand for meat and fish is so great that we are creating a huge problem in our world. If we don’t slow down now, we will destroy our planet and make animals go extinct. There are 6 million animals killed every hour to provide for the population of the world. We need to step up and find ways to stop this problem before it gets out of our control.


Shrestha, Surajan. “Animal Agriculture – Is This Sustainable ?” YouTube. YouTube, 13 Oct. 2015. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

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