Dear Future President,
The dairy and meat industries have grown too powerful within the United States. Something must be done to limit their control over our national income and our people. Over the past twenty or so years, the dairy, meat, and egg industries have festered into a wound that poisons our people with their hormone-infused meats, abuses millions of animals large and small, uses thousands of acres of farmland to grow crops to feed livestock, and - lastly but not least - emits 7% of the world's total carbon emissions. Watering this many commercial livestock is a major tax on our resources. For example, just a single cow needs around 1,100 gallons of water in a year. As of last year, there were 89.1 million cows that needed watering. That’s almost 97.9 billion gallons of water, per year. Imagine how else we could put that water to use?
We're wasting a lot by feeding this many animals, as well. One professor, David Primental, states on the Cornell University website that we would be able to feed 800 million people with the grain we give to our livestock. Additionally, he estimated that if we exported that grain, it may increase our trade revenue by 80 billion a year. And let’s not forget about food. According to www.fao.org, 33% of the U.S’ farmlands are used to grow food for cattle and poultry.
It wasn't always this way; America didn’t used to devote so much of it’s land and money and resources to livestock industries. Fifty years ago; even less, there was more than enough beef to go around for America’s population without much extra trouble. But now that we’ve grown and are still growing, we not only need hormones to make our cattle grow fat fast, but we also need more cattle to meet quotas. America’s appetite for beef, dairy, and eggs grows with it. But the costs of the now-enormous poultry and beef businesses are both environmentally and financially devastating, and something needs to be done to limit them.
The cause of this issue is that little effort has been made - now and in the past - to regulate farms and factories making these products. They have been allowed to function without rules being thoroughly enforced and have thus been able to treat their animals terribly, keep more than they are allowed in a single space, and slaughter their livestock and poultry in extremely inhumane fashions. If you would like to see these atrocities yourself, you can visit www.tysontorturesanimals.com. Agents working for this source go undercover into poultry producers like Tyson and Pilgrim’s, and record the slaughtering processes used in factories.
Not only livestock are affected by this growing threat, however. In fact, the carbon emissions by cattle ranches is something that every citizen on this Earth should be troubled by, as it makes up 7% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Additionally, the hormones in beef are detrimental to their consumers, as well, and neither the animals slaughtered nor the people eating the meat deserve to endure the possible effects of those chemicals.
Despite this evidence and these reasons, there are many who still support these industries. Some believe that the amount of jobs that would be lost if any of these businesses were downsized would be too great to risk. But plenty - if not more jobs - are needed to cultivate, harvest, and transport veggies and other products. This fear, in my opinion, is irrational, given the evidence.
Others think that the profits that overseas and inbound sales made by the beef and poultry industries is too big a part of our economy, and worth more than the cost of those profits. And - most popularly - there is a misconception that meat is an essential part of the diet and a main source of protein.
Contrary to popular belief, meats, eggs, and dairy are not the only sources of important nutrients. Instead, we should limit our intake of these products and try to get some of our protein and vitamins and fats from better, more renewable and environment-friendly places. A mostly-vegetarian or wholly vegan diet should be encouraged in our society.
Additionally, in my opinion the meat and egg factories/farms should have a limit or capacity to the amount of animals they can have altogether. Especially in the case of the egg industry, spaces for laying hens should be larger, and the max amount of birds allowed in a cage should be lowered. Finally, all of these businesses should be regulated and surveyed on a six-month basis to ensure that they’re following their limitations. If a factory or farm is caught doing otherwise, they should be harshly punished; possibly by being forced to shut down entirely.
I conclude this letter with the notion that these plans could be rather easily enforced, and should be as soon as possible. These industries are a huge tax on our country and the world as a whole, as well as our people.