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Animal agriculture is an industry that developed a long time after human beings domesticated the first animals. However, the industry has not had a smooth flow because of raging arguments against the practice. Notably, major arguments abound regarding the amount of grain utilized to feed a steer, amount of water used in the finishing process, oil and land used. Besides, it is noted that, despite all the above arguments, some people cherish their beef and would not like to see an end to the process of making the beef. Thus, it is essential to explore some eco-friendly solutions available to the cattle industry that can reduce the public outcry against the business. The issues outlined above are of essence and will be explicated at length.
This topic of discussion is of significance because it creates awareness regarding world hunger while at the same time condemning extravagance related with the cattle industry. In addition, the significance of this topic derives from the fact that it touches on the issue of environmental pollution as related to the cattle industry and outlines eco-friendly ways that the cattle industry can adopt.
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According to Harrington (2012), feedlot steer is expensive to manage because of the amount of grain it requires to its maturity. This derives from the fact that the feedlot steer is expected to gain weight at a faster rate so that it can be taken to the market. In order for this to be achieved, the feedlot is kept on a grain diet that comprises of oil and other additives. By the end of 200 days, it is anticipated that the steer should have added 900 lbs from 300 lbs (Ziegler., 2007). This proves that a steer requires approximately 3600 pounds of feed on a daily basis. This is a huge amount of grain because it can feed many people starving or facing food insecurity. Statistics indicate that 3600 lbs can feed almost 25 people on a daily basis (Ziegler., 2007).
Thus, this abounds as a challenging trend that sparks arguments for and against a reduction of animal agriculture to ease world hunger. Those advocating for the reduction in animal agriculture indicate that animals occupy a lot of space that can be utilized for farming, which limits farming and increases world hunger. They also indicate that animal agriculture uses much grain that can be donated to starving people and hat it makes human beings to compete for basic resources such as water with animals. Those against a reduction of animal agriculture to ease world hunger opine that animals are kept for food, which means that it does not aid world hunger in any way. Besides, they indicate that animal agriculture promote many industries such as the tanning industry, which provides employment to many people across the world; thus, alleviating world hunger (Harrington., 2012).
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A feedlot steer requires approximately 8gal of water per day. This amount of water is not constant as it changes on peak days. Thus, this translates roughly to 1600 gallons in 200 days. Sydney Catchment Authority (2011) approximates that 125 animals in a feedlot should be allowed a space of 250 square foot in order for each of them to have close to a foot of space at the food bunk. The amount of oil needed to feed a steer depends on the food that the steer is fed on because different foods abound different nutritional values. For instance, the dry matter comprises more oil than other energy providers do as it is calculated at the rate of 2-3 percent for the total dry content. The grass steer is also demanding because acres of land are required for the process. It is estimated that 100 heads of cattle require approximately 50 acres of land in order to be fed comfortably. This abounds from the fact that the animals depend on grass majorly.
Most grazing practices of the 20th century have been unsustainable because of two major issues, which include the stocking rate and grazing system. The stocking rate has affected 20th century grazing practices because most farmers tend to stock many animals in a very small area, which affects the ecosystem significantly. In this context, the problem emerges from the fact that the animals are overpopulated making them to lack enough forage. Besides, the grazing fields deplete because of the pressure they get from the animals. The grazing system is an issue in this context because some farmers practice continuous and deferred rotational grazing systems, which has adverse effects on the ecosystem. Climate disruption results because trees are cut down in order for space to be created for grazing animals. This is termed as deforestation, and it has a great effect on climate. Pollution also abounds as a reason why the 20th century grazing practices are not sustainable. Pollution occurs from the chemicals used to trreat the animals. Insecticides contaminate the water used by humans. Human diseases such as obesity result from domesticated animals. Obesity results because of the food given to the animals that is rich in oils and other chemicals. Lastly, there is loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity results because the 20th century grazing practices promote the rearing of animals that mature faster for the market. The sole purpose of rearing the animals is for economical sustenance and not biodiversity (Hoorman & McCutcheon, 2010).
Finally, it is essential to note that, besides the problems named above associated with grazing practices, not all people are vegetarians and some cherish their beef. Thus, it is essential to outline the eco-friendly solutions that can be cultivated to ensure that the cattle industry is not harmful to society and the environment. The first eco-friendly measure revolves around keeping the right stock rate of animals (Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). This will promote a sustained environment that will be free from soil erosion. Other animals such as fish will also not be affected, as chemicals will not be used in waters. Another eco-friendly step that can be taken concerns short-duration rotational grazing, which allows the environment time to re-establish itself. Biodiversity should also be promoted and not only stocks that are meant for the market. This will reduce human diseases from the consumption of the beef (Briske, Derner, Milchunas, & Tate, 2010).
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In conclusion, research on cattle industry reveals how it is a prolific industry because of the associated merits and demerits. A lot of feedlot is utilized for one stock to meet the market price within a short time whereas people in some parts of the world do not have enough to eat. Human diseases and the environment also get affected by the 20th century grazing practices. However, it is established that those in the business cash in a lot without caring about how the environment fares on, as they are profit motivated. Thus, the merits and demerits of this industry have been outlined above and the conclusion that abounds is that eco-friendly ways of grazing practices should be adopted since people need to feed on beef. Some of these eco-friendly practices include promoting biodiversity and ensuring that farmers stock a limited number of animals on a small piece of land while practicing short-duration rotational grazing.
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