The production of milk is a dis
Even a smallish farm of 200 cows will produce as much nitrogen as the sewage from a community of 5,000 to 10,000 people.
In fact, New Zealand's farmed animals produce the effluent equivalent of 150 million people.
According to the Waikatere City Council:
"Farm run-off, especially that from dairy farms, can add significantly to the contamination of waterways. Apart from farm oxidation ponds that have been shown to contain high levels of bacteria and pathogens, a large amount of animal waste ends up on the paddock. Depending on a number of factors including distance to the nearest stream, rainfall intensity and stock numbers - faecal material ends up in waterways, which ultimately discharge to the sea. Where stock have access to streams and rivers for drinking water, excrement may be deposited directly into the water."
Cows eat. Cows produce gas. Their flatulence emits methane gas. Their urine produces nitrous oxide which adds to the "Global Warming/ Greenhouse Effect". Add it all together and each one of New Zealand's nine million dairy cows produces 189 pounds of methane gas per year. More of the same occurs wherever farm animals are raised for human consumption.
Methane gas (C-H-4) makes the second biggest contribution to global warming (carbon dioxide is number 1). The digestive processes of cattle, particularly cows and sheep, is the major source of methane emissions.
Because of this, farmed animals produce more greenhouse gases then all of the world transport combined.
Every year, more then 125,000 square miles of rainforest is destroyed by meat and dairy production and 26 billion tonnes of topsoil are lost from overgrazing farm animals.
An estimated 1,000 species
A vegan will save almost an acre of trees and use a fraction less energy compared to a meat based diet.
The national forestry plantation estate is currently 1.8 million hectares. This means that over 25 per cent of the nation's plantation is at risk of being deforested to be converted into industrial dairy farms.
Conversion of forestry land to dairy pasture is a ‘double whammy' for the climate. It destroys forests and replaces them with intensive dairy farming which is one of the most greenhouse gas intensive forms of land use.
A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that the iconic New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra is implicated in Indonesian and Malaysian rainforest destruction, dead orangutans and driving global greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to read more.
Not only is buying dairy killing orangutans and the planet, it is also killing millions of cows and calves every year. All animal products cause immense suffering and death to animals, and there is no good justification for using them. Click here to learn more. We have a moral obligation to save the planet for all the sentient beings that inhabit it, both human and non-human. There is a strong connection between the moral and environmental arguments for veganism.
So help animals and the environment by going vegan!
SAFE leaflet 'the true cost of eating meat'
Photographer: Randolph Femmer