Jamieson on USING ANIMALS (pp. 120-127)


1.      We use animals in many (incoherent) ways

         a.      Eat pigs (who are as smart as dogs) but revolted at thought of eating dogs

2.      Eating animals is our major use

         a.      45 billion animals (excludes aquatic animals) killed a year for food, 10 billion in the U.S. (9 billion chickens, 1B cattle, pigs, sheep, turkeys)--

                   i.       That’s 30 chickens per person, 300,000 by CofC students/faculty annually

                   ii.      Average American eats 190 pounds of meat per year (about the size of a large man or small elk)

3.      Factory farming pros

         a.      Beginning of 20th century, 40% of American labor involved in agriculture; now 2%

         b.      1950 Americans spend 22% of income on food, now 7%

4.      Factory farming cons

         a.      Disappearance of family farm and small rural communities

         b.      Highly concentrated ag industry

                   i.       3% of hog farms produced 50% of production

                   ii.      2% of feedlots finish off (feed and fatten) 40% of cattle

                   iii.     Top 4 companies in each industry control (over 50%) of meat packing

                            (1)    Tyson foods 2 billion chickens

         c.      Slaughterhouse jobs dangerous and low paid and use migrant workers treated as just another factor of production



6.      Water pollution:

         a.      1996 cattle, pork and poultry industries produced 1.4 billion tons of animal waste, 4 times what entire human population produced

         b.      Stored in waste lagoons, that threaten land, air, and water

         c.      60% of U.S. rivers and streams “impaired” and agricultural runoff is major factor

         d.      1995-98, one billion fish killed by pollution from hog and chicken industries

7.      Air pollution:

         a.      Cows produce VOC that help produce smog

                   i.       *Each cow produces more VOC than auto or light-truck

8.      Climate change

         a.      *Cows produce 50% of world’s methane, greenhouse gas 20x more powerful than CO2

         b.      *“Livestock production greater cause of global warming than transport”

         c.      *Average American family would more effectively reduce greenhouse gas emission by adopting a vegan diet than by switching to a hybrid car

9.       Antibiotic resistance

          a.       Antibiotics to promote growth and control diseases due to crowding, get into waterways, contribute to drug-resistant strains of bacteria and this has health implications for humans

10.     Resource intensive/wasteful way of eating

          a.       *90 percent of energy lost in moving up a tropic level (from plants to animals), so growing crops to feed animals (instead of eating crops directly) is massively inefficient

          b.       80% of grain produced in U.S. is fed to animals

          c.       Though some cows graze on rangelands not suitable for crop production.

          d.       Takes 28 calories of energy input (e.g., fossil fuels, nitrogen fertilizer) to produce one calorie of protein for human consumption

          e.       *Takes twice as much fossil fuel energy to produce a typical American diet than a pure vegetarian diet

                    i.        Extra 150 gallons of fossil fuels per year for a meat-eater

                    ii.       Meat eaters driving an extra 11 miles a day with food consumption

11.     Water use

          a.       87% of fresh water in U.S. used in agriculture

          b.       25 gallons to produce a pound of grain

          c.       2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat

          d.       *Cutting back on meat production save much more than not watering lawns and using low-flow shower heads

          e.       Ten pounds of steak = average household water consumption in a year

12.     Factory farming spreading to developing world!

          a.       How can earth support even its current population with these ag practices?

          b.       China, Mexico and Egypt all dramatically increasing the amount of their grain fed to animals

          c.       Meat production expected to double by 2050

13.     Treatment of animals in factory farms

          a.       www.meat.org

Study questions on Jamieson on Using Animals

1.      Describe some of the environmental costs of the meat industry. (Consider: Water pollution, climate change, and antibiotic resistance.)