Sustainability and Animal Farming: a Cost-Benefit Analysis

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Introduction

Animal farming has contributed majorly to the global changes in the climate. It is said that animal agriculture has contributed to 18% of gas emissions which causes greenhouse effect like nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. The combination of the livestock and their byproducts leads to the production of the 51 % of the global greenhouse emission.

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This type of agriculture is more dangerous when it comes to climate change. This calls for the mitigating measures to be taken to decrease the effect of animal farming on the climatic change. In order to know the best method of mitigating the risk of animal agriculture on the climate a cost-benefit analysis is undertaken (McMichael, 2007). This paper will discuss a cost benefit analysis of the two choices for mitigating the risk of animal agriculture. It will also come up with the best way to mitigate such risks and how one can reduce costs associated with the selected option.

Animal agriculture leads to changes in the climate in the following ways; first, animal farming causes deforestation. The forests in the United States are cleared for grazing animals and for the purpose of animal feeds growing. This leads to desertification due to exposing of the land and lack of enough animal as forests attract rains. This contributes to climate change. Again, animal farming leads to the consumption of more water for drinking and for planting animal feeds which can be used to feed pigs, chicken, and cows. The more consumption of water leads to drying of the water sources which causes climate change with time. Animal agriculture leads to occupying of the more spaces where they lead to desertification of the land (Gonzalez, 2011).The degradation of the land makes it difficult for plants to grow leading to accumulation of the greenhouse gases which causes climate change.

As a result of the risk of the animal agriculture, the two divergent options for mitigating the risk of animal farming have been applied in the world. These options include; developing alternatives to sources of food like plant-based diet and making animal agriculture more efficient that is, making it more intensive or extensive (McMichael, 2007).

Efficiency livestock farming

Efficient livestock farming is a process of adding value to the livestock where the inputs used in the farming will be less as compared to the costs. It involves making sure the inputs or the process of keeping animals will have more, benefits than to the costs which will be incurred. It involves using the method of livestock keeping which works best for the earth climate, community and individuals. This method involves using the techniques of the farming that reduces the economic and the environmental costs and improves the gains which are associated with quality and quantity food production.

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