How modern agriculture is destroying our world
As kids grow up with the widest horizon in the smallest world, our home is everything we know. Years later the world lies in front of us with an immense store of knowledge and every opportunity to act. Yet we don't as we have lost our horizon. We pretend to be adults, but still live in our little world that ends at the garden fence. Because with every purchase, we legitimize the destruction of our own home, if we don't choose a sustainable agriculture and way of life.
"The content of our shopping cart can change the world."
We lose ground
Each year we lose approximately 10 million hectares, as much as 14 million football fields, of agricultural land. Already ¼ of the world's land surface is agriculturally unusable.
Nitrates from factory farming pollute our groundwater, poison rivers and seas. Worldwide, marine death zones have emerged and are still spreading. Heavy metals and garbage contaminate our oceans.
The main reasons for losing ground are:
Like the first settlers
The development of new fields by draining moors and deforestation of primeval forests is blind actionism and by no means promising. They only give us a buffer of time and exacerbate the climatic conditions. It releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide, as soil stores about ten times more carbon than trees.
Over 50 % of the oxygen is produced in our oceans by algae and bacterias.
Trees are our natural air filters and shade donors that cool the earth. Through their roots, they literally hold our earth together by preventing erosion. Trees are a vital part of our ecosystem, and it is essential to protect them.
"Soils store about ten times more carbon than trees."
Instead of exploiting new farmland, we need to maintain fertile fields in a natural cycle. We can not take more than we give. The only way is the change to a site-appropriate, natural cultivation and a ban of intensive agriculture with monocultures and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides. Genetically modified plants (GMOs) are also not a solution because we do not know what health and environmental long-term consequences they bring.
Soil protection is not just climate protection, but the only way to preserve our health and those of other species and to create a peaceful world. The toxins that we spray on our fields and pump into our soil land in our food chain and trigger our health deterioration. Furthermore, it's leading to another serious problem - bee mortality.
Coming soon: What happens when man plays god
- Site-appropiate circular economy
- Mixed culture instead of monoculture
- Natural fertilization
- Natural pest control
- Subsidies exclusively for organic farming
- Buying fair and organic food
- Protect trees
- Less animal products
The forgotten workers
We are experiencing an unprecedented degree of bee mortality, largely caused by modern agriculture. In a world without bees, an estimated 1.5 million more people would die of malnutrition per year. That is 15 times the annual victims of war and terror, according to US researchers. Bees account for one third of the world's pollination.
"When the bees die, so do humans."
Climate change is fueled with sausages
There was a time when the Sunday Roast was celebrated when meat was special. Times have changed due to too much wealth. Nowadays we don't only consume way too many animal products, we also don't consume enough fruits and vegetables. It is not conducive to our health, even according to popular beliefs, nor to our planet. We are eating ourselves into our own grave. But before that, degenerative diseases will bind us to the bed with a full diaper or artificial stomach outlets.
According to the Worldwatch Institute, industrial livestock farming accounts for 51% of greenhouse emissions. That's more than the emissions of all cars, planes and ships combined. 70% of the agricultural land is used for the cultivation of animal feed, which seems perverted considering that 800 million people are starving. The efficiency of direct consumption of plants is significantly higher than letting it run through a cow or pig for being able to drink their milk or eat their meat.
The unreflected consumption of meat is largely responsible for climate change, displacement, air pollution, decline in biodiversity, and even administrative corruption. These are caused by the byproducts of industrialized animal farms, including forest clearing, monocultures, excretions, upstream and downstream transport, and waste of water and resources.
The loss of biodiversity and the extinction of animals is devastating in a sensitive ecosystem. It's about more than a few dead animals and plants. When we lose the last tiger or rhino we lose a part of ourselves and we realize our world won't be there forever.
...of greenhouse gases are caused by animal husbandry.
...of the agricultural land is used for animal feed cultivation.
...is your decision and your responsibility.
"The death of animals hits us in the marrow of our existence. For the tiger as a symbol of our identity still has a deeper dimension. He vouches for the earth to remain our home. " - Andreas Weber, German Greenpeace Magazine
The moral renunciation of animal products for the protection of animals is controversial, but it is unreasonable under ecological, ethical and social considerations. By eating (more) plants we protect our soil, water and rainforests from destruction, slow down climate change and support smallholders, who are not displaced or bought by large landowners. A conscious consumption of meat with the return to the Sunday roast and the appreciation of food is essential. Half of our food ends up in garbage, and every one of us can prevent it.
On the run from hunger
Food shortages caused by bee mortality or animal feed increase social problems and migratory movements. The same applies to soil loss and climate change, which would make agriculture impossible in many parts of the world.
"Environmental protection is the only way to peace."
According to the UN there were more than 65 million refugees worldwide, including 2/3 internally displaced persons in 2016 and more than 800 million people affected by hunger. These numbers will continue to rise unless problems are solved at the root.
Europe would be overrun by refugees who would be shot at the borders with machine guns. It's a horrorific scenario that you do not want to experience, that you don't even want to imagine, but it will be our future, if we do not change anything today. Because 1.2 billion Africans will not be able to seek refuge with us, should Europe not sink into the sea by then.
And already today:
A poorly-fed, out-of-perspective man will more likely join a radical group and go to war, whether his name is Achmed or Olaf.
The Invisible - Like slaves in former Rome
Food has a long journey from the field to our plates. But we are often unaware of who is involved in the process and who has to suffer for our pleasure and the low prices. Businessmen and corporations enrich themselves at the expense of the workers and our environment, and we continue to blindly support it.
It is not responsible that...
- Brazilian workers get only 10 euros for 1.5 tons of harvested oranges.
- Honduran coffee beans are picked without protective clothing.
- Thai pineapple are processed by discriminated Myanmar migrant workers without employment contracts.
- Union representatives and environmental activists are threatened and killed.
- Our oceans are overfished and local fishermen go to war instead of going out to the sea.
- Animals are tortured and held in small boxes for cheap meat.
- Low wages, debt bondage and piecework become the norm.
It's just the tip of the iceberg. We, but also the supermarkets, have the responsibility to trace the supply chain back to the base to avoid slave labor and exploitation. But not only must we demand more transparency, we must actively promote it through the products we buy. We have to understand that as consumers we are the last link in the chain and the entire reason why it is produced. We have power over the entire industry with every purchase we make. If we do not change anything, nothing will change for the millions of exploited workers and billions of tortured animals.
Agent Orange, the export hit
Companies like Monsanto are driving peasants with mafia-like tactics into dependency and ruin. Farmers have to sign gagging contracts, are monitored in Big Brother fashion and dragged to court. It is also reported that companies like Monsanto impact or manipulate environmental studies, which makes it clear that we need to ask about the sponsor and profiteer in each study, and the same holds true for every law and decision made by politicians.
Those who believe that these companies have an interest in the good of humanity only have to look back 50 years in history when Agent Orange was sprayed across Vietnam and Laos and is still responsible for the poisoning of the ground and for numerous malformations today.
"In general, [since the spraying of Agent Orange] cancer incidences have increased significantly, the number of metabolic disorders as well, there are many cases of cardiac collapse or diabetes, and there are malformations in children up to the present day, from skin diseases and limblessness to water heads, club feet and duck toes. " (Deutschlandfunk Kultur)
It is a war crime for which no one was held responsible. It was a defoliant produced by Monsanto, sprayed by indoctrinated soldiers without questioning their command, ordered by the American government.
Article: The guilt of the soldier
Do it better than them and question your decisions. Be the voice of peace. We have forgotten that our home is our responsibility and we are a part of the whole.
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Reference (in German)
Verlust der Liebe: