Switch to vegan may help save waterways
Last weekend the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo, Ohio, residents was fouled by animal waste. With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again in our own state.
The problem has become pervasive. Waste from chicken farms has rendered oceans off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by the Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.
Animal agriculture dumps more pollution into our waterways than all other human activities combined. Principal pollutants are animal manure, fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris and pesticides from feed cropland. Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds microorganisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.
Effective regulations to limit dumping of animal waste into water supplies have been blocked by the meat industry.
Fortunately, every one of us has the power to stop this outrage three times a day by saying “no” to polluting meat and dairy products. Our local supermarket offers ample alternatives. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine provides useful recipes and transition tips.