Many issues in regards to the meat industry have been coming into the light in current times but this one takes the cake. Toxins are being poured into our waterways all around the Gulf of Mexico.
These huge global meat companies are now being blamed for what is being referred to as the largest and worst dead zone on record in the area. Toxins from manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways are causing harmful algal blooms and these issues are said to spread all the way to the Great Lakes. Mighty Earth brought this issue to light and is continually working to do something about it but they need the support of us all.
Fertilizer pollution flowing down the Mississippi River from the American heartland is the cause of this dead zone, by causing toxic algae blooms where marine life cannot survive. This fertilizer pollution comes mostly from industrial corn and soy fields. Last year the USGS reported that around 1.15 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. As a comparison, the BP oil spill was 670,800 metric tons and is not an annually occurring event.
Some animals such as shrimp have already suffered stunted growth and this problem is only getting worse. The analysis carried out by the Mighty Earth looked at supply chains of agribusiness and pollution trends and found that Tyson Foods is a ‘dominant’ influence in the pollution due to its market strength in chicken, beef, and pork. They are known to slaughter around 35 million chickens every single week according to the report.
This sort of thing actually resulted in Tyson generating 55 million tons of manure just this past year according to the EPA. Mighty Earth is currently urging Tyson Foods to step up and make a clear commitment to cleaning this pollution up. The group has partnered with Green Crops in order to place several organizers across communities in the Midwest and Gulf to help with this issue and bringing awareness to it. According to NOAA, this dead zone is the size of New Jersey.
Do you think Tyson should be finding a solution to this as it is becoming a frequent issue or do you think we should just suck it up? I am disgusted with humanity right now, how could we let something like this actually get to this point?
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(Image Via: NOAA)