How Cows Destroy an Entire Marine Environment

environment, science, wildlife
how cows destroy an entire marine environment
How Cows Destroy an Entire Marine Environment (Click here for original source image)

How did the state of California to get so polluted that it had to declare a State of Emergency? The answer lies in the large number of dairy farms in the area and the large amount of water they used. Between them, cattle and dairy farms spread their wastes on more than 400 million acres of ocean waters. The combined toxic chemicals from all of these sources is much more toxic than the toxic chemicals they put into the water themselves.

One might think that an entire marine ecosystem would be protected by a species of sea turtle. Unfortunately, the sea turtles’ range is limited to the south pacific and central Pacific. This means that the northern Pacific Ocean was too unoccupied to support their reproduction, which led to the extinction of the species. How did cows destroy an entire marine ecosystem in California? A recent study conducted in the area by Oregon State University showed how a constant influx of dairy cows resulted in increased levels of dioxins in the ocean waters.

Dioxins are a wide spectrum of synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer. These toxins enter the marine food chain when seafood is consumed. They contaminate the ocean’s soft tissue, which in turn accumulates over time. The toxins then move into the benthic foraminifera, which live just below the surface of the ocean. This is where they poison the phytoplankton, which forms part of the marine ecosystem.

In the study, the researchers measured the quantity of the various toxins that accumulate in the ocean using a robotic platform. They determined that the amount of dioxins in the water increases exponentially with the increase in dairy farming in the area. The researchers also estimated how many seafood species are affected by the problem and how much the shellfish population is likely to decline because of the increased presence of dioxins. In addition to how cows destroyed an entire marine ecosystem in California, the study indicates that the problem could be far worse in other areas of the world where dairy farming is rampant.

How cows destroyed an entire marine ecosystem in California is not an isolated incident. For years, scientists have been warning people that milk produced from cow hormones causes a range of diseases including cancer. This latest research strengthens the case that this is indeed the case. As a direct result of how cows destroyed an entire marine ecosystem, other industries that rely on the milk are now looking for safer alternatives.

The problem is that dioxins are very tricky substances to remove from the environment. They tend to build up over time, and only become problematic when they are present in large enough amounts. Dioxins are particularly harmful to the sensitive marine life that exists in the fragile ocean environment. The scientists were able to demonstrate that a reduction in the amount of dioxin emissions caused a marked improvement in the ocean’s productivity.

Even if dioxins had never bothered humans before, the problem is likely to stick around for quite some time. Environmentalists have been calling for major corporations to stop using bovine growth hormones, but companies are hesitant to make such a large change in the way they farm animals. Even smaller operations are intimidated by the new regulations, which could make them liable for the damages caused by how cows destroyed an entire marine ecosystem in California. Even with the new regulation, it is unlikely that the damage caused will be completely eliminated, and given the rate at which dioxins are released into the ocean, it is a question of when more stringent laws will have to be implemented to prevent a problem from worsening. One thing is certain, though: Consumers have begun holding companies accountable for their actions, and this may help prevent future problems.

While this example illustrates how cows can ruin an entire marine ecosystem, it is only one of many that show just how they can do so much damage. The most severe problems stem from agricultural run-offs, chemical runoff, and improper land use. Chemical runoff causes the majority of the pollution that people see and breathe every day, and many of the chemicals come from the food we eat. Livestock producers are only one source of industrial waste, and farmers tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to dumping dangerous waste into the oceans. No matter how you look at it, the destructive potential of dairy farming has to be limited if we are going to protect our ecosystems.

Provided by Antonio Westley


Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.

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