The Viva Vine: vol #4, no #5: Nov./Dec. 1995

DEAD ZONES TO RIVAL NEW JERSEY

A WALL STREET JOURNAL editorial page commentary essay brought out some new grist for the vegetarian mill, in its Friday, September 8, 1995 edition.

The writer, Johathan Tolman, described as an environmental policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, revealed a new category of reasons why one should not eat meat.

It seems that there is a brand new environmental threat: DEAD ZONES. This is what scientists are calling it.

Quoting from Mr. Tolman's essay: "Every summer a lifeless area devoid of oxygen develops on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. And by the end of July this year, it had grown to nearly the size of New Jersey, more than 7,000 square miles -- the largest dead zone ever recorded.

"The dead zone is the end result of an ecological chain reaction set in motion by all the fertilizers, sewage and runoff that end up in the Mississippi. Although many sources contribute, according to Robert Howarth of the Center for the Environment at Cornell University, the overwhelming majority of nutrient inputs into the Mississippi River system come from agriculture." [Read that: animal agriculture]

More from Mr. Tolman's essay: "Every year farms dump more than 40 billion pounds of fertilizer on fields all across the country. This translates into 130 pounds of fertilizer per acre of cropland. In addition, they use more than 500 million pounds of pesticides -- 2.3 pounds per acre. Currently the U.S. is spending $1.4 billion to control pesticide pollution and an additional $600 million to control agricultural runoff."

Back to:"Fish in Peril"

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