Why is having such an ethic important to explain

Info icon This preview shows pages 4–6. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
community to plain member and citizen of it.” Why is having such an ethic important? To explain, Leopold brings up what he calls the land pyramid. He admits it is very similar to the biotic pyramid, which consists of producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, and so on. The point that he wishes to make here is that the pyramid is not organized by individual species, but by similarities of what is consumed. In other words, humans share the same level with other species that also eat plant- and meat- eating species below it. This leads to the conclusion that, as members in the apex of the pyramid that depend on the energy flowing below us, it is our responsibility to protect and/or conserve the species and processes below us. Leopold also encourages us to think about the elasticity of the ecosystem. If humans changed one level of the pyramid, would the other levels be able to adjust and be sustained? Many consequences of human actions have been unforeseen, and some have been irreversible. As the top of the food chain and dependents of the organisms below us, it is our responsibility to ensure that the actions we take don’t radically alter the entire food pyramid, which functions on interdependency.
Image of page 4

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
LAND ETHIC AND INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE 5 In summary, Leopold’s land ethic wishes to expand the concept of community to all of land: soil, plants, and animals. This ethic would encourage us to protect it more, which is important because we depend on it so heavily. Applying the Land Ethic to Industrial Agriculture When analyzing the consequences of industrial agriculture and the concept of the land ethic side-by-side, it is evident how applying the ethic to the practice would be beneficial. It appears that most of the consequences of industrial agriculture are the result of a lack of human consideration for the environment. This means that, if the ethic were to be applied, we at least be more inclined to care about the ecological consequences of our actions, and thus change the current industrial agriculture system to the point that these consequences no longer result. This would benefit both ecological and human health. This application would lead to a more sustainable practice, which would keep Earth as a suitable habitat for not only this generation of living things, but for future generations as well. What would this sustainable agriculture look like? To begin, the field of agroscience would expand. Scientists in the field would need to study more conservation agriculture, urban agriculture, sociology, organic farming, and biodiversity. Once we have a firmer knowledge of these topics and/or practices, we can begin effectively applying them to our food production systems. Once applied, food production would be revolutionized. Farms would be significantly smaller and more local. Less machinery would be used, and chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides would not be applied so heavily, or perhaps not at all. With these production methods becoming the norm over industrial practices, food prices would remain low, and their environmental, healthcare, and social costs would be lower as well. New planting methods would not be so intensive to the soil, and it would actually be able to stay grounded rather than erode away. Soil nutrient holding capacity would increase, and healthier crops would result. There
Image of page 5
Image of page 6
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern