PHIL 2500 Final Paper.docx

Irrigation results in overwatering which in turn

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irrigation results in overwatering, which in turn results in salinization as extra water brings up salt during evaporation. Although important, soil degradation isn’t the only ecological consequence we face due to conventional agriculture. Excessive irrigation also drains aquifers, one of the most important freshwater supplies in the United States. An increase in fertilizers and pesticides does not remain in the soil for long, and can runoff into nearby streams or underground aquifers. This contaminates drinking sources, intensifies algal blooms through eutrophication, and kills off wildlife. The consistently immunity to pesticides allows the pests to increase in numbers, and
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LAND ETHIC AND INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE 3 essential ecosystem mechanisms that should occur naturally no longer to. In essence, industrial agriculture is more than capable of changing habitats and ecosystems, which could result in complete disaster (Blesh & Barrett 2006). And not to forget industrial animal agriculture as well, which contributes to eighteen percent of greenhouse gas emissions. While not greater than anthropogenic burning of carbon dioxide overall, this contribution is greater than that of the transportation sector worldwide (Bristow & Fitzgerald 2006). The final major issue with industrial agriculture is that there are a few major corporations that run the show (Gliessman 2016). An example of this is Monsanto, one of the largest corporations in the field that dominates the production and use of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. These major corporations do everything in their power to make industrial agriculture appealing to the public so that their business can continue to expand. They typically use the following seven ideas in the marketing process, as identified and debunked by Andrew Kimbrell (2002): 1) “Industrial agriculture will feed the world 2) Industrial food is safe, healthy, and nutritious 3) Industrial food is cheap 4) Industrial agriculture is efficient 5) Industrial food offers more choices 6) Industrial agriculture benefits the environment and wildlife 7) Biotechnology will solve the problems of industrial agriculture” In a section of his book, Kimbrell reveals the truths of these statements, really myths, one by one. The first, that industrial agriculture will end world hunger, is a complete lie because world hunger is caused “not by lack of food but by poverty and landlessness, which deny people access to food.” Rather, industrial agriculture increases hunger by raising the costs of farming. Corporations like Monstatos insists that farmers around the world must use their products to have a profitable yield, but the price of these products is so high that farmers often go in debt using them. The second is a myth because the practice of industrial agriculture “contaminates [our food] … with pesticides… dangerous bacteria… and genetically engineered growth hormones… [causing] cancer, food-borne illnesses, and obesity”. The consequences of consuming heavily fertilized, pesticide-ed, and genetically modified foods have only recently come about, and those that we’ve seen are just the beginning. Not enough research has been done in this area to determine if what we’re eating really is safe, much less healthy. The third statement industrial
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