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Relationship Between Agriculture And Sustainability Environmental Sciences Essay

Agriculture may seem to be to be a pre-modern economical activity in which the method or the way it is carried out is old-fashioned. However, industrialization, methodical development and mechanization have afflicted agriculture like many aspect of life, which created a whole new term: Industrial Agriculture. Industrialized agriculture or industrial agriculture can be defined as "the substitute of real human labor with capital extensive tools and inputs closely dependent on fossil fuels, the loan consolidation of plantation land, and progressively more centralized control over the circulation of food resources. "(Thu and Dunenberger 1998). The purpose of professional agriculture is to increase produce and decrease costs of production, which is why the farm sometimes appears as a manufacturer with inputs like pesticides or fertilizer and outputs like corn or rooster. (Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 1). Because of the industrial agriculture, the mass-production in agriculture had become. Compared to the old method, we can produce much more now. Agricultural food, including animals, can be provided very quickly with more results. Therefore, there is absolutely no doubt that in many ways industrial agriculture appears to be an advantageous development and an increased level in agricultural method. However, it appears to be what it has taken is not as great as what it is taking away. The mechanization of agriculture and the use of chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides have caused huge problems in environment, health and the economical condition of farmers. That is why, in this newspaper, I will argue that industrial agriculture is unsustainable since it leads to unhealthy conditions for both personnel and consumers, has unwanted effects on environment and causes poverty.

The first aspect that makes professional agriculture unsustainable is medical problems because of the conditions in workplace, the utilization of pesticides, anti-biotic and fertilizers and the equipment used in the industrial agriculture. Workers will be the first group of folks who are exposed to the detrimental conditions caused by the professional agriculture. First of all, because of the equipment like plantation equipment, tractors, hoes and etc. , the incidents are frequent situations for workers. The result of these sorts of mishaps may be dropping a hand, foot, small injuries or death. In 1946, "data from all industrial teams show that the greatest variety of occupational deaths, 4, 500, occurred in agriculture" ( Axelrod 2). This data only belongs to USA therefore the number which includes more countries will increase the number of death also. Thus, injuries are a serious problem in industrial agriculture. Moreover, because of the high noise coverage from sources like tractors, harvesters and grain dryers, triggers hearing damage among workers. Matching to Marvel "farmers experience greater than expected rates of experiencing reduction starting in their teenage years" (Kendall 2)

In addition to the injuries and noise vulnerability, the utilization of chemicals and pesticides in agriculture also creates bad conditions for workers. Poisoning caused by chemical type fertilizers seems to be faced by employees frequently. "Pesticides used as place sprays create a risk to the farm worker either in the process spraying or of harvesting" ( Axelrod 2). Thus, the chemicals and pesticides are serious treat to the health of farm staff and the most frequent illnesses because of the is poisoning. Furthermore, as Kendall points out, the dermatoses, especially epidermis cancer, and breathing diseases are being among the most pervasive health issues in industrial agriculture (1). Poisonous exposure is the key reason for dermatoses. More specifically, "exposure to pesticides, chemical substance solvents, engine unit exhaust, pet animal virsues and other chemicals commonly found in an industrialized plantation operation" are the reasons for dermatoses and especially epidermis cancers (Kendall 1). Other common health problem among farm staff is breathing diseases. The problem in the work place and the material used for the works are again the explanation for these types of problems. Exposure to irritant, poisonous gases and dusts on the plantation causes respiratory system diseases. The type of illnesses therefore out of this includes long-term bronchitis, occupational asthma, organic and natural dust toxic symptoms, farmers' lung and silo filler (Kendall 2). Thus, breathing diseases can very seriously damage farm personnel. In short, as a result of condition of the work place, the equipment used in the task and the use of pesticides and chemicals, industrial agriculture creates an unsafe condition that triggers serious health issues for individuals.

In addition to the farm individuals, consumers also suffer from unhealthy production and condition created by professional agriculture. The use of chemicals and pesticides are creating some health problems for consumers as it is for individuals. Statistical data provides us with information that makes it alternatively clear that the utilization of pesticides leads to serious health problems including fatal diseases. One of this data shows that "about 67, 000 pesticide poisonings resulting in around twenty-seven accidental fatalities are reported every year in the US" in producing countries situation is worse (Pimental, Culliney, Bashore 2). Thus, again, the poisonings are frequent diseases resulted from the use of pesticides. More serious health problems like tumors can also arise because of pesticides. The International Organization for Research on Cancers found "sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in eighteen pesticides and limited proof in additional sixteen pesticides" (Pimental, Culliney, Bashore 2). In other words, there are eighteen pesticides which our company is sure that can make people tumor. Since in professional agriculture pesticides are being used exceedingly, the meals that is produced by industrial agriculture is a serious treat for consumers.

Other than the utilization of pesticides, so called "manufacturing plant style" canine agriculture also creates health problems for consumers. The term factory style pet animal production implies the animal production in which unnatural method like using chemicals is being held. Pathogens like salmonella, laisteria and toxoplasma cause foodborn illnesses. These sorts of bacteria take place in chickens nonetheless they transfer to humans through meats. They are able to cause "severe diarrhea and nausea and sometimes produce fatal diseases. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 5). You can ask that if these bacteria transmit trough meat, why is the commercial agriculture guilty for these health problems? Horrigan, Lawrence and Walker supply the answer: "The congested condition of manufacturer farming raise the level of contaminants and the high-speed, automated ways of slaughtering and handling the animals make it difficult to discover that contaminants. "(6) Furthermore, the other common characteristic of factory style pet animal agriculture that causes health issues for consumers is the se of antibiotics. Unnatural or produced antibiotics are fed to animals. The goal is to promote development in production. However, "excessive use of such drugs in pets or animals can enhance the development of drug resistant strain of disease, that can be sent to humans trough the food resource. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 8). In other words, the high use of these antibiotics may make people less repellent to disease and make sure they are ill more easily. The very last aspect that commercial agriculture causes health issues is genetically built food. It is straightforward to guess this type food creates heath problems because they're not natural. This kind of food "includes organisms not previously eaten by humans. "(Horrrigan, Lawrence, Walker 8), which may cause new allergens. Therefore, as there are microorganisms that we havent ingested before in genetically constructed food, it is likely that new things that trigger allergies can emerge.

The second reason why professional agriculture is unsustainable is its negative effects on environment. Pertaining to environmental problems brought on by professional agriculture, the utilization of fertilizers and pesticides again appears to be the most crucial problem like it is about heath problems. It is a fair question to ask: why the use of fertilizers and pesticides is so strong, if it triggers so many problems? It appears to be the answer is concealed in the definition of industrial agriculture given in the first paragraph. The industrial agriculture is a farm like a stock which is goal is to produce more to benefit more. The unwanted effects are not as important as the earnings. Therefore, as the primary goal is to make money, health or environment are second or even third concerns. We can now continue steadily to examine the negative effects on environment after this brief description.

The use of chemical type fertilizers and pesticides is serious problem for the surroundings and their rate of use is continuing to increase. The main problem about fertilizers comes from the actual fact that "crops absorb one-third to one-half of the nitrogen. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 3). Excess nitrogen creates dead zone because it diminishes the air in water. This drives off of the mobile sea life and eliminates immobile bottom level dwellers. One great exemplory case of this is Gulf's useless zone in New Jersey ( Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 3). This nitrogen runoff also influences the ecosystem balance in a negative way, which is direct threat for environment. The usage of pesticides is another problem because it causes "decline in parrot and beneficial insect populations which disrupt the balance between predator and victim. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 3). As a result of this the pests are recovering faster, which can damage the agriculture directly. The reduction of biodiversity is another outcome. Syntheric chemicals reduce biodiversity in the insect world. This may not sound as a harmful result. However, the true problem is the fatality of the outrageous bees and other beneficial types by pesticides (Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 3). The creation of imbalance in dynamics harms the biodiversity and eliminates the species that are advantageous to real human kind.

The effects of the professional agriculture on land demonstrate how hazardous it can be on environment. Land degradation seems to be the first negative consequence of professional agriculture. "since World Conflict II, poor farming procedures had destroyed about 550 million hectares-an area equal to 38% of all farmland used today. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Due to commercial agriculture, more that one-third of the farmland experienced broken. Considering world appetite, industrial agriculture got damaged everyone by destroying that much of the land because the land could have been used efficiently, which could have supplied people who have food or even land. The reason for why that a lot of land had broken is that commercial agriculture "depends on heavy equipment that compacts the earth, destroying soil composition and eradicating beneficial microorganisms in the garden soil food web. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Therefore, regarding earth, commercial agriculture is not sustainable.

In conditions of land, industrial agriculture is not so beneficial either. Land degradation has been a serious problem for a long period. "The world's way to obtain arable land per person has been declining progressively. " (Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Desertification is a fairly effective kind of land degradation. It can be defined as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dried sub-humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic modifications and individuals activities. " and 15% of al land surface has been experiencing land desertification. (Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). This means that less land is designed for agriculture. How do a type of agriculture be sustainable, if it reduces the land to use for agriculture? Less land means less family that are participating in agriculture and less food to supply people with. The reason why for land degradation and desertification are "over cultivation, overgrazing and over use of water. "(Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Thus, the main reason is over using land and normal water but if the land degradation continues, in the end you will see no land to over use.

The use of normal water is another aspect where the unwanted effects of professional agriculture can be viewed. The pollution of water appears to be the sources of problems that industrial agriculture triggers because "when farming practices pollute surface normal water and aquifers, they decrease the amount of normal water that is ideal for other uses. "( Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Other users may be any seed, family pets or person. The point is that some techniques of professional agriculture pollute normal water and this waste material water damages a great many other potential users. The pollution in almost all of the times is due to "runoff of chemicals, silt and pet animal throw away. " (Horrigan, Lawrence, Walker 4). Again industrial agriculture seems to be for the benefit of just a few people, although it is harmful for most other people, family pets or vegetation.

Together with the problems concerning health and environment, the poverty caused by professional agriculture is the last aspect that makes it unsustainable. One simple fact would be the starting place of poverty triggered by industrial agriculture, which in seventy years, although the US inhabitants has doubled, the number of American farmers has declined from seven million to two million (Kimbrell 17). There could be two reasons for this. First one is land degradation, which is mentioned above, caused by industrial agriculture. Due to land degradation, the quantity of arable land is diminishing, which leads to the increased loss of farm neighborhoods. As the farmers who were engaged in agriculture before locates no land, the poverty seems unavoidable. The next reason may be higher costs of industrial agriculture. As industrial agriculture requires mechanization, the use of pesticides and chemicals, it is hard for farmers to keep in agriculture. Capital is necessary for commercial agriculture, which many farmers do not have. Therefore, the farms focus on very few people that contain the capital to get, which again triggers the lass of plantation communities and naturally poverty.

The other reason for poverty triggered by commercial agriculture is the increasing price of food. Although commercial agriculture managed to get possible to create more, the price of food is increasing (Kimbrell 15). However, paradoxically farmers do not earn more than they did before. The gains gained from the increasing price of food go directly to the "corporate middlemen", never to the farmers (Kimbrell 17). Other than farmers, society all together is becoming poor because of industrial agriculture as well. While food rates is increasing, we spend cash to the heath and environmental problems triggered by commercial agriculture. Therefore, we pay more for the food and also we spend more money on health insurance and environment because of professional agriculture, making poverty problems for the whole world. Poverty for farmers and for your society again demonstrates that professional agriculture is not ecological.

In final result, even though industrial agriculture is a development in agriculture as it does increase production, it takes more than it offers so it is unsustainable. Unwanted effects of computer on heath, environment and economy are the known reasons for why commercial agriculture is unsustainable. Creation of health issues both for employees and consumers due to use of pesticides, substance and the conditions of work place causing toxic exposure and accidents is thanks to industrial agriculture. The use of pesticides, chemicals, land degradation and water pollution are the environmental problems created by commercial agriculture. The loss of farm communities and expensive food price will be the results of commercial agriculture, which in turn causes poverty. Each one of these reasons seem to demonstrate that industrial agriculture is unsustainable. The perfect solution is to these problems may not be going back to the old fashion way of agriculture where there is absolutely no room for mechanization, pesticides or chemicals. All this chemicals or machines should be used for real human good, not to gain more profit. Therefore, the problem is not the kind of things that is employed in agriculture; the real problem is the relations of development or the interpersonal form where these types of things are used. Therefore, to be able to achieve ecological agriculture, we have to first abolish the opportunity of making profit by industrial agriculture. Then, we should collectivize the means of production and simply use them for the individual good.


Axelrod, S. J. "HEALTH ISSUES in Industrialized Agriculture" College of Public Health. September 1949: 1172-1175. Printing.

Horrigan, Leo, Lawrence Robert S. , Walker, Polly. "How Ecological Can Agriculture Address environmentally friendly and Human being Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture". Environmental Health Perspective, Vol. 110 No. 5 May 2002. 445-456. Print

Kendall, M. Thu. "The Health Results of Industrial Agriculture for Farmers in the United States". Human Company. Street to redemption 1998. Print

Kimbrell, Andrew. Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2002. Print

Pimentel, D. , T. W. Culliney, T. Bashore. http://ipmworld. umn. edu/chapters/pimentel. htm

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