Soil Erosion – the Silent Crisis

Soil erosionThere’s a silent crisis that threatens us all. It’s much more serious than most people realize and if we don’t do something about it we’re all in trouble. This crisis is soil erosion.

As with many other environmental problems, it’s caused by raising farm animals for meat. It turns out that 85% of all the soil erosion in the United States, and 55% around the world, is caused directly by the livestock, and by growing the fantastic amount of feed the 60 billion farm animals around the world consume. Unfortunately, most environmental organizations aren’t paying too much attention to it and the media almost completely ignores it. After all, it’s hard to get excited about dirt!

We need to take it more seriously. Soil is where food begins. Humanity depends upon the soil for its food, and if enough of the soil goes, humanity will go with it. Without soil, not only will the crops we plant not grow, but other vegetation will die as well.

“The history of every nation is eventually written in the way it cares for its soil. The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt

This is a global problem of enormous in scale. In fact, 8 billion acres of farmland worldwide, an area the size of the United States and Canada combined, have been rendered useless due to soil erosion. Assessing the situation, University of Washington geology professor David Montgomery says that we are simply “running out of dirt”

We’re running out of time too. It takes a long time for nature to build top soil. For instance, in Iowa, it can take 200 years to form an inch of top soil. So, we’re losing soil much faster than we’re making it – 30 times faster in fact. If we don’t mend our ways soon it will be too late.

Going vegetarian, or even taking just a few steps in that direction, reduces the demand for meat, and therefore the number of livestock being raised, and the amount of crops needed to feed them. It is the single most powerful thing we can do to save the soil.