Animal Agriculture Leads to Massive Sinkhole in Florida

A toxic hole in one of the nation's most biodiverse states has been created, and intensive phosphate mining to keep up with animal agriculture demand is to blame.

Fertilizer company Mosaic created a sinkhole in New Wales, FL that has spilled 215 million gallons of contaminated water into local waterways last month. The sinkhole is a result of the mining of phosphate (a common agricultural growing agent), which is used by the fertilizer industry to help keep up with high demand for growing feed crops—mostly monoculture grains and corn fed to cattle at meat and dairy factory farms. Senior food campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity Jennifer Molidor says this disaster is yet another cost of meat and dairy production. “Our super-sized appetite for burgers and chicken nuggets is driving the unsustainable and toxic extraction of phosphorous ore to make fertilizer,” Molidor says. “We can take action immediately by putting less pressure and demand on the production process by eating less meat.” The state of Virginia is also feeling the environmental impact of animal agriculture, as local scientists recently warned state residents that their consumption of meat is directly responsible for polluting Chesapeake Bay through runoff and nitrogen emissions from state factory farms.

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