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A new report names Tyson Foods — America’s largest meat company — the lead culprit in creating a horrifyingly large “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tyson, which produces one out of every five pounds of meat in the US, has been repeatedly exposed for animal cruelty, too. A gutwrenching 2016 Compassion Over Killing investigation revealed horrific abuse at multiple Tyson broiler chicken breeding facilities, and exposed a barbaric practice for the first time on hidden camera — prompting the company to end the use of “nose bones” in breeder birds.
The new report from Mighty Earth mapped the supply chains of the nation’s leading meat and feed companies and overlaid it with info on contaminated waterways. The pollution largely stems from fertilizers used to grow the massive amounts of corn and soy that are fed to farmed animals.
The new data follows a recent announcement from federal officials that the Gulf of Mexico now has one of the largest ocean dead zones on record; they estimated it at a whopping 8,185 square miles, or around the size of New Jersey.
“Fertilizer pollution flowing down the Mississippi River from the American heartland is the cause of this dead zone, by causing toxic algae blooms where marine life cannot survive,” Mighty Earth reports.
Tyson is the only meat company with major processing facilities in each of the states listed by the USGS as contributing the highest levels of pollution to the Gulf; and Tyson and Smithfield have the heaviest concentration of meat facilities in those areas of the U.S. with the highest levels of nitrate contamination.
And this isn’t the first time Tyson has gotten into murky waters for pollution.
Study after study confirms animal agriculture’s devastating impact on the environment, and its rank as a leading cause of species extinction, habitat destruction, greenhouse gas emissions, and land/freshwater use.
So what’s the most effective thing you can do to help save the Gulf of Mexico — and protect our planet in general? Leave animal products off your plate! Check out TryVeg.com for lots of tasty recipes for animal- and environment-friendly foods.
- Download your free PDF of our guide to Eating Sustainably!