In recent years the global meat industry has been blamed for much of the environmental devastation the world has seen, from driving global warming to deforestation it has been the largest factor in environmental disaster. Now a new issue has come to light in the Gulf of Mexico, the body of water that lies in the southern US, bordering Mexico.
Toxins from manure and fertilizer, meant to and coming from global meat plants, have scoured the waterways. Making an already devastated area, that much worse! The toxins being poured into the waterways have created long stretches of oxygen deprived waters, killing thousands of marine animals and causing issues in the overgrowth of new algae. This act of environmental devastation has created one of the largest recorded dead zones in the history of the world, let alone in the Gulf of Mexico. The marine life in these waters, are imperative to the survival of millions. As devastating the oxygen levels of the waters creates a massive disruption in the food supply and life cycle of the gulf.
As per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the dead-zone will reach approximately 8200 square-miles. A region, roughly, the size of New Jersey! As these nutrients and wastewater flow into streams and rivers connected to the gulf, this causes the overgrowth of algae, which then decomposes, resulting in a tremendous loss of oxygen in the water. Killing off marine life, the essential food supply for millions.
The boom in algae caused generations of shrimp to be wiped away within a matter of days, and even caused a number of beaches in Florida to close down as the shores became coated almost completely by dead algae.
As President of Avery Dennison’s corporate foundation, Alicia Procello Maddox believes its time corporations band together to help fund cleanup of waterways such as the Gulf of Mexico, as with any natural devastation of this magnitude, it can affect us all.