Each day, the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico millions of tons of animal waste from Midwest factory farms and animal feed croplands. The nitrates in animal waste and fertilizer runoff produce vast algal blooms that suck up oxygen from the water, killing all marine life. The pesticides seal the deal. According to Wikipedia, the resulting "dead zone" extends over 8,500 square miles, roughly three times the size of the BP oil slick.
We react dramatically to unanticipated threats like the BP oil spill and accidental deaths. Yet we tend to accept and tolerate the much more damaging, but routine, threats from animal waste discharges and deaths from killer diseases linked to meat and dairy-laden diets.
Miles Barne, Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park