The use of land for livestock farming would be better served and more sustainable long term for agricultural farming.
The current use of land for both livestock and the feed for livestock is increasing at a rate that our earth can not keep up with. Wherever livestock farming is prevalent, the surrounding ecosystem suffers, both physically and contributes to a loss of biodiversity. About 1/4 of the earths land is used for livestock grazing while a 1/3 of the arable land is used for the feed and to be able to support the livestock. The best way to help provide for the worldwide ecosystem is to focus on consuming less livestock foods and moving over to diets and cuisines based more on plants
While livestock land can be converted to agricultural use, there are more aspects that go into food safety than any other uses for the land may have. The location of land used for agricultural use has to be considered with how the land may have been previously used, its relation to points of resistance like proximity to drainage, water sources, sanitation sources, etc. Other things like the layout of the land make it so that land that can be used for other reasons may not have agricultural purpose.
Not all of the land used for cattle can be used for other means, and not much of useable land has been converted into unusable livestock land. When looking as the US consumption of beef over time, the consumption for individuals has gone down, as well as exports leaving the us to other countries increasing. Even though exports have increased, those other countries receiving the product are still deforesting at the same rate as before increased exports. One of the most important things we can do right now is to help other livestock farms get to the same level of efficiency that the US has in its livestock, providing 18% of the worlds beef with only 8% of the worlds cattle.
It is more important to the consumer now that the source of their food, and they look for resources to be used more efficiently, especially with a recent increase to the concern over environmental damage. Livestock farms can be used efficiently and can be sustainable if done correctly. There are many aspects to certain parts of land that make them useable for livestock, as livestock can eat foliage that humans cannot, and different ways of providing water to cattle in the most effective way is still being researched through a multitude of systems. Well managed and methods that do not degrade more land than that is needed is the preferable way of going about cattle farming.
When considering the use of land, drawbacks must be consisted, as agricultural farming can effect aspects of nearby water and watersheds, loss of native habitats, as well as the increase of invasive species. When the use of land changes, what the land is being used for after the change may be negatively affected in a way that hurts the goals of that new land use. Urban development may be one of the most harmful changes in the use of land as it can add to pollution and even affect nearby climate. The potential damages caused by the changing of land is a cause of concern especially when it comes to land development and agriculture.
Current State of Research Paper:
After starting research, I was able to find many useful articles relating heavily to my hypothesis with mixed results on what they actually said in relation to it. I believe I want to focus on more scholarly sources on long term effects of agricultural farming, changes to livestock farming in the future, and the possible changes if general collective public shifted to more plant-centric diets.