For those of you who grew up in more recent decades, “acid rain” is not the name of a death-metal band. In the 70s and 80s, sulfur dioxide emitted by power plants was turning rain into sulfuric acid, threatening fish, trees, and, yes, even statues. After the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) got the power plants to clean up their act, we thought we had the problem licked for the great outdoors. But if you lick something outdoors now, your tongue might dissolve. Acid rain has returned in a new form—nitric acid—caused by nitrogen oxide emissions. And the number one source of these emissions? Intensive factory farms.
So now we can add the resurgence of acid rain to the long list of environmental disasters caused in large part by using animals for food. It remains to be seen whether the EPA will step in again to address the problem, but fortunately we don’t have to wait for them to get involved—after all, what better way to fight the disastrous effects of factory farming than by going vegan?
Written by Jeff Mackey