Working with Diversity to Solve Environmental Issues with Factory Farming

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:50 PM

   Diversity is something that every human faces at one point or another and can create a problem when looking at environmental issues. What is diversity and why does it sometimes cause such an issue with the environment? The Merriam Webster dictionary defines diversity as “The condition of having or being composed of different elements.” When we think about that definition we can look closely at social economic diversity for a possible answer. This can be areas like people who are very wealthy or the very poor. This will cause many factors when these groups think about the same issue. When looking at the topic of environmental runoff from farming we can see how these two groups might have different viewpoints on a topic like this. Let’s take a closer look at this environmental problem and try to understand the different viewpoints on the subject.

   If you have two different groups and ask them about an issue currently going on in the world like environmental runoff from factory farms you might possibly get a different prospective from them both. The reason it will differ is not only a different prospective but the wealthy might have some stronger viewpoints due to vested interest in factory farming then the poor. The very rich might be owners of the factories and make way too much money to care about the environmental runoff and the possible impacts that the farm is having on the environment. At the same time the lower income population might have a lot to say about the topic due to runoff of chemicals and all the pesticide that is being used causing environmental issues to their small communities. They might feel that no one is listening to their cries for help to end this environmental catastrophe that is affecting their health or their family’s health. Because of being in the lower income category they might not be able to up and move to get away from all the risks that the farms are creating for them. They in turn will blame the farm for the runoffs and might try and find ways to shut the farm down. Both groups in the end might blame each other for the current issue and both have strong valid reasons for standing their ground on the issue.

   It does not mean that one group is right or another is wrong there are just many different answers that might come up from both groups. This is what diversity is all about when talking about the environment. You can get a rich amount of answers from all walks of life and still get the same results you are looking for. Perhaps these two groups can come together to find a solution to this environmental problem. Factory farming creates so many problems that down the road the very rich will also be affected from all the issues being created.

   Diversity and the environment can be very tricky but must be celebrated by everyone. It is the many backgrounds and different statuses that makes the world such a great place to live. Being able to have an open debate about the environment and having so many rich backgrounds and viewpoints makes people not only think about the topic but might also bring people together to try and solve a problem. This is what the spring 2013 Capstone class will accomplish this semester. We will bring our diverse backgrounds and come together to find a solution to problem of environmental runoff from factory farms.


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