VEGAN FOR THE EARTH
Some facts and figure relating to a vegan diet and the environmental effects of animal agriculture:
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.
Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded deadzones around the world in our oceans.
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.
477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs; almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese. 1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.
A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.
Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction. 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second. Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction. 1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.
3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.
We could see fishless oceans by 2048. As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean each year.
Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
Vegan: 1/6th acre
Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan [xvii]
(Robbins, John. Diet for a New America, StillPoint Publishing, 1987, p. 352)
1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.
1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of beef.
Emissions for agriculture projected to increase 80% by 2050.
Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.
Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.
80% of antibiotic sold in the US are for livestock.
Throughout the world, humans drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food each day. Worldwide, cows drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day. We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people. Worldwide, at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock.
82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.
70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.
A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food.