Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering.
A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
It takes an enormous amount of water to grow crops for animals to eat, clean filthy factory farms, and give animals water to drink. A single cow used for milk can drink up to 50 gallons of water per day—or twice that amount in hot weather—and it takes 683 gallons of water to produce just 1 gallon of milk. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. By going vegan, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year.
Using land to grow crops for animals is vastly inefficient. It takes almost 20 times less land to feed someone on a plant-based (vegan) diet than it does to feed a meat-eater since the crops are consumed directly instead of being used to feed animals. According to the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification, it takes up to 10 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and in the United States alone, 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals, while only 4 million acres are producing plants for humans to eat.
More than 90 percent of all Amazon rainforest land cleared since 1970 is used for grazing livestock. In addition, one of the main crops grown in the rainforest is soybeans used for animal feed. (The soybeans used in most veggie burger, tofu, and soy milk products sold in the United States are grown right here in the U.S.)
While factory farms are ruining our land, commercial fishing methods such as bottom trawling and long-lining often clear the ocean floor of all life and destroy coral reefs. They also kill thousands of dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and other “bycatch” animals.
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