Practical Issues > Health - Index > Vegan Index

WATER

Over half of the water consumed in the U.S. is used to irrigate land that grows livestock food.
      To produce a pound of meat takes 2,500 gallons of water, the same amount an average family uses for all combined household purposes in a month; it takes 100 times more water to produce a pound of meat as it does to produce a pound of wheat.
    To produce a day's food for one meat eater requires 4,000 gallons of water. It takes 1,200 for a lacto-ovo vegetarian, and 300 gallons for a vegan. It takes less water to produce a year's worth of food for a vegan that to produce a month's food for a meat eater.
    At present, over 13 trillion gallons of water are being drained from the Ogallala aquifer each year, the vast majority of which is used to produce meat. More water is taken from the Ogallala aquifer each year than is used to grow all the fruits and vegetables for the entire country. At present rates (for 1987), the Ogallala aquifer will be exhausted in 35 years, making the high plains of the U.S. uninhabitable for human beings.
    In the last twenty years (since 1987), Texas has used up one-quarter of its entire supply of ground water, most of it to grow sorghum to feed cattle.

SOIL EROSION

Nature requires 500 years time to create one inch of topsoil; in the last two hundred years, America's croplands have shrunk 75%, from 21 to 6 inches of topsoil; 4 million acres of cropland are lost to erosion in the U.S. each year, an annual loss of 7,000,000,000 tons
    85% of this loss is directly related to livestock raising
    A pure vegetarian diet uses less than 5% of the soil as a meat-based diet

RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION AND SPECIES EXTINCTION

Since 1967, the rate of deforestation in the U.S. has been one acre every five seconds; at the present rate, the U.S. will be completely stripped of its forests in 50 years (as of 1987).
    At its own rate, the tropical rainforests of Central America will be destroyed in 40 years (as of 1987).
    As of the late 1980s, the world was losing 1,000 species a year, a figure projected to rise to 10,000 in the 1990s (over one species an hour).
    Species extinction is directly related to rainforest destruction (half of the earth's species live in the tropical rainforests); the main cause of rainforest destruction is the creation of "grazing land" used to import fast food hamburgers.
    Of the 260 million acres of American forest converted into land now used for beef production, over 200 million acres could be returned to forest if the land was used directly to feed people instead of animals. For every person who switches to a vegan diet, an acre of trees is saved every year.

 


ANIMAL WASTE

Animals outweigh human beings on earth by 4 to 1; every 24 hours animals used to produce food create 20 billion pounds of waste, 250,000 pounds a second; one cow produces as much waste as 16 human beings.
    Much of this waste ends up in the oceans, streams, rivers, and lakes, depleting the oxygen levels of the water and polluting the water; animal waste is high in nitrogen which can cause brain damage or death to infants.
    Animal waste accounts for more than ten times the amount of water pollution as attributable to human beings; the meat industry dumps more than three times as much harmful waste in the waters than the rest of the nation's industries combined.

ENERGY WASTE

The value of raw materials consumed to produce livestock is greater than the value of all oil, gas, and coal consumed in the U.S. The production of meat, dairy products, and eggs accounts for one-third of the total amount of raw materials used for all purposes.
    Growing grains, vegetables, and fruits accounts for less than 5% of raw material consumption.
    The least efficient plant food is almost ten times as energy efficient as the most efficient animal food.

WHAT'S IN YOUR "MEAT"?
(i.e. your decomposing, carcinogenic, fear-laden, tortured flesh)

Rat feces, cow urine, cow pus, chicken and cow manure (a "beef fattener" with e-coli contamination), "rendered" cows and sheep (recycled animal parts, diseased "downers," and road kill added to animal feed), euthanized animals from human societies, etc., radioactive isotopes, insecticides, lethal euthanasia drugs such as sodium penabarbitol, chemicals like phosphorous to mask putrefaction.