Due to rising human population and common farming / eating practices, livestock production has also been increasing to keep the food industry supplied with animal products. This action has had serious environmental impact: global warming, environmental pollution, habitat loss, and diminishing resources. And the sad fact is that only a fraction of the population are actually aware of the destruction that is happening to our environment.
Eating a burger and drinking a glass of milk every day might just be normal for you, but do you know how much precious resources were consumed just to put that food on your table?
Here are 15 shocking facts about meat and milk production that you might not be aware of.
1. A Quarter Pounder patty requires an astonishing 600 gallons of water to produce. This is equivalent to showering daily for 2 months.
2. Domestic water consumption only uses 5% of the total water usage in the US, while animal agriculture uses 55%.
3. To produce 1 pound of beef, 2500 gallons of water is required; 1 pound of eggs require 477 gallons of water; and 1 pound of cheese needs 900 gallons of water.
4. Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas use 100 billion gallons of water per year, whereas livestock farms use 34 TRILLION gallons per year.
5. A United Nations report published in 2006 said that cows produce more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.
6. A 2009 Worldwatch report said that transportation vehicles emit 13% of greenhouse gases, compared to the 55% produced by cows.
7. Cows produce methane as a part of their digestive process, which is 25 to 100 times more destructive as a greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide emitted by combustion and breathing.
8. Raising animals for food uses 33% of the earth’s freshwater, 45% of land, and has caused 91% of the destruction in the Amazon rainforest. 9.26 million acres of rainforest have been lost for palm oil production, and 136 million acres have been lost for livestock production.
10. Cows produce 130 times more waste than the entire human population.
11. If everyone in America switched to eating only grass-fed beef, it would need 3.7 billion acres of land to raise the cows. However, the US only has 1.9 billion acres available.
12. To produce 1 gallon of milk, 1000 gallons of water is needed.
13. We are growing enough food for 12-15 billion people, while there are only 7 billion people, and 1 billion are starving every day.
14. 50% of the grains and legumes we grow are fed to the animals.
15. 7 billion people drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food every day. However, it only takes 1.5 billion cows to drink 45 billion gallons of water and to eat 135 billion pounds of food every day.
Here’s the tutorial in video form: