We are all well aware that our cars, factories, and non-renewable energy generation adversely affects the environment.
But what is often overlooked is the global meat-eating diet causes more planet-warming greenhouse gases such as Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide to pour into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry.
In fact, raising animals for food produces 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the worlds´ cars, planes and trains combined.
Losing the world´s forests and biodiversity
Raising animals for food now uses a staggering 30% of the Earth’s land mass.
The meat industry is the world´s greatest contributor to biodiversity loss, as it causes deforestation, land degradation and pollution. Experts estimates that we are losing 50,000 species a year due to rainforest deforestation.
216.000 acres of tropical forests are destroyed daily, in part, to create more acreage to raise livestock. In fact, almost 80% of deforested Amazonian land is now used as cattle pasture.
75% of the Earth´s topsoil has been depleted primarily due to growing animals to feed people. It takes 500 years to replace one inch of topsoil—the stuff that food grows in.
`A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself´
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Worsening water crisis
In a world where 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, the resources required to support the meat industry are a huge drain on our available water.
For example, poultry operations alone use 96.5 billion gallons of water in the US per year, enough to meet the annual water needs of 4.5 million North Americans.
Furthermore, the livestock sector is the largest source of water pollution across the globe. Animal waste, antibiotics, hormones, fertilizers, crop pesticides, bacteria and viruses wash into our waterways and drinking supplies.
Re-route the world´s food supply
In the United States, 70% of the grain grown is fed to farmed animals. If everyone in North America reduced their animal food consumption by 10%, the grain we would save from animal feed could be used to feed all of the world´s 805 million people that struggle with hunger every day.
To produce one pound of animal protein vs. one pound of soy protein, it takes about 12 times as much land, 13 times as much fossil fuel, and 15 times as much water.
That´s why many leading experts and scientists agree that a global shift to a vegetarian or vegan diet would be the most effective solution to climate change, air pollution, water shortage and loss of biodiversity.