Why Environmentalists Don’t Eat Meat
Animal agriculture contributes more to global warming than any other industry in the world.
Even the United Nations has confirmed that animal agriculture accounts for 51% of all greenhouse gases, which is more than the entire transportation sector (trains, planes, cars, and buses combined).
Animal agriculture uses more land than any other industry does on earth.
Land is used for grazing livestock, for factory farms, and also to grow food to feed to livestock.
A report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says that 26% of the earth’s land is used for livestock grazing.
1/3 of the planet’s farmable land is used to grow alfalfa, corn, soy, and grains to feed to livestock, instead of to feed humans.
91% of the amazon rainforest has been destroyed, and the number one leading cause has been for animal agriculture.
It has been clear cut to make space for cattle to graze, and to grow food for cattle.
Animal agriculture also contributes to the amounts of increasing desserts, and destroys a lot of soil making it hard to grow crops in the future.
Overall, livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.
Water is used in the animal agriculture industry for many different purposes.
These include water for livestock to drink, water to irrigate the crops that livestock eat, water usage in dairy operations, and water used to wash the animal agriculture facilities.
Vegetables use much less water than meat, dairy, and eggs use.
To produce one tonne of vegetables, it takes around 11,300 gallons of water. However, to produce one tonne of beef, it uses around 145,000 gallons of water. Beef by far uses to most water, it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one single pound of beef!
It takes 1,000 gallons of water to produce one single gallon of milk, and 900 gallons of water to produce 1 single pound of cheese.
Let’s compare this to a plant- it takes 147 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of corn. Overall, animal agriculture contributes 80-90% of the total water usage in the United States.
The United Nations has confirmed that raising cattle generates more global warming greenhouses gases than transportation.
Animal agriculture accounts for 9% of the CO2, but it produces a much larger amount of more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of nitrous oxide, which is 296 times more potent and harmful than CO2 is.
Most of these greenhouse gases come from manure.
Livestock also accounts for 37% of all methane, which has 23 times the warming rate that CO2 has. Animal agriculture also accounts for 64% of ammonia, which contributes to acid rain.
Overall, livestock accounts for so many greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the ones that are most harmful.
Perhaps one of the most alarming things about animal agriculture is the amount of sewage that is produced by animals. Unlike human sewage, animal sewage is never treated.
It is always raw and un composted, usually stored in lagoons behind the factories. These lagoons often overflow and leak into waterways, killing wildlife and creating dead zones.
Here are some alarming facts about waste from the animal agriculture industry: Every single minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the United States alone. This number doesn’t even include the billions of fish raised for food.
One single dairy farm with 2,500 cows produce the same amount of sewage as a city of 411,000 people. There are thousands and thousands of dairy farms in the United States.
In the United States, livestock produce 116,000 pounds of waste per second. So much of this waste finds its way into oceans and pollutes rivers, ponds, and streams. It is an environmental disaster.
There are many more harmful effects that animal agriculture contributes to. It also pollutes the air, contributes to many species becoming extinct and endangered, and more.
If you want to learn more, an amazing documentary to watch on this subject is Cowspiracy.