The following facts were collected from a variety of sources, all linked within the blog post. May they serve as sobering reminders of the global impact behind our decisions in supporting the animal agriculture industry, particularly the beef industry.
1. Animal Agriculture is Responsible for 14.5- 18% of the Planet’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 61-65% of Which comes from Beef & Dairy Production.
Global production of livestock is the largest producer of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both key components of greenhouse gases. Beef production contributes 41% of emissions, while cow’s milk production accounts for the other 19% of cattle industry emissions. The overall emissions from animal agriculture industries account for more of the emissions in our atmosphere today than those produced by all transportation industries combined!
2. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, or 660 gallons of water to produce 1 hamburger.
Cow’s require 55 pounds of grain and 3,962 gallons of water to produce just 2.2 pounds of beef. Overall water usage within the animal agriculture industry totals between 34 -76 trillion gallons per year. Redirecting water and crops used to feed the planet’s livestock could ensure that every person on earth is properly fed and hydrated, rather than directing those resources towards the animal agriculture industry, namely beef.
3. 30% of the planet’s land surface area is currently being UTILIZED for livestock production. Each cow requires 2-5 acres.
The land surface area being used for raising, feeding and slaughtering livestock requires the widespread deforestation of over 70% of the Amazon rainforest among other forests. In the United States 778 million acres out of an overall 1.9 billion acres is currently being used for livestock grazing.
Much of this information has been actively hidden from the public in an attempt to continue the massive deforestation, misuse of resources and abuse of animals upon which the animal agriculture industry is able to exist at its current scale. Fast food and meat product marketing has had a powerful impact on the way we think about food and what we choose to eat as a culture. If you find these numbers interesting or shocking, feel free to check out the rest of my blog, perhaps starting with this post containing a few highly informative speeches on these industries. And stick around for more content surrounding veganism, mindful and holistic living.