I always love to put this one in front of those who get defensive "don't tell me what to eat" or similar stuff like "people are omnivores so it is normal for them to eat meat".
There were, and in some parts of the world there still are cannibals. They eat humans naturally. So, what if you were to be eaten by them, would you consider that as acceptable or as a murder?flynfrog
(and others) , please don't be bothered to read this.
1 kg of tomatoes requires 190 litres of water, 1kg of beef requires 43,500 litres of water.
Like all the products we buy,meat is made up of inputs.The largest are water, grain, land, and energy. Others include hormones to promote growth, antibiotics to prevent disease, and fertilizers and pesticides to grow the feed.
To produce a kilogram of grain-fed beef, it takes, on average, 10 kg of grain and 680 litres of water. Pigs require about 4 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of pork and chickens require 2 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of meat. In comparison, according to a study in California, 1 kg of tomatoes requires 190 litres of water, 1 kg of potatoes requires 198 litres of water, 1 kg of wheat requires 209 litres of water—but 1 kg of ranch-raised beef can require as much as a whopping 43,500 litres of water. Even rice,which uses more water than any other grain, requires one-tenth the water needed to produce meat.
In order to meet our demand for meat, millions of tonnes of grain are diverted to feed livestock.More than 1⁄3 of the world’s total grain harvest is fed to livestock. Much of this grain is imported from developing countries where farmers are encouraged to use land to grow export crops for the West. Even during the famine of the mid 1980s, Ethiopia was exporting grain that could have been used to feed its own people to the West—feed for livestock.
Another requirement to raise livestock is land.An equivalent amount of land can feed six times more people eating a plant-based diet than people eating a meat-based diet. The North American meat industry therefore looks to the south for cheaper land,which has resulted in cattle ranching becoming a major cause of rainforest destruction in Central and South America.Ranchers clear forests and drain wetlands to graze cattle for export, or to grow feed for animals, instead of growing crops for local consumption.
This results in the loss of trees and habitat, as well as many different species of plants, animals, and insects.Cattle ranching also affects North American land because it has a huge impact on soil erosion.Around 30 percent of our farmland is
used as pasture for cattle. In Canada alone, the amount of soil the prairies lose each year due to wind and water erosion is 305 million tonnes.Although the trees weren’t cut down specifically for cattle, approximately 260,000 head of cattle currently graze in the temporary meadows created by clearcuts in BC. Without access to this government land that has been clearcut, the head of BC’s Cattleman’s Association says there would be no beef industry in this province.
Energy is required throughout the meat production process. According to a 1992 study by Alberta Agriculture,meat production requires,on average, 10 – 20 times more energy per edible tonne than grain production. In other words, per unit of
energy input,many more people can be fed with grain than with meat. Garbage is a huge by-product of our general over-consumption.Aside from the packaging, you would think that eating meat does not create all that much waste.However, livestock accounts for most of Canada’s raw sewage pollution.According to Environment Canada, about 40 kg of manure are produced for each kilogram of edible beef that is eventually brought to market.The mounds of manure and streams of urine produced by livestock can permeate our drinking and ground water.
The outbreak of cryptosporidium which hit thousands of people in the Okanagan in the summer of 1996 is thought to be linked in part to the manure of cattle grazing
in clearcuts near the watershed.The manure and urine waste, plus the pesticides and fertilizers used to grow feed, are among the largest sources of water pollution in North America.Manure is also a source of the greenhouse gas methane. Combine this with the methane gas released during the cattle’s digestive process, and you find that farm animals were responsible for 27 percent of the anthropogenic methane generated in Canada in 1990.
So,when someone eats meat they are also consuming hundreds of litres of water, many kilograms of grain, tonnes of topsoil, acres of trees and plants, and countless species of insects and animals; they are diverting food resources away from people who really need them, and creating tonnes of waste and pollution.
Given these environmental costs, it is odd that our society centres its diet so strongly around meat.The fact that we consume so much more meat than the rest of the world when we don’t need to is a clear example of how wasteful our society is—and the need to change.A good way to bring things into balance is to start with our food choices.A simple reduction in the amount of meat we consume will be good for people, good for the animals and good for the planet. So celebrate Earth Day by enjoying an earth friendly plant-based meal.