Environment

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Water

Usage

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.[1][2][3]

Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption. [1][4]
Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US. [1][5]
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. [1][6][3][7][8][9][10]
477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs;  almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.[1][9][11]
1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.[1][12][13]
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture. [1][5]
Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  [1][13][14][15][16]
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Waste

Production

Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.[1][17][18][19]

130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually. 5 tons of animal waste is produced per person in the US.[1][20]
In the U.S. livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste per second:
-Dairy Cows, 120 lbs. of waste per day x 9.32 million dairy cows

-Cows,  63 lbs. of waste per day x 83.68 million cows

-Calves, 30 lbs. of waste per day x 34.3 million calves

-Pigs, 14 lbs. of waste per day x 74 million pigs

-Sheep and Goats, 5 lbs. of waste per day x 7.84 million sheep and goats

-Turkeys, .87 lbs. of waster per day x 77 million turkeys

-Broiler Chickens, .50 lbs. of waste per day x 1.74 billion broiler chickens

-Laying Hens, .25 lbs. of waster per day x 350.7 million laying hens

*pigs are raised twice per year, (a total of 148.3 million per year) so on any given day in the United States there are about 74 million pigs.

*turkeys are raised three times per year (a total of 233 million per year) so on any given day in the United States there are 77 million turkeys.

*broiler chickens are raised 5 times per year, (a total of 8.69 billion per year) so any given day there are 1.74 billion broiler chickens.

Dairy Cows produce (120 lbs. x 9.32 m.) = 1.1184 billion lbs.

Cows produce (63 lbs. x 83.68 m.) = 5.27184 billion lbs.

Calves produce (30 lbs. x 34.3 m.) = 1.029 billion lbs.

Pigs produce (14 lbs. x 74.0 m.) = 1.036 billion lbs.

Sheep and Goats produce (5 lbs. x 7.84 m.) = 39.2 million lbs.

Turkeys produce (.87 lbs. x 77.0 m.) = 66.99 million lbs.

Broiler Chickens produce (.5 x 1.74 b.) = 870 million lbs.

Laying Hens produce (.25 x 350.7 m.) = 87.675 million lbs.

*Total manure produced in one day is 9.519105 billion lbs.

*Total manure produced in one year is 3.475 trillion lbs.

*This is the equivalent of over 6.611 million lbs. per minute. (This does not include any animal raised outside of USDA Jurisdiction, backyards or fish raised for aquaculture)[1]

As many as 40% (63 billion pounds) of fish caught globally every year are discarded.[21][22][1]
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Rainforest

Destruction

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.[1][23][24][25][26]

1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second.[1][27][28][29][30][31]
The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.[1][32][33][34]
Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.[1][35][36][37][38]
136 million rainforest acres cleared for animal agriculture.[1][39][40]
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Oceans

Depletion

3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.[1][41][42]

We could see fishless oceans by 2048.[1][43][44][45]
90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year.[46][1]
As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean each year.[47][1]
For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.  [48][1]
Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels.[21][22]
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Greenhouse Gasses

Emissions

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.[49][1]

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.[1][50][51][52]
Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.[1][49][53]
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Land

Usage

Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.[1][54][55]

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.[1][56]
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. [1][57][58][49][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68]
Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded deadzones around the world in our oceans.[1][69][66]
2-5 acres of land are used per cow.[1][70][26]
1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.[1][12][13]
5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture. [1][5]
Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  [1][13][14][15][16]
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Conclusions

Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food

“Our study provides a comparative analysis of the health and climate change benefits of global dietary changes for all major world regions. We project that health and climate change benefits will both be greater the lower the fraction of animal-sourced foods in our diets.”[71]

Meta-Analysis

“Today, and probably into the future, dietary change can deliver environmental benefits on a scale not achievable by producers. Moving from current diets to a diet that excludes animal products has transformative potential, reducing food’s land use by 3.1 (2.8 to 3.3) billion ha (a 76% reduction), including a 19% reduction in arable land; food’s GHG emissions by 6.6 (5.5 to 7.4) billion metric tons of CO2eq (a 49% reduction); acidification by 50% (45 to 54%); eutrophication by 49% (37 to 56%); and scarcity-weighted freshwater withdrawals by 19% (−5 to 32%) for a 2010 reference year.

In addition to the reduction in food’s annual GHG emissions, the land no longer required for food production could remove ~8.1 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year over 100 years as natural vegetation reestablishes and soil carbon re-accumulates, based on simulations conducted in the IMAGE integrated assessment model.

For the United States, where per capita meat consumption is three times the global average, dietary change has the potential for a far greater effect on food’s different emissions, reducing them by 61 to 73%.”[66]

“‘A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,’ said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. ‘It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,’ he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.” [72]

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