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The growing world population has put tremendous pressure on the global environment. The United Nations has reported that a vegan diet can feed more people than an animal-based diet. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has linked animal agriculture to several environmental problems, including contamination of aquatic ecosystems, soil and drinking water by pesticides, greenhouse gas production and depletion of aquifers for irrigation.

Veganism is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. It provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and our health – through a healthy diet and lifestyle. While vegetarians choose not to consume meats, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs.  The consumption of animal fats and proteins has been linked to heart disease, colon cancer, hypertension, obesity, and several other debilitating conditions.

 

 

 

Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide together cause the vast majority of global warming. Producing a little more than two pounds of beef causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours and uses up more energy than leaving your house lights on for the same amount of time. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is one of the steps necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide can be attributed to “livestock and their byproducts.”

 

 


Did you know?

Nearly have of the water consumed in the U.S goes to raising animals for food. It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, but only 25 gallons to produce one pound of wheat.


 

 

 

As the world’s appetite for meat increases, countries across the globe are bulldozing land to make more room for animals as well as for the crops to feed them. Entire ecosystems are being destroyed to fuel humans’ addiction to meat. According to scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the equivalent of seven football fields of land is bulldozed every minute to create more room for farmed animals and the crops that feed them1. Of all the agricultural land in the U.S., 80 percent is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them: That’s almost half the total landmass of the lower 48 states2. In the “finishing” phase alone, in which pigs grow from 100 pounds to 240 pounds, each hog consumes more than 500 pounds of grain, corn, and soybeans. This means that across the U.S., pigs eat tens of millions of tons of feed every year.

 

Chickens, pigs, cattle, and other animals raised for food are the primary consumers of water in the U.S.A single pig consumes 21 gallons of drinking water per day, while a cow on a dairy farm drinks as much as 50 gallons daily. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of cow flesh, whereas it takes about 25 gallons of water to make one pound of whole wheat flour.

 

Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide together cause the vast majority of global warming. Producing a little more than two pounds of beef causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours and uses up more energy than leaving your house lights on for the same amount of time. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is one of the steps necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide can be attributed to “livestock and their byproducts.”

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that roughly 80 percent of ammonia emissions in the U.S. come from animal waste. A California study found that a single dairy cow “emits 19.3 pounds of volatile
organic compounds per year, making dairies the largest source of the smog-making gas, surpassing trucks and passenger cars.”

Each day, factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure, which ends up in lakes, rivers and drinking water.


Did you know? 

A vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water per day vs. a meat-eating diet which requires 4000 gallons of water per day.


 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that roughly 80 percent of ammonia emissions in the U.S. come from animal waste. A California study found that a single dairy cow “emits 19.3 pounds of volatile
organic compounds per year, making dairies the largest source of the smog-making gas, surpassing trucks and passenger cars.”

Each day, factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure, which ends up in lakes, rivers and drinking water.

The one trillion pounds of waste produced by factory-farmed animals each year are usually used to fertilize crops, and they subsequently end up running off into waterways – along with the drugs and bacteria they contain. Many tons of waste end up in giant pits in the ground or on crops, polluting the air and groundwater. According to the EPA, agricultural runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways.

 

It doesn’t stop there. Streams and rivers carry excrement from factory farms to the Mississippi River, which then deposits the waste into the Gulf of Mexico. The nitrogen from animal feces – and from fertilizer, which is primarily used to grow crops for farmed –animals – cause algae populations to skyrocket, leaving little oxygen for other life forms. A 2006 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the Gulf of Mexico’s “dead zone” – an area in which virtually all the sea animals and plants have died – is now half the size of Maryland. In 2006, a separate study by Princeton University found that a shift away from meat production – as well as Americans’ adoption of vegetarian diets – would dramatically reduce the amount of nitrogen in the Gulf to levels that would make the dead zone “small or non-existent.”