For the Planet

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Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.  “What’s the Problem?” United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/region9/animalwaste/problem.html “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm

Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions, than all transportation combined.  Fao.org. Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment. http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0612sp1.htm

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.  Goodland, R Anhang, J. “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?” WorldWatch, November/December 2009. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, USA. Pp. 10–19. http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294

Livestock is responsible for 65% of all emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 296x more destructive than carbon dioxide (and stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.)  “Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm

Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.  Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006. http://www.cspinet.org/EatingGreen/pdf/arguments4.pdf

One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce (the equivalent of 2 months’ worth of showers).  Catanese, Christina. “Virtual Water, Real Impacts.” Greenversations: Official Blog of the U.S. EPA. 2012. http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/2012/03/virtual-water-real-impacts-world-water-day-2012/

1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.  “Water trivia facts.” United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/water_trivia_facts.cfm#_edn11

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.  Thornton, Phillip, Mario Herrero, and Polly Ericksen. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Livestock Exchange, no. 3 (2011). https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/10601/IssueBrief3.pdf

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.  “Risk Assessment Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Research and Development. 2004. http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=901V0100.txt

3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited.  “Overfishing: A Threat to Marine Biodiversity.” UN News Center. http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/06/story.asp?storyid=800 “General Situation of World Fish Stocks.” United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). http://www.fao.org/newsroom/common/ecg/1000505/en/stocks.pdf

For every 1 pound of fish caught, an average of 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.  “Discards and Bycatch in Shrimp Trawl Fisheries.” UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO). http://www.fao.org/docrep/W6602E/w6602E09.htm

Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction.  Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.  Margulis, Sergio. Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Rainforest. Washington: World Bank Publications, 2003. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/15060

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 for every person.  Animal agriculture: waste management practices. United States General Accounting Office. http://www.gao.gov/archive/1999/rc99205.pdf

Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:

Vegan: 1/6th acre

Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan

Meat & Dairy Consumer: 18x as much as a vegan

“Our food our future.” Earthsave. http://www.earthsave.org/pdf/ofof2006.pdf

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.  “Water Footprint Assessment.” University of Twente, the Netherlands. http://www.waterfootprint.org

The facts cited here are brilliantly uncovered in the film “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”. To learn more, please visit http://www.cowspiracy.com

These facts were compiled by Evolve For Animals.  Please visit their sites for more information: www.evolveforanimals.org and www.facebook.com/evolveforanimals

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