The Facts: Meat’s Effect on the Planet

Until recently, I never realized that by eating meat, I was contributing to major problems in our environment, let alone destroying it. Eating meat is not only harmful to the animals being killed, but it is also doing major damage to our land, water and atmosphere.

Here are a few facts from Alicia Silverstone’s book “The Kind Diet” (which I HIGHLY recommend reading!):

  • 42% of U.S. fresh water is used for agriculture
  • 19% of all methane emissions (which cause global warming) are caused by cows
  • 441 gallons of water is needed to produce just one POUND of beef (enough for 6 months of showers!)
  • 50% of the corn produced in the U.S. is grown to feed livestock, not people
  • 60 million acres of land are used to grow hay for livestock (vs. 13 million for fruits/veggies)
  • 70% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used to treat livestock
  • 1.2 billion people do not have enough food, but 20 billion animals are fed just to be slaughtered.
  • 75 million acres of rainforest are destroyed each year, in part to create new cattle pasture. And get this….70% of the plants found to help treat cancer are found ONLY in rain forests!
  • Over half of U.S. topsoil has been lost due to cattle grazing. It can take up to 800 years to generate new topsoil. Without it, plants cannot grow.

These facts are astounding to me and I hope that they are to others as well. We put so much energy and money into producing meat that could be used for other things (and in turn, would save many animals’ innocent lives). We are giving all this food and water to animals that we end up killing for food, when we could just give it directly to the hungry. We could save people AND animals. This makes absolutely no sense to me!

When I think about all of this destruction and all of the havoc being wreaked on our world, I am devastated. What are we doing to our precious planet and all of its precious inhabitants?? Why are we doing this?

For money?

For pleasure?


Is any of that worth it?

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