Saturday, December 29, 2012

Veganism & the Environment: By the Numbers

GREENHOUSE GASES
  • 1 calorie from animal protein requires 11 times as much fossil fuel as one calorie of plant protein.
  • The diets of meat eaters create 7× the greenhouse emissions as the diets of vegans.
Carbon Dioxide (CO₂)
  • If one person exchanges a "regular" car for a hybrid, they'll reduce CO₂ emissions by 1 ton per year.
  • If one person exchanges eating meat for a vegan diet, they'll reduce CO₂ emissions by 1.5 tons per year.
  • If every American dropped one serving of chicken per week from their diet, it would save the same amount of CO₂ emissions as taking 500,000 cars of the road.
Methane (CH₄)
  • Methane is 20× more powerful at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere than CO₂.
  • Chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows are collectively the largest producer of methane in the U.S.
Nitrous Oxide (N₂O)
  • Nitrous oxide is 300× more powerful at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere than CO₂.
  • The meat, egg, and dairy industries produce 65% of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions.
WATER
  • Nearly half of all water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.
  • It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat vs. 25 gallons to produce 1 pound of wheat.
  • You'd save more water by not eating 1 pound of meat than you would by not showering for 6 months.
  • A meat-eating diet requires 4,000 gallons per day vs. a vegan diet which requires 300 gallons of water per day.
  • Animals raised for food create 89,000 pounds of excrement per second, none of which benefits from the waste-treatment facilities for human excrement. This creates massive amounts of groundwater pollution.
  • Chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 American states.
LAND
  • Raising animals for food uses 30% of the earth's land mass, or 17 million square miles. That's about the same size as Asia! The moon (at 14.6 million square miles) has less area than that.
  • More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals.
  • The equivalent of 7 football fields of land are bulldozed every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
  • Livestock grazing is the number one cause of plant species becoming threatened or going
  • extinct in the U.S.
FOOD
  • Animals eat large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn; however, they only produce a comparatively small amount of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return.
  • It requires 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat.
  • It requires 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish.
Source (with references):  http://www.culinaryschools.org/yum/vegetables/

tags:  , , ,

Possibly related posts