Global Sustainability
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Veg Mondays Good for the Future

Promote Global Sustainability
Our food choices are fundamental to sustainability.  The easiest way to understand this connection is to ask a simple question: Does it take more resources to support 60 billion livestock animals (the number killed for meat worldwide every year) or to support the needs of 6 billion people? 

To raise animals for food, the following resources are used:

  •       70% of available water
  •       80% of farmable land
  •       70% of grain and cereals grown (in the US) 

The livestock industry is also responsible for:

  •       51% of greenhouse gases
  •       35,000 miles of polluted rivers (from hog, chicken, and cattle excrement)
  •       400 dead zones in the oceans (from agricultural runoff)
  •       60% of deforestation in the Amazon 

Taken together, these simple facts are astonishing. The majority of resources are being used to support a meat-based diet.  The biggest source of water pollution, greenhouse gases, and deforestation is also the meat industry. A 2006 United Nations report summarized the devastation caused by the meat industry by calling it "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." 

In addition to causing environmental devastation, raising animals for food is grossly inefficient.  Animals eat large quantities of grain but they only produce small amounts of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return.  For example, it takes approximately 15 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.  Yet that same amount of grain could feed 35 people. ( 

While over 900 million people are malnourished and thousands of children die every day of starvation, we are feeding most of our food to animals.   

The vegetarian diet dramatically reduces the impact on our environment. For example, a vegan diet requires 1/6 of an acre of land while a meat-eater’s diet requires 3 ¼ acres.  Vegans need only about 300 hundred gallons of water a day to produce their food while meat eaters require over 4000 gallons.  Fewer animals raised for meat obviously translates into less manure, less water pollution, reductions in greenhouse gases and climate change, and many other benefits for our Earth.  It would also open up land and water to be used for human beings who are now experiencing food and water shortages.   
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