Facts about Our Food Consumption


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Facts about our Food Consumption
(taken from website www.cowspiracy.com)

 I did not know that there is one single industry destroying the planet more than any other.
It is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean “dead zones”, water pollution, desertification, deforestation and habitat loss.

That industry is livestock raising or animal agriculture.


Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.  

Livestock and their by-products account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.
Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame.

Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.

Emissions for agriculture are projected to increase 80% by 2050.

Converting to wind and solar power will take 20+ years and roughly 43 trillion dollars.

The Cost of Going Green Globally
Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals. Reducing methane emissions would create tangible benefits almost immediately.


Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) water use ranges from 70-140 billion gallons annually.

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.  
Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.  

Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.

2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 

477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs;  
almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.
1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 
55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.

Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  
1/5 of global water consumption


Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.
Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.  

Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and foranimal grazing, predators and "competition" species are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals andpoison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact onclimate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources.

We are witnessing the largest mass extinction of species in 65 million years.

1/3 of the planet is now desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.  


Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.
A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. 

130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually.

In the U.S. livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste per second: 

  • Dairy Cows, 120 lbs of waste per day  x 9 million cows.
  • Cattle, 63 lbs of waste per day, x 90 million cattle.
  • Pigs, 14 lbs of waste per day, x 67 million pigs.
  • Sheep/Goats, 5 lbs of waste per day, x 9 million sheep/goats.
  • Poultry, .25-11lbs of waste per day, x 9 billion birds.  
  • Dairy cows and cattle -1.08 billion pounds per day (from 9 million dairy cows, 120 pounds waste per cow per day) + 5.67 billion pounds per day (90 million cattle, 63 pounds waste per one cattle per day) = 6.75 billion pounds per day waste or 2.464 trillion pounds waste per year (manure+urine)


3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.

We could see fishless oceans by 2048.

90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year.  

For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.  

As many as 40% (63 billion pounds) of fish caught globally every year are discarded.

Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels.
40-50 million sharks killed in fishing lines and nets.

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second.

The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.

Up to137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.

26 million rainforest acres (10.8m hectares) have been cleared for palm oil production.  

136 million rainforest acres cleared for animal agriculture.

214,000 square miles occupied by cattle (136 million acres)

1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.  

Ten thousand years ago, 99% of biomass (i.e. zoomass) was wild animals. Today, humans and the animals that we raise as food make up 98% of the zoomass.



70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.

Throughout the world, humans drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food each day.

Worldwide, cows drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day.

We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people yet we can’t end hunger.

82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.

80% of the world's starving children live in 14 countries

The average American consumes 209 pounds of meat per year.

Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:
Vegan: 1/6th acre
Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan
Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan  

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.  

The World Population is increasing by 228,000+ people every day.

I have put these facts onto my website because I had no idea of how shocking and challenging they are and how they might encourage us to change our eating habits, not necessarily by becoming vegans but reducing our dependence on animal protein, above all, on beef since it is the pasturage and water needed for raising beef cattle that is the greatest problem.

An excellent DVD called Cowspiracy is available from this website with all the statistics above and far more, laboriously gathered by one courageous young man and his team.


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