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The Coey Communicator

Some thoughts on a Vegetarian Impact on the Environment...


Here is some information taken from EarthSave International about eating meat that may disturb you:
*reprinted in Student's Vegetarian Cookbook by Carloe Raymond (Three River's Press, 2003).
  • Livestock consume 70 percent of U.S. grain production.  Twenty million people die each year as a result of malnutrition and starvation.  Americans could feed 100,000,000 people by reducing their intake of meat by just 10 percent.
  • One acre of prime land can produce many pounds of edible product.  Here are a few examples: 30,000 pounds of apples, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 50,000 pounds of tomatoes....250 pounds of beef.
  • Livestock--cattle, poultry, goats, sheep,--totalling 15 billion worldwide now outnumber people three to one.  Livestock graze on half of the worlds land mass.  The explosion of livestock populations has resulted in a parallel explosion of animal wastes that pollute surface and ground water. U.S. livestock produce 230,000 pounds of excrement per second.  The amount of waste created by a 10,000-head feed lot is equal to the waste of a city of 110,000 people.
  • World livestock production is now a significant factor in the emission of two of the four global warming gasses: carbon dioxide and methane.  Every steak we eat has the same effect as a 25-mile drive in a typical American car.
  • Each year, an estimated 125,000 square miles of rainforest are permanently destroyed, bringing about the extinction of approximately 1,000 plant and animal species.
  • Producing 1 pound of feedlot steak results in the loss of 35 pounds of topsoil.  It takes 200 to 1,000 years to form 1 inch of topsoil.
  • It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1 edible pound of beef.  It takes 49 gallons of water to produce 1 edible pound of apples.
  • Eighty percent of the meat produced in the United States contains drugs that are passed on to you when you eat it.
  • Animal products contain large quantities of saturated fat and cholesterol and have no dietary fiber.  The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that 68 percent of all diseases are diet related.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and grains (and free from animal products) can prevent, improve, and sometimes cure breast cancer, osteoperosis, prostate cancer, impotence, and obesity.
  • Seventy-five percent of federal poultry inspectors say they would not eat chicken.