There are so many compelling reasons beyond animal ethics why a vegetarian/vegan diet has the least impact on the world’s shrinking resources, severe global water shortages being one of them.
Meat consumption consumes the lion-share of the world’s fresh water supply, 38% of the world’s habitable land and contributes to 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
A recent report from the UN ‘Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Production and Consumption: Priority Products and Materials’ found that consuming a diet of meat and dairy is as bad for the planet as global fossil fuel consumption because both increase in direct proportion to the economic growth.
“Agriculture and food consumption are identified as one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures, especially habitat change, climate change, water use and toxic emissions,” explains the report.
According to Malik Falkenmark from the Stockholm International Water Institute, “There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion global population in 2050.”
Western diets heavy in meat and dairy products are soon going to be unsustainable.
- Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet
- 1.1 billion people now live without clean drinking water
- Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase.
- Agriculture, in particular meat and dairy products, account for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions according to the report.
This summer the United States had its worst draught in a generation - so severe that Midwestern towns that were intentionally submerged decades ago are starting to surface.
Via Guardian UK
Photo: Seth Perlman/Associated Press
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