Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20-year time frame. Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of 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.US Methane emissions from livestock and natural gas are nearly equal. Converting to the wind and solar power will take 20+ years and roughly 43 trillion dollars. Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals.
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 for animal 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 and poison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources.
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 the 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 freshwater consumption in the world today.
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. Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded dead zones around the world in our oceans. Mass extinction of species has begun.2-5 acres of land are used per cow.“Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns.” UN News Centre, 2006.1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.
Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food. A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.
In the U.S. livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste per second: -Cattle, 63lbs of waste per day, x 90 million cattle. -Pigs, 14lbs. of waste per day, x 67 million pigs. -Sheep/Goats. 5lbs of waste per day, x 9 million sheep/goats. -Poultry, .25-1lbs of waste per day, x 9 billion birds.
Animals produce Enough waste to cover SF, NYC, Tokyo.
We could see fishless oceans by 2048.90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year. As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean 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. Fish catch peaks at 85 million tons.40-50 a million sharks killed in fishing lines and nets.
1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second. The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feed crops. Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.150-200 species per day are lost per day.136 million rainforest acres cleared for animal agriculture.1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years. 20 years ago the Amazon lost its strongest advocate.
Washington state killed the wedge pack of wolves. More wild horses and burros in government holding facilities than are free on the range. 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.
80% of antibiotic sold in the US are for livestock. World population in 1812: 1 billion; 1912: 1.5 billion; 2012: 7 billion.70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.
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 vegan1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat. A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food. 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.