World Water Day is meant to raise awareness of the importance of protecting fresh water. Sadly, this valuable resource is under siege by the factory farming industry.
According to National Geographic, 70 percent of the planet is covered by water, but only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. This means a very small percentage of the world’s water is drinkable.
While many of us have the luxury of not having to worry about where our water comes from, billions of people aren’t as fortunate. In fact, an estimated three in 10 people worldwide—2.1 billion—lack access to safe drinking water.
What’s more, the world as a whole is running out of fresh water. A 2015 report from NASA found that the world’s largest aquifers, a vital source of fresh water for countless people, were being drained at an alarming rate.
While several factors contribute to the depletion of fresh water, one of the main causes is animal agriculture. Don’t believe us? Consider these facts:
- About one-third of the world’s water consumption is for producing animal products.
- According to data from the Pacific Institute and National Geographic, a single egg takes 53 gallons of water to produce, a pound of chicken 468 gallons, a gallon of cow’s milk 880 gallons, and a pound of beef 1,800 gallons.
- Growing crops to feed animals killed for food consumes 56 percent of water in the U.S.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 20 to 33 percent of all fresh water consumption in the world.
- Because animals are so densely packed on today's industrial farms, they produce more manure than can be absorbed by the land as fertilizer. The runoff from these facilities grossly contaminates rivers and ground water.
- Tyson, America’s largest meat producer, is responsible for dumping more toxic pollutants into our waterways than companies like ExxonMobil and Dow Chemical.
- Animal excrement and agricultural runoff have polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S.
- One hamburger requires 660 gallons of water to produce—the equivalent of two months’ worth of showers.
- A pound of chicken requires 71 percent more water to produce than a pound of soy.
Clearly, there is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
A vegan diet is not only good for the planet; it also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horribly. These innocent animals face unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, violent deaths.