A new study has found that approximately two-thirds of the global population faces severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. This totals 4 billion people without a reliable source of fresh water.
In addition to climate change and our growing population, our meat-heavy diets play a significant role in water shortages.
Direct water consumption by animals used to produce meat and watering crops used to feed them makes animal agriculture an incredibly thirsty industry.
“About one-third of the world water consumption is for producing animal products. Their water footprint is larger than that of crop products with equivalent nutritional value, states Arjen Hoekstra, a lead researcher, in an article by TakePart.com.
The meat industry doesn’t just suck up a shocking amount of water; it also consumes an incredible amount of grain.
In a world in which 842 million people don’t have enough to eat, a move away from meat would do more than save water; it would potentially feed millions of people by freeing up the millions of acres of land currently used to grow animal feed to grow vegetables for human consumption instead.
To make matters worse, the meat industry is also one of the leading causes of climate change, making its role in water scarcity even greater.
By adopting a healthy and sustainable plant-based diet, we can help not only the millions of people without enough food and water, but also the billions of animals abused and killed each year for food.
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