Conserving Water Resources: The Vegan Solution

January 13, 2016 Jess Florio

The most essential aspect to life is water. We, as human beings, know this as the undoubted truth. Many might suggest that our oceans on Earth have plenty of water, and that there is no need to worry about conservation. While that’s not wrong, per say, it is certainly an ignorant assumption. Only one percent of the world’s total supply of water is freshwater and can be used. The rest is unfit for human consumption. The water resources available are currently in a fragile state, due to anthropogenic- induced changes in our climate. It is crucial that we protect what we have for both current and future generations. 

Livestock production (especially in mass agriculture) for human consumption is a practice that interferes with our ability to conserve water resources. Almost half of all the water used in the United States is to raise animals. Producing one pound of meat requires 2,400 gallons of water. On the other hand, to produce one pound of wheat, only 25 gallons are needed. Think about those numbers, and how many showers you could take with all of that water! The average person most likely isn’t aware of this “hidden” water. Well, now you know. 

If you’re going to save the planet, becoming a vegan is a great way to start. 300 gallons of water are required per day to meet the dietary needs of a vegan, as opposed to 4,000 gallons for meat-eaters. That’s a pretty big difference. YOU can make a pretty big difference. 

Not to be the bearer of awful news here, but it’s not just the excessive water usage that’s the problem. It’s important to recognize that animals raised for food excrete 89,000 pounds of waste per second-and it’s all going right into our groundwater systems. It’s also going into our rivers. Waste from cattle, hog, and chickens has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers throughout 22 states. 

These facts are hard to hear. But it’s not all doom and gloom! We can make a difference by changing our eating habits. Our diets don’t require meat. That’s the great thing about being an omnivore; we have options! We have the choice. You have the ability to be a part of the vegan solution. If you acknowledge the negative impact your decisions have on the outside environment, it’ll be hard not to stand with us. 

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