All humanity is at the point of having to make a very difficult choice. We either end our consumption of animal foods or face two consequences: the planet not being able to feed people sufficiently to maintain good health into the future, and the destruction of our environments that have provided for life for hundreds of millions of years.
Here’s the present situation and future expectation. We have to recognize that the world has an increasing number of people who want and expect enough food to eat, space to live and fresh water to use. Right now, that isn’t happening for at least a billion people out of the 7 billion presently inhabiting Earth, and it is expected to get worse over the next years.
Plants don’t provide all the nutrients and amino acids a human body needs which is why such people have to take handfuls of supplements each day. This is also why they generally look like death. I respect your opinion and moral desire to do what you believe is right. I don’t respect.
Roughly 45 percent of all land surface worldwide is devoted to raising livestock for food. This includes growing crops that feed animals. Amazingly, some 80 percent of corn grown in the U.S. goes to feed cows, pigs and chickens, while 90 percent of soybeans go for the same purpose. That’s a lot of cropland that could be used much more efficiently to feed people directly, rather than through the wasteful process of growing animals. We need forests to produce oxygen and to remove carbon dioxide, but most of the world’s rain forests have already been cleared to grow soybeans and to raise cattle.
Cattle alone produce 130 times more waste than all of the people in the U.S. What happens to it? With all its toxins, bacteria, growth hormones and antibiotics, cattle waste goes into the soil as well as into creeks, rivers and finally into oceans. Much of it gets reused on farmland as fertilizer, without purification. In the oceans, it leads to dead zones where life cannot exist.
We know how desperate our Southwest is for fresh water, which is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Alarming data: Some reports say that approximately 10,000 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef, a somewhat less amount to produce a pound of pork or chicken. This is mostly explained by the water needed to grow the crops, largely corn and soybeans, that become animal feed. Potatoes and broccoli, for example, need much less water. Consider that 40 million cows are eaten each year; that’s an enormous amount of water usage.