We all know that adopting a vegan diet helps the environment because vegans have a much smaller carbon footprint than "meat" eaters.But do you know how much difference it makes? Let's look at some facts and figures available from culinaryschools.org.
1 person who exchanges their regular car for a hybrid will reduce their carbon dioxide emmission by 1 ton a year.
1 person who changes their "meat" diet to a vegan diet reduces their carbon dioxide emmission by 1.5 tons a year.
If everyone in the USA ate one less chicken meal a week, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would be the same as taking half a million cars off the road.
Methane gas is 20 times more powerful at trapping the heat in the earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
Yet raising chickens, cows, pigs and turkeys for food, together are the world's biggest producer of methane gas.
Nitrus Oxide is a whopping 300 times more powerful at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
Yet production of meat, eggs and dairy creates a huge 65% of the world's nitrus oxide emmissions.
One single calorie from animal protien requires 11 times as much fossil fuel to produce as one calorie from plant protein.
Meat eaters produce 7 times more greenhouse gas emissions than vegans.
50% of all water usage is wasted on raising animals for food.
It takes 2,400 gallons (over 9,000 litres) of water to produce one pound of meat.
Yet it only takes 25 gallons (94 litres) of water to produce one pound of wheat.
This means that for the average person, not eating one pound of meat saves as much water as not showering for 6 months.
It takes 300 gallons (1,135 litres) of water a day to feed a vegan.
It takes 4,000 gallons (15,142 litres) of water a day to feed a meat eater.
Raising animals for food to feed our growing population, takes up 30% of the earth's land mass.
To show you how large this is, it's the size of Asia, which is bigger than the land mass of the moon.
Every minute of every day, land the size of 7 footy fields is cleared for farming animals.
70% of all plant foods are fed to farmed animals including grain, soy beans, oats and corn, yet we get so little eggs, milk and meat in return.
It takes 16 pounds (7 kilos) of grain to produce only one pound (less than ½ kilo) of meat.
In the last 50 years, meat production has quadrupaled. Our livestock population is expanding faster than the human population and continues to grow at an alarming rate.
The waste from producing meat from farmed animals is contributing to the continuing malnourishment in developing countries, global warming, pollution, deforestion, water shortages and extinction of species.
It's clear that the planet cannot sustain this wasteful and harmful way of producing food from animals.
We all know that we need to cut down on car use, wasting water and be all-round more energy efficient.
But what's the use of turning off the tap when you brush your teeth if you then sit down to bacon for breakfast?
What we all need to do is to spread the word as far and wide as we possibly can about the destruction to our planet that is being caused by the unatural diet of eating animals and their products (eggs and dairy).
No one needs to eat meat. They just don't know how to change their diet.
Perhaps showing them these startling facts and figures will help.
It certainly can't hurt.
Ruth Barringham is a vegan, writer and web entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. She runs several websites on the Internet and her main site for writers is Writeaholics.net. She also has a new vegan website, AustralianVegan.net.
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