Thursday, October 02, 2008

why vegan

being that its national vegetarian week i thought i'd put some of my favourite facts on why people should go vegan (or at least eat a lot less meat and dairy if not going vegan):

first, some facts from a great video:
* earth can sustain about 2 billion on meat and dairy based diet (about 7 billion live on earth)
* raising animals for food creates 40% more pollution than all the planes.trucks and cars
* 1lb meat takes 2500 gallons of water to make, 1gallon cows milk uses 750 gallons of water
* vegans save 1.3million gallons/year-- a vegan can leave shower running 24hrs/day, for 365 days and still use less water than animal basted diet person!!!
* a vegan saves full acre of trees/year (that would be clearned for animals)
* in america farm animals produce 130x more excremement than intire human population—86000 lbs /sec (enough to rebuild denver skyline every 24 hours from excrement!!!)

some facts from various sources on the web:
*the methane produced by australia's cattle and sheep has more impact than the emissions from all coal-fired power stations in australia (Australian Greenhouse Office. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. 2003)
*a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation states the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent - 18 per cent - than the burning of fossil fuels by transport(
*Dairy and beef production are the highest major water users in Australia.(CSIRO 2005 Balancing Act)
*It takes thousands more litres of water to produce a kilo of beef than it does to grow the same quantity of grains or vegetables (Food and Agriculture Organisation. 22nd March 2007. FAO urges action to cope with increasing water scarcity. Rome.
*Livestock production accounts for over eight percent of global human water consumption (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. 2006. Livestock's Long Shadow - Environmental Issues and Options. Rome.)
*the average vegan uses about 1/6 of an acre of land to satisfy his or her food requirements for a year; the average vegetarian who consumes dairy products and eggs requires about three times that, and the average meat-eater requires about 20 times that much land. (john robbins)
*It requires about 300 gallons of water to feed a vegan for a day. It requires about four times as much to feed a vegetarian, and 14 times as much to feed a meat-eater [because you have to give the animals water, water the crops that get fed to them and use water in the slaughterhouses] (National Audubon Society)
*One acre of land can yield 75 kilos of beef or 9,000 kilos of potatoes (Klaper, Michael M.D. Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple, Fourth Edition, Maui, Hawaii: Gentle World, 1987, p.16.)
*It takes twenty-one pounds (9 kg) of protein fed to a calf to produce a single pound (450 gr) of animal protein for humans. We get back less than 5 percent of what we put in. (Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation, Second Edition, London: Jonathan Cape, 1990, p.165.)
*Nearly 40 per cent of the world's wheat and corn is fed to animals and huge amounts of land are given over to growing things such as alfalfa, peanuts, turnips, tapioca to be used animal food. This land could just as easily be used to grow food for people.(Gellately, Juliet. The Livewire Guide to Going, Being and Staying Veggie!, London: Livewire Books (The Women's Press), 1996, p.66-7.)
*Amount of nutrient wasted by cycling grain and soy through livestock: Protein 90% Carbohydrate 99% Fiber 100% (Our Food Our World: The Realities of an Animal-Based Diet, Santa Cruz, CA: EarthSave Foundation, 1992, p.4.)
*Number of people who will die as a result of malnutrition and starvation this year: 20,000,000. (Institute for Food and Development Policy, Oxfam America. Cited in Our Food Our World: The Realities of an Animal-Based Diet, Santa Cruz, CA: EarthSave Foundation, 1992, p.6.)
* If the whole world ate a vegetarian diet - that's plant foods and dairy products such as milk, cheese and butter - Tickell states there would be enough food right now to feed 6 billion people well. In fact, if everyone became vegan and cut out all dairy products and eggs, the world's population could be fed on less than one quarter of the land that's used at present! (Gellately, Juliet. The Livewire Guide to Going, Being and Staying Veggie!, London: Livewire Books (The Women's Press), 1996, p.67, citing Sir Chrispin Tickell of Oxford University, a UK Government Advisor on environmental issues.)
*Vegetarians suffer lower rates of diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and - contrary to myth - don't suffer more deficiencies than the rest of the population (vegetarian action)

and finally a link to a great page of facts from john robbins. he lists a lot of good reasons to go vegan under several categories (i've posted his hunger argument in full, the arguments for all his other reasons are listed in full on the website):
The Hunger Argument:
*Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
*Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
*Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
*Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
*Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
*Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
*How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds
*Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
*Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
*Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
*Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

The Environmental Argument
The Cancer Argument
The Cholesterol Argument
The Natural Resources Argument
The Antibiotic Argument
The Pesticide Argument
The Ethical Argument
The Survival Argument
from: "Diet For A New America" by John Robbins

there are probably a billion different reasons why vegan is a good idea. these facts were just a few of the reasons.

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