To produce a kilo of beef it takes 50,000 litres of water (that's equivalent to almost 1,400 four minute showers with a water saving showerhead) compare this to a kilo of rice (2,385 litres) or a litre of milk (4,000 litres) compared to a litre of orange juice (780 litres).
Australia is in the grips of a massive drought. So massive that they are making cheezy dramas about it on the ABC. But the cattle and sheep industries refuse to let go, and people in general refuse to make connections between their dinner plate and the environment.
According to this article,
The livestock sector is a key player in increasing water use, accounting for over 8 percent of global human water use, mostly for the irrigation of feedcrops. It is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, “dead” zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures.Or what about this one:
A pound of beef requires around 12,000 gallons of water to produce, compared to 60 gallons for a pound of potatoes.It's time for people to stop kidding themselves that their organic or humanely raised meat, dairy and eggs is any better than the worst factory farms. If anything, I think these things are worse because they lead to a sense of complacency, where people think, "I'm doing enough, my eggs are free range".
Ethics aside (though ethics are my biggest reason for veganism, I'll focus on the environment again), veganism is good for the environment. Vegan diets use less water, and in this country, that is a huge deal. Ask anyone from Brisbane. (Maybe they should incorporate daily diet into the water meters, so vegans can take longer showers....)