Issues


Animals - Health - Environment - World Hunger


Today, 925 million people in the world are currently considered ‘undernourished’, (i.e.) they aren’t consuming enough calories to maintain basic health.(1)

How does animal agriculture play a role?

Meat and other animal products are an inefficient use of resources. Currently, 33% of the world’s cereal harvest and 90% of the world’s soy harvest are being grown to produce feed for animals.(2) For every pound of meat produced, several pounds of grain are required to feed the animal producing it.

For example, According to the United States Department of Agriculture, it takes 7 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.(3) This number, however, only considers live weight; the true conversion ratio is usually considered to be much higher. Paul Roberts, author of The End of Food, states that 2/3 of the animal’s weight is inedible (bones, organs, hide, etc...) and the real conversion is more like 20 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef, 7.3 pounds for pigs, and 3.5 pounds for poultry. (4) So what does all of this mean?

Essentially what it means is that we in the west are throwing away food while millions in the developing world are starving.

And the situation is only going to get worse.

In 1990-1991, global meat production was at 229 million tonnes per year. By 2050 it is projected to double, to 465 million tonnes.(5)

Click to enlarge.

The next 40 years will see the world’s population climb to 9.2 billion people. We simply cannot support that many people with our current and projected levels of animal use. At America’s rate of consumption we could only feed 2.5 billion people. At Italy’s rate we could feed 5 billion. At India’s rate 10 billion.(6) On a vegan diet, however, we would be able to produce enough food to feed the entire world indefinitely using far less land and with a much smaller ecological footprint.

The truth is, sooner or later, we’re going to have to make a choice. Eventually our culture is going to have choose between sharing the earth’s resources or continuing to feed them to animals in order to support our own privileged diet and lifestyle.

We hope you’ll join us in this effort and consider going vegan. It’s the most meaningful thing you can do to help those less fortunate than ourselves and share something that rightly belongs to all of us.

Sources
1. United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), http://www.wfp.org/hunger
2. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Global Warming-The Impact of Meat Production and Consumption on Climate Change”.
3. USDA Conversion Ratios, from Allen Baker, Feed Situation and Outlook staff, ERS, USDA, Washington, D.C.
4. Roberts, quoting “Legume versus Fertilizer Sources of Nitrogen: Ecological Tradeoffs and Human Need,” Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 102 (2004): 293.
5. United Nations FAO, “Livestock’s Long Shadow”: environmental issues and options, p. xx.
6. Earth Policy Institute. Brown, L.R., 2008. Plan B 3.0: ‘Mobilizing to Save Civilization’. New York: W.W. Norton and Company. http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/books/pb3/PB3ch9_ss5

Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage. This does not include the billions of fish and other aquatic animals killed annually.

Based on 2007 statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

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