According to the UN IPCC report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,”
livestock production is the greatest contributor to global warming.
Livestock production emissions: 18%
Global Transportation emissions: 13.5%
(including aviation accounts for 3.5%)
RESOURCES: Livestock’s Long Shadow(table 3.12 p 113) (UN FAO, 2007) US. GHG Emissions Flowchart (World Resources Institute)
Heart Disease: 1 trillion (US $/year)
Diabetes: 174 billion (US $/year)
Colon Caner: 6.5 billion (US $/year)
Obesity: 93 billion (US $/year)
Total: 120-150 billion (US $/year)
RESOURCES: United States Leads World Meat Stampede (World Watch Institute) Report Targets Costs Of Factory Farming (Washington Post) Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America(PDF)
- Heart Disease
- Colon Cancer
- Blue Tongue Disease
- E Coli
- Bird Flu
- Mad Cow Disease
- Pig’s Disease (PMWS)
- Listeriosis (most deadly, and on the rise)
- Shellfsh Poisoning
- Pre-eclampsia (complications in pregnancy)
- Most viruses have zoonotic origin
RESOURCES: Various Shellfish-Associated Toxins (US Food and Drug Administration) Farming: Notifiable diseases Zoonoses: Diseases (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) Meat, Pre-eclamsia, Campylobacter (Wikipedia) Listeria poisoning almost double (Independent)
1 can of tuna fish a week raises your mercury levels 30% above
what is considered to be safe.
Eating fish means ingesting toxins such as mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs, DDT, dioxins, and many other chemicals.
Contaminants in fish can lead to brain damage, memory loss, personality change, heart problems, spontaneous abortion, and damage to a developing fetus.
RESOURCES: Top Three Reasons Not to Eat Fish (PeTA TV) Fish to Avoid During Childbearing Years (Care2) Rich folks eating fish feed on mercury too 'Healthy diet' clearly isn't (San Francisco Chronicle)
Livestock takes up 30% of the earth’s land surface which was once habitable for wildlife.
Tropical forests hold half of the world’s species which are becoming extinct an alarming rate due to deforestation for meat production.
Oceans empty of fish and ecosystems are destroyed due to industrial fishing, animal wastes, and agricultural pollutants.
RESOURCES: Livestock’s Long Shadow (p32, p185-p188) (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2007) Why are rainforests so important? (Cool Earth) Salt-Water Fish Extinction Seen By 2048 (CBS News)
1.3 billion tons of animal waste produced in the U.S.
Pollution strength up to 160 times greater than raw municipal waste.
Animal wastes contribute to large oceanic “dead zones,” which extended to nearly 7,903 sq. miles in the Gulf of Mexico during Summer of 2007.
In the U.S. alone, livestock is responsible for:
- 55% of erosion and sediment
- 37% of pesticide use
- 50% of antibiotic use
- 33% of nitrogen and phosphorus in freshwater
RESOURCES: America's Animal Factories How States Fail to Prevent Pollution from Livestock Wast (Natural Resources Defense Council) NOAA and Louisiana Scientists Predict Largest Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” on Record This Summer (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Livestock’s Long Shadow(executive summary, p.xxii) (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2007)
1.1 BILLION PEOPLE on the planet don’t have access to safe clean drinking water.
That’s 1 in 6 of us.
19,737 LITRES of water are needed to produce 1 pound of BEEF.
This is enough water to take a 7 minute shower every day for an entire year.
Prince Charles on Deforestation:
(European Parliament, 14 February 2008)
“We have 18 months to halt deforestation of the rain forests to preserve life on this planet.”
“Emissions (from deforestation) are comparable to those generated by the production of electricity and heat.”
“…we are destroying our planet’s air-conditioning system.”
“Amazonia’s forests alone help to store the largest body of flowing freshwater on the planet. They release 20 billion tonnes of it into the atmosphere every day…”
RESOURCES: A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales on climate change to the European Parliament in Brussels (14th February 2008) (The Prince of Wales) VIDEO: The Prince of Wales speaks about the world's rainforests (YouTube)
Each second, an area of tropical rain forest the size of a football field is destroyed to produce 257 hamburgers.*
In the next 24 hours, deforestation releases as much CO2 into the atmosphere as 8 million people flying from London to New York.
The average car produces 3 kg/day of CO2.
Clearing rain forest to produce beef for one hamburger produces 75 kg of CO2.
Livestock production is responsible for 90% of the Amazon deforestation since 1970 to clear land for pasture and feed crops.
*This produces an astonishing 19,275 kg of CO2 per second.
Eating Up the Amazon(p.5, p.44, PDF) (Green Peace) Livestock, Development & Deforestation Brazil's Amazon (Center for International Forestry Research) Meat is NOT Green
Eating meat is the single leading cause of global warming, which is one of the main causes of the unprecedented ice melts in the Arctic and the Antarctic.
The most devastating effect of rising temperatures and melting ice is the release of 400 gigatons of methane gas from the ocean seabed. This gas, in such huge quantities, is enough to end life on Earth as we know it.
Climate change could release unexpectedly huge stores of carbon dioxide from Arctic soils, which would in turn fuel a vicious circle of global warming.
The production and consumption of cheeseburgers in the U.S. during 1 year produces as much greenhouse gas emissions as the amount emitted by up to 19.6 million 4WDs in the U.S.
RESOURCES: Methane Burps: Ticking Time Bomb (Energy Bulletin) March Supports Vegetarianism as Climate Solution (Scoop) Global warming time bomb trapped in Arctic soil: study (AFP)