Green Vegetables: How Meat Is Wasting Water

You may have heard about the controversy surrounding meat production, as well as the ethical and health issues that permeate the industry. But did you know that producing meat for consumption wastes an obscene amount of water as well?

The more meat we buy, the more in-demand it becomes. The more in-demand it becomes, the more animals are bred to be slaughtered. And the more animals that are bred to be slaughtered, the more water the industry needs to sustain itself. Like any other living thing, animals need water to survive, and water to produce the food they eat. The industry itself also produces a huge amount of pollution and waste that eventually make their way to our water supply (1).

It takes close to 15,500 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef (1), and in 2010 alone the meat industry produced over 34 million cattle (2). This includes the water used growing the grain to feed the animal, the water given for the animal to drink, the water used during the butchering and processing of the meat, and the water used for cleanup. That's a lot of water, considering the average person eats close to 26 chickens, 1 turkey, 1/2 a pig, and 1/10 of a cow every year (3).

In 2009, the meat industry used 235 trillion gallons of water, while farm animals accounted for almost half of all water consumed in the United States. By going vegan, you can save more water than you could by not showering for half a year (3). Insane, right? But true. If every person in the United States went vegan for only one day, it would save 100,000,000,000 gallons of water (3).

Think about it. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Would you consider going vegan to conserve water?

Works Cited:
(1) International Vegetarian Union. "Meat Wastes Water -"Vegsource - Your source for all things vegan and vegetarian. IVU Online News, 26 Sept. 2010. Web. 7 Mar. 2013. <>.
(2) "The United States Meat Industry at a Glance." MeatAmi. The American Meat Institute, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2013. <>.
(3) "Meat Infographic." N.d. Facts About Eating Meat. Web. 6 Mar. 2013. <>.

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  1. After touring some green homes in Tennessee I started getting very interested in environmental causes. Thanks for sharing this post; I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your blog. Thanks!



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