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Argument for Meatless Diet

Compiled by Life Enthusiast Staff

  • Amount of soy grown in US consumed by livestock: 90%
  • Amount of corn grown in US consumed by livestock: 80%
  • How frequently a child on Earth dies as a result of malnutrition and starvation: Every 2.3 seconds
  • Amount of total US grain production consumed by livestock: 70%
  • Amount of US grain exports consumed by livestock: 66%
  • Number of children who die as a result of malnutrition and starvation every day: 38,000
  • Amount of world grain harvest consumed by livestock throughout the 1980's: 1/2
  • Number of people who will die as a result of malnutrition and starvation this year: 20,000,000
  • Number of people who can be nourished with the nutritional value of the grain and soy used to produce the meat, poultry, and dairy products eaten by the average American each year: 7
  • Number of people who could be fed using the land, water, and energy that would be freed up from growing livestock feed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100,000,000
  • Amount of increase in global cattle population during the last 40 years: 100%
  • Amount of increase in global fowl population during the last 40 years: 200%
  • Ration of livestock to people on Earth: 3:1
  • By 1977, the amount of raw materials (base products of farming, forestry, and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by the US, devoted to the production of livestock: 1/3
  • Pounds of grain and soy used to produce 1 pound of food from:
  1. Beef: 16
  2. Pork: 6
  3. Turkey: 4
  4. Chicken/Egg: 3
  • Amount of nutrients wasted by cycling grain and soy through livestock:
  1. Protein: 90%
  2. Carbohydrate: 99%
  3. Fiber: 100%
  4. Amount of Earth's land mass grazed by livestock: 50%
  5. Amount of US cropland producing livestock feed: 64%
  6. Amount of US cropland producing fruits and vegetables: 2%
  7. Pounds of edible product that can be produced on an acre of prime land:
  8. Cherries: 5,000
  9. Green Beans: 10,000
  10. Apples: 20,000
  11. Carrots: 30,000
  12. Potatoes: 40,000
  13. Tomatoes: 50,000
  14. Celery: 60,000
  15. Beef: 250
  • Calories of fossil fuel expended to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
  • Calories of fossil fuel expended to produce 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2
  • Amount of total energy expended in American agriculture devoted to livestock production: Almost 1/2
  • Energy expended to produce one 1 pound of grain-fed beef: Equivalent to one gallon of gasoline.
  • Activity that accounts for more than half of all water consumed for all purposes in the US: livestock production
  • In California, the number of gallons of water needed to produce 1 edible pound of:
  1. Tomatoes: 23
  2. Lettuce: 23
  3. Potatoes: 24
  4. Wheat: 25
  5. Carrots: 33
  6. Apples: 49
  7. Oranges: 65
  8. Grapes: 70
  9. Milk: 130
  10. Eggs: 544
  11. Chicken: 815
  12. Pork: 1630
  13. Beef: 5214
  • How long it takes a person to use 5200 gallons of water showering (at 5 showers per week, 5 minutes per shower, with a flow rate of 4 gallons per minute): One year
  • Total value of subsidized irrigation water used by animal feed growers in the US annually: $500 million to $1 billion
  • Amount of money the World Bank lent to livestock projects in Latin America from 1963 to 1985: $1.5 billion
  • Total value of government subsidies provided to animal farmers and feed growers in European industrial democracies during 1990: $120 billion
  • Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural land in the US: Over 5 billion tons
  • Amount of original cropland permanently removed from production due to excessive soil erosion: 1/3
  • Pounds of topsoil lost in the production of one pound of feedlot steak: 35
  • Current annual topsoil loss on agricultural land worldwide: 26 billion tons
  • Time required for nature to form one inch of topsoil: 200-1000 years
  • Direct and indirect costs of soil erosion and runoff in the US annually: $44 billion
  • Historic cause of demise of many great civilizations: Topsoil depletion
  • Amount of earth's land rendered unproductive by desertification annually: 52 million acres
  • Percentage of earth's land mass suffering desertification: 29%
  • The five leading causes of desertification:
  • Overgrazing of livestock
  • Over-cultivation of land
  • Improper irrigation techniques
  • Deforestation
  • Prevention of reforestation
  • Estimated area of rainforest destroyed annually: 125,000 sq. miles
  • Amount of meat imported in 1987 by US from Central and South America: 300 million pounds
  • Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests and related habitats: 1000/year
  • Amount of medicines available today that have been derived from plants: 1/4
  • Amount of Central American rainforests cleared to create pasture for cattle: 25%
  • Amount of global carbon dioxide emissions created by the burning of fossil fuels: 2/3
  • Amount of fossil fuels burned to produce the beef currently eaten annually by the average US family of four: 200 gallons
  • Amount of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere by the average American car in six months: 2.5 tons
  • Amount of global carbon dioxide emissions created by the burning of biomass: 1/3
  • Amount of methane released by cattle for every 2 pounds of meat they yield: 1 pound
  • Amount of methane emitted by world's cattle annually: 100 million tons
  • Amount of world's total methane emissions directly attributable to cattle: 20%
  • Production of excrement by US livestock: 230,000 pounds per second
  • Amount of waste created by 10,000 head feedlot: Equal to a city of 110,000 people
  • Amount of wells and surface streams in the US contaminated by agricultural pollutants: 1/2
  • Water pollution attributable to US agriculture, including runoff of soil, pesticides and manure: Greater than all municipal and industrial sources combined
  • Increase in overall pesticide use since 1945 (when petrochemical based agriculture became popular): 3,300%
  • Increase in overall crop lost due to insects since 1945: 20%
  • Increase in the amount of pesticides applied per acre of corn since 1945: 100,000%
  • Increase in corn crop losses since 1945: 400%
  • Amount of total herbicides used that are applied to corn and soybeans: 61%
  • Amount of Gross National Product used to treat illness: 12%
  • Amount of Gross National Product used to treat illness when lost economic productivity and premature death are accounted for: 18%
  • Amount of all diseases that are diet related: 68%
  • Number of US medical schools: 125
  • Number of US medical schools with a required course in nutrition: 30
  • Average training in nutrition received during 4 years of medical school by US physicians: 2.5 hours
  • Amount spent annually in US to treat cardiovascular disease: $135 billion
  • Most common cause of death in the US: Heart disease
  • How frequently a heart attack strikes in the US: Every 25 seconds
  • How frequently a heart attack kills in the US: Every 45 seconds
  • Risk of death from heart attack for average American man: 50%
  • Risk of death from heart attack for the average American man who consumes no meat: 15%
  • Risk of death from heart attack for the average American man who consumes no meat, dairy, or eggs: 4%
  • Rise in blood cholesterol from consuming 1 egg per day: 12%
  • Rise in heart attack risk from 12% rise in blood cholesterol: 24%
  • Average cholesterol level of people eating a meat centered diet: 210 mg/dl
  • Chance of dying from heart disease if you are a male and your blood cholesterol is 210 mg/dl: 50%
  • Dietary cholesterol intake needed to support human health: None- body makes its own
  • Leading sources of saturated fat and cholesterol in American diet: meat, poultry, dairy
  • Amount of cholesterol in an average egg: 275 mg
  • Amount of cholesterol in chicken: The same as beef- 25mg/oz
  • Cholesterol found in all grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, nuts, or seed: None
  • Chance of dying from heart disease if you do not consume cholesterol: 4%
  • Amount spent annually in US to treat cancer: $70 billion
  • Amount of all cancers in the US that are diet related: 40%
  • Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week: 2.8 times higher
  • Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat butter and cheese 2-4 times a week compared to once a week: 3.2 times higher
  • Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times higher
  • Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meats, dairy, and eggs daily as compared to sparingly: 3.6 times higher
  • Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat meat eggs three or more days a week compared to less than once a week: 3 times higher
  • Recommendations of the amount of daily calories to be provided for by protein according to:
  • World Health Organization: 4.5%
  • Food and Nutrition Board of the USDA: 6%
  • National Research Council: 8%
  • Percent of calories as protein in:
  1. Spinach: 49%
  2. Broccoli: 47%
  3. Mushrooms: 38%
  4. Lettuce: 34%
  5. Zucchini: 28%
  6. Tomatoes: 18%
  7. Peanuts: 18%
  8. Wheat: 17%
  9. Onions: 16%
  10. Oatmeal: 16%
  11. Walnuts: 13%
  12. Potatoes: 11%
  13. Brown Rice: 8%
  • Period of most rapid human growth: Infancy
  • Natural food for human infants: Mother's breast milk
  • Amount of total calories provided by protein in human milk: 5%
  • Diseases linked to excess animal protein consumption: Osteoporosis and kidney disease
  • Number of cases of osteoporosis and kidney disease in the US: Tens of millions
  • The average measurable bone loss of female meat eaters at age 65: 35%
  • The average measurable bone loss of female vegetarians at age 65: 18%
  • Documented cases of calcium deficiency caused by an insufficient amount of calcium in the human diet: None
  • Natural food for any baby mammal: Mother's breast milk
  • The only mammal that consumes the milk of another species after being weaned: Humans
  • One of the enzymes necessary for digestion of cow's milk: Lactase
  • People who are naturally lactose intolerant: 20% of Caucasians and up to 90% of people of African and Asian descent
  • Major source of pesticide residues in the western diet: Meat, poultry, dairy
  • Food most likely to cause cancer from herbicide residue: Beef
  • Number of slaughtered animals tested for toxic chemical residues: One in every 250,000
  • Amount of US non-vegetarian mother's milk with significant levels of DDT: 99%
  • Amount of US vegetarian mother's milk with significant levels of DDT: 8%
  • Amount of total antibiotics used in the US that are fed to livestock: 55%
  • Staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13%
  • Staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1988: 91%
  • Amount of US livestock and poultry receiving drugs during their lifetimes: 80%
  • Amount of FDA inspections that failed to verify the data on the safety of new drugs used on animals according to the GAO: 54%
  • Substances found in 63% to 86% of milk samples in 1991: Sulfa drugs, tetracyclines, other antibiotics
  • Amount of all inspected chickens with salmonella: 1/3
  • Amount of federal poultry inspectors who said they would not eat chicken: 75%

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