Saturday, 14 April 2012

Some Statistics to Make You Think About Becoming a Vegetarian

The modern diet that relies heavily on meat and animal products is both unhealthy and wasteful of the earth's resources. By becoming a vegetarian you can contribute to the preservation of scarce resources and enjoy a healthier diet.

Meat and dairy production is a large scale industry that consumes vast amounts of grain and soy beans. Great tracts of forest have been cut down to provide grazing land for cattle contributing to the problem of global warming.

This resource hungry industry provides more food for the rich world than ever before. Yet many people go hungry while we in the rich industrialized world suffer from a whole range of diseases that are caused by eating too much meat and animal fat.

An estimated 800 million people live in the shadow of hunger. World hunger is increasing at a rate of 4 million a year.

If all the farm produce that is used to feed animals was used to feed people a vegetarian diet then no one in the world would need to be hungry. It takes 7.5 pounds of animal feed to produce 1 pound pork and 5 pounds to produce 1 pound of chicken.

The American pork industry consumed 1.08 billion bushels of corn in 2004 and 265 million bushels of soybeans. This creates competition between humans and animals.

When we factor in the use of fossil fuels in the livestock industry for heating, lighting and transportation then the modern meat based diet begins to look totally unsustainable.

It takes one sixth of an acre of land to produce enough food for a vegan but more than three acres to feed a meat eater.

The high price of meat has encouraged many farmers in poor countries to shift away from their traditional crops that provided a largely vegetarian diet. They are increasingly producing livestock that they can sell to richer countries. Two-thirds of the grain that is exported from America goes to feed livestock.

Fishing does not use up grain. But it does not really provide a sustainable alternative to meat. Most of the world's major fisheries are in decline because of over fishing.

Fish farming is as costly in terms of feed as other forms of livestock farming. It takes 5 pounds of feed to produce a pound of fish.

The only real alternative to this waste of resources is for vegetarianism to become the diet of more people. A vegetarian is taking a stand against the wasteful use of resources.

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