Vegetarian vs. Carnivores: Environmental Study on Impacts of Eating Meat


The world’s largest environmental problem to date is the consumption of meat and its effect on the environment.  Meat is very important for our bodies as it provides the protein we need to repair muscles and also give us the energy we need to complete our daily tasks. But the waste water  that animal production produces is ten times the amount humans produce.  And all of these wasted and polluted waters are going into our oceans.

In Australia, 61% of the total land mass is used for cattle farming, you can just imagine how much water we are using to produce the kind of beef we are offering the world’s market.

To give you a better look on the amount of water wasted in meat production, let’s have a closer look at our local meat consumption. According to the National Farmer’s Federation site,  Australians consumed around 33kg of meat every year.   Environmental study shows that this has a lot of implications on the total well-being of Australia’s environment.

The Australian Conservation Foundation calculated that the average waste water produced is about 200 litres. It seems that it takes more water to serve up a single steak for dinner than the total water usage for an entire week of showering.

The ‘Food and Agriculture Organisation of The United Nations’ has done an environmental study on how much meat is eaten in the world. The  statistics shows that there are 58,110,000,000 individuals consuming chicken every year.  The second most popular meat is duck at 2,817,000,000.

As a consequence of these human meat eating habits, we are besieged with environmental issues. Studies show that although meat is needed for health reasons, producing them is not good for our environment.

“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation” stated a UN report.

Cattle farmers are being advised to make good use of the land they have by using rotational grazing and developing systems that combine meat production with restoring the trees. Based on environmental study conducted, this system is the best way to have meat and at the same time preserve the environment.

Livestock farmers in the past used a feeding system called the “confined animal feeding operation” (CAFOs) where animals are all placed in a small shed and would be fed there. But this system started to become an animal welfare problem and at the same time, it was increasing harm to the environment rather than helping.

People should seriously find ways to minimize if not totally eradicate the issues surrounding meat production. It will also be good to note that by simply removing meat from your diet, there will be around 5 million liters of water saved every year!

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