THE FACTS

– GREENHOUSE GASES –

Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.   [i]

Fao.org. Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment.

Transportation exhaust is responsible for 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions.  [.i]

Greenhouse gas emissions from this sector primarily involve fossil fuels burned for road, rail, air, and marine transportation.

Fao.org. Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency. “Global Emissions.”

Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Goodland, R Anhang, J. “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?”

WorldWatch, November/December 2009. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, USA. Pp. 10–19.

Animal Feed Science and Technology “comment to editor” Goodland, Anhang.

The Independent, article Nov. 2009.

Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame.

“Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions.” Science Magazine.

Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame.

(Please note the following PDF is very large and may take a while to load)

“Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions.” Science Magazine.

Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.

“Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006.

Emissions for agriculture projected to increase 80% by 2050.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v515/n7528/full/nature13959.html

Energy related emissions expected to increase 20% by 2040.

Energy Global Hydrocarbon Engineering

IEA, World Energy Outlook 2014

US Methane emissions from livestock and natural gas are nearly equal.

EPA. “Overview of Greenhouse Gases.”

Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.   [xi]

Ross, Philip. “Cow farts have ‘larger greenhouse gas impact’ than previously thought; methane pushes climate change.” International Business Times. 2013.

250-500 liters per cow per day, x 1.5 billion cows globally is 99 – 198.1 billion gallons. Rough average of 150 billion gallons CH4 globally per day.

Converting to wind and solar power will take 20+ years and roughly 43 trillion dollars.

The Cost Of Going Green Globally

Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Source: calculation is based on http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294 analyses that 51% of GHG are attributed to animal ag.

Reducing methane emissions would create tangible benefits almost immediately.

U.N. Press Release, Climate Summit 2014.

– WATER –

Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) water use ranges from 70-140 billion gallons annually.

“Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.” EPA Office of Research and Development. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.   [ii]  [xv]

Pimentel, David, et al. “Water Resources: Agricultural And Environmental Issues.” BioScience 54, no. 10 (2004): 909-18.

Barber, N.L., “Summary of estimated water use in the United States in 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3098.”

Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.   [xv]

“USDA ERS – Irrigation & Water Use.” United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. 2013.

Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.   [xv]

Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.

Californians use 1500 gallons of water per person per day. Close to Half is associated with meat and dairy products.

Pacific Institute, “California’s Water Footprint”

2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 

(NOTE. The amount of water used to produce 1lb. of beef vary greatly from 442 – 8000 gallons. We choose to use in the film the widely cited conservative number of 2500 gallons per pound of US beef from Dr. George Borgstrom, Chairman of Food Science and Human Nutrition Dept of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, “Impacts on Demand for and Quality of land and Water.” )

Oxford Journals. “Water Resources: Agricultural and Environmental Issues”

The World’s Water. “Water Content of Things” 

Journal of Animal Science. “Estimation of the water requirement for beef production in the United States.” 

Robbins, John. “2,500 Gallons, All Wet?” EarthSave

Meateater’s Guide to Climate Change & Health.” Environmental Working Group.

“Water Footprint Assessment.” University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print

477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs;  almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese.

“Meateater’s Guide to Climate Change & Health.” Environmental Working Group.

1,000 gallons of water are required to produce 1 gallon of milk.

Water Footprint Network, “Product Water Footprints”.

A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products, WFN.

5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.   [xv]

Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.

Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  

1/5 of global water consumption:

27%-30%+ of global water consummation is for animal agriculture. 

1/3 of global fresh water consumed is for animal ag.

“Freshwater Abuse and Loss: Where Is It All Going?” Forks Over Knives.

– LAND –

Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.

FAO. “Livestock a major threat to environment”

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.

Thornton, Phillip, Mario Herrero, and Polly Ericksen. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Livestock Exchange, no. 3 (2011).

IPCC AR5 WG# Chapter 11, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Us (AFOLU) 

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.  [xix]  [iv]

Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, predators and “competition” species are frequently targeted andhunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources. [XIX]

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Comfortably Unaware. Oppenlander.

NOAA, “what is a dead zone”.

Scientific America, “What Causes Ocean “Dead Zones”?”.

“What’s the Problem?” United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006.

The Encyclopedia of Earth, “The Causes of Extinction”. 

Annenberg Learner, Unit 9: Biodiversity Decline // Section 7: Habitat Loss: Causes and Consequences

WWF, “Losing their homes because of the growing needs of humans.”

Center for Biological Diversity, “How Eating Meat Hurts Wildlife and the Planet”.

Science Direct “Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption”

FAO, “Livestock impacts on the environment”.

“Fire Up the Grill for a Mouthwatering Red, White, and Green July 4th.” Worldwatch Institute.

Oppenlander, Richard A. “Biodiversity and Food Choice: A Clarification.” Comfortably Unaware. 2012

“Risk Assessment Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Research and Development. 2004.

 Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded deadzones around the world in our oceans.

PRESS RELEASE, LOUISIANA UNIVERSITIES MARINE CONSORTIUM August 4, 2014

NOAA News, 2014.

Largest mass extinction in 65 million years.

Niles Eldredge, “The Sixth Extinction”. 

Mass extinction of species has begun.

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

2-5 acres of land are used per cow.

The Diverse Structure and Organization of U.S. Beef Cow-Calf Farms / EIB-73:  study by USDA – Economic Research Service ( for acres/cow- pages 12 and 13)

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. 

Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Nearly half of the contiguous US is devoted to animal agriculture. 

The US lower 48 states represents 1.9 billion acres. Of that 1.9 billion acres: 778 million acres of private land are used for livestock grazing (forest grazing, pasture grazing, and crop grazing), 345 million acres for feed crops, 230 million acres of public land are used for grazing livestock. 

U.S. extrapolated data from EPA, Land Uses.

Versterby, Marlow; Krupa, Kenneth. “Major uses of land in the United States.” Updated 2012. USDA Economic Research Service.

USDA, Major Uses of Land in the United States, 1997.

“Rearing cattle produces more greenhouse gases than driving cars, UN report warns.” UN News Centre, 2006.

1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.   [xviii]

“UN launches international year of deserts and desertification.” UN news centre, 2006.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

UWC, “Desertification”.

The Encyclopedia of Earth, “Overgrazing”.

UN, “Desertification, Drought Affect One Third of Planet, World’s Poorest People, Second Committee Told as It Continues Debate on Sustainable Development”.

An article that explains desertification and livestock’s role:

– WASTE –

Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.

This doesn’t include the animals raised outside of USDA jurisdiction or in backyards, or the billions of fish raised in aquaculture settings in the US.   [v]

“What’s the Problem?” United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“How To Manage Manure.” Healthy Landscapes.

335 million tons of “dry matter” is produced annually by livestock in the US.“FY-2005 Annual Report Manure and Byproduct Utilization National Program 206.” USDA Agricultural Research Service. 2008.

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. [vi]

“Risk Assessment Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Research and Development. 2004.

130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually. 5 tons of animal waste is produced per person in the US.   [xii]

Animal agriculture: waste management practices. United States General Accounting Office.

  In the U.S. livestock produce 116,000 lbs of waste per second: 

-Dairy Cows, 120lbs of waste per day x 9 million cows.

-Cattle, 63lbs of waste per day, x 90 million cattle.

-Pigs, 14lbs. of waste per day, x 67 million pigs.

-Sheep/Goats. 5lbs of waste per day, x 9 million sheep/goats.

-Poultry, .25-1lbs of waste per day, x 9 billion birds.

Dairy cows and cattle-1.08 billion pounds per day (from 9 million dairy cows, 120 pounds waste per cow per day) + 5.67 billion pounds per day (90 million cattle, 63 pounds waste per one cattle per day) = 6.75 billion pounds per day wasteor 2.464 trillion pounds waste per year (manure+urine)

** 3.745 trillion pounds waste per year(this is the equivalent of over 7 million pounds of excrement per MINUTE produced by animals raised for food in the U.S. excluding those animals raised outside of USDA jurisdiction, backyards, and billions of fish raised in aquaculture settings in the U.S.)

 Animals produce Enough waste to cover SF, NYC, Tokyo, etc,

based off 1lb of waste per 1sqft at 1.4 billion tons.

US Livestock produce 335 million tons of “dry matter” per year.

– OCEANS –

3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.

“Overfishing: A Threat to Marine Biodiversity.” UN News Center.

“General Situation of World Fish Stocks.” United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

We could see fishless oceans by 2048.

Science, “Impacts of Biodiversity Loss on Ocean Ecosystem Services”.

National Geographic, article Nov. 2006

90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year.   [vii]

“World Review of Fisheries and Aquaculture.” UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO). 2012. (pg 6, 20)

Montaigne, fen. “Still waters: The global fish crisis.” National Geographic.

As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean each year.

A Mood and P Brooke, July 2010, “Estimating the Number of Fish Caught in Global Fishing Each Year”.

Montaigne, fen. “Still waters: The global fish crisis.” National Geographic.

For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.   [viii]

“Discards and Bycatch in Shrimp Trawl Fisheries.” UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO).

As many as 40% (63 billion pounds) of fish caught globally every year are discarded.

Wasted Catch: Unsolved Problems in U.S. Fisheries

Goldenberg, Suzanne. “America’s Nine Most Wasteful Fisheries Named.” The Guardian.

Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels.

Wasted Catch: Unsolved Problems in U.S. Fisheries

Goldenberg, Suzanne. “America’s Nine Most Wasteful Fisheries Named.” The Guardian.

Fish catch peaks at 85 million tons.

“World Review of Fisheries and Aquaculture.” UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO). 2012.

40-50 million sharks killed in fishing lines and nets.

Shark Savers, “Shark Fin Trade Myths and Truths: BYCATCH”. Bonfil, R. 2000. The problem of incidental catches of sharks and rays, its likely consequences and some possible solutions. Sharks 2000 Conference, Hawaii, 21-24 February

Animal Welfare Institute

– RAINFOREST –

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

World Bank. “Causes of Deforestation of theBrazilian Amazon”

Margulis, Sergio. Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Rainforest. Washington: World Bank Publications, 2003.

WORLD BANK WORKING PAPER NO. 22

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second.

“Avoiding Unsustainable Rainforest Wood.” Rainforest Relief.

Facts about the rainforest.

Rainforest facts.

World Resources Institute, “Keeping Options Alive”.

The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.

“Livestock impacts on the environment.” Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (fao). 2006.

Up to137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.

“Rainforest statistics and facts.” Save the amazon.

RAN, Fact Page.

Tropical Rain Forest Information Center, NASA Earth Science Information Partner

Monga Bay, “What is Deforestation?”.

150-200 species per day are lost per day, The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

26 million rainforest acres (10.8m hectares) have been cleared for palm oil production.   [ix]

“Indonesia: palm oil expansion unaffected by forest moratorium.” USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 2013.

136 million rainforest acres cleared for animal agriculture.

“AMAZON DESTRUCTION.” MONGA BAY.

214,000 square miles occupied by cattle (136 million acres):

1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.   [x]

Batty, David. “Brazilian faces retrial over murder of environmental activist nun in Amazon.” The Guardian. 2009.

20 years ago the Amazon lost its strongest advocate.

Further reading on Sister Dorothy Stang.

http://www.sndohio.org/sister-dorothy/

– Wildlife –

USDA predator killing of wild animals to protect livestock.

http://www.predatordefense.org/USDA.htm

Washington state killed the wedge pack of wolves.

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/09/22/wedge-wolf-pack-will-be-killed-because-of-increasing-beef-consumption/

More wild horses and burros in government holding facilities than are free on the range.

BLM holding population: 49,021

BLM on the range population: 33,780

Ten thousand years ago, 99% of biomass (i.e. zoomass) was wild animals. Today, humans and the animals that we raise as food make up 98% of the zoomass.

Vaclav Smil, Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact, Population and Development Review 37(4): 613-36, December 2011. The proportions are of mass measures in dry weight.  

Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact,Vaclav Smil

New York Times Jul 2013

– HUMANITY –

414 billion dollars in externalized cost from animal ag.   [xvi]

Simon, David Robinson. “Meatonomics” Conari Press (September 1, 2013)

Huffington Post, Sept 2013.

Why A Big Mac Should Cost $200

Global Environmental costs of Animal Agriculture estimated at $170 billion

80% of antibiotic sold in the US are for livestock.

Center For A Livable Future, “New FDA Numbers Reveal Food Animals Consume Lion’s Share of Antibiotics”.

FDA 2009, “Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals”.

World population in 1812: 1 billion; 1912: 1.5 billion; 2012: 7 billion.

“Human numbers through time.” Nova science programming.

Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact,Vaclav Smil

70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.

A well-fed world. factory farms.

Compassion In World Farming. Strategic Plan 2013-2017

ADAPTT. “The Animal Kill Counter”

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Throughout the world, humans drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food each day.

Based on rough averages of 0.75 gallons of water and 3 lbs of food per day. water – 1/2 – 1 gallon

food – 3lbs globally per capita per day

US Americans consume 5.3lbs of food per day

Worldwide, cows drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day.

Based on rough average of 30 gallons of water and 90 lbs of feed per day for 1.5 billion cows.

We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people.

Common Dreams, “We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People… and Still Can’t End Hunger”.

Cornell Chronicle, “U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists”.

IOP Science, Redefining agricultural yields: from tonnes to people nourished per hectare

Worldwide, at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock. 

FAO, “Livestock – a driving force for food security and sustainable development”.

Global Issues, “BEEF”.

Wisconsin Soybean Association, “U.S. and Wisconsin Soybean Facts”. 

82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.

http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/

80% of the worlds starving children live in 14 countries. (figure 5)

Livestock production country list

Livestock global mapping

15x more protein on any given area of land with plants, rather than animals.

“Soy Benefits”. National Soybean Research Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-04-18.

The average American consumes 209 pounds of meat per year.

Note: created from averages of 4 different studies. Center For a Livable Future, “How much meat do we eat, anyway?”

Haney, Shaun. “How much do we eat?” Real agriculture. 2012. (276 lbs)

“US meat, poultry production & consumption” American Meat Institute. 2009. (233.9 lbs)

Bernard, Neal. “Do we eat too much?” Huffington Post. (200 lbs)

Dairy consumption may leads to breast lumps.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/healthyeating/10868428/Give-up-dairy-products-to-beat-cancer.html

Dairy may “give guys man-boobs”

http://chestsculpting.com/milk-and-dairy-for-guys-with-man-boobs/

World Population grows 228,000+ people everyday.

 https://www.populationinstitute.org/programs/gpso/gpso/

World Population Data Sheet

Land required to feed 1 person for 1 year:

Vegan: 1/6th acre

Vegetarian: 3x as much as a vegan

Meat Eater: 18x as much as a vegan   [xvii]

Robbins, John. Diet for a New America, StillPoint Publishing, 1987, p. 352

“Our food our future.” Earthsave.

PNAS. Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States

“Soy Benefits”. National Soybean Research Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-04-18.

Direct Seeded Vegetable Crops, Johnny Seeds.

1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.

1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Direct Seeded Vegetable Crops, Johnny Seeds.

USDA NASS, “One Acre of Washington’s farmers land”

Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2012.

A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat-lover for their food.   [xx]

CO2:  “The Carbon Footprint of 5 Diets Compared.” Shrink The Footprint.

“Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK.” Climactic change, 2014.

Oil, water: “Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003.

One Green Planet, “Meat The Truth”.

Robbins, John. “Food Revolution”. Conari Press, 2001

Land [xvii]: “Our food our future.” Earthsave.

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.   [xiv]

“Water Footprint Assessment.” University of Twente, the Netherlands.

“Measuring the daily destruction of the world’s rainforests.” Scientific American, 2009.

“Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK.” Climactic change, 2014.

“Meat eater’s guide to climate change and health.” The Environmental Working Group.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Further reading on US food disparagement law

https://www.cspinet.org/foodspeak/laws/existlaw.htm

Further reading on Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

http://ccrjustice.org/learn-more/faqs/factsheet%3A-animal-enterprise-terrorism-act-(aeta)

The problem with the Allan Savory’s grazing approach.

Dr. Richard Oppenlander.

Professor James McWilliams.

George Wuerthner.

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