Inside out Healing with a Sustainable Diet

You are what you eat and consume. What you put into your body, and what that might do to the world around us is your contribution to the planetary ecosystem. By making intentional eating choices to consume only things that are healthy for our bodies and for the world around us, we can heal ourselves and the environment in which we live.

Our planet is on the brink of planetary catastrophe. We must begin enacting Earth Stewardship immediately. Read this new important article with the most up-to-date research.

We must consider the trauma and physical and psychic ills we take in, and generate externally, with less intentional eating choices. This workshop will teach you why and how to begin to heal from those and to make informed choices.

Before eating read aloud:

“This food is the gift of the whole universe-the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that is worthy of this food. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially that of greed. May we eat only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. May we accept this food for the realization of the way of understanding and love.”

(From the Buddhist Five Contemplations.)

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese buddhist monk, author and peace activist, says that

"once we can look into our food deeply, we allow it to become real. If we allow ourselves to touch our bread deeply, we become reborn, because our bread is life itself. Eating it deeply, we touch the sun, the clouds, the earth, and everything in the cosmos."

I encourage you to practice mindful eating and consuming.

Mindfully considering the beings; people, animals, insects, minerals sun, clouds, literally everything that came together for the food before is a vast meditation that can bring deep joy to eating and is a very healing process.

As a consumer your choice is your vote. And the single thing that any one person can do to reduce their impact on the planet is to reduce their votes for destructive animal agriculture and choosing to eat less beef and pork.

You may have heard this before, but many people still don’t know the true wastefulness of eating red meat.

I want to stress that there are MANY concerns about eating meat and dairy; and the internet is filled with debates on which industry emits more greenhouse gasses. Emissions are only one part of the equation; global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use, mass extinction of wildlife, these are also just as important and dangerous for our future.


Emissions are only one concern when it comes to eating sustainably. Meat and dairy consumption have been called the biggest driver of deforestation and species loss, and unsustainable food production undoubtedly so.

Tropical deforestation is a major source of the emissions that cause climate change, and food production is the main cause. The Amazon is being cut for cattle ranching and soy; and West Africa and Southeast Asia for palm oil and chocolate. "Deforestation is being driven by ever expanding agriculture producing soy, which is being exported to countries including the UK to feed pigs and chickens,"  said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff.”

Read more about agriculture and deforestation below.

According to this article, the world's biggest meat and dairy companies could surpass Exxon, Shell and BP as the world's biggest climate polluters within the next few decades. At a time when the planet must dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, these global animal protein giants are driving consumption by ramping up production and exports. 

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the emissions from animal agriculture. For example, a 2009 analysis published by the Washington, DC-based Worldwatch Institute asserted that 51% of global GHG emissions come from rearing and processing livestock. And if you've ever watched Cowspiracy, they cited Animal agriculture is responsible for more than the combined exhaust from all transportation.  (FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2006) Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide per year of 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Maybe the jury is still out about which creates more emissions; animal ag or transportation. When the 51% figure was "proven wrong" a lot of people clung to that to perhaps justify their own meat consumption. There are a lot of complications in analyzing every aspect of an entire industry like this; this article is great at showing the difference between direct emissions and life cycle emissions. 

In its most recent assessment report, the FAO estimated that livestock produces 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. There is no comparable full life-cycle assessment for transportation.

One thing is certain; eating meat emits greenhouse gasses on a massive scale. It seems we don't have time to speculate on just how much; it would be preferable to take actions to change our diet to a healthier and more globally sustainable option.

Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than C02, and has a global warming potential 26-86 times that of CO2.


That’s right, methane gas is 26-86 times more powerful a climate change gas than CO2. (some scientists report 22 percent and some even up to 105 times more powerful than CO2.)

There’s a recent study by the National Institute of Agricultural Technology which hooked up an inflatable plastic bag to cow’s stomachs and found that they can fill a 55 gallon bag of methane per day! That’s any grassfed cow, “sustainably raised” or not. One cow’s not a problem, but now we have 1.5 billion of them.


(a funny note, humans produce about a half liter of gas per day, according to The Telegraph and numerous other online sources)


You, just one person, choosing not to buy cow products really does make a difference. By buying milk, cheese or worse, a burger, you cause that cow to exist. The argument “well it’s already dead” does not apply in the reality of supply and demand.

If you choose to not buy a cow product every day this week, you are preventing 385 gallons of methane from entering the atmosphere. And that’s just the gas from the cow’s body alone, not to mention the emissions from farming the land it takes to feed the cows and the transportation and processing of the cow products to get to you.

The greenhouse gas emissions arising each year from the production and consumption of cheeseburgers is roughly the amount emitted by 

6.5 million to 19.6 million SUVs.

The other big emissions decreaser you can do is change how you travel.

On average, one air mile produces 53.3 pounds of carbon dioxide. One flight from New York, NY to Los Angeles, CA (about 2,450 miles) generates a little over 65 short tons of carbon dioxide.


Emissions and deforestation go hand-in-hand. Forest absorb carbon, especially mature tropical forests.

When they calculate the emissions from deforestation it’s a combination of the carbon released from cutting the tree down, and all the future carbon that tree might absorb.

That’s how Indonesia is the third largest emitter of carbon behind the United States and China.

The forests of Borneo are a potent carbon sink because of the carbon sink they sit upon, can absorb up to 10 times more carbon than other forests. Which is why it’s so tragic palm oil companies have deforested 75% of the island and still continue.

Look for palm oil in everything you buy. Especially snacks, fast food, cosmetics, you name it.

Learn more at

West African chocolate production

Ghana and Ivory coast-main exporter for European chocolate companies

Buy deforestation-free chocolate

Farmers paid less than a dollar a day

Supply chain visibility an issue, mostly corruption government and middle men

What can you do?







So let’s talk about water. Planet earth is running out of fresh water according to a NASA imaging study. Animal agriculture water consumption is 36-76 trillion gallons of water annually worldwide according to the US Geological survey, which in the US, is 80-90% of water consumption. Just growing crops for livestock requires 56% of water in the US.

Can you believe that, some people in the world don’t even have fresh water to drink. Yet we are dumping more than half our drinkable water onto crops just to feed to animals that we can then eat?


Does anybody know how much water it takes to make ONE hamburger? 660 gallons. For one lb of beef 2,500 gallons. This is from multiple credible sources, some scientists estimating 442 gallons to 8,000 gallons with the general consensus around 2,500 gallons.

477 gallons are needed for a pound of eggs, and 900 gallons for 1lb of cheese.

Let’s talk about milk for a second:

According to Natural News, it takes some 2,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of Cow Milk, roughly twice as much as that required to produce a gallon of Almond Milk.


Does everybody remember the Got Milk campaign? It’s hanging in our school cafeterias all throughout our childhood, even employing our childhood idols to smear yogurt on their upper lip (or whatever it is.)

We are literally brainwashed since a young age to think milk is good for us.


The purpose of cow’s milk is to take a 64 pound calf and turn it into a 400 pound cow as rapidly as possible. Cows milk is baby calf growth fluid. The proteins, the sodium, the growth factors, everything, is meant to make this tiny calf into a huge cow; it has hormones in it that are bad for you as well, that cause breast lumps and enlarged uteruses, gives men man boobs. Cutting down on estrogen from dairy also helps slow fat production as well.


Look at yourself in the mirror, do you have big ears and a tail? No? Then don’t drink baby calf growth fluid!


It’s important to know a little history about dairy farming in America. In 1991, things started to change for the dairy industry. Between 1950 and the year 2000, about half of the dairy farms went out of business. So we had half the amount of farms, but three times the amount of dairy production. The farms with hundreds of cows survived, and also had a lot of power lobbying in government.


With cutting cost but tripling production, cows began to be treated differently, and therefore it affects humans who consume their products differently. Cows are being fed diets that allow them to produce more milk, very unnatural things. They’re being fed a lot of synthetic hormones. Cows are being fed a lot of protein and grain, but they’re evolved to be grazers, free range eating a lot of grass. But being fed a lot of grain to get their body fat levels up to produce more milk is very unhealthy for them. When the cows are unhealthy, they have to be fed antibiotics. The cows are consuming a lot of antibiotics and synthetic hormones which trickles down into the milk. Consuming antibiotics in milk and dairy products makes antibiotics less effective when you actually need them to fight an illness, not to mention the effect on the good bacteria that needs to exist in your digestive tract to be healthy.


The Got Milk campaign is entirely a testament to the power of the dairy lobby, and there are no benefits in drinking milk to get protein and calcium. In fact, the protein in milk and all animal products acidify the blood. One of the body’s main priorities is to keep the blood at a neutral pH. To buffer the acid in our blood, our bones release calcium. Drinking milk to get calcium seems a little bit counterproductive, don’t you think?


All this goes to show, money is power. The dairy industry spends a significant amount of money on lobbying. By infiltrating schools with their products and “educational materials” using medical professionals to advocate for them, running manipulative advertising campaigns that play on our fears (and paid for by consumers) and influencing the government’s dietary guidelines, the dairy industry is shaping our food environment and the messages we receive about cow’s milk, which certainly influence our food choices.

You can get calcium from kale, collards, mustard greens turnip greens, bok choy, broccoli, fortified plant milks, fortified juices, and tofu made with calcium sulfate.



Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, according to a recent report. 

The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. Three-quarters of all land on Earth is now significantly affected by human activities. Killing for food is the next biggest cause – 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction – while the oceans are massively overfished, with more than half now being industrially fished.

Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the "natural" or "background" rate. We’re encroaching on our environment too fast for it to catch up.


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


Your snack choices make an impact as well. Pepsico, Nissin, Tyson, Toyo Suisan, and Kraft Heinz source palm oil from virgin forests. They are driving the destruction of Indonesia’s last in-tact rainforests. The Leuser ecosystem is the last place on earth where endangered Sumatran orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos coexist in the wild. We can’t let billion dollar companies buy extinction! Despite the issuance of a moratorium by the Indonesian government to halt the destruction of the Leuser ecosystem for palm oil, forests continue to fall and peatlands continue to be burned to make way for new conflict palm oil plantations.


By choosing not to buy these brands, and letting others know, you have a direct impact on the Leuser rainforest.


The rainforest impact goes beyond just species extinction, the weather patterns the indigenous forests create have an effect on the entire world. Without that area of cloud and moisture production, the global rainfall shifts and becomes more irregular.


Back to animal agriculture’s impact:

Per cow, 2-5 acres of land are used.

Virgin rainforests are being cleared at a rate of 1-2 acres PER SECOND. Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of amazon destruction. Do you know what desertification is?


*the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture. According to the UN, ⅓ of the planet is desertified with Livestock as the leading driver.


Think of all the beautiful species that will not just die, but actually disappear from the earth forever.


The Great Barrier Reef was pronounced “dead” in Outsider Magazine one month ago. While that’s not completely true, it’s true that 91 percent of it has been bleached from ocean acidification as a result of climate change.


Alright-all this is scary, I know. I’m not here to scare you I just want you to know the full gravity and impact of the situation that the meat industry spends billions to get you to not find out.


The singular thing that you can do to most impact the environment is with your choice to use animal agriculture, and especially to eat red meat.


When you look at veganism — each day, a person who chooses to eat 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.


A couple weeks ago I was at a conservation filmmaking workshop, when the husband of a woman filmmaker asked me why I’m vegan. I explained that it’s for my health and the health of the planet, two which he went off on a rant about how soybean as a crop is far more harmful to the environment than meat consumption, and blamed vegetarians for getting their protein from such a destructive agricultural practice.


While it’s true that soy production is the most water intensive global commodity crop, it’s not appropriate for anyone to use this argument in support of their own meat consumption. Clearly, getting protein from the root source of the plant and is more environmentally friendly than raising an animal it’s whole life on a plant to then consume the animal.


In fact, most of the 260 million ton global soy crop is fed to animals or converted into biofuels. More than 90 percent of soy grown in the United States has been genetically modified. Much deforestation in the Amazon is the result of soy farming but much of that is fed to livestock.

Soy is also not great for your health, the primary reason being estrogen. But it is a crop with the most protein per hectair of land use.


When buying soy products, see if they have a Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) certification or are made by a responsible soy producer. I can provide you with a list of these if you give me your email address. Be sure to avoid soy that is imported from South America.



So say you decide to be vegan tomorrow. Being vegan is great! I’ve been vegan for a year and a half and I haven’t eaten meat since I was 14. I always have energy and I’m very active, running 3 miles per day and spending around 30 minutes in the gym.


A lot of people are concerned about getting enough protein, and there’s a lot of myths and competing views in the nutrition field.


The National Academy of sciences says that the average man should get 54 grams of protein per day and for women, 44. That’s 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

That’s regardless of how athletic you are.


Protein.  Our cells are little protein factories our DNA provides instructions on what type of protein is needed for each job and our cellular mitochondria the workers. Protein provides the basis of all cellular functions.

High quality organic plant protein and small amounts of organic small animal protein is optimal for those looking for a healthier diet.

Beef, pork, etc is very concentrated protein, and uses much more metabolic energy to assimilate, causing increased acidity in the blood.  Its high in hdl's, cholesterol that can cause heart disease.  It is highly polluting to air, land and water and uses too many natural resources making it an unsustainable protein source for people.  High protein diets lead to imbalances in homeostasis causing disease.

Here’s a daily hypothetical diet that easily includes all the protein needed for a woman:

Look how little food that is, I certainly eat more than that in a day! It’s much easier than you think to get enough protein without any animal products.


Ask the audience: what is your favorite type of vegan protein, and look it up on the chart.

Something I eat all the time is Tempeh. One cup of tempeh is 41 grams of protein! I chop it  into my stir fry all the time.


Some things people eat a lot: bagels have 9 grams of protein, 2 tbsp of peanut butter has 8 grams, 1 cup of cooked spinach has 5 grams (and a great source of iron.)


The point of this is to show how easy it is to get more than the needed amount of protein with a vegan diet, and any argument you may hear in favor of meat is a result of powerful meat lobby campaigns.

So say you successfully eat vegan all this week.  You feel great that you have slowed the destruction of many ecosystems and possibly saved a few species of bees, butterflies and other native pollinators from extinction. What do you do with all those vegetable scraps?  

Vermicomposting is an easy inexpensive way to compost in even the smallest apartment. Learn what it takes to make fertile soil for your houseplants, your patio container garden, or community garden plot

while not sending a single shred of organic material to the landfill




Worm composting! I have a worm bin, just a normal plastic tub with a lid that I got from the container store that eats my trash.

I ordered worms online from a gardening store, and put them in there with a little potting soil. I add my veggie scraps, add some shredded newspaper to the top, and spray it with a squirt bottle, then voila! Worms eat my trash and I have no landfill waste coming from my apartment in DC.


According to the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food waste represents more greenhouse gas emissions than any country in the world except for China and the United States.


Each day, the average American household throws away a pound and a half of food.


To reduce your waste and live lightly on this planet, remember these 5 R’s:

The zero in “zero waste” makes it sound scary and hard to achieve. It is actually not as as hard as it seems, and it is as simple as following these Five R’s, in order:

  • Refuse what you do not need.
  • Reduce what you do need.
  • Reuse by using reusables.
  • Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
  • Rot (compost) the rest.


As for the first R, Refuse meat. You do not need meat, you do not need cheese or milk. You just don’t need it.


Mindful Eating and Evolution


Americans are all about shoving food into our face holes. Everyone does, it. The mentality of quickly energising oneself to get back to your life is okay once in awhile, but we need to make a conscious effort of eating mindfully.


How many people practice mindful eating? How many people practice mindfulness on a daily basis? Slowing down to one-by-one think about the sensory information coming in?


Mindful eating is a gratitude practice that awakens us not only to the sensations of eating, slowing down the process of eating for better digestion, but also all the beings who made that food in front of us possible.  

Mindfully considering the beings; people, animals, insects, minerals sun, clouds, literally everything that came together for the food before is a vast meditation that can bring deep joy to eating, in addition to the 5 senses of touching, seeing, smelling, tasting, and hearing (if surrounded by other joyful eaters) that we can also acknowledge with each bite.


One of the 5 wonderful precepts of Buddhism is to take a vow of mindful consuming. I encourage you all to take this vow. Here it is:


Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and society by practicing a diet for myself and for society, I understand a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and for the transformation of society.


We’re here together on Earth to heal and evolve our collective consciousness. As a species, we don’t have another few million years to evolve to be herbivores. We have to evolve faster if we are to save at least some of the beautiful diversity of species on this planet. Let’s help each other evolve and teach other humans in our lives as well.


The world needs people like you to set a good example and share this necessary knowledge! It's better to light one candle than curse the darkness.


Peace, love and plant based diet!





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

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 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.


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)

Soybean Crop Impact:

Responsible soy producers:


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.


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:


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.

Agricultural Waste Management Field Handbook, USDA

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.


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


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.


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.


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.

- Wildlife -

USDA predator killing of wild animals to protect livestock.

Washington state killed the wedge pack of wolves.

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


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.

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 lead to breast lumps.

Dairy may “give guys man-boobs”

World Population grows 228,000+ people everyday.

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

Further reading on Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

The problem with the Allan Savory's grazing approach.

Dr. Richard Oppenlander.

Professor James McWilliams.

George Wuerthner.


[i] NOTE: In 2013 the UN-FAO lowered livestock’s GHG emissions to 14.5%.

There are many other factors to consider in terms of level of concern we should have regarding the role of food choice in climate change, global depletion in general, and certain applicable time lines as represented (or misrepresented) by the United Nations or any other governing or research institution. In particular:

   1 does not represent the entire life cycle analysis (LCA) or supply chain of livestock products, notably omitting carbon dioxide production in respiration (on average 4.8 tons CO2 e/year/cow, 2.3 CO2 e/year/pig, etc.), provides no consideration for increased indirect radiative effects of methane on atmospheric aerosols and particulate capture related to smog (Shindell et al. 2009), and manages land use changes (LUC) with admitted “uncertainty” and under-counting/reporting

   2 ultimately defers to a separate category for reporting of greenhouse gas emissions related to “deforestation” (20% of global GHG emissions per UN-REDD), of which livestock and feed crops play a significant role, needing to be added to direct emissions (80% of Amazonian rainforest deforestation and degradation, and destruction of Cerrado savanna since 1970 has been due to expansion for cattle, with another 10% loss due to planting crops to feed them and other livestock)

   3 the global warming potential (GWP) for methane used in this report was from IPCC 2007, which was 21 at 100 years. However, the GWP of methane is actually 86 GWP at 20 years

   4 the report gave no consideration to carbon sequestration potential lost on land now used for livestock and feed production, which should have been considered as emissions (45% of the land mass on Earth now used by livestock and crops to feed them–International Livestock Research Institute)

   5 Consideration should be given to the fact that the lead authors have potential bias in this report; Pierre Gerber is the Livestock Policy Officer of the FAO and Henning Steinfeld is Chief, Livestock Information of the Livestock Sector Policy Branch of the FAO. There is little doubt why obvious omissions were therefore seen in their conclusions presented: “The global livestock sector is faced with a three-fold challenge: increasing production to meet demand, adapting to a changing and increasingly variable economic and natural environment and, lastly, improving its environmental performance.

This FAO report failed to represent urgency in regard to climate change and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, performed no analysis of alternatives, and failed to present risks versus benefits of raising livestock on a global scale.

   1 there was no consideration of the effects of raising livestock on continued warming, acidification, deoxygenation and therefore diminished climate regulatory mechanisms of our oceans or time lines related to potential detrimental effects on the oxygen-nitrogen-carbon dioxide cycling capacities.

   2 the report gave no account for anthropogenic greenhouse gases generated by agricultural systems related to extraction or raising and eating fish–fuel, refrigeration, packaging, processing, transportation, etc. for both wild caught operations as well as those pertaining to aquaculture/aquaponics/aeroponics, which would thereby provide a more accurate and complete agricultural portrait related to our food choices making it easier for policy makers and consumers to interpret the data and findings

   3 there is no discussion, in an overview sense, to provide clarity regarding the component this happens to represent in livestock’s role, or food choice for that matter, in our current state of un-sustainability and the interrelated issues we face–freshwater scarcity, collapse of sea life oceanic ecosystems, unprecedented extinctions and loss of biodiversity, food security and agricultural land use inefficiencies, implications in human health and disease, rising health care costs and loss of productivity, economic risk factors, questions of social justice and implications regarding future generations, etc. (many of these issues are irreversible in our lifetime)–all part of the task of basic but thorough environmental scientific assessment, perhaps beyond the scope of livestock researchers/proponents for this one report, but the critical connection and relevance are vital should have been mentioned, nevertheless.It is quite clear by this report, which presents a filtered and quite limited view of the role of livestock in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and global depletion, that our team should focus our attention on whythere is suppression of information, lack of clarity, or elucidation of facts by our leaders related to the overarching problem of animal based agriculture as a component of food choice–and then how to swiftly correct this. Global governmental institutions such as the United Nations and its FAO should examine all the facts and present them accordingly as they interrelate. Then, they should be able to call for the frank elimination (or comprehensive “replacement”) of imminent threats to our survival such as food choices and agricultural systems that are disease promoting, ecologically unsustainable, and which condone massive unnecessary slaughtering–rather than calling for their perpetuation.

[.i] Some have challenged that the 18% of GHG emissions from animal ag cannot be compared to the 13% of GHG for transportation emissions because it does not take into consideration the full lifecycle analysis of the transportation industry. We have made it clear in the film that 13% of GHG emissions only accounts for the exhaust from the worlds vehicles.

[ii] Although there are Cornell studies citing the water consumption of the US livestock industry at over 66 trillion gallons every year, we decided to go with a much more conservative figure of 34 trillion gallons based off the 2005 USGS figures putting the US total consumptive water use at 76 trillion gallons annually (non-consumptive is for thermoelectric and hydroelectric use that is typically returned directly back to its source immediately). The USDA says that agriculture is responsible for 80-90 percent of US water consumption and growing the feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of that water, bringing the total water consumption of the livestock industry to 34 trillion gallons.

[iii] 1 burger = 2 months showering: based on taking a 4-minute daily shower with a 2.5 gpm shower head.

[iv] “A typical five-acre hog waste lagoon releases 15-30 tons of ammonia into the air annually. Approximately half of the ammonia rises as a gas and generally falls to forests, fields, or open water within 50 miles, either in rain or fog. The rest is transformed into dry particles that travel up to 250 miles.

Ammonia is the most potent form of nitrogen that triggers algae blooms and causes fish kills in coastal waters. The North Carolina Division of Water Quality estimates that hog factories constitute the largest source of airborne ammonia in North Carolina, more than cattle, chickens, and turkeys combined. In 1995, Hans Paerl, a marine ecologist from the University of North Carolina, reported that airborne ammonia had risen 25% each year since 1991 in Morehead City, 90 miles downwind of the hog belt.”

[v] -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, .25lbs of waste per day, x 10 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 waste or 2.464 trillion pounds waste per year (manure+urine)

** 3.745 trillion pounds waste per year

[vi] Enough waste to cover, etc: based on 1 pound of waste per 1 square foot of land

“Animal farms produce as much manure as small and medium sized cities. A farm with 2500 dairy cattle is similar in waste load to a city of 411,000 people.”

On a 1000-pound live weight basis, each of these animals produces more waste than a human. A CAFO with 1000 animal units of turkeys produces a waste load comparable to a city of 87,700 people. A dairy CAFO with 1000 animal units is equivalent to a city of 164,500 people. The important difference lies in the fact that human waste is treated before discharge into the environment, but animal waste is either not treated at all or minimally treated by virtue of the storage methods used before disposal.”

[vii] Additionally – Oppenlander says 1-2 trillion fish extracted (inc. “bycatch,”) from our oceans each year (“by fishing methods such as trawling, purse seine, long lines, explosives, and other techniques that are damaging ecosystems”)

[viii] The figures for by-kill rates can be as high as 20lbs of untargeted species trapped for every pound of targeted animals killed.

[ix] “The USDA currently forecasts 2013/14 palm oil production…total area devoted to oil palm plantings is estimated at a record 10.8 million hectares.” [26.7 million acres]

[x] “[Dorothy Stang’s] death prompted Amazon activists – more than 1,000 of whom have been murdered in the last 20 years – to demand Brazil’s government crack down on the illegal seizure and clearance of the rainforest to graze cattle, raise soy crops, and harvest timber.”

“More than 1,100 activists, small farmers, judges, priests and other rural workers have been killed in land disputes in the last two decades.”

[xi] A single cow can produce between 66-132 gallons of methane a day. The average US vehicle gas tank can hold about 16 gallons of gas.

[xii] “The US meat industry produced some 1.4 billion tons of waste in 1997— five tons of animal waste for every US citizen. (USDA)”

[xiv] The average person in the U.S. uses 405,000 gallons of freshwater per year (combination of the subfractions which comprise 206 pounds of meat per year– divided between 46 pounds of pig, 58 pounds of cow, 102 pounds of chicken and turkey in addition to 248 eggs and 616 pounds of dairy products), which equates to saving 1,100 gallons of water each day.

– 45lbs of grain saved per day: Grain: multiply ounces of each meat consumed daily per person by the feed conversion factor for each animal.

– It is estimated that 80,000 acres of rainforest are cleared each day with an additional 80,000 degraded, with 70-91% of that degradation for the livestock industry.

– CO2 based of feed conversion ratios and the average US meat consumption of 209lbs per year, per person.

Beef is at 22-27 kg CO2 Eq per kg produced/consumed X 2.5 ounces/day=1.75 kgor 3.85 pounds

Cheese/milk is 13.5 kg per kg product X 2 pounds/day=12.15 kg or 12.5 pounds

Pork is 12 kg per kg product X 2 ounces/day=.68 kg or 1.5 pounds

Combination chicken and turkey is 7 kg per kg product X 4.48 ounces/day= .89 kg or 1.96 pounds minimally (using only chicken)

{turkey, for instance, is 11 kg per kg product}

Eggs are at 5 kg per kg product X 2/3 egg per day= (50 g/egg) .55 pounds

— which equals 20.36 pounds of CO2 Eq saved per day.

[xv] An important distinction must be made between water "use" and "consumption". Hydroelectric power is one of the largest "users" of water in the US, but actually consumes very little water. The water is used to power turbines or for cooling and is almost always returned to the source immediately. Agriculture is the largest "consumer" of water because it pulls water from the source and locks it up in products, not returning it to the source immediately, if ever.

[xvi]  $414 billion of externalized costs breaks down to: $314 billion in health-care costs, $38 billion in subsides, $37 billion in environmental costs, $21 billion in cruelty costs, $4 billion in fishing-related costs. Learn more by reading Meatonomics, by David Robinson Simon.

[xvii]  On average, one acre of land of any level of fertility will be able to produce 15 to 18 times more protein from plant based sources than from animal products. Additionally, using any agricultural database regionally, nationally, or internationally, one can calculate that on average between 10 times and 100 times (in weight) more plant foods (vegetables, fruit, grain/nuts) on one acre of land than from animal products raised on that same acre of land, regardless of the level of fertility of that particular acre of land, presuming it is the same acre used for either product, animal or plant based.

[xviii] Many organizations are studying humanity’s effect on soil degradation, erosion, and eventual desertification but not willing to emphasize the final connection of dots to animal agriculture. According to the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification), nearly 20 million acres of arable land is lost each year due to desertification and the primary reasons are:

  1. deforestation due to cultivation of crops and pasture
  2. overgrazing from livestock (“eating away grasses and eroding topsoil with hooves”)
  3. intensive farming stripping away nutrients in soil

Overgrazing by livestock is the principal land problem related to desertification as indicated in the article: And, according to the UNDDD: “Nearly 20% of the degrading land (globally) is cropland, and 20-25%, rangeland.” Understanding that over 70% of the global arable land used for agriculture is planted for crops grown for livestock, there is be ample support for the statement that “animal agriculture is the leading driver for approximately 1/3 of the land lost on earth due to desertification.”

[xix]   Few prominent scientists will openly proclaim the connection of their research findings with the need to eliminate animal agriculture or promotion of fully plant based nutrition. This is an observation that spans all aspects of global depletion related to food choice, including the topic of loss of biodiversity and extinction of species.

The statement that animal agriculture is the primary driver of biodiversity loss and extinction of species is supported by many discussions and interviews with leading authors and scientists working for the Convention of Biodiversity and IUCN as well as publications regarding current biodiversity assessments as presented by Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the IUCN Red List, and the Global Environmental and Biodiversity Outlook.

Most organizations that associate their work with species and ecosystem/biodiversity concerns as well as the scientific community as a whole believe that the six main threats to our oceans are climate change, overfishing, predator loss, pollution, destruction of habitat, and bycatch, (“bykill”).

(For instance: The Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union and the Convention on Biological Diversity).

As of August 2012, the 2004 Global Species Assessment was the most recent empirical data on global extinction rates, based on birds, mammals, and amphibians. According to an interview conducted by Dr. Oppenlander with Simon Stuart, PhD, chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission:

“Habitat loss from grazing livestock and feed crops is far and away the most pervasive threat to terrestrial animal species, impacting 86 percent of all mammals, 88 percent of amphibians, and 86 percent of all birds. One in every eight birds, one in every three amphibians, and one in every four mammals is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the near future. Overexploitation of wild animals for consumption remains a second major factor for extinction, such as can be seen in bushmeat trade in Africa and Southeast Asia and all hunting endeavors on land, globally.”

The Alliance for Global Conservation estimates 36 percent of all species on our planet are in danger of extinction.

Scientists have divided our planet into 825 terrestrial “ecoregions” (as well as 450 freshwater and a number of oceanic ecoregions), each defined by its own distinct set of animal and plant species, as well as climate. Of all these land ecoregions, almost half are reported by lead scientists (interviews/discussions) to have livestock as a current threat. The World Conservation Union reported in 2010 that “most of the world’s endangered or threatened species” on their Red List (which lists the species that are most endangered) are suffering habitat loss due to livestock—not due to agriculture but to livestock.

The Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010 agreed that none of their goals from 2002 for lessening the rate of biodiversity loss were met. The attendees confirmed that the main pressures for the rapid loss of species—habitat change, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change—were all increasing in intensity.

Current biodiversity assessments (as presented by Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the IUCN Red List, and the Global Environmental and Biodiversity Outlook) now generally agree that land use change, modification of river flow, freshwater pollution, and exploitation of marine environments are the most significant drivers of biodiversity change and loss of species. Because more than 50% of the land use changes on Earth are related to livestock (ILRI), 70 to 90% of freshwater pollution in western countries (particularly the U.S. and China) can be traced back to animal agriculture, minimally 14.5% of anthropogenic GHG emissions/climate change, and 100% of “exploitation of marine environments” is related to the global commercial fishing industry, it can be safely and confidently demonstrated that “the primary driver of global species’ extinctions and loss of biodiversity is animal agriculture.”

[xx] The amount of water, land and fuel used for differing diets varies greatly from the types of foods consumed, amount consumed and the geographical region where the food was raised. Taking into consideration that 1lb of beef requires upwards of 2500 gallons of water to produce compared to only 25 gallons for 1lb of wheat, the water footprint of a person consuming a high meat diet could be 100x greater than that of a person consuming only plant foods. The same applies for land and oil use. Many arid areas of the world can not support 1 cow per 2 acres and require 50+ acre per cow, compared to a crops such as potatoes that can produce 50,000lbs+ per acre. The energy/fuel inputs are similar. 1 calorie of beef can take 27x more energy to produce than soybeans.