When It Comes to Copious Water Consumption, Animal Ag is the Biggest Offender
When It Comes to Copious Water Consumption, Animal Ag is the Biggest Offender
By Ameena Schelling / thedodo.com
Apr 14, 2015

California's ignoring the elephant in the room when it comes to water usage — or rather, the cow.

Last week Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order in response to the state's years-long drought, and now, all urban water users will have to reduce their usage by 25 percent. Unfortunately, this plan exempts the biggest water users in the state: Big Ag.

Everyone knows factory farming is bad for animals. But here's a by-the-numbers look at why it's bad for California's drought, too.

About 80 percent of California's water goes to agriculture.

Brown's plan to cut water usage will affect the individuals, businesses and small farmers who use only 20 percent of the state's water. Large-scale farmers — who use 80 percent of the water in the state — are largely untouched.

Yes, some of that agriculture water goes to fruit and vegetable production — but most of it doesn't. 50 percent of the average Californian's water footprint comes from meat and dairy consumption alone.

You need 7.7 cubic meters of water to produce 1 pound of beef. That's like 77 baths.

For comparison, water-intensive nuts require 4.5 cubic meters of water, beans require 2 cubic meters and vegetables need only 0.15 cubic meters.

1 gram of beef protein requires six times as much water as 1 gram of protein from beans, peas or lentils.

Protein from milk, eggs and chicken requires 1.5 times more water than the same amount of plant protein.

1 calorie from beef also requires 20 times as much water as 1 calorie from grains or starchy roots.

It takes 132 gallons of water for a slaughterhouse to process just one animal.

And it takes 30 gallons of water to make one glass of dairy milk.

It takes 23 gallons of water to make one glass of much-maligned almond milk. Soy milk uses only 9 gallons of water.

Yes, agriculture does a lot of good, like growing all of our delicious fruits and vegetables. But by far the biggest drain on water is meat and dairy production, which is incredibly inefficient when it comes to water usage.

And if you're going to going to start fining people for taking long showers, it's only fair to take a look at the factory farmers who are using as much water as everything else in the state combined.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means26,029 views today ·
15 Powerful Quotes From the World's Most Humble President
Hyacinth Mascarenhas12,600 views today ·
History Tells Us What May Happen Next With Brexit and Trump
Tobias Stone7,744 views today ·
MP Says Government is Intentionally Making People Destitute to Prevent Organised Opposition
2 min6,694 views today ·
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small3,591 views today ·
Every Town Needs a Remakery
Jeremy Williams3,414 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min3,184 views today ·
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed2,816 views today ·
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min2,555 views today ·
Load More
New
Trump is a Symptom of Corporate Globalization
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Up Close and Personal With Norwegian Orcas
2 min
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power
3 min
Why Did Activists Chain Themselves to the Runway at Stansted Airport?
Plane Stupid
Rosie the Riveter for the 21st Century: You Dreamed, We Drew
Jennifer Luxton
Meet The Woman Rescuing Fruit and Feeding Her Community
2 min
Debating the British Empire's 'Legacy' Is Pointless - This Is Still an Imperial World
Ibtisam Ahmed
9 Times Video Games Were Great for Mental Health
Marijam Didzgalvyte and Jish Newham
What is Populism?
6 min
Load More
What's Next
The Ghosts in Our Machine (trailer)
3 min
An Animated History of Taker Culture in 4 Minutes
4 min
My Story
4 min
Like us on Facebook?
When It Comes to Copious Water Consumption, Animal Ag is the Biggest Offender