It's no longer possible to rely 100% on ads to keep our organization going. If you believe in why Films For Action exists, we hope you'll become a supporter on Patreon. A monthly donation of $1, $3, $5 or more per month will really help!
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
Featured Films
The Staging Post: Courageous People Never Give Up! (2017)
61 min The Staging Post follows two Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar and Khadim. Stuck in Indonesia after Australia 'stopped the boats' and facing many years in limbo, they built a community and started the school which inspired a refugee education revolution. A real-life...
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min Humanity is more than ever threatened by its own actions; we hear a lot about the need to minimize footprints and to reduce our impact. But what if our footprints were beneficial? What if we could meet human needs while increasing the health and well-being of our...
Within Reach (2013)
87 min Within Reach explores one couple's pedal-powered search for a place to call home. Mandy and Ryan gave up their jobs, cars, and traditional houses to 'bike-pack' 6500 miles around the USA seeking sustainable community. Rather than looking in a traditional neighborhood, they...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th century when it forced Native American children into government boarding schools. Today, volunteers...
Fall and Winter (2013)
102 min This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face. Over two years, director Matt Anderson traveled 16,000 miles to document firsthand our modern industrial world and the...
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There...
Trending Today


Love Films For Action? Become a Patron!

Our Patreon campaign is now live! We hope you'll be among the first to support this new direction for Films For Action. The goal is to go 100% ad-free by next year and become 100% member supported. A monthly pledge of just $1 -5 per month x a few thousand awesome people will ensure we can continue our work and grow our impact across the world. Click here to join.

Join us on Facebook
When It Comes to Copious Water Consumption, Animal Ag is the Biggest Offender