Recent reports have current drought conditions the driest in the history of keeping track of the California climate. And there is no end is in sight. Farmers feel it. Ski resorts feel it. The energy companies feel it. Everyone. And of course this is not limited to California. We know that human-created cataclysmic climate change is a worldwide fact of our times
Governor Jerry Brown has recently and rightly implored all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water consumption in the face of California’s current difficulties. The length of our showers, the numbers of days we water our lawns and gardens, how we brush our teeth: everything we do that sends this precious resource down our drains. A start perhaps, but not nearly enough. We need to be looking at what’s at the end of our forks.
At even conservative estimates, the amount of water it takes to raise livestock and produce animal products for food is enormous. These days, it’s no longer even controversial. The UN said it as early as 2006. WorldWatch just reissued a report they published originally in 2004. The Smithsonian Magazine published a piece about it in 2012. Even more accessible URLs are clear.
Those numbers? Of course, as long as there are folks yearning for their pound of flesh, there will be debate. Some say 2500 gallons per pound of beef. (Yes, that’s right, per pound!) Others claim “only” 1000. The cattle industry likes the number 440. Chicken takes less, perhaps 500 gallons per pound.
Given that human created cataclysmic climate change is right here, right now; is daily increasing in scope and severity; and is driven in huge part – 51% in fact according to a recent highly credible report – by the human manufacture of animal products, our sinks, showers and gardens are not the only place for us to look. We must change what we eat! We must reduce the amount of animals products we consume!
How much? Our Governor suggests 20%. That seems like a minimum, a start. In any event, start!
Do your part! Help save our one wild and beautiful planet.