Heart-Centered Humans for Animals' Rights and Protection
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"In North America only 40 percent of cropland is devoted to growing food for direct human consumption; the bulk of the remainder [60%] is devoted to feed crops [for livestock]."
Health & Environmental Implications of U.S. Meat Consumption & Production. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/ johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livablefuture/projects/ meatless_monday/resources/meat_consumption.html
Feed an extra 4 billion — grow crops
for humans, not animals.
"An additional 4 billion people in the world could be
fed if land currently used to grow crops for livestock were given over to crops for human consumption, according to
a new study.
"The work of a team at the Institute on the Environment
at the University of Minnesota, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, the study says that 36 percent of the calories produced by the world’s crops are being used for animal feed … and only 12 percent of those calories ultimately contribute to the human diet
(as meat and other animal products).
"In the US two thirds of calories produced per acre of land are consumed by animals, rather than people. The authors of the study state that “the US agricultural system alone could feed 1 billion additional people by shifting crop calories to direct human consumption”.
"With the global population expected to reach 9 billion
by 2050, it casts into stark relief the assessments made
by some in the livestock and agricultural industries that
the only way to feed the world is to increase production
or use more efficient technology."
V. L. Baker. (2013, Sept. 29). www.dailykos.com/ story/2013/9/29/1240661/-Feed-an-extra-4-billion-Grow-crops-for-humans-not-animals
Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment.
"At present, the US livestock population consumes more than seven times the grain that is consumed directly by the entire American population. The amount of grains fed to US livestock is sufficient to feed about 840 million people who follow a plant-based diet."
David Pimentel and Marcia Pimentel. American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition, September 2003, vol. 78, no. 3, 660S 6635. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full
"Livestock's Long Shadow" by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations: Livestock's role in water depletion
4.2 Water use
"Livestock's use of water and contribution to water depletion trends are high and growing" (p. 128).
"Freshwater resources are unequally distributed at the global level. More than 2.3 billion people in 21 countries live in water-stressed basins. Some 1.7 billion people live in basins under scarcity conditions. More than one billion people do not have sufficient access to clean water.
Much of the world's human population growth and agricultural expansion is taking place in water-stressed regions" (p. 126).
The agriculture sector is the largest user of freshwater resources.[More crops are grown to feed livestock
than to feed people.] In 2000, agriculture accounted
for 70 percent water use and 93 percent water depletion worldwide" (p. 126).
The Threat of Increasing Scarcity
"Projections suggest that the situation will worsen in the next decades, possibly leading to increasing conflicts among usages and users" (p. 126).
"Increasing water scarcity is likely to compromise food production, as water will have to be diverted from agriculture use to environmental, industrial, and domestic purposes ... those unable to finance these imports will be threatened by famine and malnutrition" (p. 127).
"Water cycles are further affected by deforestation,
an ongoing process at the pace of 9.4 million hectares
per year, according to FAO's latest assessment (FAO, 2005a)" (p. 127).
"Water plays a key role in ecosystem functioning.
Depletion will affect ecosystems by reducing water availability to plant and animal species, inducing a shift toward dryer ecosystems. Pollution will also harm ecosystems, as water is a vehicle for numerous pollution agents (p. 127).
"The impacts of the livestock sector on water resources are often not well understood by decision-makers. The primary focus is usually ... at farm level. But the overall water use directly or indirectly by the livestock sector is often ignored. Similarly, the contribution of the livestock sector to water depletion focuses mainly on water contamination by manure and waste" (p. 127-128).