According to a 1997 study conducted by Cornell ecologists, the U.S. could feed 800 million people with the grain consumed by livestock. As experts around the world concern themselves with human overpopulation, should we not look to the main culprits, the animal agriculture industry? We are more than capable of producing a food surplus to feed the 795 million malnourished people with American crop yield alone, and yet this poor allocation of resources has led to catastrophic inequality and wealth disparity.
It requires an average of 6kg of plant protein to produce 1kg of animal protein, and 100 times more water. A single dairy cow produces approximately 120 pounds of wet manure per day, which is equivalent to that of 20 to 40 humans. On average 990 litres of water are required to produce one litre of milk. The UN reports that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 – 25% of global warming emissions worldwide, with cattle ranches and feed production accounting for over 70% of deforestation in the Amazon. The livestock sector continues to grow each year and is quite probably the largest source of water pollution worldwide.