You've probably heard the estimation that it takes 16 pounds of vegetarian food to produce just one pound of beef. You may have also heard that animal grazing and land used for feed crops uses an amazing 30% of the earth's landmass. But what about the water? A new study from The University of Texas at Austin is revealing the frightening truth that groundwater used in some of America's most intensely farmed areas is literally drying up. The study revealed that between 2006 and 2009, farms in Southern California used enough water to complete drain Lake Mead (near Las Vegas), America's largest man-made reservoir. Furthermore, the study mentioned that some parts of Texas and Kansas may find themselves without water at all in just a few decades. Obviously, this is unsustainable. The study did not mention whether the crops requiring such massive amounts of water were intended for human or animal consumption. Still, when it takes 12,000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef (and only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat), one has to wonder why so much water is being used. Surely America is not depleting its water resources because we're growing too many vegetables for dinner! This new study confirms what organizations like PETA have been saying all along: the Standard American Diet is literally unsustainable (in terms of both resources and good health). In fact, did you know that it only takes 300 gallons per day to sustain a vegan diet like The Hallelujah Diet, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons per day? That's 13 times as much water to sustain a diet for the same person — and their health will be poorer because of it, too!
What's your favorite "amazing fact" about a plant-based diet? Comment below!