We hear a lot about global warming and climate change. So, it would be easy to step back, shrug our shoulders and blame them for the receding water. There is, however, a more direct offender, cows. Those peaceful, harmless pasture grazers on the side of the road might look insignificant. They also look quite tasty served for dinner to a lot of the world’s population.
They are also tremendous users of water resources, though. Without even considering how much water the United States’ cattle population drinks, their food accounts for 23% of our water consumption. This means the water used to grow crops like alfalfa and hay to feed the beef and dairy cattle are using almost 1/4 of our water.
It is easy to believe that the only reason to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet is because you weep for the cute animals. Whether you do or not, it is time we pay attention to the impact of meat on our planet. In addition to the deforestation for land to raise them and their contribution to greenhouse gases they are using up our water. It is estimated that each quarter-pounder you eat for lunch or dinner requires 450 gallons of water to produce.
The impact of these decreases in water levels range from not enough water to dilute fertilizers and pesticides run off from farms to eliminating the habitat of fish and other aquatic animals. We need to all seriously consider moving toward more plant-based diets which are much easier to support for the planet and cause less damage to it.
View the whole original story here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/02/agriculture-cattle-us-water-shortages-colorado-river