At different points in a talk held on Tuesday at USC, Governor Jerry Brown finally broke his deafening silence regarding the no longer deniable connection between meat consumption and the unsustainable groundwater depletion it requires with or without drought, saying:
“Is part of the drought strategy to reduce meat consumption?”
“If you ask me, I think you should be eating veggie burgers.”
“We will have to change our ways…[including] how we eat.”
(2nd two quotes after 45 minute mark.)
Why would he say such things? Don’t we have larger issues at hand?
Consider the following:
Reprinted from TRUTH OR DROUGHT.COM LINK: http://truthordrought.com
Share the above graphic on Facebook here.
Meat & dairy is 47% of CA’s water footprint (households only 4%)
CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST:
Livestock consume over half of all freshwater in the US (full report)
A vegetarian diet requires just 1/2 the water to produce
A vegan diet saves around 600 gallons of water per day
WATER FOOTPRINT NETWORK:
Meat and animal products use more water per calorie, protein & fat than crop products
Replacing meat with beans helps secure our future food supply
DARTMOUTH PHYSICIST MARCELO GLEISER:
“Our meat-eating culture is not sustainable” and requires a “tremendous amounts of water”
CORNELL ECOLOGIST DAVID PIMENTAL:
Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein.
STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL WATER INSTITUTE:
Globally, our diets must be 95% plant-based by 2050 to avoid catastrophic shortages
NY TIMES CONTRIBUTOR & HISTORIAN JAMES MCWILLIAMS:
Rejecting factory farming but still eating meat products is not scalable. If all 100 million cows (who emit methane and nitrous oxide and require astronomical amounts of water regardless) in the US were grass-fed, they would require almost half the country’s land – not counting space needed for chicken and pigs.
According to University of Twente, in a report coauthored by Water Footprint Network founder Dr. A.Y. Hoekstra, a typical beef burger requires 621 gallons while a typical veggie burger takes only 42.
(Get many more facts on this topic from highly reputable scientific and academic organizations here.)
Restaurants proudly display signs saying they are doing their part to reduce water by only serving glasses of water upon request. That’s great – but there is clearly a WHOLE lot more they could do! According to the University of Twente’s numbers, choosing a veggie burger over a beef burger would mean saving the equivalent of 9,264 8-oz glasses of water – in a single meal. Despite popular perception, veggie burgers and beef burgers contain similar amounts of calories and protein – but the beef patty contains a dead animal we would have loved and protected in any normal circumstance along with zero fiber or micronutrients. It’s truly mind-boggling.
The UN urged a move to meat- and dairy-free diets in 2010 to avert the worst impacts of climate change and world hunger, but animal agriculture remains mostly a collective societal blind spot and an uncomfortable,
polarizing topic. Yet as Dartmouth Physicist Marcelo Gleiser recently wrote, “We have to ask ourselves how long we are going to ignore what is obvious – that our meat-eating culture is not environmentally sustainable.” This is one of the leading thinkers of our time, and by choosing a meatless lifestyle after careful consideration of the evidence, he follows in the footsteps of other great physicists Sir Isaac Newton, Nicola Tesla, and Albert Einstein.
Luckily, in addition to the standard whole foods of fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes, a plethora of delicious vegan alternatives have exploded onto the market as of late, so no one has to go without meat, cheese, ice cream, etc. – and since most of us would avoid harming an animal OR wasting water unless absolutely necessary, we are cutting two carrots with one knife. (Yes, I just did that.)
AND it’s healthier, since only animal foods contain cholesterol and the bulk of saturated fat in our diets, yet zero fiber. People are reversing their heart disease and diabetes left and right with plant-based diets. Carbs are energy, not the enemy! The American Dietetic Institute has declared that vegan diets are healthy and appropriate for all stages of life, including pregnancy, infancy and beyond. Yes, you’ll get more than enough protein, as countless vegan athletes prove. No, our brains didn’t grow big because of meat. Have other objections? This may help.
Wondering how almonds, typically thought of as uncommonly water-intensive, compare to animal products?:
Truth or Drought is a grassroots group founded in San Diego that has created this site along with viral sharable graphics to get the word out about the elephant in the room when it comes to unsustainable water depletion, which is actually a cow…and pigs…and chickens. You get the idea. Even aquaculture (which we turn to because we are depleting the ocean of sealife) uses more water than CA households, per USGS! Our group includes an MBA in Environmental Management, a city water engineer, a PhD in Molecular Biology, and a vegan bodybuilder.
Dozens of San Diego restaurants and grocers (veg and non-veg alike) have begun displaying our signs, including Moncai Vegan, Plumeria, Jimbo’s Naturally,Mozy Cafe, Loving Hut, Sipz, and Evolution Fast Food:
And our lawn signs have been posted far and wide from San Diego to Sacramento and beyond as well!:
In closing, Jerry Brown also said:
We must “adjust humankind to the immutable natural laws rather than the other way around. If you look at most species that have successfully evolved, that are still in the game of life, they change, they mutate themselves, they don’t try to change the world. They change to get on the side of nature. And human beings will have to do the same thing. We will have to change our ways [including] how we eat…[and] create a more elegant way of interfacing with the rest of nature.”
Desalination plants that further ravage the oceans and attempt to continue enabling our needless ecological overshoot while using unthinkable amounts of energy and money, rather than simply changing our own unsustainable behaviors, don’t fit into the scenario he describes.
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Share the Jerry Brown graphic and/or comment on this article here. Thank you for reading, being open-minded, and carefully considering this issue. If you’re ready to give it a try, visit these sites for all the information you’ll need to get started and join your local vegan Meetup group to expand your social network of like-minded folks
EDITOR’S NOTES: OVER ONE MONTH AGO AUTHOR OF “THE CONSCIOUS PLANET” NEIL M. PINE ANNOUNCED THIS VERY SAME SUGGESTION TO OUR JET SETTING MAGAZINE.COM EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT. WE WERE FIRST TO MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.
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