The livestock sector directly or indirectly:
- uses 1/3 of the world's land area
- uses up to 70% of our clean water
- pollutes most of the water bodies
- deforests the lungs of the Earth (animal agriculture is connected to 80% of the annual removal of trees around the world; the "hamburgerization" of our forests is responsible for the felling of 50% of the world's original rainforests)
- uses up to 43% of the world's cereal
- uses up to 85% of the world's soy
- causes world hunger and wars (Did you know that 80% of all grain produced in America is used to feed animals but could feed 2 billion people?)
- causes a large percentage of global warming
Besides methane, a potent greenhouse gas (livestock produces almost 40% of the world's methane), animal agriculture also adds nitrous oxide (296 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas) and hydrogen sulphide to the atmosphere.
For three wonderful slide presentations (in pdf format), as well as a vegan/vegetarian cookbook, visit http://sites.google.com/site/compassionateearth/downloads. And please pass them on!