The Facts About Eating Animal Products...

by John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America" and founder of Earthsave International.

The Hunger Argument:
Number of People worldwide who will die of starvation this year: 60 million
Number of people who could be adequately fed with the grain saved if Americans reduced meat intake by 10%: 60 million
Human beings in America: 296 million
Number of people who could be fed with grain and soybeans now eaten by US livestock: 1.3 billion
Percentage of corn grown in US eaten by people: 20%
Percentage of corn grown in US eaten by livestock: 80%
Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90%
Percentage of oats grown in US eaten by livestock: 95%
How frequently a child starves to death: every 2 seconds
Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 20,000 lbs
Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 165 lbs
Percentage of US farmland devoted to beef production: 56%
Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16 lbs.


The Environmental Argument:

Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
Primary cause of greenhouse effect: Carbon Dioxide from fossil fuels
More beneficial for global warming--Switching to a Prius vs. Switching to a Vegetarian Diet: Vegetarian Diet
Fossil fuels needed to produce a meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 50 times more
Percentage of US topsoil lost to date: 75%
Percentage of US topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85%
Number of acres of US forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million acres
Amount of meat US imports annually from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama: 200,000,000 pounds
Average per capita meat consumption in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama: Less than eaten by average US house cat
Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pounder hamburger: 55 sq. ft.
Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 species extinct per year


The Cancer Argument:

Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat four times a week vs. less than once a week: 4 times
Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat eggs daily vs less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat cheese and butter 3 or more times a week vs less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs less than once a week: 3 times
Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times


The Natural Resources Argument:

User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the US: Livestock production
Amount of water to produce a pound of wheat: 25 gallons
Amount of water to produce a pound of meat: 2,500 gallons
Cost of common hamburger if water used by meat industry was not subsidized by US taxpayer: $35/pound
Current cost of pound of protein from beefsteak, if water was no longer subsidized: $89
Years the world's known oil reserves will last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13 years
Years the world's known oil reserves will last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260 years
Barrels of oil imported into US daily: 6.8 million
Percentage of fossil fuel energy returned as food energy by most efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5 percent
Percentage returned as food energy from least efficient plant food: 328%
Percentage of raw materials consumed by US to produce present meat-centered diet: 33%


The Cholesterol Argument:

Number of US Medical Schools: 125
Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
Nutrition training received by average US physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
Most common cause of death in the US: Heart attack
How frequently a heart attack kills in the US: Every 45 seconds
Average US man's risk of death from heart attack: 50%
Risk for average US man who avoids the meat-centered diet: 15%
Risk for average US vegan man: 4%
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of animal products by 10 percent: 9%
Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of animal products by 50 percent: 45%
Amount you reduce risk by changing to a vegan diet: 90 percent
Meat, dairy, and egg industries claim you should not be concerned about your blood cholesterol if it is: "normal"
Your risk of dying of a disease caused by clogged arteries if your blood cholesterol is "normal": >50%


The Antibiotic Argument:

Percentage of US antibiotics fed to livestock: 55%
Percentage of staph infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13%
Percentage of staph infections resistant to penicillin in 1988: 91%
Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Ban
Response of US meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: Full and complete support


The Pesticide Argument:

Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by grains: 1%
Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by fruits: 4%
Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by vegetables: 6%
Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by dairy products: 23%
Percentage of pesticide residues in the US diet supplied by meat: 55%
Pesticide contamination of breast milk from meat eating mothers vs non-meat eating: 35 times higher
What USDA tells us: Meat is inspected
Percentage of slaughtered animals inspected for residues of toxic chemicals such as dioxin and DDT: <0.00004%


The Ethical Argument:

Number of animals killed for meat per hour in US: 500,000
Occupation with highest turnover rate in US: Slaughterhouse Worker
Occupation with the highest rate of on-the-job injury in US: Slaughterhouse Worker
Cost to render animal unconscious with "captive bolt pistol": 1 cent
Reason given by meat industry for not using "captive bolt pistol": Too expensive