This Brilliant 3 Minute Animation Will Leave You Ashamed Of What We Have Done

Article by Erin Janus|  What at first seems like a quirky, light-hearted animation quickly reveals into a brilliant, hard-to-swallow confrontation of what we have done (and are doing) to the animals and the planet.  During the past few decades of modern evolution, animal agriculture, which is funded by our food choices— has impacted the environment, oceans, rainforests and animals more than any other industry on the planet.  This 3 minute animation accurately illustrates the lunacy of it all:

 

‘MAN’ by Steve Cutts

To put things into perspective, what have we really done?  The following facts are from Cowspiracy.com, the official website of the ground-breaking documentary Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret:

 

70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.

A well-fed world. factory farms.
http://www.awfw.org/factory-farms/

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.


Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.

Pimentel, David, et al. “Water Resources: Agricultural And Environmental Issues.” BioScience 54, no. 10 (2004): 909-18.
http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/10/909.full

Barber, N.L., “Summary of estimated water use in the United States in 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3098.”
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3098/


Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.

Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.
http://www.cspinet.org/EatingGreen/pdf/arguments4.pdf


1,000 gallons/liters of water are required to produce 1 gallon/liter of milk.

Water Footprint Network, “Product Water Footprints”.
http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/Animal-products


5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes.

55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.

Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.
http://www.cspinet.org/EatingGreen/pdf/arguments4.pdf

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Animal Agriculture is responsible  for 20-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  

27%-30%+ of global water consummation is for animal agriculture. 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212371713000024

1/3 of global fresh water consumed is for animal ag.
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/52/20888.full

 

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.

Thornton, Phillip, Mario Herrero, and Polly Ericksen. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Livestock Exchange, no. 3 (2011).
https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/10601/IssueBrief3.pdf

 

Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded deadzones around the world in our oceans.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print.
http://www.gulfhypoxia.net/research/shelfwide%20cruises/2014/hypoxia_press_release_2014.pdf

 

Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.

“What’s the Problem?” United States Environmental Protection Agency.
http://www.epa.gov/region9/animalwaste/problem.html

“How To Manage Manure.” Healthy Landscapes.
http://www.uri.edu/ce/healthylandscapes/livestock/how_manure_overall.htm

 

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people. 

“Risk Assessment Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Research and Development. 2004.
http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPURL.cgi?Dockey=901V0100.txt

 

As many as 2.7 trillion sea animals are pulled from the ocean each year.

A Mood and P Brooke, July 2010, “Estimating the Number of Fish Caught in Global Fishing Each Year”.
http://www.fishcount.org.uk/published/std/fishcountstudy.pdf

Montaigne, fen. “Still waters: The global fish crisis.” National Geographic.
http://ocean.nationalgeographic.cocean/global-fish-crisis-article/

 

Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels.

Goldenberg, Suzanne. “America’s Nine Most Wasteful Fisheries Named.” The Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/20/americas-nine-most-wasteful-fisheries-named

 

Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work.
Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

World Bank. “Causes of Deforestation of thevBrazilian Amazon”
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/02/02/000090341_20040202130625/Rendered/PDF/277150PAPER0wbwp0no1022.pdf

Margulis, Sergio. Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Rainforest. Washington: World Bank Publications, 2003.
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/15060
https://www.wdronline.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/15060/277150PAPER0wbwp0no1022.pdf?sequence=1

 

The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.

“Livestock impacts on the environment.” Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (fao). 2006.
http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0612sp1.htm

 

Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.

“Rainforest statistics and facts.” Save the amazon.
http://www.savetheamazon.org/rainforeststats.htm

Monga Bay, “What is Deforestation?”.
http://kids.mongabay.com/lesson_plans/lisa_algee/deforestation.html

 

Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.   

Ross, Philip. “Cow farts have ‘larger greenhouse gas impact’ than previously thought; methane pushes climate change.” International Business Times. 2013.
http://www.ibtimes.com/cow-farts-have-larger-greenhouse-gas-impact-previously-thought-methane-pushes-climate-change-1487502

250-500 liters per cow per day, x 1.5 billion cows globally is 99 – 198.1 billion gallons. Rough average of 150 billion gallons CH4 globally per day.
https://www.animalsciencepublications.org/publications/jas/abstracts/73/8/2483?search-result=1

 

130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually. 5 tons of animal waste is produced for every person.  

Animal agriculture: waste management practices. United States General Accounting Office.
http://www.gao.gov/archive/1999/rc99205.pdf

 

1/3 of the planet is desertified, with livestock as the leading driver.

“UN launches international year of deserts and desertification.” UN news centre, 2006.
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=17076#.VAodM17E8ds

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

UWC, “Desertification”.
http://www.botany.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/desertification.htm

The Encyclopedia of Earth, “Overgrazing”.
http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/155088

 

Worldwide, cows drink 45 billion gallons of water and eat 135 billion pounds of food each day.

Based on rough average of 30 gallons of water and 90 lbs of feed per day for 1.5 billion cows.
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/40117/icode/

 

Worldwide 50% or more of grain is fed to livestock.

FAO, “Livestock – a driving force for food security and sustainable development”.
http://www.fao.org/docrep/v8180t/v8180t07.htm

Global Issues, “BEEF”.
http://www.globalissues.org/article/240/beef

Wisconsin Soybean Association, “U.S. and Wisconsin Soybean Facts”.
http://www.wisoybean.org/news/soybean_facts.php

 

82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.

http://comfortablyunaware.com/blog/the-world-hunger-food-choice-connection-a-summary/

 

1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.
1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Direct Seeded Vegetable Crops, Johnny Seeds.
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/assets/information/vegetablecharts.pdf

USDA NASS, “One Acre of Washington’s farmers land”
http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Washington/Publications/wabro.pdf

Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2012.
http://www.ans.iastate.edu/report/air/2012pdf/R2684.pdf

 

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.  

“Water Footprint Assessment.” University of Twente, the Netherlands.
http://www.waterfootprint.org

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

“Measuring the daily destruction of the world’s rainforests.” Scientific American, 2009.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-talks-daily-destruction/

“Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK.” Climactic change, 2014.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1169-1/fulltext.html

“Meat eater’s guide to climate change and health.” The Environmental Working Group.
http://static.ewg.org/reports/2011/meateaters/pdf/methodology_ewg_meat_eaters_guide_to_health_and_climate_2011.pdf

As difficult as it is to swallow, the truth is that nothing impacts the planet, the animals and our resources as much as our food choices.  Every time you choose to eat VEGAN, you are choosing to make the world a better place: for animals, the rainforest, the ocean— the whole planet.  The meat and dairy industry is incredibly powerful, but not as powerful as your choices and your vote.  Every purchase you make is a vote for the kind of world that you want.  Choose vegan.  Thank you for reading this article and feel free to share it around.  Visit Cowspiracy.com/facts for more information.

 

My name is Erin Janus.  I’m a passionate animal rights activist, video producer and aspiring musician.  You can connect with me on facebook, twitter and youtube.  To stay connected, you can join my mailing list here.  Please share this article with friends, family and on social media!

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