When I started writing for Lone Star Plate, I vowed I would never mention a certain famous and flashy vegan group. No matter how demeaning or obnoxious they were. But, well, one of their demeaning, obnoxious protests has a very good point behind it that I think is getting lost.
So, if you got here by googling “Why the hell are naked women showering outside my office building and what does meat have to do with the drought in Texas,” here is the connection between meat and water usage.
- First, as I’m sure you know, Texas is in the midst of a huge drought. Many places are 20 inches below their average rain fall. Average rain falls aren’t a whole lot more than 20 inches to start with in much of Texas. (LCRA and National Atlas)
- Fertilizer and pesticide runoff from crops grown to feed food animals gets into waterways and creates dead zones where no animal life can survive. (Read about the Chesapeake Bay, for instance.)(Environmental Working Group, which is not a vegetarian organization)
- Slaughterhouses produce a huge amount of pollution in our waterways. In fact, eight slaughterhouses consistently number among the top twenty polluters of surface water. (EWG)
- And quoting directly from the EWG: “A California Water Education Foundation study found that one gallon of tofu requires 219 gallons of water per pound, compared to 477 gallons for eggs, 896 gallons for cheese and 2,463 gallons for beef. A frequently cited global study estimates that it takes 1,857 gallons to produce a pound of beef, and 469 gallons for a pound of chicken (not including processing).”
- Texas is the largest beef producing state, producing about 16% of the U.S. beef supply. (USDA and EPA)