Although conserving water at home is important, it represents just a tiny portion
of the actual water needed to sustain us. A 2004 Melbourne University study concluded
that, 'water use through food consumption is 90% of a household's water use' See
the chart for a comparison of water use per day.
The food items in a typical shopping basket in Victoria have travelled a total of
70,803km to reach your table, which is almost the equivalent of travelling twice
around the circumference of the earth. This is a significant contributor to greenhouse
gas emissions that are causing global climate change.6
Raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars,
trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined.7
Over 50% of global human-caused greenhouse gases can be attributed to livestock
and their by-products.
Australia's livestock will produce substantially more warming over the next 20 years
than all of our coal fired power stations put together.
A June 2010 report by the United Nations identified animal agriculture and food
consumption as one of the most significant drivers of environmental pressures and
climate change, stating that 'a substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible
with a worldwide diet change away from animal products.'/p>
Grazing takes up nearly 60% of the Australian continent. Clearing of forests and
bush land for grazing and animal industries has resulted in habitat loss throughout
Australia, which is the major cause of wildlife becoming threatened, endangered
The number of animal species in Australia is declining at a higher rate than any
other country except the USA and the biggest contributing factor is land clearing
for animal pasture.
We grow enough edible grain to provide 50% more than is required for every person
in the world, yet 27,000 children under the age of 5 die of poverty and starvation
every day. Much of this edible grain is used to feed animals for meat, dairy and
If you factor in the amount of grain needed to produce meat, a single hectare of
land can produce 29 times more food in the form of vegetables than in the form of
chicken meat, 73 times more than pork and 78 times more than beef.8
*source: Vegetarian Network Victoria, 2010, Eating up the World: the Environmental
Consequences of Human Food Choices, 3rd Reprint September 2010, unless footnoted