Cows are now leading pollutant.
Author(s): Ari Aronoff, Connor Levine, Allen Smith
Animal agriculture has left more water waste than large steel and gas corporations combined.
Not only are we destroying our water sources, we're wasting them too!
As we know water is a renewable resource which means there's only a finite amount in the world. There's a lot, but at the same time we use a ridiculous amount of water. For instance, the amount of water we use for animal farming is way more than anyone could guess. On average, its said that it takes around 620 gallons of water, not just for one cow, but just for one patty. To put that into perspective, the average cow weighs in around 1150 pounds. After the cow is harvested the available meat that's used weighs in at 600 pounds, but about 30% of that is fat so that leaves around 450 pounds left to use. We've taken out more than half of the cow now, so just think of all of the water wasted on only one cow. With that 450 pounds that's left, around 1800 quarter pound patties can be made, or 1200 6 ounce, or 900 half pound patties are able to be made. If we do the math, 620 gallons of water for one patty multiplied by 1800 quarter pound patties equates to about 1,116,000 gallons of water just for one cow. Now don't be mistaken, cows are being fed one millions gallons of water in their life time. The water used includes the water used for all of the wheat, corn and other grains they're fed, which is a lot, water they drink, water for processing, etc.
Methane that comes from cows is proven to be 25 times worse than Carbon Dioxide.
But how does the methane get into the atmosphere?
The obvious answer here is animal agriculture. Going deeper into it, it can get much more complicated. So lets get into it. To start, a fair amount of the methane comes from the digestive system of the cattle, poultry, pork, and any other farmed animal. The reason so much methane is released is because these animals are fed ridiculous amounts of grain and food that the waste they release is excessive to what it needs to be. Another contributor to the waste is, you guessed it, the waste. As we all know farmers don't let any part of the animal go to waste. Even the waste itself. Manure is commonly used as fertilizer for crops and any type of farm work. This is a good thing as the waste is used out towards a good cause that can doesn't harm people. Except when it does. Manure obviously releases methane gas and when put into storage, the gas is built up in copious amounts and so storing manure can release exponentially more methane than from what comes directly from the cow.