The meat industry is a major cause of fresh water depletion. According to Ed Ayres, of the World Watch Institute, “Around the world, as more water is diverted to raising pigs and chickens instead of producing crops for direct consumption, millions of wells are going dry. India, China, North Africa and the U.S. are all running freshwater deficits, pumping more from their aquifers than rain can replenish.”
The great Ogallala aquifer, a resource that took a half million years to accumulate, will be depleted in less than 40 years.
According to Ayres, “Pass up one hamburger, and you’ll save as much water as you save by taking 40 showers with a low-flow nozzle.”