Competing for Water: Meat or Life on Earth?

“It takes a staggering 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one 16-ounce steak. This is the amount of water that one person uses for six months of showers. The daily water use of an average American for household tasks is about 100 gallons, but eating just one hamburger increases water use by as many as 4,000 gallons.

According to a 2011 study published in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, the average global water footprints of beef and chicken are 1,845 and 520 gallons per pound, respectively, while the water footprint of both potatoes and spinach is just 35 gallons per pound, and the nutritional powerhouse, the soybean, weighs in at 260.

What all of these figures establish is the excessive amount of water required to raise animals for food when compared to eating plants directly. With no need for animal products to live healthfully, a genuine effort to overcome water scarcity will include a global movement toward plant-based eating.”

– Patti Nyman / One Green Planet