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Vegetarian Facts & Figures

If you like stats, here are some cool ones to quote! The truth behind it is as relevant as ever - NOW!

Realities 1990

Facts excerpted from the Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America by John Robbins

 

The diet of North Americans has changed significantly since 1900. Then, most meals were based upon grain products, potatoes, fresh vegetables and fruits - with meats consumed only occasionally. In recent years we have replaced this dietary style, rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber and low in fats and cholesterol, with a high fat, low fiber diet - largely based upon meats, dairy and other animal products.

 

By 1980, consumption of grains and potatoes fell to half their 1900 levels, while the amount of fats in the American diet more than doubled. Such drastic dietary changes cannot occur without very significant consequences - not only in public health, but in the economy and the environment as well....

 

 

Human population of United States:                                                    250 000 000

 

Human population of the world:                                                          5 300 000 000

 

Amount of corn grown in the USA eaten by human beings:       20%

 

Amount of corn grown in the USA eaten by livestock:                   80%

 

Amount of oats grown in the USA eaten by livestock:                   95%

 

Amount of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock:  90%

 

Amount of carbohydrate wasted by cycling grain

through livestock:                                                                                      99%

 

Amount of dietary fiber wasted by cycling grain

through livestock:                                                                                      100%

 

How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition:                  every 2.3 seconds

 

Potatoes that can be grown on one acre of prime land:            20 000 pounds

 

Beef that can be produced on one acre of prime land:  165 pounds

 

Amount of US agricultural land used to produce beef:                56%

Grain and soybeans needed to produce one pound

of edible flesh from feedlot beef:                                                         16 pounds

 

Protein fed to chickens to produce one pound of

protein as chicken flesh:                                                                          5 pounds

 

Protein fed to hogs to produce one pound of protein

as hog flesh:                                                                                                7.5 pounds

 

Number of children that die of malnutrition each day:                 38 000

 

Number of complete vegetarians that can be fed on

the amount of land needed to feed one person

consuming meat based diet:                                                                 20

 

Number of people that will die as a result of

malnutrition this year:                   20 000 000

 

Number of people who could be adequately nourished

from the amount of land, water and energy freed

from growing grain and soybeans to feed US livestock

if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%:             60 000 000

 

 

 

 

Historic cause of demise of many great civilizations:                      Topsoil depletion

 

Amount of original US topsoil lost to date:                                         75%

 

Amount of US cropland lost each year to soil erosion:                  4 000 000 acres (the size of Connecticut)

Amount of US topsoil loss directly associated with livestock

raising:                                                                                                           85%

 

Number of acres of US forest which have been cleared

to create crop-land to produce a meat-centred diet:                  260 000 000

 

How often an acre of US trees disappears:                                        Every 5 seconds

amount of trees spared by each individual who switches

to a complete vegetarian diet:                                                 1 acre

Driving force behind the destruction of the tropical

rainforests:                                                                                                    American meat habit

Amount of meat imported annually by US form

Central and South America:                                                                  300 000 000 pounds

Percentage of Central American children under the

age of 5 who are undernourished:                                                      75

          

Current rate of species extinction due to destruction

of tropical rainforests and related habitats:                                      1 000/year

 

 

Principal reason for US military intervention in Persian

Gulf:                                                                                                               Dependence on foreign oil

Length of time world’s petroleum reserves would last

if all human beings are meat-centred diets:                          13 years

 

Length of time world’s petroleum reserves would last

if all human beings are vegetarian-centred diets:               260 years

 

Calories of fossil fuel expended to get one calory of

protein from beef:                                                                         78

 

Calories of fossil fuel expended to get one calory of

protein from soybeans:                                                                            2

 

Amount of all raw materials (base products of farming,

forestry and mining; including fossil fuels) consumed

by the US that are devoted to the production of livestock:          33%

 

Amount of all raw materials consumed by the US needed

to produce a complete vegetarian diet:                                           2%

 

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User of more than half of all water used for all purposes

in the US:                                                                                                       Livestock production

 

Water needed to produce one pound of wheat:                           25 gallons

Water needed to produce one pound of meat:                            2 500 gallons

 

Quantity of water used in the production of the

average cow sufficient to:                                                                      Float a destroyer

 

 

 

Production of excrement by total US population:                           12 000 lbs/second

 

Production of excrement by US livestock:                                          250 000 lbs/second

 

Sewerage system in US cities:                                                                 Common

 

Sewerage system in US feedlots:                                                           None

 

Amount of waste produced annually by US livestock

in confinement operations which is not recycled:                           1 billion tons

 

Relative concentration of feedlot wastes compared

to raw domestic sewage:                                                                       Ten to several hundred times more highly concentrated

 

Where feedlot waste goes with every rainstorm:                             Streams, rivers and groundwater

 

 

 

 

Number of US medical schools:                                                            125

 

Number of US medical schools with a required course

in nutrition:                                                                                                   30

 

Training in nutrition received during 4 years of medical

school by average US physician:                                                          2.5 hours

 

Most common cause of death in US:                                                   Heart disease

 

How frequently a heart attack strikes in US:                                       Every 25 seconds

 

How frequently a heart attack kills in US:                                            Every 45 seconds

 

Risk of death from heart attack for average American:                50%

 

Risk of death from heart attack for American man who

consumes no meat:                                                                                  15%

 

Risk of death from heart attack for American man who

consumes no meat, dairy products or eggs:                         4%

 

Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing

your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs by 10%:    9%

 

Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing

your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs by 50%:    45%

 

 

Amount you reduce your risk of heart attack by reducing

your consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs

by 100%:                                                                                                       90%

 

Rise in blood cholesterol from consuming one egg

per day:                                                                                                        12%

 

Rise in heart attack risk from 12% rise in blood cholesterol:           24%

 

Average cholesterol of people eating a meat centred

diet:                                                                                                                210mg/dl

 

Chance of dying from heart disease if you are male and

your blood cholesterol is 210mg/dl:                                                    Greater than 50%

 

Leading source of saturated fat and cholesterol in

American diets:                                                                                          Meat, dairy products and eggs

 

Cholesterol found in all grains, legumes, fruits,

vegetables, nuts, seeds:                                                                           None

 

Chance of dying from heart disease if you do not

consume cholesterol:                                                                               4%

World populations with high meat intakes who do

not have correspondingly high rates of colon cancer:                 None

 

World populations with low meat intakes who do

not have correspondingly low rates of colon cancer:                  None

Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat

eggs daily compared to once a week:                                              2.8 times higher

 

Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat

meat daily compared to less than once a week:                           3.8 times higher

 

Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women

who eat eggs 3 or more days a week compared

to less than once a week:                                                                       3 times higher

 

Milk Producer’s original ad campaign slogan:                                “Everybody needs milk”

 

What the Federal Trade Commission called the

“Everybody needs milk” slogan:                                                           “False, misleading and deceptive”

 

Milk Producer’s revised ad campaign slogan:                                 “Milk has something for everybody”

 

Increased risk of breast cancer for women who

eat butter and cheese 2.4 times a week compared

to once a week:                                                                                         3.2 times higher

 

Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men

who consume meats, dairy products and eggs

daily as compared to sparingly:                                                           3.6 times higher

 

 

 

 

Recommended amount of daily calories to be

derived from a protein according to World Health

Organization:                                                                                              4.5%

Recommended amount of daily calories to be

derived from a protein according to Food and

Nutrition Board of the USDA:                                                                   6%

 

Recommended amount of daily calories to be

derived from a protein according to National

Research Council:                                                                         8%

 

Amount of calories as protein in human milk:                                   5%

 

Amount of calories as protein in rice:                                                  8%

 

Amount of calories as protein in wheat:                                             17%

 

Amount of calories as protein in broccoli:                                         45%

 

Disease linked to inadequate protein consumption:                      Kwashiorkor

 

Number of cases of kwashiorkor in United States:                            Virtually none

 

Diseases linked to excess animal protein consumption:                Osteoporosis and kidney failure

 

Number of cases of osteoporosis and kidney failure

in United States:                                                                                        Tens of millions

 

The average measurable bone loss of female

meat eaters at age 65:                                                                             35%

 

The average measurable bone loss of female

vegetarians at age 65:                                                                             18%

 



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