Millions of people die (40 to 60 million) each year from hunger and diseases related to hunger. As many as 1 billion suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition while 600 million tons of grain are fed to livestock worldwide. Much of the grain is fed to cattle to inefficiently produce beef. A feedlot cow needs 9 pounds of feed to make one pound of weight gain. It takes 12 pounds of grain to produce one pound of hamburger.
Millions of gallons of water and millions of tons of topsoil are wasted to support the beef industry. According to Worldwatch Institute, each pound of feedlot steak costs 35 pounds of eroded American topsoil. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of hamburger.
Millions of cows are raised for food and suffer cruel short lives. More than 100,000 cattle are slaughtered every twenty-four hours in the U.S. The average American eats seven 1,100 pound steers (oxen) in his or her lifetime.
Millions of deaths are associated with a meat diet high in unsaturated fats and cholesterol. The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are just a few of the medical, scientific, and professional associations that recommend a reduction in the consumption of red meat and other animal derived foods and a shift to a more vegetarian diet.
Millions of acres of forestland worldwide are devastated and converted to grazing land. Just one quarter pound hamburger imported from Latin America requires the clearing of 6 square yards of rain forest and the destruction of 165 pounds of living matter including 20 to 30 different plant species, 100 insect species, and dozens of bird, mammal, and reptile species.
Millions of gallons of gasoline are used inefficiently to produce beef. It now takes the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to produce a pound of grain-fed beef in the USA
Millions of tractors built while “God’s tractor,” the ox, is cruelly slaughtered for meat. Some of the elements raped from the earth for this industry are: tin, iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, rubber, and petroleum.
Millions of tons of the three main global warming gases are emitted into the atmosphere due to cattle and beef production: carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.
Millions of people ignorant of these facts in addition to the spiritual implications of the cruel treatment and slaughter of the cow. George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Thus cruelty begets its offspring war!” Srila Prabhupada (Founder /Acharya of the International Society for Krsna Consciousness) has stated, “We want to stop these killing houses. It is very sinful. Therefore in Europe they have so many wars. Every ten, fifteen years there is a big war and wholesale slaughter of the whole humankind. But these rascals, they do not see it. The reaction must be there. Nature will take revenge.” SP, Paris, June 11, 1974