Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Goodland, R Anhang, J. “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows?”

WorldWatch, November/December 2009. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DC, USA. Pp. 10–19.

Animal Feed Science and Technology “comment to editor” Goodland, Anhang.

The Independent, article Nov. 2009.

Methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame.

“Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions.” Science Magazine.

Methane has a global warming potential 86 times that of CO2 on a 20 year time frame.

(Please note the following PDF is very large and may take a while to load)

“Improved Attribution of Climate Forcing to Emissions.” Science Magazine.

Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.

“Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006.

Emissions for agriculture projected to increase 80% by 2050.


Reducing methane emissions would create tangible benefits almost immediately.

U.N. Press Release, Climate Summit 2014.


Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) water use ranges from 70-140 billion gallons annually.

“Draft Plan to Study the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources.” EPA Office of Research and Development. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.

Animal agriculture water consumption ranges from 34-76 trillion gallons annually.   [ii]  [xv]

Pimentel, David, et al. “Water Resources: Agricultural And Environmental Issues.” BioScience 54, no. 10 (2004): 909-18.

Barber, N.L., “Summary of estimated water use in the United States in 2005: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3098.”

Agriculture is responsible for 80-90% of US water consumption.   [xv]

“USDA ERS – Irrigation & Water Use.” United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. 2013.

Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US.   [xv]

Jacobson, Michael F. “More and Cleaner Water.” In Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a More Plant-based Diet Could save Your Health and the Environment. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest, 2006.

Californians use 1500 gallons of water per person per day. Close to Half is associated with meat and dairy products.

Pacific Institute, "California's Water Footprint"

2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 

(NOTE. The amount of water used to produce 1lb. of beef vary greatly from 442 - 8000 gallons. We choose to use in the film the widely cited conservative number of 2500 gallons per pound of US beef from Dr. George Borgstrom, Chairman of Food Science and Human Nutrition Dept of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, "Impacts on Demand for and Quality of land and Water." ) 

Oxford Journals. "Water Resources: Agricultural and Environmental Issues"

The World's Water. "Water Content of Things" 

Journal of Animal Science. "Estimation of the water requirement for beef production in the United States." 

Robbins, John. “2,500 Gallons, All Wet?” EarthSave

Meateater’s Guide to Climate Change & Health.” Environmental Working Group.

“Water Footprint Assessment.” University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN: Langdon Street, 2013. Print


Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.  

1/5 of global water consumption:

27%-30%+ of global water consummation is for animal agriculture. 

1/3 of global fresh water consumed is for animal ag.

“Freshwater Abuse and Loss: Where Is It All Going?” Forks Over Knives.

- LAND -

Livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land.

FAO. "Livestock a major threat to environment"

Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.

Thornton, Phillip, Mario Herrero, and Polly Ericksen. “Livestock and Climate Change.” Livestock Exchange, no. 3 (2011).

IPCC AR5 WG# Chapter 11, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Us (AFOLU) 

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.  [xix]  [iv]

Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, predators and "competition" species are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources. [XIX]

Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Comfortably Unaware. Oppenlander.

NOAA, "what is a dead zone".

Scientific America, "What Causes Ocean "Dead Zones"?".

“What’s the Problem?” United States Environmental Protection Agency.

“Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006.

The Encyclopedia of Earth, "The Causes of Extinction". 

Annenberg Learner, Unit 9: Biodiversity Decline // Section 7: Habitat Loss: Causes and Consequences

WWF, "Losing their homes because of the growing needs of humans."

Center for Biological Diversity, "How Eating Meat Hurts Wildlife and the Planet".

Science Direct “Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption”

FAO, "Livestock impacts on the environment".

“Fire Up the Grill for a Mouthwatering Red, White, and Green July 4th.” Worldwatch Institute.

Oppenlander, Richard A. “Biodiversity and Food Choice: A Clarification.” Comfortably Unaware. 2012

“Risk Assessment Evaluation for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Research and Development. 2004.

 Livestock operations on land have created more than 500 nitrogen flooded deadzones around the world in our oceans.


NOAA News, 2014.


130 times more animal waste than human waste is produced in the US – 1.4 billion tons from the meat industry annually. 5 tons of animal waste is produced per person in the US.   [xii]

Animal agriculture: waste management practices. United States General Accounting Office.




Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction.

World Bank. "Causes of Deforestation of theBrazilian Amazon”

Margulis, Sergio. Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Rainforest. Washington: World Bank Publications, 2003.


Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second.

“Avoiding Unsustainable Rainforest Wood.” Rainforest Relief.

Facts about the rainforest.

Rainforest facts.

World Resources Institute, "Keeping Options Alive".

The leading causes of rainforest destruction are livestock and feedcrops.

“Livestock impacts on the environment.” Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (fao). 2006.

Up to137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day due to rainforest destruction.

“Rainforest statistics and facts.” Save the amazon.

RAN, Fact Page.

Tropical Rain Forest Information Center, NASA Earth Science Information Partner

Monga Bay, "What is Deforestation?".

150-200 species per day are lost per day, The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

26 million rainforest acres (10.8m hectares) have been cleared for palm oil production.   [ix]

“Indonesia: palm oil expansion unaffected by forest moratorium.” USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. 2013.

136 million rainforest acres cleared for animal agriculture.


214,000 square miles occupied by cattle (136 million acres):

1,100 Land activists have been killed in Brazil in the past 20 years.   [x]

Batty, David. “Brazilian faces retrial over murder of environmental activist nun in Amazon.” The Guardian. 2009.

20 years ago the Amazon lost its strongest advocate.



414 billion dollars in externalized cost from animal ag.   [xvi]

Simon, David Robinson. "Meatonomics" Conari Press (September 1, 2013)

Huffington Post, Sept 2013.

Why A Big Mac Should Cost $200

Global Environmental costs of Animal Agriculture estimated at $170 billion

80% of antibiotic sold in the US are for livestock.

Center For A Livable Future, "New FDA Numbers Reveal Food Animals Consume Lion’s Share of Antibiotics”.

FDA 2009, "Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals".

World population in 1812: 1 billion; 1912: 1.5 billion; 2012: 7 billion.

“Human numbers through time.” Nova science programming.

Harvesting the Biosphere: The Human Impact,Vaclav Smil

70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.

A well-fed world. factory farms.

Compassion In World Farming. Strategic Plan 2013-2017

ADAPTT. "The Animal Kill Counter"

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Throughout the world, humans drink 5.2 billion gallons of water and eat 21 billion pounds of food each day.

Based on rough averages of 0.75 gallons of water and 3 lbs of food per day. water - 1/2 - 1 gallon

food - 3lbs globally per capita per day

US Americans consume 5.3lbs of food per day

Worldwide, at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock. 

FAO, "Livestock - a driving force for food security and sustainable development".

Global Issues, "BEEF".

Wisconsin Soybean Association, "U.S. and Wisconsin Soybean Facts". 

82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.

80% of the worlds starving children live in 14 countries. (figure 5)

Livestock production country list

Livestock global mapping

15x more protein on any given area of land with plants, rather than animals.

“Soy Benefits”. National Soybean Research Laboratory. Retrieved 2010-04-18.


1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food.

1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat.

Oppenlander, Richard A. Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

Direct Seeded Vegetable Crops, Johnny Seeds.

USDA NASS, "One Acre of Washington's farmers land"

Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 2012.



THE HIDDEN COST OF HAMBURGERS                                       COWSPIRACY       

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