This really is the lucky country where on the driest continent on earth, with 70% of Australia considered to be arid, we can still turn on the tap and drink clean water – for free. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for many people around the world.
Water is a precious commodity; actually it is no less than essential to our survival and that of every species on the planet. But when our water flows freely from the taps, do we consider it to be precious, and how much do we waste?
Naughty personal habits like long showers or leaving the tap running whilst brushing our teeth waste water but the big guns in the water waste department are actually the foods we eat.
Roughly 70% of the water used globally is for agriculture, with as much as 90% of water dedicated to agriculture in developing countries.
Raising animals for food is very water intensive especially when compared with the amount of water needed for growing plants. For example:
It takes 70 liters of water to produce an apple.
One glass of apple juice (200 ml) uses about 190 liters of water.
A serving of beef (100g) requires 1550 liters of water to produce.
One hundred grams of cheese requires 500 liters of water to produce.
According to Animals Australia, more than one billion people worldwide already ‘lack enough safe water to meet minimum levels of health and income.’ Worldwide water shortages are a growing threat.
The consumption of animal products contributes to the depletion and pollution of the world’s scarce freshwater resources, as these products have a larger water footprint than plant crops.
The average meat eater’s diet requires 15 times more water than a plant-based diet. That means that switching to a plant based diet can save roughly 5 million litres per year. That’s more water than you’d use for showers in two lifetimes!
To lessen your impacts on our precious water resources, consider going meat free for a day a week, a week a month or a month a year. Start slowly and make small changes to create big benefits to your health, the environment and the lives of millions of animals.