The 4.8 pounds of grain fed to cattle to produce one pound of beef for human beings represents a colossal
waste of resources in a world still teeming with people who suffer from profound hunger and malnutrition.

According to the British group Vegfam, a 10-acre farm can support 60 people growing soybeans, 24 people
growing wheat, 10 people growing corn and only two producing cattle. Britain -- with 56 million people --
could support a population of 250 million on an all-vegetable diet.

Because 90 percent of U.S. and European meat eaters' grain consumption is indirect (first being fed to
animals), westerners each consume 2,000 pounds of grain a year. Most grain in underdeveloped countries
is consumed directly.

Producing a pound of beef requires 4.8 pounds of grain, and critics of our modern agricultural system say
that the spread of meat-based diets aggravates world hunger. © David & Peter Turnley / Corbis.

"To produce 1 lb. of feedlot beef requires 7 lbs. of feed grain, which takes 7,000 lbs. of water to grow. Pass
up one hamburger, and you'll save as much water as you save by taking 40 showers with a low-flow

"What do we get back from all the grain, fossil fuels, and water that go into making animal products? Tons
and tons of feces. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the run-off from factory farms
pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined." Motavalli.

"The livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to the earth’s increasingly scarce water
resources, contributing among other things to water pollution from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones,
chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to spray feed crops."
UN Report

It takes more land, water, and energy to produce meat than to grow vegetarian foods. It’s several times more
efficient to eat grains directly than to funnel them through farmed animals. According to the Audubon
Society, roughly 70 percent of the grain grown and 50 percent of the water consumed in the United States
are used by the meat industry.

A Minority Staff of Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry report states “the beef in just one
Big Mac represents enough wheat to make five loaves of bread.”