|Global Hunger - Widespread, Persistent and Unacceptable|
Some 841 million people today are chronically malnourished, and there are 88 "food deficit" countries. This means "they can neither feed themselves nor afford the imports they need," according to the United Nations Population Fund. Following a vegetarian diet can help reduce your impact on the world food supplies, water supplies and land available for farming.
Our meat-based diet is partly to blame, as land, water, and other resources that could be used to grow food for human beings are being used to grow crops for farmed animals instead. According to a recent report by Compassion in World Farming, "[c]rops that could be used to feed the hungry are instead being used to fatten animals raised for food." It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh.
Many leading environmental organizations, including the National Audubon Society, the WorldWatch Institute, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, have recognized that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about anything else that we do. Whether it's the overuse of resources, unchecked water or air pollution, or soil erosion, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on the Earth.
The most important step you can take to save the planet is to go vegetarian.