Nine Statistics

September 11, 2008

People often ask me why I’m a vegetarian.

These nine statistics are definitely part of that reason – thanks to the Guardian.

  1. 82g: The amount of protein the average Briton eats daily, of which 50g is meat, the equivalent of a chicken breast and lamb chop. This is 25-50 per cent above the World Health Organisation recommendation.
  2. 8: The number of beef cattle we eat over an average lifetime. We also consume 36 sheep, 36 pigs and 550 poultry birds.
  3. Britons’ meat consumption is now 50 per cent higher than it was 40 years ago.
  4. 1m tonnes: The amount of beef we consume as a nation each year, along with 1.3 million tonnes of pork and bacon and 1.8 million tonnes of poultry.
  5. 990 litres: The amount of water that is required to produce one litre of milk.
  6. 100kg: The amount of methane emitted by the average cow every year. Methane is a greenhouse gas with an effect 23 times greater than carbon dioxide, so this is equal to 2,300 kgs per year, or almost the same as two return flights between London and New York, or driving 7,800 miles.
  7. 1.5 billion: The estimated number of cows and bulls worldwide. They produce two-thirds of the world’s ammonia, which is the principal cause of acid rain.
  8. 7lb: The amount of grain it takes to produce just one pound of beef.
  9. 456 million: The amount, in tonnes, of global meat production forecast for 2050 – almost double that of 2001. Half of the world’s pork is now eaten in China, while Brazil is the second largest consumer of beef, after the United States of America.

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