Food For Thought:
As of January 1, 2013 there were an estimated 317,108,000 people in the United States. (Wow!) While no one seems to be able to give actual statistics regarding the percentage of Americans who are non-meat eaters (rather than strictly “vegetarians”), we can safely assume that the number is about 8% of the population.
That would mean that out of the estimated 317 million people here, about 285 million of them are meat eaters.
A “fluffy” fact: One cow provides about 400 lbs of hamburger meat (estimates range from 350 – 600 lbs, so I’m being conservative here). Let’s assume that the average hamburger weighs 1/4″ lb, that means that one cow can produce enough quarter-pounders at McDonalds to provide 1600 hamburgers. Sounds like a deal, right??
Now let’s assume that the 285 million people that eat meat in the USA partake of a mere 2 hamburgers a month (conservative number?).
That means that it took 356,250 cows to produce enough burgers to feed those American carnivores for one month. (And that’s just Americans!)
Another fact for ya: One quarter-pound burger requires 6.7 lbs of grain and nearly 53 gallons of water. Imagine that! One quarter-pounder requires enough grain to feed 10 people the average recommended amount of grain daily. (Recommended: 1.6 oz of grain per person daily.)
Are ya following me?
In place of one hamburger for one person, we could feed 10 people with whole grains.
And the water? 53 gallons of water per quarter-pounder… that’s 84,800 gallons of water just to give us 1600 hamburgers (one cow) or 30,210,000,000 gallons of water to provide just TWO hamburgers a month for everyone in the United States. That’s 30 BILLION gallons of water, folks!
How many of you reading this have experienced drought conditions the past decade? How many of you expect that to continue? Next time I drive through Burger King (don’t like McDonald’s, sorry), I will try to think of this. Will you?