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Old 03-03-2009, 01:10 PM   #61
Stuart Buck
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

Has anyone mentioned this site yet? http://www.vegetariansareevil.com/ NOT totally wfs.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #62
Chadron Edwards
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

Actually, in terms of water usage, raising animals is a drop in the bucket in terms of use when compared with the enormous waste involved with crop irrigation.

It's a little old of a resource, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey, Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 1995 (in Legal Control of Water Resources by Sax et al. (4th. ed. 2006)), agricultural irrigation constitutes 81% of water consumption and 39% of water withdrawals, while livestock use constitutes 3% of water consumption and 2% of water withdrawals.

The reason things sound so shocking when talking about animal water use is that it takes so many "thousands of gallons of water" to make a particular quantity of meat. But, to compare water uses in absolute terms, consider that agricultural irrigation withdraws 134 billion gallons per day while livestock uses withdraw 5.49 billion gallons per day. (Id. at p.4).

Additionally, irrigation uses are incredibly inefficient. To give an example of the impact of these improvements, consider that "[a] 33 percent jump in Southern California's population could be met by either a 25 percent decrease in domestic water consumption or a four percent savings in agricultural use" (Id. at p.17). These improvements are certainly possible, as many farming operations still use unlined, uncovered ditches and trench irrigation which is incredibly inefficient in terms of converting water withdrawn to water used by plants. Unfortunately, our water rights systems currently in place give farmers little or even negative incentives to improve their efficiency in use of water.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:14 AM   #63
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

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Originally Posted by Chadron Edwards View Post
Actually, in terms of water usage, raising animals is a drop in the bucket in terms of use when compared with the enormous waste involved with crop irrigation.
The two are related, since animal feed is one of the major uses for corn, and corn is a fairly thirsty crop.

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:18 AM   #64
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

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Originally Posted by Chadron Edwards View Post
Additionally, irrigation uses are incredibly inefficient. To give an example of the impact of these improvements, consider that "[a] 33 percent jump in Southern California's population could be met by either a 25 percent decrease in domestic water consumption or a four percent savings in agricultural use" (Id. at p.17). These improvements are certainly possible, as many farming operations still use unlined, uncovered ditches and trench irrigation which is incredibly inefficient in terms of converting water withdrawn to water used by plants. Unfortunately, our water rights systems currently in place give farmers little or even negative incentives to improve their efficiency in use of water.
Well, yeah. I have personally seen Central Valley farms "irrigating" by spraying water into the air, in July, in the afternoon, when it's 90+ degrees and the relative humidity is about 20%. Most of that water evaporates before it even hits the ground.

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Old 03-05-2009, 10:30 AM   #65
Zac Jereb
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
The two are related, since animal feed is one of the major uses for corn, and corn is a fairly thirsty crop.

Katherine
And that's one of the many reasons to eat pastured ("grass fed") animals rather than CAFO products (corn and God knows what else fed).
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:32 AM   #66
Chadron Edwards
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

I must not have been clear. What I mean is that the actual methods of farming are a problem in that they cause enormous waste of water rather than the crops themselves. The corn (or other crops grown to feed people or animals) could be grown without using as much water by simply using improved methods. I'm not talking about a few percentage points; I'm talking about farms that lose well over half their water to seepage and evaporation.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:30 AM   #67
Colin McLafferty
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Re: Venting on a Vegetarian

Wow, this is the first time I came back to this thread since I posted it. Got some reading to do!
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