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According to the 2017 report of Top Trends in Prepared Foods, the number of people who identify as vegan in the United States has increased six-fold in the past three years. Popular food delivery service Grubhub claimed in their 2017 mid-year report that orders of vegan dishes increased 19%.  Nestle, the largest food maker in the world, named plant-based diets as one of the top consumer trends that is “here to stay.” Clearly, plant-based diets are on the rise and for the most part, they’re sticking around.

Veganism is considered by many people to be a huge change in diet, a drastic weight loss option, or a hard-to-keep-up choice. However, meat and dairy production contributes to detrimental effects to our Earth’s population and environment. EarthX is celebrating World Vegan Day with 10 statistics that may shock you into a more environmentally friendly diet:

1. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Livestock produces 130 times the amount of waste that people do.

3. While meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland.

4. One pound of hamburger meat equals 75 kg CO2 emission (about the same as using your car for 3 weeks).

5. Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day.

6. It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, 477 gallons to produce 1 pound of eggs, and 900 gallons to produce 1 pound of cheese.

7. The US food production system uses about 50% of the total US land area, 80% of the fresh water, and 17% of the fossil fuels used in the country.

8. The amount of water needed to grow two and a half pounds of beef, or ten 4oz hamburgers, is the same amount the average person uses on a year’s worth of showers.

9. About 62% of the total cleared area of the Amazon has been converted into cattle pasture, and it is estimated that cattle ranching accounts for 80% of the current deforestation rates.

10. Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves approximately 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life.

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