Want to save the planet? Be vegan.

water main

I passed, yet another, water main break in Los Angeles. It always hurts my soul when I see these because it means that thousands of gallons of precious, clean water are wasted. As The LA Times reports:

About one-fifth of the city’s water pipes were installed before 1931 and nearly all will reach the end of their useful lives in the next 15 years. They are responsible for close to half of all water main leaks, and replacing them is a looming, $1-billion problem for the city.

Note: we are in a crippling 5 year drought. Water waste, like this, hurts us. Badly. No matter how short our showers are, or how few minutes we water our lawns three days a week, conserving water, in a meaningful way, seems to be far outside of our reach.

And it’s not only California that suffers from a dangerous water shortage. The world is suffering, and it’s getting worse. Quickly. From The Guardian:

The world’s population continues to soar but that rise in numbers has not been matched by an accompanying increase in supplies of fresh water.

The consequences are proving to be profound. Across the globe, reports reveal huge areas in crisis today as reservoirs and aquifers dry up. More than a billion individuals – one in seven people on the planet – now lack access to safe drinking water.

Can you imagine that for yourself or your child? No clean water? It’s unimaginable, but not un-possible. It’s happening. And it’s spreading.

It’s easy to feel helpless and that our individual choices won’t make a change — especially when so many companies and government officials seem to give less than a damn about the planet we leave for our children. But I bet you give a damn. I know I do.

So what can one do?  What small choice can have the biggest impact on sparing our children epic droughts, irreversible ground water depletion, territory wars over clean water and dead oceans (not-so-fun fact: when our oceans die, we die)?

A very easy and highly effective option is to go vegan. From home, that’s what you can do.

According to National Geographic,

On average, a vegan, a person who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day less than a person who eats the average American diet.

But also, as the documentary COWSPIRACY (if you haven’t watched it, you must) explains in stark detail:

5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. 

I could go on and link article after article to make the point, but the point is not in dispute. If you want to leave a viable planet for our children, live a vegan lifestyle. It’s not only the right thing to do, but eventually, we may have no choice.

It’s urgent.

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