On the occasion of World Water Day March 22, the United Nations issued its second World Water Development Report. The report warns that 17 percent of the planet’s population (1.1 billion people) lack access to safe drinking water and 40 perent (2.6 billion) lack basic sanitation. It estimates that these problems account for the loss of 1.6 million lives annually.
More than half of the world’s people are expected to suffer chronic water shortages by the middle of this century.
Essential to life itself, water is also a key resource of agriculture and manufacturing industries. Serious conflicts over shared water supplies have already arisen between the U.S. and Mexico, between Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, and between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It won’t be long before water replaces oil as a root cause of international conflict and terrorism.
Between 70-80 percent of all available water is used to grow animal feedcrops and to process animal carcasses. Most of America’s surface water supplies are used as sewers for runoff from feed crops and concentrated animal feeding operations.
Concerns for world peace and for protection of aquatic habitats are rapidly joining the more traditional concerns for consumer health and animal welfare as compelling reasons for kicking the meat habit and exploring a wholesome nonviolent diet of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
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