The United States consumes a lot of beef.

The United States is the largest beef producer and beef importer in the world. In 2021 alone, Americans ate over 20 billion pounds of beef. Producing that amount of beef involves a significant amount of land for livestock pasture and feed crops, much of which was formerly forest, prairie, and other vital ecosystems.

46% of the land in the United States (lower 48 states) is used for animal agriculture.

Animal agriculture uses huge amounts of water in the drought-stricken western United States. Especially beef.

“Fully 80% of the water drawn from the Colorado goes to irrigating some 5.5 million acres, most of which is used to grow alfalfa and grass to feed cattle, and not only in the United States.”
- Wade Davis, writing for Rolling Stone

Remaining wild habitats are threatened by pollutants and water use from animal agricultural operations. Fertilizers, livestock manure, and pesticides do not always remain stationary on the landscape where they are applied. Runoff, infiltration, and irrigation return flows can move these contaminants into local streams, rivers, and groundwater - even affecting drinking water supplies.

In 2021 alone, Americans ate over 20 billion pounds of beef.

Case Studies