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.
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.
If Americans cut their beef consumption by 90% – and other animal products by 50% – the reduction in emissions would be the equivalent of taking every car off the road in the United States, and another 200 million cars off the roads in other countries, for a year.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation in Australia.
The cattle and cattle feed industry are the largest threat to the Brazilian Amazon.
The United States is the largest beef producer and beef importer in the world. That's a problem.