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Do You Have to Go Vegan to Save the Planet?
We’re going to start today’s newsletter with some GOOD news: California, Arizona, and Nevada have reached a deal with President Biden to drastically cut water use from the Colorado River in exchange for $1.2 billion in government funding. Cha-ching!
Around 40 million Americans rely on the Colorado River, and for the last year conservation negotiations between states and the government have been as unsuccessful as the past few years of SNL.
The fact that a deal has finally been reached is major, but of course, there’s some bad news hiding behind this good news: our water sources are in trouble.
And this got us wondering: where is all the water going? What can we measly humans do to help the situation?
Turns out, the number one thing you can do is eat less meat and dairy. Out of the 1.9 trillion gallons of water consumed within the Colorado River basin in a typical year, 56 percent of it goes toward raising livestock. Other crops use up to 24 percent, and the last 21 percent goes to everything else.
Anyone who has attempted to take 30-second showers to save the planet might like to know that it takes around 38 gallons of water to produce one quarter-pound beef patty. Cool.
So what’s a person to do? Immediately switch to a vegan diet today, cold-turkey cold-tofu? No. Or yes. Maybe?
If a fully vegan diet works for you, great! The planet thanks you. But the reality is that everyone’s bodies react to food differently, and no one should feel shamed if going all-out vegan isn’t a good option for them. A more nuanced approach is to be more mindful of your animal product consumption and become a “reducetarian.” The planet also thanks you.
Now go take a full minute-long shower. You deserve it.