Today, dear grasshopers, is Blog Action Day – the fourth annual. Held every October 15th, the goal is to focus attention on a given topic via mass participation (this year, the White House is even getting in on the act!). Whereas previous year’s topics have included poverty, the environment and climate change, Blog Action Day 2010 is all about water. Pollution, scarcity, waste – you name it. Water it is.
As I noted last year, pretty much any and every topic under the sun can be tied to veganism and animal advocacy in some way, shape or form. Last year ’twas simple; the consumption of animal flesh and secretions is a major contributor to climate change. So too does our exploitation of nonhuman animals impact water, in myriad ways: waste from animal agriculture operations pollute our waterways; the production of “meat,” eggs and dairy requires the use (waste) of more water than does eating lower down on the food chain; and, by contributing to climate change, animal ag. has a further negative impact on weather patterns, including precipitation. Etc., etc.
Unfortunately, looking at change.org‘s Blog Action Day page, one might not know this. Of its 18 featured post ideas, only one mentions “meat” production, and with little context – only by clicking through to The Water Project’s website does the reader learn of “meat’s” “water cost” relative to, say, an apple. Since most of us consume three meals a day throughout our lives (while only purchasing a new cell phone or pair of jeans sporadically), food should really be a primary focus of this action day as opposed to an afterthought, don’t you think?
Because I’m feeling both lazy and cynical (the former perhaps owing to the latter), I really don’t have the heart to delve too much more into the topic. Luckily, Elaine did, so instead I shall direct you to her post, and leave you with the following tables to consider:
Table: The water cost of food
Source: The Water Project. Click through for a plain-text version.
Table: Approximate Crop Water Requirements to produce Food Harvested
Source: The world’s water 2000-2001: the biennial report on freshwater resources by Peter H. Gleick.
Table: Water Used to Produce Some Common Items (#2)
Source: VRG / Chapagain A, Hoekstra A (2004) Water Footprints of Nations Volume One: Main Report. Value of Water Research Report Series No.16. Delft (The Netherlands): UNESCO – IHE Institute for Water Education. Click through for a plain-text version.
Table: Water Used to Produce some Common Items (#3)
Source: VRG / Chapagain A, Hoekstra A (2004) Water Footprints of Nations Volume One: Main Report. Value of Water Research Report Series No.16. Delft (The Netherlands): UNESCO – IHE Institute for Water Education and Aldaya M, Hoekstra A. (2009) The Water Needed to Have Italians Eat Pasta and Pizza. Value of Water Research Report Series No.36. Delft (The Netherlands): UNESCO – IHE Institute for Water Education. Click through for a plain-text version.