Letter to the editor – Climate Change


Dear Editor,

I am not going to enter into a debate about the relative merits of a vegetarian lifestyle; I am interested in presenting some statistics. But I largely agree with Mr. Creasey. The percents vary a bit but are all in the same ballpark.

  1. The combined biomass of all domesticated animals is now 25X that of all wild terrestrial animals left on earth. (p.127, Earth in Human Hands, Grinspoon, 2016, library: 304,2 )
  2. If humans grew as fast as broilers, a 3kg newborn would weigh 300kg. at 2 months.(p. 26, The Dorito Effect, Schatzker, 2015)
  3. Chicken fat content per 100 grams: 1870, 4; 1970, 8.6; 2004, 20+. (p. 145, Dorito)
  4. Omega 6:3 ratio in CAFO (factory farm) animals twice that of grass fed.(p. 49, Superfuel, Mercola, 2018)
  5. In 2010 obesity related illness killed roughly 3 million; terrorists killed 7,697. (p. 18, Homo Deus, Harari, 2015)
  6. In the U.S. 80% of soy and 66% of corn fed to animals, not people. (p. 22, Diet For A Hot Planet, Lappe, 2010, library: 338.19)
  7. Atrazine (banned in Europe in 2007) is an endocrine disrupter, probably carginogenic; it is used on more than two thirds of corn crops. (p. 98, Diet)
  8. More than 99% of animals eaten are from factory farms.(99.9% chickens, 99% turkeys,97% of laying hens, 95% pigs, 78% cattle) (p. 109, Eating Animals, Foer, 2009)
  9. Factory farm animals produce 130X more waste than the total human population. The polluting strength is 160 X greater than raw municipal sewage. (p. 174, Foer)
  10. In 1965 there were 8 billion livestock; in 2010 there were 20 billion. (p. 26, Hot Planet)
  11. Worldwide 67% of all land is used to produce animal products. (p. 149, Foer)
  12. Glyphosate (Round Up) is the top pesticide sold in Canada. Its use tripled between 2005 and 2011. (It is banned in Europe as a carcinogen.)(p. 12, Boiling Point, Barlow, 2014, library:333.910)
  13. More than half of all synthetic nitrogen fertilizer ever used has been used since 1985.(p. 40, Facing The Anthropocene, Angus, 2016, library: 304.2)
  14. Toxicity data is missing for 87% of the chemicals on the Canadian market.(p.11, Barlow)
  15. Livestock produce 9% of CO2, 37% of methane (23 X worse than CO2), 65% of nitrous oxide (296 X worse than CO2).(p. 7, UN Report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, 2006)
  16. Water usage per kg.: potatoes, 500, wheat 900, beef 100,000. (p. 166, The China Study, Campbell, 2006)
  17. The average trawler throws 80-90% overboard as ‘bycatch.’ (p. 191, Foer)
  18. Shrimp: 2% global seafood by weight, 33% of ‘bycatch.’ (p. 49, Foer)

Darrell Nunn



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