START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
678,590 people care about Real Food

Go Vegetarian or the World Will Go Hungry

Go Vegetarian or the World Will Go Hungry

The days when those of us who don’t eat meat are in the minority could be numbered and sooner than you think. New research by scientists from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) says that, unless the world’s population switches to a diet that is almost completely vegetarian over the next forty years, there will be “catastrophic” food shortages.

The reason? Water scarcity.

According to SIWI’s research, humans today derive 20 percent of their protein from animal-based products and one-third of the world’s arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.

But protein-rich food from animals consumes five to ten times more water than a vegetarian diet does. If humans only derived 5 percent of their protein from animal-based products, there would be “just enough water,” say the scientists.

Widespread Food Shortages and Social Unrest

With the global population expected to grow by 2 billion by 2050 — to total 9 billion — massive food shortages are predicted, a situation exacerbated by the earth’s increasingly erratic climate. Already, “nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase,” the scientists note.

Therefore, feeding 2 billion more people “will place greater pressure on available water and land” with ramifications for political and social unrest. In 2008, food shortages were the reason for civil unrest in 28 countries.

The United Nations and Oxfam have issued warnings that a second global food crisis could occur in the next five years. These fears have been heightened due to the severe droughts in the US and Russia that have meant prices for corn, wheat and soy are up by 50 percent.

There’s Only So Much Water

Competition between using water for food production and other needs will only grow, say the SWIW scientists:

The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources, at a time when we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand – which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years – and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it.

Vegetarianism is Hardly New

Pointing out that Gandhi and Einstein were vegetarians, as was the ancient writer Plutarch, a Guardian editorial says

Being a vegetarian can carry with it an oppressive aura of smugness, as each day being a carnivore gets a bit more like smoking – an act that is not only self-destructive but damaging the rest of the world too. …Going veggie is the only sane response.

It’s also not nearly as difficult, or as “weird,” to be a vegetarian as when I decided to stop eating meat thirty years ago. As Lagusta Yearwood writes in the Guardian, many cultures around the world have long traditions of meatless cuisine:

When kings and queens were busy dying from gout because of their overly rich diets, housewives in Sicily were making luscious caponata from aubergines and celery in a sweet and sour marinade; women in Oaxaca were wrapping corn dough around roasted chilies, seeds, and vegetables to make tamales filled with mole sauces; cooks in Egypt were frying onions in precious olive oil and topping their lentils and rice with them to make koshari; women in Africa were pounding peanuts to make rich stews laced with fresh greens and spices..

Eating vegetarian “tastes good and it does you good,” says the Guardian. This should be — along with ethical concerns about the conditions in which animals are raised and slaughtered —  reason enough to forego meat.

The SWIW’s research shows why, before we know it, vegetarianism will not be a matter of choice but absolutely necessary in order to feed every mouth around the world.

Related Care2 Coverage

USDA Backs Off Meatless Mondays After Livestock Producers Cry Foul

Celebrate Animal Freedom Day Worldwide

Drought Raises Beef, Poultry Prices: Time To Go Meatless?

 

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photo by NewZ2000

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

334 comments

+ add your own
1:33PM PDT on May 20, 2015

I'm veggie for few months and I feel deep changes, not only about food but also about shopping (or NOT shopping ??? ), thinking, looking at the world.
And wondering how SOMEONE people can have crualty melted with their blood ???
God bless them, opening their eyes and connecting them to their heart.

1:32PM PDT on May 20, 2015

I'm veggie for few months and I feel deep changes, not only about food but also about shopping (or NOT shopping ??? ), thinking, looking at the world.
And wondering how SOMEONE people can have crualty melted with their blood ???
God bless them, opening their eyes and connecting them to their heart.

1:24PM PDT on May 20, 2015

I am veggie for few months and I feel a deeply change in my way of looking at the world, of acting, buying ( or NOT buying !!! ), Wondering how some people sera to have crualty running melt to their blood...

Thank you for caring!
Be blessed

1:17PM PDT on May 20, 2015

"The healthiest diet for Humanity is vegetarian."
(Albert Einstein)

1:13PM PDT on May 20, 2015

"If slaughterhouses had glass'walls, everyone would become vegetarian. "
(Sir Paul McCartney)

11:35AM PDT on May 2, 2015

Well, you seem have some 'psychotic delusions' yourself 'Barbara D'.

Let's read the sentence of the article:

"The SWIW’s research shows why, before we know it, vegetarianism will not be a matter of choice but absolutely necessary in order to feed every mouth around the world."

The best part of it all, that there are more and more VEGANS, vegetarians and people who CARE about the environment, animals, sustainable resources, people and the Earth, we can save our planet...hopefully. ❤️

6:16PM PDT on Apr 24, 2015

Yeah, in somebody's psychotic delusion!!

7:35AM PST on Dec 2, 2014

What will be the effect on the environment of intensively farmed grains and vegetables?

12:46AM PST on Nov 27, 2014

Thank You for sharing

4:32AM PST on Nov 26, 2014

noted, thanks

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

What I see in these comments is so sad. Young black men run from the police. Why? Because young black…

Wonderful to know about this. Nature has a way of taking care of herself.

Quanta tenerezza! Grazie per la condivisione

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.