Is Our Diet Depleting the Planet?

Everyone has heard of Global Warming, but Global Depletion is much less known. As vast as Global Warming may seem, it is only a small piece in the growing puzzle of Global Depletion, which refers to the loss of all of Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources.

One of the few books that captures the whole scope of Global Depletion, instead of focusing on issues that branch off from the real problem, is Comfortably Unaware, by Dr. Richard A. Oppenlander. This book reaches deep into the heart of the issue, where society seems to avoid looking.

While unaware of the issue of Global Depletion, many of us are not even aware of the true cause of Global Warming, which has been given such publicity.  While carbon dioxide is allocated the majority of the blame for climate change, Oppenlander reveals that “Our current food choices detrimentally affect climate change and global warming more so than do all the cars, planes, trucks, buses, and trains used worldwide.”

It is not our lights being left on or our fans running (although they contribute) that are destroying our planet; it is our eating habits. And it is not turning off the light or air conditioning that will save the Earth, it is the shift to a plant based diet.

The animal industry simultaneously destroys our planet’s air, water, diversity, soil, atmosphere, and our own health. Comfortably Unaware brings to light all of these terrifying truths that have been hidden and ignored. “Please understand: this book is not about animal rights, although this is a very noble concern.” says Oppenlander. The book simply lays on the table the bare facts that everyone has a right to know about what is being done to the place we live without our knowledge.

It is not fair that we have been denied this information and that we have been led to believe that the animal industry will make our planet and our bodies healthier. Nor is it fair to deny ourselves the opportunity to learn the truth in a time when it is being exposed to members of the public who are willing to look for it. “Fifty-five percent of our fresh water is being given to livestock… Over 70 percent of the grain in the United States is fed to livestock… It takes 10 to 20 gallons of water to produce one pound of vegetables, fruit, soybeans, or grain… over 5000 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat… over 30 percent of all usable total land mass on the earth is used by livestock.” These are things that every person should be aware of, and has the right to be aware of.

Believe it or not, the unfairness of the issue continues relentlessly. It is unfair to those less fortunate than ourselves if we do not take the opportunity we are given to learn about ways that we can help the planet and all of its people. “Six million children in the world will die from starvation this year…1.1 billion people in the world are considered malnourished or suffering from hunger.” As a species, we can help these people through a method as ridiculously simple as eating a plant based diet. The land and resources used to produce meat, dairy and eggs could be used to grow a vastly larger amount of grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes that would not only feed more people, but improve the health of every one of them.


“There is no room for a halfway approach. Heavy economic penalties should be imposed on all producers and consumers of animal products, as well as nations that continue the practice,” warns Dr.Oppenlander.

Take the chance to learn what everyone should have been taught a long time ago, to reveal the facts that have been distorted or completely twisted.

Everyone deserves to know the truth about what is really going on in the world. Some may choose to ignore this right. But the more of us who take the truth upon ourselves as a responsibility, the sooner the precious Earth will begin healing.

90 comments

Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Sara Bermudez
Sara Rathfon4 years ago

Carl, continuing with a meat based diet is devastating our environment and the U.N. reported that raising animals for food is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale from local to global." This would be true regardless of the rising population, although the huge rise in population is also a very big problem.

Sara Bermudez
Sara Rathfon4 years ago

Dee, this is a great point but a bit off topic. We cannot continue to consume a meat and dairy based diet or soon the shortages of resources are going to kill so many people than are already dying because of the ignorance of so many!

Annemarie W.
Annemarie L4 years ago

thank you

Dee H.
Dina Hart4 years ago

Roberta - Then support Planned Parenthood and contraception programs around the world.

Of course, I'm doubting a village of Etheopians would consume as many resources as one typical American, but it would help them by perhaps easing their poverty. One less mouth to feed equals more for the rest of the family.

James S.
james S4 years ago

Elizabeth G. - I agree that it would be great for people to cut down on animal consumption but please share - why does everyone have to "not give up meat"? Does everyone really have to eat animal flesh and if so, why do you think that way?

Bill K.
Bill K4 years ago

the reason you should be concerned Carl is because if everyone in the world ate a typical American diet we would need 4 earth-sized planets to meet the need for meat. other countries may be having larger populations explosions but we're the ones wasting a greater amount of energy and other resources. so unless you know where we can get our hands on 3 more earth-like planets you need to make more responsible choices.

Janine Kaczynski
janine Kaczynski4 years ago

Good point Chelsea, you are on target. I'm a vegan. I have it down pat. I haven't been sick in years because I am a vegan. I eat no animal fat, only plant protein and my heart loves it. My brain is fed by ground flaxseed for Omegas and I have vegs and fruits and vegs every day. 4 1/2 cups of them. I don't get colds, i don't get high blood pressure and I exercise plus do yoga. The last time I went to a doctor he was smoking in his office. Not cool. Write to me if you have any questions at all. Make sure you get enough fiber. I aim for 38 grams daily. OH, protein I eat approx 41 grams daily. VEGANISM is EASY! I endorse a plant protein drink that is chocolate. Write me for the name. :) :)

Rooibos Bird
IE Ries4 years ago

To me, this article is about 3 conversations at once:

1) The problems with consumerism (thank to Pamela H. for pointing this out)

2) Human overpopulation

3) Animal suffering because of humans and our activities/habits

All three should be addressed directly. Many point out that certain nations disproportionately consume the planet (quite literally), while others continue to indulge in rampant and flagrant overpopulation (usually facilitated by religions) and this is in many ways levied on the backs of OTHER species, free (wildlife) and slave (domesticated) alike, and there does need to be fact-finding and truth seeking independent of the animal industries in whose interests "studies" are conducted that support the consumption of other species in one form or another.

This is a good article - it's opened the Pandora's Box of discussion on three fronts, and those three topics can be addressed as stand-alone issues or as macro-intertwined issues.

Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen4 years ago

Why should I restrict my lifestyle to handle the irresponsible population growth in other parts of the world ?

E.g. in my lifetime the population in my country has risen by 10% and this is due to immigration.
In the same time Somalia's population has grown by 200%, India's by over 100%, Pakistan's by over 200%, China's by about 90%, Iraq's by almost 300%, Iran's by 200% and so on
And except for China none of them are doing anything significant about it.