Water Scarcity May Force World to Go Vegetarian by 2050
By the year 2050, the world’s population maybe be consuming a plant-based diet — and not necessarily out of concerns of animal welfare. If current trends continue, scientists at the Stockholm International Water Institute warn, switching the world to a mostly vegetarian diet may be the best option for feeding a growing population.
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to hit 9 billion people. That number currently hovers around 7 billion, and, with concerns that another global food crisis may be just around the corner, scientists are worried about how the planet will possibly be able to feed another 2 billion people.
One of the biggest concerns is water. Currently, about 70% of the world’s water goes into agriculture; animal products use between 5 and 10 times more water than plant-based products, and 1/3 of arable land is used to grow feed for animals. That is, of course, a lot of resources going towards a food that makes up such a small percentage of our diets.
On average, humans get 20% of their protein intake from these resource-sucking products. Simply put, in a world of 9 billion people, there will not be enough water to feed everyone. That is, unless people reduce their intake of animal protein. If, by 2050, the world’s population decreases their intake of animal products to just 5%, there just might be enough water to go around.
If these findings aren’t enough of a reason to go vegetarian, I don’t know what is.