Eating Up The World

View Eating Up The World by clicking the image on the left our download a PDF version here.

Eating Up The World kindly provided by Vegetarian Victoria


There are numerous challenges facing our environment today. Food and water shortages, global warming, land and ocean degradation, deforestation and species extinction all threaten to cause irreversible harm to our planet.

But do not be discouraged; the future is not as bleak as it may initially seem. The fate of the earth is in our hands. The use of energy efficient light globes, taking shorter showers, cycling to work and using public transport are just some of the practices many Australians are adopting in order to reduce their personal impact upon our fragile planet.

However there is one lifestyle choice which causes far more damage than all of the others combined. Changing this choice will have a tremendous positive impact upon the health of our world. And this means one thing. Changing what we eat.


Poverty and malnutrition are widespread.  790 million people in the world are chronically undernourished. About 27,000 children under 5 die of poverty and starvation every day.

The thing is, in our world we grow enough edible grain to easily feed each and every person worldwide. But we do not do this. We feed the majority of our edible grain to animals used for meat, dairy and egg production. The world’s cattle alone consume enough food to feed 8.7 billion people – more than the entire human population.

Plants  & Animals

Australia’s animal industries negatively impact bio-diversity through:

  •  habitat destruction
  • climate change
  • pollution
  • the introduction of non-native species
  • increased competition for food and water.


Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth. Presently severe water shortages are a reality, with waste and misuse the main culprits of this situation. Raising animals for food requires enormous amounts of water.

It takes between 50,000 and 100,000 litres of water to produce: 1 kilogram of beef compared to only 2,500 litres to produce 1 kilogram of white rice, and much less for most fruit and vegetables


Over half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are directly caused by livestock and their by-products. This includes the industry’s fuel consumption and energy use, as well as direct emissions.


More than half of the Australian continent is grazed by animals raised for human consumption. This is in addition to the land that is cleared and used for the production of feed for these animals, meaning that a significant portion of our country’s deforestation, soil erosion and pollution concerns can all be attributed to this industry.


Our oceans are dying. While most people are aware of the widespread devastation of our land, the amount of damage occurring beneath the surface of our oceans may be even greater.