As the demand for water, much of which is used in animal and industrial production continues to rise, the water-deprived regions of the world continue to suffer from associated social upheaval. Of the three billion people projected to be added to the planet over the next half century, most will be born in countries that are already dealing with severe water shortages. Meanwhile, urbanization and industrialization continue to drive people away from villages to densely-populated urban centers where their residential water use becomes far more intensive.
More than fifty percent of the water consumed worldwide, including both water diverted from rivers and water pumped from underground, is used for irrigating animal fodder. The quantity of water used to grow the grain that feeds the animals we eat could produce an exponentially greater quantity of vegetable protein and save astonishing amounts of water for human use.
With over 1.2 billion people on the planet currently without access to safe drinking water and more than five million people losing their lives each year from preventable water-related disease, it is time we realized that dietary change in the wealthier nations has a huge impact on human suffering around the globe.