Letters to the Editor

Agribusinesses’ role

One of April 10’s four viewpoints regarding our water crisis pointed out some thirsty crops: pistachios, almonds and alfalfa.

The latter is used for livestock feed. Its primary use is for cattle, such as dairy and beef; it’s also used in poultry diets.

What was glaringly missing from the Viewpoint page was an article highlighting animal agribusiness (the meat, dairy and egg industry) and its over-consumptive water usage.

November 2013’s edition of United Airlines’ Hemispheres magazine featured an article by Peter Guest — a London-based journalist who writes frequently about the environment.

This informational tidbit rang forth: “Producing a quarter-pound burger requires around 7 pounds of animal feed, 600 gallons of water and 75 square feet of land. It also releases around 13 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.”

What we put in our mouths is one choice we do control, and that choice does make a difference, on many levels.

Tearing out lawns, installing low-flow aerators and limiting shower time are all necessary lifestyle changes. But if you eat meat, you’re supporting an industry that is and will continue to guzzle away your guarded gallons. Isn’t that hard to swallow?