Meat and Dairy Farms Drain Half the Nation’s Water

As California faces water restrictions during a historic drought, Pamela Anderson stars in an Alfred Hitchcock–inspired PETA ad - photographed by famed artist David LaChapelle — to declare that the solution isn’t just shorter showers — it’s also turning off the tap that supplies animal agriculture. She says, “Making a splash for the environment doesn’t just mean shorter showers. Try vegan.”

“Rivers are siphoned off, not just for the animals but also for crops like alfalfa grown to feed animals on factory farms,” says Pam, a PETA honorary director and longtime vegan. “Producing 1 pound of beef uses as much water as about six months’ worth of showers.”

With even the oldest, least eco-friendly showerhead, a 10-minute shower averages approximately 40 gallons of water. How does that compare to raising animals for food? It takes 4 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER to produce 1 ton of beef. That means that it takes 1,846 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of beef—that’s the equivalent of 46 10-minute showers.

Beef production isn’t the only water-wasting culprit:

  • Chicken: 1 pound requires 518 gallons of water, or 13 showers
  • Lamb: 1 pound requires 1,248 gallons of water, or 31 showers
  • Pork: 1 pound requires 718 gallons of water, or 18 showers