Recent letters to this paper have argued positions comparing environmental extremism to being environmentally aware. Anyone using a little common sense can easily separate fact from fiction regarding environmentalist claims.
A May 19 letter by Octavio Velarde is a perfect example. He states, "Meat demands 70 percent of our water" and "for every pound of beef you eat, you swallow 7,000 pounds of water."
Since an average animal produces about 500 pounds of beef that means an animal would be equivalent to 3.5 million pounds (466,000 gallons) of water! Does any half-intelligent person believe this is remotely possible? An average animal would need to consume an average of 639 gallons per day for its two years of life. Average water consumption is actually about 10 to 15 gallons per day.
How do extremists like Octavio get their figures? Granted, it takes some water to process the animals, but most of the water is attributed to feed these cattle eat. Since beef cows spend their entire life grazing grass, the rainfall on these lands is counted in their usage. It does not matter that without the cattle consuming this grass it would go to waste and in fact represent a fire hazard. Again they count the water used to grow the crops fed in feedlots and dairies. If livestock did not consume these crops where would they go?