Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

How to Win an Argument with a Meat-Eater

Various Sources, 1st July 2000ce

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein

"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." - Albert Schweitzer

And for those of you who need further convincing, read on.


The Hunger Argument
  • Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
  • Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
  • Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by people: 20
  • Percentage of corn grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 80
  • Percentage of oats grown in the U.S. eaten by livestock: 95
  • Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
  • How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2.3 seconds
  • Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on an acre: 40,000
  • Pounds of beef produced on an acre: 250
  • Percentage of U.S. farmland devoted to beef production: 56
  • Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

The Environmental Argument
  • Cause of global warming: greenhouse effect
  • Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels
  • Fossil fuels needed to produce meat-centered diet vs. a meat-free diet: 3 times more
  • Percentage of U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75
  • Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
  • Number of acres of U.S. forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
  • Amount of meat imported to U.S. annually from Central and South America: 300,000,000 pounds
  • Percentage of Central American children under the age of five who are undernourished: 75
  • Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound of rainforest beef: 55 square feet
  • Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests for meat grazing and other uses: 1,000 per year

The Cancer Argument
  • Increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily compared to less than once a week: 3.8 times
  • For women who eat eggs daily compared to once a week: 2.8 times
  • For women who eat butter and cheese 2-4 times a week: 3.25 times
  • Increased risk of fatal ovarian cancer for women who eat eggs 3 or more times a week vs. less than once a week: 3 times
  • Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat, cheese, eggs and milk daily vs. sparingly or not at all: 3.6 times.

The Cholesterol Argument
  • Number of U.S. medical schools: 125
  • Number requiring a course in nutrition: 30
  • Nutrition training received by average U.S. physician during four years in medical school: 2.5 hours
  • Most common cause of death in the U.S.: heart attack
  • How frequently a heart attack kills in the U.S.: every 45 seconds
  • Average U.S. man's risk of death from heart attack: 50 percent
  • Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat: 15 percent
  • Risk of average U.S. man who eats no meat, dairy or eggs: 4 percent
  • Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption of meat, dairy and eggs by 10 percent: 9 percent
  • Amount you reduce risk of heart attack if you reduce consumption by 50 percent: 45 percent
  • Amount you reduce risk if you eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from your diet: 90 percent
  • Average cholesterol level of people eating meat-centered-diet: 210 mg/dl
  • Chance of dying from heart disease if you are male and your blood cholesterol level is 210 mg/dl: greater than 50 percent

The Natural Resources Argument
  • User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the U.S.: livestock production
  • Amount of water used in production of the average cow: sufficient to float a destroyer
  • Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
  • Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
  • Years the world's known oil reserves would last if every human ate a meat-centered diet: 13
  • Years they would last if human beings no longer ate meat: 260
  • Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calory of protein from beef: 78
  • To get 1 calory of protein from soybeans: 2
  • Percentage of all raw materials (base products of farming, forestry and mining, including fossil fuels) consumed by U.S. that is devoted to the
    production of livestock: 33
  • Percentage of all raw materials consumed by the U.S. needed to produce a complete vegetarian diet: 2

The Antibiotic Argument
  • Percentage of U.S. antibiotics fed to livestock: 55
  • Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
  • Percentage resistant in 1988: 91
  • Response of European Economic Community to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: ban
  • Response of U.S. meat and pharmaceutical industries to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock: full and complete support

The Pesticide Argument
  • Common belief: U.S. Department of Agriculture protects our health through meat inspection
    Reality: fewer than 1 out of every 250,000 slaughtered animals is tested for toxic chemical residues
  • Percentage of U.S. mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
  • Percentage of U.S. vegetarian mother's milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8
  • Contamination of breast milk, due to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides in animal products, found in meat-eating mothers vs. non-meat eating
    mothers: 35 times higher
  • Amount of Dieldrin ingested by the average breast-fed American infant: 9 times the permissable level

The Ethical Argument
  • Number of animals killed for meat per hour in the U.S.: 660,000
  • Occupation with highest turnover rate in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker
  • Occupation with highest rate of on-the-job-injury in U.S.: slaughterhouse worker


The Survival Argument
  • Athlete to win Ironman Triathlon more than twice: Dave Scott (6 time winner)
  • Food choice of Dave Scott: Vegetarian
  • Largest meat eater that ever lived: Tyrannosaurus Rex