The vegan lifestyle saves water by eliminating the need for livestock animals in agriculture. Feeding and hydrating animals in agriculture requires is much more water intensive than what’s needed to grow human-consumable crops (crops directly eaten by people, rather than other animals). Vegans consume no animal products, which eliminates the need to grow massive amounts of animal crops to feed growing populations of livestock – like cattle, sheep, pigs, goat and so on. Growing the grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits that make up a typical vegetarian or vegan diet generally requires less than what is needed to feed large herbivores.
Fresh water being used to feed and hydrate farm animals can be used instead to feed humans. Growing food to produce animal products is an inefficient use of freshwater and uses water that could be appropriated for human crops. Plant-based agriculture precludes the use of livestock on farms altogether, thereby reducing water used to hydrate and feed farm animals.
Fruit and Vegetable Crops Appropriate Water More Efficiently Than Animal Crops
On average, fruit and vegetable crops use fresh water more efficiently than animal crops because animal products produce less food per ton of product than fruit and vegetable crops. In other words, crops like wheat, soybeans and oats produce more food with less water than beef, pork and chicken. Water efficiency is a relevant factor in sustainable farming.
Veganism Eliminates the Need for Growing Crops to Feed Livestock Animals
Veganism uses water only to produce crops for humans while animal agriculture grows crops to feed cows, pigs, chickens and other animals. Provided that more people make the switch to eating less or no meat products, then the amount of farm space that animal agriculturalists dedicate to animal crops diminishes. With less land being dedicated to raising and sustaining livestock, more fresh water can be sustainably repurposed for more efficient human use.