BLACK SWAN COMING EVENT: LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY. As income rises, people consume more dairy and meat products. These are the food categories with the highest environmental footprint. In fact, the global livestock industry produces more emissions than all cars, planes, trains, and ships combined. A study by Oxford University calculated that a global shift to a vegan diet would reduce food-related emission by 70 percent by 2050. The picture is similar for our use of resources like water. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. Beef is the second most popular meat in the US. It is also one of the most water-intensive foods (to produce one pound of beef requires 1,800 gallons of water).
Clothing is another case of our lifestyle destroying our environment. In recent decades, the fashion industry nurtured our appetite for cheap clothes and kept increasing production. The world now consumes 400 percent more clothes than two decades ago. According to the World Bank, textile processing causes 20 percent of water pollution globally. Cotton, the “thirsty crop,” makes up about half of our clothes and requires 5,300 gallons of water to produce kg of cotton. This can have devastating effects as seen with the drying up of the Aral Sea.