Typically, people initially adopt a plant-based whole foods lifestyle for one of three reasons - for health, for the animals, or for the environment. Improved health was the initial motivation for us; however, it wasn’t long before we started to learn more about the impact that animal agriculture was having on animals and the environment. The more we learned, the harder it became to ignore the facts. While the health benefits we personally experienced were enough to convince us that plant-based was the way to go, facts around these other two components cemented our decision to adhere to a plant-based lifestyle for the long-term. Whether you are an animal lover or not, knowing the facts about what happens in order to get meat and dairy products to our plates is convicting.

Over 70 billion farm animals are killed each year worldwide to produce meat, dairy, and eggs (more than 9 billion in the United States alone).

This number is even higher when you expand it to include more than just farm animals.

Below are the number of animals that have been killed since you opened this page:

0 chickens
0 ducks
0 pigs
0 rabbits
0 turkeys
0 geese
0 sheep
0 goats
0 cows and calves
0 rodents
0 pigeons and other birds
0 buffaloes
0 horses
0 donkeys and mules
0 camels and other camelids

These figures don’t even include marine animals,
which are much more difficult to quantify
(some estimates are in the trillions per year).

Counter developed by ADAPTT.org

On top of this, there is the issue of animals held in unnatural habitats and often abused for human entertainment in animal shows, aquariums, zoos, circuses, wildlife parks, dog fighting activities and more.

The bottom line is that animals are living creatures who want to live a happy life just as much as any human. No matter how they spend their time while they are alive (eating grass in a wide open pasture or penned up in mass feedlots), their end destination is the same - being killed so they can be consumed.

No matter what we tell ourselves, there is no "humane" way to kill another living being.

“Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear, and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined…they are individuals in their own right.” — Jane Goodall

Animal agriculture has significant and far-reaching detrimental effects
on our environment and the world in which we live.

"Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it."

Below are statistics that are explained in more detail in the film.  Visit the Cowspiracy website for more details and additional sources.


Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of
carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.


55% of water consumed in the U.S. is for animal agriculture
(vs. 5% of usage for private homes).

Amount of water needed to produce animal-based products:
2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef (Source)
477 gallons of water to produce one pound of eggs (Source)
900 gallons of water to produce one pound of cheese (Source)
1000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk (Source)


Livestock systems occupy 45% of the earth's total land.

Nearly half of the contiguous U.S. is devoted to animal agriculture.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction,
ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.


Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction.

1 - 2 acres of rainforest are cleared every second.


Over 75% of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.

90-100 million tons of fish are pulled from our oceans each year.

For every 1 pound of fish caught, up to 5 pounds of unintended
marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill.


Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced
by animals raised for food in the U.S.

A farm with 2,500 dairy cows produces the same
amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people.

Simply put, none of this is needed. We can thrive on a plant-based whole foods diet without the need to harm other living creatures our planet.

If you haven't yet done so, we encourage you to visit the other pages in the WNY22 Learning Center to understand the powerful health benefits of a plant-based whole foods lifestyle.

Check out the below resources to better understand the impact
your food choices have on the lives of animals and on our environment:

Ready to experience plant-based living?

The WNY22 is a 22-day plan centered on plant-based whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.). It provides the information, resources, and support to guide you through the first steps into experiencing a plant-based lifestyle!

Get Started!

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All information presented on this website is for educational purposes only. This website and our products are not substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please seek the advice of a healthcare professional for your specific health concerns. Individual results may vary.