By Robert Singer
Want fries with that budget crisis?
Instead of cutting jobs and services to solve California’s budget crisis, why not eliminate the state water subsidies that allow McDonalds and Colonel Sanders to market burgers and chicken for a dollar? Reducing the consumption of water by the livestock industry would benefit almost every economic facet of the California economy.
A recent analysis done by the Pacific Institute, “More with Less: Agricultural Water Conservation and Efficiency in California - A Special Focus on the Delta,” was presented at a briefing to legislators in Sacramento along with recommendations on how farmers can grow more food and use less water. What the report doesn't mention is the dramatic water saving that could be realized by limiting livestock production in California.
Our federal and state governments subsidize the meat industry's water consumption at every stage of the process. Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) consume particularly egregious quantities of water.
Cornell economists, David Fields and his associate Robin Hur, have studied the fiscal consequences of water subsidies to the meat industry:
“Reports by the General Accounting Office, the Rand Corporation, and the Water Resources Council have made it clear that irrigation water subsidies to livestock producers are economically counter productive. Every dollar that state governments dole out to livestock producers, in the form of irrigation subsidies, actually costs tax payers over seven dollars in lost wages, higher living costs, and reduced business income.
The 17 Western states receive limited precipitation, yet their water supplies could support an economy and population twice the size of their present ones. But most of the water goes to produce livestock, either directly or indirectly. Thus, current water use practices now threaten to undermine the economies of every state in the region.”
You might think that all this water consumption would at least create jobs. But no other industry comes close to the meat industry’s paucity of jobs created per gallon of water consumed. Every job created by livestock production in California uses 30 million gallons of water a year, far more than any other industry.
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
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