There are 3 water guzzler you can be certain of. The energy industry, the chemical industry, and the meat producing industry. Our eating habits just gotten obscener over the years and the water consumption rose. And now you’re about to find out how much water goes into each pound of meat.

Rest assured, it will blow you out your shoes (and socks!).
Meat Icon
Happy Pig
Fat man eating

5.22lb of meat

That’s the amount of meet every American eats on average per Week. This is split between 1,58lb of beef, 1,19lb of pork, and 2,4lb of poultry. There is a slight rest if 0,06lb of other meat sources that we will ignore for simplicity.

We are now showing you the amounts of water needed to process and produce all that meat. The water usage, also called “water footprint”, is normally split into “Green Water” (rain water, etc.), “Blue Water” and “Gray Water”. The last two are artificially added to the production cycle by man. In this page we will focus on blue and gray water alone.

Meat warning

Meat-production requires water. Lots of water. To be precise, that is 327 gallons of water a week per person, where beef production requires by far the highest amounts of water. In other words, for the american population combined, that is an unbelievable:

Weekly meat consumption: 1.58lb beef, 1.19lb pork, 2.4lb poutry

Water usage:
  • Beef water usage: 1,851gal (120gal blue & gray water) / lb => 120gal * 1.58 = 189gal
  • Pork water usage: 719gal (47gal blue & gray water) / lb => 47gal * 1.19 = 56gal
  • Poutry water usage: 520gal (34gal blue & gray water) / lb => 34gal * 2.4 = 82gal

189gal + 56gal + 81gal = 327gal per person per weeks
327gal * 328,200,000 (americans) = 107.321.400.000 gallons of water
107,321,400,000 gallons
(107 billions 321 millions 400 thousand)
Water stream
Let's check
the Universe
346 towers to the moon
We assert a glass-height of 4 inches with a capacity of 10.5 fl oz. That translates to 0.000063131 miles and 0.08203125 gallons for every glass.
107,321,400,000 gallons total / 0,08203125 gallons per glass = 1,308,298,971,428 glasses of water
1,308,298,971,428 glasses * 0.000063131 miles = 82,594,222 miles
Distance to the moon: 238,900 miles 216,810,913 miles of glasses / 283,900 miles to the moon = 346.5643 towers to the moon

If we would fill all that water into normal drinking glasses, we could fill so many glasses, that we could build 357 towers of stacked glasses from the earth to the moon. That is 85.502.374 miles of stacked water glasses.

Moon and earth
167 international space stations
The ISS weighs in at 5,341,800lb.
One gallon of water weighs 8,33lb. So the total water weight would be 107,321,400,000 gallons * 8,33lb = 893,987,262,000lb
893,987,262,000lb / 5,341,800lb = 167,3569324947

The water itself would weigh 5.341.800lb. This is 167 times the weight of the heaviest ever directly weighted object “on earth” - the international space station, or ISS.

ISS International Space Station
Back to
mother earth
167 Pyramids of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza has an estimated volume of 641,307,800 gallons.
107,321,400,000 gal / 641,307,800 gal = 167,34772

We tried to find a single big object to fit all that water inside. While plantes are to big, 158 times is how often we could fill the greatest of the great Pyramids of Giza with water.

Pyramids of Giza
One day straight
We assume the average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute.
107,321,400,000 gal / 2.1 gal = 51,105,428,571 minutes
( 51,105,428,571 / 60 (minutes an hour) ) / 24 (hours a day) = 35.489.881 days of showering straight
Canada has a population of 37,590,000.

The average water usage for a ten minute shower is 21 gallons of water. If we took almost the entire population of Canada and put them into a shower, they could all stay for one day straight.

Shower head

Lets assume you split your meat consumption by one meal with meat every day. If you would skip eating meat just one day every second week we would save 7.665.814.285 gallons of water per week. Beer uses needs 75 gallons per gallon of beer on average. With the saved water, we could produce:

In two weeks, 107.321.400.000gal * 2 would be used. To get the daily usage, we then divide by 14:
(107,321,400,000gal * 2) / 14 = 15,331,628,571 gal

So we would save 15,331,628,571 / 2 = 7,665,814,285 gal per week week.
The average gallon of beer needs 75 gallons of water to produce. We would like to point out that we even include green water for beer in this calculation.

We could brew 7,665,814,285 / 75 = 102,210,857 gallons of beer which translates to 13.082.989.696 fl oz.
If we now assume a bottle size of 13 fl oz, we end up with 13,082,989,696 / 13 = 1,006,383,822 bottles of beer.
An estimated 196,899,193 people in america are at the age of 21 or above.
If we divide our bottles by that population, we have 1,006,383,822 / 196,899,193 = 5.111 bottles for everyone.
102.210.857 gallons of beer

That is enough beer to serve a 13oz bottle of beer to every person in america at the age of 21 or older 5 times.

Beer bottles cheers


Besides water consumption there is one more thing that should get us all thinking. The natural life span of an animal vs. the slaughter age. Did you know that you not only eat animals but in fact the kids of animals?

Slaughter Age is on average below 10% of the animal’s Natural Life Span

You want that to stop? Educate yourself:
  • Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (on Netflix)
  • Before the Flood (on Netflix)
  • Our Planet (on Netflix)
  • David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (on Netflix)
  • What the Health (on Netflix)
  • Rotten, Series (on Netflix)
  • Seaspiracy (on Netflix)
Animal Life Span Infographic