The US National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study, found that compared with men and women eating 10 or fewer grams of red meat per 1000 calories, those eating 63 or more grams of red meat per 1000 calories had, respectively:
31 per cent and 36 per cent higher risk of overall death;
22 per cent and 20 per cent higher risk of dying of cancer; and
27 per cent and 50 per cent higher risk of dying of heart disease. Raising animals for food also puts extraordinary strain on planetary resources. Conventional livestock production is said to account for 55 per cent of erosion, 37 per cent of pesticide use, 50 per cent of antibiotics use and one-third of damaging nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to surface water. An estimated 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestock production, and animal food production requires two to five times the water necessary to produce crops of similar kilojoule value.