Nothing new here except I don't think I've ever seen "bathtub" as a unit of measure before.
A little bit. Have you?
the stuff like converting gallons of gasoline to miles or cars taken off the road, or gallons of water to showers and bathtubs is just arithmetic.
The original estimations or measurements come from a number of sources. And there is a large variation in the numbers. The scientific papers usually include the assumptions they have to make. For instance, some of the variations in calculating water, carbon footprints or petroleum in the production of meat or crop production is based on how far back the researchers go. For instance, when they talk about water that goes into beef, do they stop at the feedlot or do they calculate the water that went into the crops that are fed to the cows. And do they just calculate the amount of water that the animals drink or do they also calculate the amount of water used to operate, maintain, and clean the feedlot? Some Feedlots also have wastewater systems that use a lot of water. But there is a lot of variation on that as well. In some places they allow wastewater to go into rivers and lakes. but some places require some kind of wastewater treatment (which also uses water).
There is the fuel used in the cultivation of a crop, then the transportation of the crop. and some things get processed and transported agian.
I'm pretty sure that gold standard of estimating water usage comes form a scientific paper that was produced in Belgium. It gets referenced a lot so it might be able to be found with just a google. Hold on a second.
Ah. here it is, I'll put a link on the bottom. (1) I have to admit that I have not read the whole thing. but a lot of the things I have read have cited this one.
Here is one that I have read. And it cites the Belgium article and a whole bunch more. (2)
A lot of the other numbers come from the The 2006 report Livestock's Long Shadow, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. (3) Again its not something I have read but it gets cited a lot of times in the things I do read.
As I mentioned earlier there are a ton of variation in the numbers being reported. Sometimes its just the variation in the study themselves. but honestly I know that some reporters cherry pick the numbers they report.
But regardless of which study you want to use, or the numbers being reported, animal agriculture is mostly a very wasteful use of resources. The type of agriculture you practice is probably the least wasteful of all. but you have to admit that it represents a very small fraction of the total.
BTW, did you ever check out the Omnivore's Dilemma? The author describes a "slow food farm". It sounds like your farm.
I think it's so nice and kind of you that you read the Omnivore's Dilemma, even though it's outdated, and vegans tend to find the author a pretentious, self-congratulatory capitalist looking to defend his own middle-aged white male interest in a way that no longer serves our planet. I'm not insulting YOU for reading it or recommending it, in fact, it's probably good for me to have for context in my project, but from what I understand this guy is....yeah. I've seen plant-based reviews that it's basically him being a jerk-cry-baby about why he still gets to eat meat.
Anyway, that was what a decade ago? No one knew we were this close to the tipping point of climate change, back then. Keep that in mind when defending this book.
I see a TON of copies of it in the local used book store. Suggesting that people once loved it and are over it.
I was planning on writing a review of The Omnivore's Dilemma but never got around to it. I think maybe I will try a little harder. I will have to get it out of the library again.
The copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma I read was reprinted ten years after the book was first published and included a .... not sure what the right word is.... an epilogue? Anyway in that added chapter Pollan speaks about the ten years that have gone by. He thought and was hoping the book would become out-of-date in those ten years and expressed sorrow that so little had changed, keeping the book relevant.
The book also includes a lot of history, background, and science that does not go out-of-date.
As far as Pollan goes I've seen him interviewed a few times, he even has a small role in Cowspiracy. I never thought he was a cry baby. I thought he was a smart thoughtful person.
The Omnivore's Dilemma doesn't have a chapter on veganism. But it's not like he ignored the concept. Twice he brings it up and discusses it as a counterpoint to the system he is describing. He is always respectful of veganism as a philosophy. He also seems to be very well educated. In defense of veganism, he quotes 19th-century philosophers that I hadn't even know about.
In one chapter he is quite taken by Joel Salatin's farm, where he kills a chicken. After he finishes his research on that farm he wants Pete Singer's opinion on the farm. He even wants to bring Singer to the farm. Alas, Singer is not available but they do have an email conversation about the farm and that conversation is in the book.
Couldn't read the first article. my computer choked on all the ads. But I read the second article and I enjoyed it very much. thanks for sharing.