Not only does animal agriculture consume unsustainable amounts of water, it also can pollute a region's water supply. But animal agriculture doesn't have to be our proverbial white elephant. According to a 2012 study, vegetarian diets dramatically reduce the pressure on our water resources. By choosing more plant-based foods, we can reduce our impact on the environment and help animals. With World Earth Day on 22 April, it's something to chew on.
The FAO predicts that animal agriculture will increase by approximately 70% by 2050, with most of that growth taking place in emerging economies like India. Thus, investment is likely to be significant in the public and private sector of meat, egg and milk production. The World Bank's safeguard policies set the standard for public sector lending and investments in emerging economies. That is why NGOs around the world, including HSI, have appealed to the financial institution to include enforceable animal welfare standards in its safeguard policies.