Avocados can be accused of having a high environmental impact as they have a total water footprint of 1,981 mᶾ/ton. When looking at animal products, the largest water footprint is from cow's meat (at 15,400 mᶾ/ton), followed by sheep (10,400 mᶾ/ton), pig (6,000 mᶾ/ton), chicken (4,300 mᶾ/ton) and eggs (3,300 mᶾ/ton). So avocados' water footprint is still less than the lowest animal product.
The one trillion pounds of waste produced by factory-farmed animals each year are usually used to fertilize crops, and they subsequently end up running off into waterways—along with the drugs and bacteria that they contain.14 Many tons of waste end up in giant pits in the ground or on crops, polluting the air and groundwater. According to the EPA, agricultural runoff is the number one source of pollution in our waterways.