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.
The World Health Organization report in November 2015 ranked processed meat ranked as a group 1 carcinogen (the same category as cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos). Eating just 50g per day (two rashers of bacon) increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. It also classified red meat as a group 2A carcinogen.
Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health tested supermarket chickens’ flesh and found that 96 percent of Tyson chicken packages were contaminated with campylobacter, a dangerous bacterium that causes 2.4 million cases of food poisoning each year, resulting in diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever.