How many showers would you skip to help the beef industry?

thirsty cow
CC BY 2.0 Manhattan Research

Would you go stinky for steak? By skipping 26 showers for every 4 oz hamburger you eat, you can offset the water used to produce it.

It's admirable that people want to conserve water at home, especially in light of the severe droughts that are affecting many areas, but the amount of water used in homes pales in comparison to that used by industry. While residential water use is but a small slice of the pie (~14%), the meat and dairy industry is said to account for some 47% of all water used in the state of California.

And of course, we all want to do our part to help the beef and milk producers continue to guzzle water, so a couple of smart fellows have come up with a great solution, which allows people to have their beef (and milk) while sacrificing a bit of personal hygiene for the good of industry. All you've got to do is pledge to skip showers, 26 to be exact, for each 4 oz serving of beef you eat. Surely that's not too much to ask, is it?

When you take the Skip Showers for Beef challenge, you'll be part of a creative solution that promotes environmentally-responsible beef production. And not to worry, as the campaign offers a "Waterless Hygiene Guide" to help keep you clean(ish) while enjoying that hamburger. Sandpaper scrub and dirt bath, anyone?

And even Moby, staunch vegan that he is, isn't asking anyone to give up their burgers, but is simply urging meat eaters to skip showers to help support their beef habits:

OK, so the smart fellows behind the Skip Showers for Beef campaign are actually Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, otherwise known as the Yes Men, along with the prankster Merkin Bros, from FunnyOrDie. And it's not actually a thing... yet. But the water crisis, and the meat and dairy industry's culpability in it, are very real indeed, and part of the campaign is collecting signatures to petition California Governor Jerry Brown to compel the California meat industry do their part to protect California’s dwindling water supply.

"The idea that individual consumers should carefully monitor their 20% of the water-use pie, while major industries do whatever they want with the rest, is the real joke here." - Mike Bonanno

Go ahead, skip those showers for every beef product you eat, because each pound of beef requires some 1800 gallons of water, and you can't have thirsty cows and cheap beef, can you?

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