Home & Garden Home Vegetarians Save So Much Water By Ilana Strauss Yale University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Ilana Strauss is a journalist who began writing for the Treehugger family in 2015. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Cut, New York Magazine, and other publications. our editorial process Ilana Strauss Updated October 11, 2018 Public Domain. Unsplash Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home Sustainable Eating Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism A lot of people think about meat as a cruelty issue. But the trouble with meat goes far beyond that. Take water, for instance. A new study published in Nature looked at how much water goes into growing and processing food for people in different countries. Here’s how it shook down: British: 728 gallonsGerman: 774 gallonsFrench: 1020 gallons Fun fact: the authors figured out that the French use more water because they drink a lot of wine, which needs tons of water. British and German folks are more into beer. Countries aside, the scientists found one way to reduce everyone’s water footprint: eat less meat. “Growing” an animal from birth to death takes a lot of water (and land). The scientists found that eating less meat really affects people's water consumption. The vegetarians they looked at used 35-55 percent less water than people who eat meat. That was true no matter which country they were from. "For all 43,786 analysed geographical entities, the water footprint decreases for a healthy diet containing meat," write the study's authors. "In other words, shifting to a healthy diet is not only good for human health, but also substantially reduces consumption of water resources." So if you are a vegetarian, you can feel proud to know that you are giving the world drinking water.