Devour the Earth (Full Movie)

Devour the Earth(1995) is a short (less than 30 minute) film about the global consequences of meat consumption. Written by Tony Wardle and produced by Vegetarian Society of the UK, it is narrated by Sir Paul McCartney.

Facts and quotes from the movie (note that these are 1995 figures) include:

Wasted Food, Wasted Land*

  • 38% of the grain in the world is fed to livestock.
  • On average, for every 10kg of grain fed to animals only 1kg of meat is produced - the rest becomes manure.
  • Britain alone could feed 250 million people on a pure vegetarian (vegan) diet.
  • If the whole world followed the USA-style diet, only half of the current population would be fed.


  • Tropical forests are home to up to 90% of all the Earth's species.Tropical forest is being destroyed at a rate of over 164,000 square kilometres per annum.
  • In Costa Rica 71% of all deforested land is pasture. Nepal has lost around half of its forest land in the last 20 years manly to sustain livestock.
  • Even newly cleared pasture can only sustain one head of cattle per hectare. Latin America exported almost 8 million tonnes of soya beans in 1991, mainly to feed our cattle.

Global Warming*

  • Since 1970 the destruction of rainforests in Latin America has contributed over 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Methane gas is responsible for 18% of global warming, with the methane gas content of the atmosphere increasing by 1% per year.
  • 18% of world methane emissions are from livestock. There are more than 1.3 billion cattle in the world. 26% of UK methane emissions are from livestock.
  • UK livestock emissions contribute 1.15 million tonnes of methane to global warming every year.

Soil Depletion - Acid Rain*

  • A single cow can produce 23 tonnes of manure a year. 10 pigs can produce 21 tonnes of manures a year. Spread over the land this contributes to acid rain, soil and water pollution.
  • Ammonia from animal farming is recognised as a major cause of acid rain, causing over 70% of acidity in some areas. In Holland, where livestock outnumbers humans by over 7 to 1, farmers have been told to reduce herds by a quarter to help save dying forests.

Suffering Seas*

  • Nine of the world's 17 major fisheries are in serious decline. All of the others have reached their limits. Worldwide 124 billion dollars are spent every year catching just 70 billion dollars worth of fish.
  • Recent surveys suggest that over 40% of fish caught in the North sea are diseased - often with cancerous tumours. An estimated 240,000 tonnes of PCB's (effectively banned in the UK since 1980) are thought to have entered the world's oceans.
  • Strongly migratory salmon are factory farmed at stocking densities of 15kg per squaremetre.

Health + Welfare*

  • Heart disease is the major cause of death in the UK and the developed world. Studies have shown vegetarians to suffer 30% less heart disease than meat eaters.
  • Cancer accounts for a quarter of all premature deaths in the UK. At least one third of all cancers are directly related to diet. Many risk factors are significantly reduced on a vegetarian diet.
  • Research shows the incidence of colon, breast, prostate and other cancers is lower among vegetarians. It's estimated that about 2,000,000 people suffer from food poisoning every year (in the UK). Almost all food poisoning is from meat + diary products.

"Simply by giving up meat, poultry, fish and slaughterhouse by-products, you'll make an immediate contribution to ending the pain, the cruelty and the destruction."

The full movie can be freely downloaded in multiple formats here: Devour the Earth
Full text of the movie is also available in multiple languages, here: Devour the Earth Multilanguage Text

(*Note that these are 1995 figures from the movie and have not been independently verified by WPF.)

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