here are some more interesting facts from Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. I've been vegetarian for over seven years, but this book is what convinced me to make the switch to vegan on the first of this year. I don't consider my self a "proselytizing vegetarian" like my brother, but sometimes the facts can just speak for themselves!
"How much of the protein in [its] food does the calf use up, and how much is available for human beings? The answer is surprising. It takes twenty-one pounds of protein fed to a calf to produce a single pound of animal protein for humans. We get back less than 5 percent of what we put in." (pg. 165)
"one pound of steak from steers raised in a feedlot costs five pounds of grain, 2,500 gallons of water, the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline, and about thirty-five pounds of eroded topsoil. More than a third of North American is taken up with grazing, more than half of US croplands are planted with livestock feed. and more than half of all water consumed in the United States goes to livestock." (pg. 166-167, emphasis mine)
That last part really gets me: half of our water used for livestock. crazy.
If you're an environmentalist, or just a regular person who is aware that the earth is a place of limited resources that we have to protect, consider going vegetarian, or cutting back on meat drastically. It's not as hard as you think, I swear.