Before last week's meat-ignorance post, JR wrote this post on hypocrisy:
Lots of people who complain about agricultural use of "excessive" and "unreasonable" quantities of water focus their critical attention on field crops such as alfalfa and sudan grass that are forage foods for cows.
I doubt very many of those people are vegetarians, and I'll bet most of the ones who eat meat have no idea how much water is required to support their carnivorous diet.
Bottom Line: Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone.
Note that the figure for producing a pound of beef represents both the water required to grow the fodder that the cows eat and the water required to support the cows themselves over a 2-plus year period, since cattle raised in feedyards are generally slaughtered prior to 2 years of age,dairy cattle may live 4 years before being turned into burgers, and range cattle live 5 to 6 years before ending up as meat.)
Data from Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health (Island Press, 2001)