Monday, June 06, 2005


Do you use water? I know I sure do. In fact, water is a key ingredient in some of my favorite comestibles, such as beer and light beer. Some people even drink water straight. What many people don't know, however, is that water is also used in less-obvious ways around the house every day, such as bathing, washing dishes, cleaning laundry, and flushing poop. I don't mean to brag, but in our house, we have devices called "faucets" that dispense water at the tug of a handle. Pretty sweet.

Popular sayings, such as "Water, water everywhere" and "Water you talkin' 'bout, Willis?" might give the impression that water is in infinite supply. However, water does not fall from the sky. Well, OK, yes it does. But it doesn't grow on trees. You have to admit I'm right about that.

Clean, usable water is an ever-dwindling, ever-more-expensive commodity. The global water crisis has gotten so bad that one person in five worldwide already has no access to safe drinking water. Even worse, experts predict that some day Americans will buy water in bottles in convenience stores for astronomical prices, as if it were Fresca or Slim Jims. Far fetched? Perhaps, but many people also doubted a man with the IQ of a turkey could become president and that came true.

If you want to avoid such a doomsday convenience-store scenario, the key lies in water conservation. If we want to make sure future humans have clean water, we must conserve. That's why there are so many conservatives today. Those are people who know the importance of conserving water, air and land. Oh, wait. Is "conservative" one of those tricky words like "inflammable" and "Christian?" Well, that's not important now. What's important is to conserve water.

Even PBS' Barney the Dinosaur, certified by scientists as the most disturbing creature ever to inhabit our planet, sings a song about the importance of conserving water:

"When we're brushing our teeth and having so much fun
we never let the water run."

Ah, Barney. That poor, stupid, purple son of a bitch. But while I am diametrically opposed to Barney on most topics, I do agree with him about conserving water.

True story: Back when I was Amish, I lived on a farm that didn't have access to "city water." We drank bottled water and we collected rainwater into a cistern, which we used for household consumption, such as bathing, laundry, dishes, and poop-flushing. We watered our animals and garden from a pond. During times of drought, we were keenly aware of the water level in the cistern, and we tightly conserved water. In times of extreme drought, we had to buy water, hauled in a 1500-gallon water truck, from a serenely retarded man named Tommy. (Tommy, by the way, raised goats. Besides sex, Tommy used the goats for other purposes, such as selling them for meat. Have you ever eaten goat? It's increasingly used for pepperoni. Just think: your pizza might've been fucked by Tommy. Ah, what a small world. But I digress.)

Now that we live in a home where the water flows like water, you might think I let it run all the time, just because I can. But I don't. That's because I know clean water is a precious commodity. Many third world countries don't even have enough to make pee!

How did we get into this mess? Here's how it works: People (especially Catholics and Asians) fuck, making more people. Those people in turn fuck, making more people, and so on. These people consume goods that require a lot of water to manufacture, such as cows, clothing, haircuts, sport utility vehicles, and Strawberry Kiwi Crystal Light. And just like that, vast areas of the planet were covered with desert. The End.

This all came to mind today because I just read an amazing statistic. Check this out: You can conserve more water by NOT eating a pound of beef than by not taking a shower for six months. That's because of the exorbitant amount of water it takes to bring beef to the table, including the animals' drinking water, irrigation of crops to feed them, processing the meat, washing, cooking, and so on. Because I'm not good with statistics and because I've been known to kid, I'm going to give you the quote. This comes from John Robbins, author of "The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World:"

"Let's say you take a shower every day, your showers average seven minutes, and the flow rate through your shower head is 2 gallons per minute. You would use, at that rate, 5100 gallons of water to shower every day for a year. When you compare that figure to the amount ... used in the production of every pound of beef -- 2464 gallons -- you realize something extraordinary... You may save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you would by not showering for six entire months."

Is it just me or holy fucking shit? If those figures are true, we could solve the water crisis by simply killing Shaquille O'Neal, who reportedly eats a 23-pound porterhouse steak every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But that would be a drastic measure, robbing us of a 1760-pound basketball star who can also rock the mic. No, we'll have to find another solution.

If you want to do your part, you could stop taking showers for six months. Or you could not eat a pound of beef ONE TIME. Stinky options, both, eh? OK, here's a suggestion. And it's just a suggestion, mind you. The next time you and the family strap on the old feed bag for a little carnivorous blood-letting, make it a vegetarian meal instead. How about Spaghetti with Garlic and Basil? Or Vegetarian Chili? Or Pad Thai? Eating out tonight? Most Asian restaurants will substitute tofu for meat in any dish. Mexican restaurants do great things with vegetarian dishes.

Now, imagine yourself and everybody else in America eating a vegetarian meal once per week. Twice per week? Do it! I double-dog dare ya! Every Tuesday and Thursday? Imagine how carnivorilicious every Monday, Wednesday and Friday would become! Please give it a try. If not for the planet, do it for Shaq. It would be a shame to lose him.

One last tidbit of inspiration: A wildly popular Internet commercial features hotel heiress and celebrity slut Paris Hilton eating a hamburger while washing a car and her boobs in a tiny swimsuit. Her performance perfectly mocks the water crisis facing the world: she wastes an incredible amount of water sudsing up her titties while also curiously eating a fast-food hamburger she probably wouldn't go near without being paid. My goodness, what a skank! In fact, her commercial is such a perfect example of how not to act that I think I'm going to go watch it again right now.