Yes, I know that doesnt fit in with you 'I'm a vegetarian, so *I* am saving the planet!' worldview, but suck it up - its the simple facts of farming.
Err...as a "meat-eater", you do realize that you're just as biased? Perhaps this is an opportunity to learn from a differing opinion. I grew up as a regular meat-eater, and as I learned more about what's going on, I changed my habits in response. I have a very strong feeling that, as someone who's spent a *lot* of time reading and researching this area, I've possibly learned a bit more about food systems than you have. However, I'm happy to have you inform me. Please find some US maps illustrating the land use of human crops vs livestock feed - I've already posted some, but go ahead and surprise me. Show me the studies from the US showing how livestock is lower impact (and I'm talking water, land-use, and other resources like oil and electricity) than crops. (Yes, there are a few exceptions, but these areas are in the vast minority compared to where most agriculture takes place, so please don't cherry pick an uncommon incident.) As for them 'drinking water', you do realize most livestock in the US are kept on factory farms, and they have immense pools collecting their waste...and it's not 'watering' anything - it's typically polluting nearby water systems. And yes, I've spent a fair bit of time on farms, although that's not necessary to learn about them. Most animal products don't come from the idyllic farm you've got in mind -- and if it began to, we'd run out of space to keep them in the US pretty quick. I don't think you appreciate how much space 10+ billion animals (the number in the US) take up. (And how much they eat, and shit and piss.)
I welcome your research.
An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson