Since primary school it has been clear that animals require more food than plants. Those food pyramids with grass at the bottom and lion at the top made it quite clear that it takes far more land and resources to fee a lion than a patch of grass. Later on, as an observer of human behaviour, it became obvious that a human eating meat consumes more planet resources than one eating only veg; a rule of thumb is five times as much.
Now, further research shows that while a meat diet generally requires about 5 times as much land as a veg based diet, cows in fact consume many times more resources than other livestock. Cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than other livestock. Eating beef really is eating the planet. So enjoy your lunch!
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States
A local beef farmer said yesterday that while beef prices in Ireland are being depressed by a corrupt monopolist who has the government and EU is his pocket, the Department of Agriculture wants to increase beef production by 30% in 5 years, so as well as eating more planet, farmers will still not make a living.