Why Vegetarianism will not save the world

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by S.A.M., Sep 11, 2011.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you. -Lierre Keith in “The Vegetarian Myth”


    Interview:


    Link to her book - you can read the first few pages here:

    The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability
     
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    So the solution is to not eat at all, or to eat humans!!
     
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  5. Enmos Staff Member

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    You need agriculture to feed the cattle.
     
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    There are a lot of inherent problems with her hypothesis - for example, what will the animals eat and will humans eat more agricultural produce than the animals they feed on - but she has brought the subject into focus and opened this conversation - its an important conversation.


    Yes that is correct - I don't have her book yet but in the excerpt she addresses this issue somewhat:

     
  8. Enmos Staff Member

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    I guess with the current world-wide demand for meat we can't just feed them the scraps, there will never be enough of it. We'll probably be 'stuck' with agriculture.
     
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Here's the thing that annoys me about the arguments around grain fed beef.

    It's not universally available.

    Not everybody who eats beef, eats grainfed beef.

    All beef (to my knowledge, acquiring grain fed beef requires importing it from Europe) currently on the market in NZ is grass fed, not grain fed.

    I can go down to the supermarket and by Halal beef, if I desired it, but I can't find any grain fed beef.
     
  10. superstring01 Moderator

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    Eat More Meat!!! (especially cow)

    ~String
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    If agriculture proves unsustainable we are all pretty much fucked. Can you spell natural die-off?
     
  12. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.anorak.co.uk/228428/news...guide-to-sustainable-living.html/#more-228428
     
  14. Enmos Staff Member

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  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Ah, they're just trying to beef up their market share:
    http://www.puppybeef.com/products.php

    Just remember:

     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The fact that something has to die to feed you is discussed in more detail in the following thread, which examines some of the moral questions around meat-eating and vegetarianism:

    [thread=109589]Vegetarian's guide to talking to carnivores[/thread]

    If humans want to give up agriculture, then we'll need to drastically reduce the number of humans on the planet. Maybe kill off 5/6th of the world's population, say. I wonder if Lierre Kieth advocates that.
     
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I just got her book - hurrah for ebooks - and started reading it. She's not advocating genocide vs extinction, she's presenting evidence to show why agriculture is unsustainable in the long term. We're not used to thinking in terms of "sustainable food production" and "alternatives to agriculture" because our lifestyles are geared for consumption without accountability. But as Trippy said, much of the world has not yet graduated to factory farming which means that organic farming or free range farming is still the status quo. And we produce enough food now to feed everyone in the world, yet we still have lopsided societies, dying of chronic overnutrition on the one hand and chronic undernutrition on the other.

    However, as we "advance" we have the choice to continue to propagate the systems which will fail all or seek alternatives that will sustain the world. Her book is more of a philosophical approach to life than a promotion of non-vegetarian eating habits. We need to seek out a better indice of quality of life than the bottom line and the profit margin.
     
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I can't fault any of that, SAM.

    However, I've quickly looked up and read three reviews of her book, and the reviewers seem to think that her main motivation in writing it was to justify her own move back to eating meat, which she says was prompted by serious health problems she was having.

    Anyway, let us know what you think once you've read the whole book.
     
  19. Enmos Staff Member

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    No one needs to be killed off. There are other ways.
     
  20. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    Sam, there is no point debating james and enmos, they are MOM or the Michael from religion. None of there attitudeds has any science behind them, james "ethics" arguments have no logic (fertilised vs unfertilised eggs) and they ignore arguments showing where they are wrong.

    I dont know how many times trippy, Bells and I have pointed out to James especially (but also Enmos) that the farm animals we eat are not feed on grain, they are fed on grass or salt bush. I dont know how many times we have pointed out to them that the destruction of the water ways and saltification of the land in Australia isnt caused by animal production, its caused by growing grain

    I dont know how many times we have pointed out that the surposed disparity in energy useage becomes alot less when you look at maxium usage of the animal including its waste being used as organic fertilisers.

    Im a surporter of 3 field type farming where you rotate between 2 types of vegitables\grain (2 years) and 1 year animals. This stops the distruction of the land, reduces fertiliser usage, lessens water usage and stops the destruction of the land
     
  21. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Spoilsport.
    I was working on my list before I read that.
     
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Like what, Enmos? Birth control? One-child policies? Better education and empowerment of women (which has proven links to smaller families)? Are those the kinds of things you're thinking of?
     
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What a pity you can't support any of the assertions you've made in this quoted snippet. Never mind. Somebody might believe you anyway.

    Clearing forests to make fields for farm animals is also destructive to the environment.

    It will never be more energy efficient to produce meat for human consumption as compared to producing vegetables.
     

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