Whilst I agree that cruelty to animals is a huge issue that needs to be tackled, to conflate ‘human cruelty to animals’ with ‘humans should not eat animals’ does not stand up – you cannot escape biology!
The fact is that we, because we are human, are omnivores – the acid in our digestive system allows us to process raw meat. Therefore in a crisis we could survive on dead flesh. Yucky for most people to contemplate, including me, but still true.
Fortunately, we do not have to choose to do so, but we can’t eat grains or some of the vegetables raw as they are inedible without processing or cooking. Grains and fats are what people actually survive on, not vegetables. Being ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ is only a label designed as a distraction from the core issue that we can’t live on veg alone.
To achieve vegan aims globally, the consequences would mean we would have to kill every human food animal on the planet, as we wouldn’t need them anymore. And that would be mass genocide of every cow, sheep, chicken, goat, horse, game bird etc and in turn all those animals we keep as pets who eat meat such as dogs, cats, reptiles etc. All in the name of an ideology that someone wants to impose on the rest of us.
Let alone the impact on humans that make their living from livestock farming or fishing. What exactly do we propose to replace that with? Arable farming?
An acre of wheat only produces enough flour for 1,470 loaves of bread. Once a year! Hmm….that wouldn’t exactly feed many people for very long, now would it?
How many acres of farmland would we need to achieve the vegan utopia? How about all the chemicals and pesticides needed to kill the grain predators…the insects?
Let alone the water that would be needed. Most supporters of the vegan movement are also global warming advocates and support renewable energy solutions like bio-fuels. Assuming we do get the increase in global temperatures that AGW proponents suggest, then more water will be needed for the crops and will become an even scarcer resource. And what happens when there’s a drought and there is no alternative to the crop that has failed? No food and no bio-fuels for transport. Starting to sound like Agenda 21 to me.
At least keeping animals gives humans an option. So, do we keep them just for those emergency times and not make use of them at other times? Do we let them breed or just keep the females? No males means no babies, no milk, so meat only in times of hardship?
Do we then extend this vegan ideology to not controlling the wild animal species in our countries? For example, let the wild boar and deer populations breed to the point where they over run us? After all in this country, the top predators, the wolf and the bear, have been eradicated by another top predator….man! Nature provides predators for a reason. And if we change the balance of nature….
What we can’t escape from is the fact that humans don’t treat each other very well, let alone animals. To put animals above the human animal by using emotive terms like ‘sentient being just like us’ (which, by the way, I do agree that they are sentient), trying to make the rest of us feel guilty enough to do what the vegan says we should do? Key word ‘should’! Spot the people trying to control what others do. They always use words like should do, ought to do etc.
This veganism is just a human construct based on emotion and thoughts. It completely ignores biological facts. We’re fortunate to live in a part of the world where emotions and thoughts can still be indulged to the extent vegans do. There are a huge number of people in this world that don’t have that luxury.
It’s a very complex subject and I’m well aware that we will never all agree on it. But hey, that’s life! And death!
Mulled lamb with whole shallots and prunes in a spiced port gravy, served with sliced sprouts cooked with butter and toasted cumin seeds plus rosemary mashed potatoes.
This is the link I used about the number of loaves from an acre of wheat. Other sites have broadly the same figure. It was a quick look so my figures may not be spot on.
I disagree on there being 24 slices from a loaf weighing a pound and a half. I get 12 slices from my loaves and the loaf weighs 600g. That’s 50g per slice.
In the UK, a large loaf is 800g, nearly 2lbs and you may get 20-24 slices. But that is commercial bread made big and light by injecting CO2, that well known pollutant, in what is called the Chorleywood Process. A commercial bakery doesn’t use yeast. Also, using white flour is not as productive. Wholemeal would produce about a third more loaves.
Using my loaf of 12 slices, that’s 4 slices a day for 3 people. 1,470 loaves would therefore feed 490 people for one day, once a year, as you only get one harvest. Would take a lot of land to feed over 7 billion people just with bread, let alone anything else. And that land has to be suitable to grow wheat and have the climate and water.
In 2008, there were 1,386 million hectares of land used for crops out of 4,883 m total farm land. Just under two and a half acres to a hectare. That’s 3,465 million acres. Assuming they were all used for wheat that’s 5,093,550,000,000 loaves, which would feed 16,978,500,000 people for a hundred days. That’s just over double the world’s population of 7,000,000,000. So basically it would feed the world’s population 4 slices of bread (200g or 7oz in old money!) per day for 200 days. What happens on the other 165 days?
Obviously the rest of the land is used for other crops and livestock and most people can’t live on 4 slices of bread a day. An average 50g slice of white bread is about 60 calories. 240 calories will last the average body approx 4 hours just to exist if you are in a coma! Even using all the land for one crop of wheat per year wouldn’t feed the world’s population. So we’re then faced with the eugenics question. We would have no choice but to cull the human herd. Agenda 21 is looking to be a far more likely outcome in this scenario.
To use all the farming land for crops and get rid of livestock we would need to take this vegan ideology to its ultimate conclusion and exterminate a huge number of animals. I guess it would be the males first! After all we don’t want more babies. Followed by the older animals etc. In 2011, the Economist had this headcount.
Cows 1.4 billion
Sheep 1 billion
Chickens 19 billion
Pigs >1 billion
And that’s without other types of food animal, like goats etc. So more than 23 billion animals would need to be culled as they wouldn’t be needed any more. No more meat, eggs, dairy, wool or leather products. No more jobs in those industries either. How would we do that? Over what period of time? All those breeds extinct apart from their wild cousins.
And with no animals to make pet food what would we do with all our pets? Let them loose in the world to fend for themselves? To be killed by bigger predators. Now that would be true cruelty and all in the name of a human ideology. To give the scale of the problem:
Cats 600 million
Dogs 32 million owned, 20 million strays at the best guess!
Will vegans be first in the queue to cull them too? I certainly won’t be!