But veganism isn’t that sustainable

Yeah, that’s right. Veganism sucks, it’s not that great for the environment.

It was recently brought to my attention that an article was written, essentially trying to claim that veganism isn’t the best way we can eat for planet earth right now. I read the article, and realized just about every point they tried to make was completely ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. However someone who doesn’t know anything about land use, or hasn’t spent any time in agriculture, may not understand any of the jargon and buy the whole thing. Hence I am happily breaking this article down piece by piece.

Here is the article that blatantly pointed at vegans as being essentially full of shit: http://qz.com/749443/being-vegan-isnt-as-environmentally-friendly-as-you-think/?utm_source=parHuffPo

And here is the article that they so apparently got their information from, but obviously warped the information to fit their own agenda: https://www.elementascience.org/articles/116

Okay so I will first go through the scientific article and to illustrate what they said, and what it actually means. I will then go through the fluff article which failed at trying to summarize the points in the actual article, and instead spewed out blatant lies. Anyway, I will address all points, starting with the ones in the actual scientific article.

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The above snapshot came from the article, they admit, that under current land cultivation we are running out of space. And that is concerning with a growing population. We are already in an issue. This is a problem.

The  current lifestyle of humans on planet earth is crap, it’s destructive and there are many features to our lifestyle that are contributing to the problem in addition to diet. However if we are looking at only diet. We currently consume a world average of 41.9 kg of meat per year, which translates into over 56 billion animals killed a year, not including fish or marine life. This number is on the meager end, other estimates are up to 150 billion animals killed every year.

The article even admits that looking at any one method is not definitive. Let alone one published paper.

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Okay so this article clearly admits that meat requires more land than any other diet. They also admit that assessing land use and diet is a new field, and with that a lot of issues in assessing can take place.

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They also admit that many countries don’t eat as much meat currently as most western countries, but that this trend is changing as people are earning more money.

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This is where the article gets a bit trickier.

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This is true, just because we stop eating meat, doesn’t mean that those farmers are going to convert the pastures into some cultivated crop. However this is unfortunately a vague assumption. They also didn’t cite, the most important part of that sentence, “which are often grown on non-arable land”.  The problem with this, is that if it’s truly non-arable, not even animals can be raised there. Non-arable means: “Land which is unsuitable for arable farming usually has at least one of the following deficiencies: no source of fresh water; too hot (desert); too cold ( Arctic ); too rocky; too mountainous; too salty; too rainy; too snowy; too polluted; or too nutrient poor.” If this is truly the situation, animals would die, animals need nutrients, they need water, they need moderate temperatures– unless they are native to the area. Anywhere that we could possibly raise animals, there would be enough resources to also cultivate plants, or even eat wild plants. In some of the most hostile places on earth, most plants are edible. For example, I worked for a year in Vernal, located in eastern Utah, which is a desert and mostly no trees. Only 1-2 plants in the area were poisonous, and most everything else was edible. It would likely be considered non-arable land, but one of the most common cultivated crops was actually alfalfa, and were those alfalfa pastures green!! Also many cows and horses lived out there, granted the horses didn’t do the best on that type of forage, but they were there. Keeping animals also usually means having fences, and fences are terrible for wildlife, they get caught in them, it breaks up corridors and migration patterns. Sage grouse is an example of an endangered animal due to the fragmentation of our lands.

Also ironically, the use of animals on lands can lead to that landscape being non-arable and degraded.

Brazil is currently facing the fastest deforestation in the world. Check out this Ted talk. I had the opportunity to visit Brazil recently and it was strikingly apparent. The places with no trees had cattle on them. Places without cattle had trees. Places without trees, the soil erodes within 4-5 years because the amount of water that comes per year leaches the minerals and the nutrients and without deep rooted trees those nutrients wash into the ocean. Cattle ranchers know that their cows need new lands, when they stop gaining weight. Which typically comes 4-5 years after trees have been turned into pasture. So they have to chop into more forest land to feed their cows. This is an ongoing process. And this is also big business. Successful environmentalists have been killed for years in Brazil and in other countries over these kinds of issues.

Cattle have a tendency to compact the earth, and humans have a tendency to allow for overgrazing, hence limiting new plant growth and diversity. With a higher and higher demand for meat based products, in order to meet the demand, humans become crazier trying to fit more and more animals on smaller and smaller spaces– hence the creation of factory farms in an attempt to become more and more ‘efficient’. In doing so food for the animals need to come from outside sources, mono-crops are the most common method for obtaining these massive quantities of food. They are also unsustainable and even more unsustainable in tropical regions. In all of this, we are seeing the destruction of our forests (for more grazing land, or mono-crops), water pollution (runoff from animal farms and limited mitigation from less vegetation), decimation of wildlife and indigenous peoples (competing space with ‘our’ grazing lands and or wildlife killing ‘our’ animals).

This is a basically a common misconception that unfortunately many people in science become victim to. The idea that poor quality soils support animals to support people more than they could support humans directly. This doesn’t make really any sense. This is obviously a deeply held non-supported assumption as these authors didn’t even cite their assumption of this.

A really great example of someone making huge change showing the opposite of this as true, is Aviram Rozin, the founder of Sadhana Forest.  Several years ago he bought 70 acres of degraded land in India and has since returned it to forest and raised the groundwater by 6 meters. His work was acknowledged to such a degree that two more communities were made with slightly different targets in mind. One of those communities was made to help support the Samburu tribe in Kenya, who face severe malnutrition, their main source of food is from animals and food donations from outside.  Rozin acquired 30 acres and started a tree nursery and training center, to help locals combat malnutrition via plants. His work has shown so much promise in this region that he was awarded recognition from the government of Kenya and the UN!

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The passages from above and below are from this article. It’s easy to throw around words and assumptions, but if we look at the personal stories of people across the globe, facing severe food challenges, we see a fairly clear picture:

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Another article: http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/08/25/pastoralists-drought-food-forests

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They find that the biggest challenge to the growing of trees is actually the the societal status that comes with raising animals. This isn’t unique to just their culture, but as a global community we tend to do things with cultural significance to the point of destruction of our bodies and homes over what is actually the best or most appropriate action for the longevity of our survival.

Anyway, there are plenty of articles on the topic, please I encourage you, I urge you, read them. Read the stories of people, adventure, explore, before making assumptions or dragging your feet or blaming or pretending like you know…. research first.

It’s also vital to remember that these kinds of anti-vegan articles, are created by people possibly being paid big money by the cattle industry to come up with studies that may benefit them.  I have my master’s in soil science, I have extensively looked at jobs in my field across the country, and there are existing research positions which pay huge money to people writing articles in favor of cattle ranching and how it can be sustainable. And how much am I getting paid to write this…. ? $0. I happen to be severely passionate about veganism and sustainable agriculture.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2015/0320/At-Sadhana-Forest-trees-spring-from-once-barren-land

What isn’t logical about the article illustrating the land use of different diets, is that the introduction clearly makes a stand that meat is the biggest consumer of land use. It then goes on to make an unsubstantiated claim that grazing is largely on ‘non-arable’ lands. (Whether the animals were in fact the reason those lands became ‘non-arable’ –or perhaps they really mean to say ‘degraded’–is another question entirely). And then of course it addresses that it’s challenging to make associations between diet and land use because the story is complicated. Sure, it is, but not that complicated that somehow it would reverse the already substantiated findings that meat does take more land to produce, which even this article has many references of that.  Then to sum up it says:

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Okay, great.

So lets dig deeper.

The purpose of their paper…

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Unfortunately this means very little because we haven’t gotten to the methods section yet. But ultimately these are based off of predictions that will never happen. Okay, will likely never ever happen. Why? Because we are a global market, there is no denying that. Our current economic model is dependent on other countries and vice versa. This is looking at a carrying capacity for the US, so potentially how many people could be fed in the US based on different diets, it’s a purely hypothetical situation.  And, language is also key here, “explores the assumptions about the partitioning of agricultural land and the suitability for cultivated crops influences estimates of carrying capacity”. This is it, we found the winner. “Partitioning of agricultural land” — is likely a reference to land dedicated to animal production and land dedicated to crops for human consumption. “and the suitability for cultivated crops”– this is a reference as to say, that some of the land may not be suitable for cultivated crops, hence why this may not effect carrying capacity– which is a completely projected assumption. They aren’t giving enough data or reasoning as to why they would leave out essentially ‘degraded’ lands that are already under animal agriculture as lands that could be converted to cropland. The problem lies in the premise of their idea. Hence all of the data can be invalidated because they have chosen to withdraw a heck of a lot of land, because they feel that people wouldn’t actually use it to grow crops. This is completely and absolutely unscientific. Soil restoration is a huge field, and a very important one, it’s completely possible to restore degraded lands, it takes time and it takes effort, but at the rate of destruction of our current soils, soil restoration will only become more and more important.

It may not at this point even be worth going through the rest of this article, but for fun, let’s check out their methods.

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And there it is again. Essentially giving the authors the power and authority to throw out whatever land for whatever land use they ‘feel’ is inadequate. Basically this means that they are designating certain areas of land as only fit for animal agriculture. This is an inaccurate assumption of the way this works. Perhaps they could pull this off if they were talking about hunting wildlife over maintaining animals, but if they could pull that off, there’s always the bigger argument of wild edible plants, how how much easier it would be to get more calories and more food, more consistently, rather than via hunting. Ecology is set up in a way to support many more herbivores than it can support carnivores. Hence why carnivores are typically few and far between to keep the system balanced. A world full of overeating carnivores.. presents an issue for the ecological balance.

The other place of oversight, is in their diet selections, from the SAD diet to varying degrees of vegetarianism and finally veganism. What doesn’t make sense is how they have separated meat eating and milk. These appear to be different categories, but they survive in unison. In the milk production process, selling beef is part of the system. These categories are completely interwoven, so to pretend to have a culture of consuming milk and not discarding massive amounts of worn out animals — whether consumed or not consumed, would still reflect on the total land amount and impact on milk. Hence why most comparisons between vegetarianism and meat eating, are actually nonsensical because they are really the same if you are supporting the milk industry you are supporting the meat industry. If you support the meat industry– in today’s world you are supporting the milk industry. Meat and dairy should be considered one, unless there is some model that only allows 1 glass of milk every several years, or infrequent enough that humans would not need to inseminate or breed animals to the point of the animals being in population numbers over what would have been their natural carrying capacity and destroying nature because of it.

The other funny thing, is they didn’t assess vegetarians who don’t consume dairy but consume eggs. In my mind that is a far far greater step towards veganism than milk consuming non egg or meat consuming.  As I said earlier, milk=meat. And as far as the industry is concerned eggs=meat. In some instances though, outside of the industry consuming eggs connects much less to more and more chicks being born, for example — if someone rescues a chicken and allows it to live in the backyard for 15 years, them eating the eggs from the chicken doesn’t contribute to the reproduction of more animals during that time frame; opposed to a milk product from an animal being cared for by a ‘backyard’ farmer, that farmer will have to breed the animal every couple of years in order to maintain a supply of milk. Every time the animal is bred, they could have 1-3 babies. The farmer may keep the animals, but it will only be a matter of time before their land is totally full, and the incoming young animals will be sent for slaughter, given away or neglected  — so at least from a non industry standpoint, eggs are less connected to displaced animals than milk is.

Okay and here come the blatant lies.

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Okay they are blatant lies for the following reasons:

  1. permanent pasture and rangeland are actually suitable for cultivation.
    1. They are suitable because they haven’t been tilled for a long time, the soil organisms are healthy, however the soil itself may be a bit compacted, but most agriculture land is anyway because of the heavy machinery typically used.
    2. Some of the best lands to start an organic farm are exactly in these types of areas. Why? Because the land is rich with soil organisms, and typically has had limited to no application of pesticides and herbicides making it an easy transition for organic farmers.
    3. I recently worked with a couple in Hunstville, Utah. I helped them complete soil tests on their site, where it had been undisturbed grassland for several years. Their nutrient levels and soil health was excellent. Their main challenge was to keep the soil in good health while they pursued their organic orchard plans.
  2. Woodland pasture: Actually there is an issue with woodland pasture used exclusively for grazing, in fact for any system that we fence animals into. It more often than not prevents the succession of that forest. Essentially limiting the new growth of trees on the forest floor and hence limiting diversity. Woodland pasture is of course more ‘sustainable’ than having animals graze in an open field, because in this way the trees can maintain and recycle nutrients in the system more efficiently. However these systems prove to be great for growing plants as well! There is a thing called agroforestry. Which makes use of all of the layers of a forest. The ground-cover, the shrubs, the trees. These environments can be great for mushrooms or shade tolerant species of high market value– many condiments and spices can grow well in these environments. Trees can be planted such as fruit and nut trees. Both permaculture and agroforestry are exploding in popularity because it does give us a multitude of nutritionally dense options, grown on small plots of land. Would you rather literally only eat cow for the rest of your life, or would you rather cultivate gardens with a wide variety of plant species to fulfill your palate for a lifetime?

And here we go again. They further divide cropland into what is suitable to grow during what time of year. Yes this is important to consider. However this whole scenario is hypothetical anyway, so why cut such a huge disadvantage to plant based foods when there are many people using greenhouses that extend the season of certain foods. Also, why further divide cropland when animal products aren’t getting the same consideration. We ship food in for the animals in many locations. My parents raise goats, do you think they magically survive the winter when everything is buried? No, my parents have a huge barn where they store a winter’s (and supplemental summer’s) worth of feed for all of the animals. And where does this come from? Down the street from several acres of farmland, because they don’t grow all their own food for the animals.

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Just because a land is ‘unsuited’ for plant production, doesn’t mean plants can’t grow there, it just means that conventionally speaking it ‘seems’ ‘more’ suited for animal agriculture, because that’s what people have previously done. It would probably require expertise and some effort to convert it into some other type of production. Yet, raising animals isn’t exactly a no brainer, caretakers need to pay attention to the food that is available for the animals and whether or not the animals need supplemental feeding and have access to water, and are in the proper climate for their body types. So basically any land based system does require expertise to maintain.  Unsuited, really doesn’t mean anything.

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Yes, perennial cops are better for soil health than annual crops are. However, annual crops aren’t necessarily worse for soil health than animal agriculture is. In order to maintain soil health there needs to be maximum amount of crops in perennial based agriculture, and for annual crops, minimal tillage used with an emphasis on organic practices, it’s entirely possible to maintain great soil health over the long term, using plants only.

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‘Respective agricultural yields’ would likely be from the average yields of that crop over a given area of land. This information would then be sourced from mono-cropped systems that can often suffer severe nutritional deficiencies, pest issues, etc. When we use diversified cropping systems — we have much less data on this as it usually happens on a smaller scale and because of all of the variables involved are highly unpopular scientific endeavors, but overall these production systems are much more successful and can output much more food, than the same amount of land doing monoculture.

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The main error I see in this, is that they are taking yield data likely from the average from mono-cropped areas with no animals on site. The issue with this, is that typically cows live in a separate area from where their food is grown, so in addition to consuming exactly what they need, they are also taking up space in some other location, and impacting the soil and water quality. Or they have some land, but their food is supplemented in the winters. So for consistency, it would have made sense to actually calculate on average how much land animals do take up in this country and how many people they actually feed, rather than basing it solely on calculated ideal situations. This paper is becoming more and more blatantly biased. Ideal situation for cows on every land type, while anything plant based has restrictions and problems and issues… let’s read on.

Unfortunately this is where I can’t comment too much, because I’m not a statistician, but I can say that I can’t imagine that a model can accurately ‘separate’ out ‘two’ industries that are really ‘one’.

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Again we are creating a world that doesn’t exist in terms of animal agriculture. But for plant agriculture.. nope we have to limit ourselves to the status quo and how things currently are, and the trends people currently take. How is this an unbiased study?

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Again, separating out cultivated cropland from perennial forages, which there is no reason why animals have to be linked to cropland in perennial forages or ‘non-arable grasslands and woodlands’.

Another issue with this article is that although it addresses a hypothetical situation using a limited area (USA) to pursue a point about what diet is best, whatever results come, will unfortunately be not painting a clear picture of the reality we are currently in. Hence results can not be taken to conclude what diet is actually best.

It addresses a hypothetical situation of USA citizens meeting all of their own consumption needs, it doesn’t mention the reality that a large sum of our beef comes from all over the world imports here, and that likely is not about to change any time soon, even with the whole local movement. The reality of it is, that we are a global market. And USA is a country with an emphasis on environmental protection laws and national parks. We have to remember that many other countries don’t have this, or have much weaker regulations in place that really allow companies to wipe resources and ecologically rich areas clean. It’s a nice thought that we can sustain ourselves within our country but the reality is that we don’t, and that the way our economy works doesn’t support that. So buying that burger is much more than just the amount of space that it took up, but also the paying for injustice and cruelty towards an animal forced to live in confined/unnatural settings and killed in a mechanized way. It also supports the killing and thrashing of indigenous people the world over, because the reality is, is that conventional agriculture, what we are currently doing is destroying forests especially rainforests at an unprecedented rate. This destruction makes money, and with money comes power and with power comes greed. With greed, comes more destruction of some of the most beautiful places on the earth, and the loss of indigenous knowledge and practices with it. We have to understand that we live in a global market. Local is great and all, but we just aren’t there on a massive scale. Consuming more plant based foods, helps reduce the amount of land required to be destroyed. It’s the reality. We can accept it. Or we can continue to piddle and paddle around and write up articles to suggest that maybe veganism isn’t the answer… even when it’s clearly already been made very apparent, from numerous articles that shockingly and surprisingly this article itself admits.

Read on? sigh, I guess so.

So I guess it’s getting slightly humorous at this point. In the conclusions they make it very clear that vegans use the least land out of anyone, however the maximum of ‘arable’ land = which is roughly equal to the rest of the diet categories.

They go on to write about the carrying capacity. How they ended up with lacto ovo vegetarians to actually be supported in the largest numbers, was because remember — we spoke about it extensively already, but because they designated all the otherwise animal grazing lands, as unfit for any type of plant alternative food to be either grown or collected from these areas. Hence, while vegans and non-vegans use up roughly the same amount of ‘arable’ ‘cultivatable’ areas, vegans can’t possibly convert any type of otherwise animal forage area to something that grows plants. Hence, those lacto ovo vegetarians who can make use of those otherwise ‘unfit’ areas for ‘plant crops’ can have some milk. Which is of course in total pretend land anyway because milk = excess animals that someone has do something with. India happens to consume the most milk per capita, and despite their religion as seeing cows as sacred and holy, unbeknownst to many Indians, they are the biggest exporter of beef in the world.   So it’s a nice thought to believe that one day the dairy and the meat industry could be so easily separated, just as their happy little model did in the study. But reality isn’t like that. This study is unfortunately not based on reality. If we are going to be choosing what we eat based on this study on supposed ‘carrying capacities’. If we were really short on food, do you really think that people wouldn’t be getting back to the basics and planting more of their own food, harvesting more wild edibles, heck probably eating grass? Of course they would. It is in fact much more realistic than to believe that at some point because of this study the meat and dairy industry will say, oh wow, look at this study, they so easily separated meat and dairy… in terms of consumer consumption and how it affects cattle populations and land area. Maybe there is a way that we can too. Nope, there isn’t, and even if meat can be taken out of the picture, the excess cows will still be there! And that could be worse, they would happily roam free and consume likely all of our arable crops eventually. There are about 9 billion dairy cows in the US at this moment. At large dairy farms it’s not uncommon for there to be 100 calf births a day! On average dairy cows live to be about 5 years old in the USA. Their natural lifespan though is closer to 20 years. They need to give birth every couple of years in order to keep milk production high, and of course their babies have to be taken away in order for us to get their milk. And what do the babies eat instead? Well either we feed them some sort of powdered milk and raise them to be dairy cows or we send them for slaughter. Veal.

In addition this study so far, is only looking at food. What about our energy needs, or other consumed products. In that sense it makes sense to keep as much land as free as possible from other uses so that we can preserve more space, hence vegan diet is best.

By chance they do admit in part to some of what I addressed:

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And they do admit that we would need to shift to more vegan proteins… (LOL)

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They also admitted to the fact that they were largely biased in their ability of allotting land towards vegan agriculture, but were very generous in allotting land to animal agriculture.

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Also they admitted to the fact that eating less meat, in the US, could potentially feed the world.

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Another interesting thought — is that it’s pretty unrealistic for everyone to go vegan. However, the more positive information and the more reason in going vegan, will help enable more people to consider veganism. So actually, by promoting veganism as the baseline, we will as a population come closer to a more balanced use of our ecological resources, even as we know that many people currently are completely not open to the idea of veganism. However in promoting it, it has a better chance. It’s just interesting to me that the conclusion of this study is a completely unreal situation where the milk industry is separated from the meat industry and I know we discussed this extensively but the funny thing is, that most people won’t actually read the whole article. And they will actually buy that milk is somehow more sustainable than plants… which isn’t the case. In the making of this study the factors were set up in a way that would allow for that kind of an idea to happen. Which isn’t telling the whole story and is wildly misleading for the average person who hasn’t researched sustainable agriculture, and when they read a headline, it might actually make the difference between someone being like “hey I think veganism is good for the planet, and oh wait nevermind, it’s like everything else, it doesn’t make a damn difference”. Which is FAR from the case.

And that is why I made a vegan rebuttal page. Because unfortunately there are way too many people who read headlines and don’t actually investigate.

I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life studying environmental policy, sustainable farming, permaculture, soil science, and volunteering in India, New York and Brazil on these issues. And I’m currently in the finalizing process of submitting my own research paper from my master’s on organic farming, simple soil testing, and soil quality to journals for review. I’ve found through my travels and studies that yes things are complicated. Yes, things aren’t always clear cut, but yes, veganism is significantly more environmentally friendly and a much more ethical choice than anything else I’ve come across. Even if you are consuming palm oil, paper and oil. Not consuming meat (dairy) makes a BIGGER difference. surprisingly, but true. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about those issues, or shouldn’t work towards protecting our resources and adapting our consumer line to better our world ecology, it just means having perspective on the ways we can act with the greatest benefit, and things we can do immediately to create a significant impact. There are so many things in life we have no control over. Some war on the other side of the world. Some starving abused child or animal in a neighboring country — yes we can donate money, but ultimately the easiest most efficient thing we can do for ecology and human health is through our consumer choices.

And they also finally admitted what to do with all of the excess animals from ‘vegetarian’ systems:

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And finally:

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And last but not least, let’s go through the ridiculous fluff article. First point of failure:

“eliminating animal products altogether isn’t the best way to maximize sustainable land use.”

No where in the first hand literature did it say this. It said that the capacity of the land could hold more ‘vegetarians’, however the model didn’t include what to do with the excess animals or what to do in terms of our other needs such as energy. So no, this is false.

“The bottom line: Going cold turkey on animal-based products may not actually be the most sustainable long choice for humanity in the long term.”

Nope again, that absolutely wasn’t the bottom line. the bottom line was that we needed to do further research because there were more questions involved in terms of what is the most sustainable. But they definitely made it clear that reducing our animal product intake was really great way to free up more land. Also claiming that reaching our carrying capacity = sustainability is far from something that makes sense. Usually reaching the carrying capacity is a bad thing. That means there is little to no wriggle room and with a few more babies in over reaching that carrying capacity could mean a crash in the population. In that sense, according to their model, veganism would be actually safer and better and again, we went over those points earlier. About other requirements for humanity apart from food like energy for example and wildlife/ecological services.

“When applied to an entire global population, the vegan diet wastes available land that could otherwise feed more people. That’s because we use different kinds of land to produce different types of food, and not all diets exploit these land types equally.

 “
And nope again. It doesn’t waste more land. According to the scientific model, vegans can’t make ‘use’ of that land. Which isn’t true, and we went over that.

  • Grazing land is often unsuitable for growing crops, but great for feeding food animals such as cattle.
  • Perennial cropland supports crops that are alive year-round and are harvested multiple times before dying, including a lot of the grain and hay used to feed livestock.
  • Cultivated cropland is where you typically find vegetables, fruits and nuts.”

Again we went over this… grazing land can be converted into vegan cropland. I’ve actually been involved in 2 projects where we did exactly that. Grasslands were converted into peach orchards in Kaysville and Huntsville — Utah. If you want you can even visit the Kaysville USU research farm, and check it out yourself.  Fruits, nuts and many veggies and grains can also be perennial 🙂

“But the vegan diet stood out because it was the only diet that used no perennial cropland at all, and, as a result, would waste the chance to produce a lot of food.”

Which even if this were the case, it actually is a good thing, because ecological services are actually good. 🙂

Luckily in the end they got this part right.

“And then there’s the issue of philosophy. A lot of vegans aren’t in the business of avoiding animal products for the sake of land sustainability. Many would prefer to just leave animal husbandry out of food altogether.

 “

Whelp that’s all folks.

I hope I helped ease some vegans in panic mode over this thing. And perhaps kept others on track who may have wandered off for a second.

It’s okay. Veganism still holds through. There isn’t enough possible eye rolling that I can do for all the possible articles that will hold on to this thing and claim that ‘Hey look vegans suck and they lied the whole time’ lol. Which is what that first article essentially was. Oh well, we do our best. We keep on talking. We keep on getting out there. We keep on educating. Sooner or later… when food supplies may become drastically different with drought and all… we will be likely forced towards a plant based diet anyway. So either way.. we seem to be headed in the same direction. It would be nice though, for us as a community to realize it sooner, and save us and the animals from all the unnecessary suffering that we otherwise put them through.

Alright. Peace. Have a good one.

Officially the longest rebuttal on this blog.

 

 

 

 

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But vitamin B12 is only found in animal products!

Bacteria are not classified scientifically as animals. Hence it is a scientific inaccuracy to say that B12 is an animal product. In our modern world, yes we are super hygienic and sometimes getting that bacteria source needs to be paid attention to. If the only way to get a certain vitamin naturally was from kicking a small child would you do it, or would take a supplement so you didn’t have to kick the small child? This of course isn’t the case with veganism, because we can actually get vitamin b12 naturally without supplements, but if it’s that much of a concern for vitb12, supplements are very easy to get. It’s also a vitamin that stores very well in the body over time. They say that deficiencies often don’t even begin to develop until after 5 years. And some evidence actually questions our need for this vitamin altogether. Check it out. It’s all interesting stuff. I personally take a b12 supplement because it’s easy and actually tastes good — i get the chewable kind

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/12/vitamin-b12-and-human-nutritional.html

http://www.rawfoodexplained.com/why-we-should-not-eat-meat/the-vitamin-b12-hoax.html

 

Lactose intolerance isn’t common, milking cows is good for them, and veggies are bad

“Only 2% of the western population is lactose intolerant. Milking the cows actually helps the cow to stay healthy. The majority of GMO products actually are the vegetables, replacing the source of calcium with vegetables won’t make it GMO free.”
The above passage was a comment made on fb, I responded what is found below…
Actually, “Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. Lactose intolerance in adulthood is most prevalent in people of East Asian descent, affecting more than 90 percent of adults in some of these communities.
” — http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance Milking the cows can only help the cow ‘stay healthy’ if the cow has been bred in a way to have unnaturally large utters and/ or is injected with hormones to have larger utters, and or must also have the following conditions met, the cow has been, 1)impregnated 2) and baby has been taken away. Under all of these circumstances the cow could be in distress with large utters, and no calf to relieve her. In this situation it may make sense to help ‘relieve’ the cow of her milk. However, this is an entirely man made situation. You would never make the same argument for a human, claiming that humans needed to be milked by anyone other than their baby because it ‘kept them healthy’ this is not factual. The majority of GMO’s are actually cotton, corn and soybeans. These are the items we need in the largest quantity hence make sense for companies to gain profit off of making GMO’s, there are some GMOS also among vegetables and fruits, but that can all be avoided if buying organic. Ultimately those who eat the most corn and soy often happen to be animals that we consume or consume their byproducts. So herbicides and pesticides that are within these plants, actually become that much more concentrated in the animal itself. For example it takes about 20 lbs of plant food to produce 1lb of cow flesh. https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=29892 That means that whatever pesticides are in that 20lbs of plant food, is now concentrated in that 1lb of animal flesh. So to say that having milk is better than vegetables is not accurate in terms of reducing your toxin intake. Especially in places for example in India where there is little to no regulation on what goes into milk to preserve it. It is often trucked for hours in the hot sun, and in order for it not to go bad, it’s a common for farmers to pour bleach in the milk. There have been plenty of articles to come out explaining all of the contaminants found in milk. In addition, vegetables contain many micronutrients, and antioxidants that help protect the body’s immune system against bacteria and other contaminants. Milk is largely devoid of these beneficial qualities. It also has too much protein to be considered a good source of calcium since, it takes large quantities of calcium to digest protein. http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/ your best source of calcium actually is dark leafy greens.

But humans are at the center of the universe

It’s unfortunate but I see this all of the time. People claiming that human beings are the apex of all of creation.

So ultimately we humans believe that animals are resources, how is it then, that most find animal factory farming monstrous then?

Some claim humans have been using animals since the beginning of time, and why should we ever think about changing?

Do you really believe that if we have always used animals for, food, shelter, clothing, that that justifies it as sane or good? In the face currently of ecological collapse on multiple fronts –oceanic and all lands?

Humans have always been at war with one another since as long as we are aware of, does that make war good or sane?

Humans have traditionally had much lower life spans, about half of what we have today, does that make shorter life spans sane or good?

Today, our extent to animal manipulation is much more than it ever has been, are you then against this? Animal testing for pharmaceuticals, make-up, house hold products, random experimental designs for ‘science’.

To what extent do you believe animals more resemble plants or rocks than they do humans? To what extent do you believe that animals have no capacity to care for themselves or others or their life? To what extent are Humans more aware, more conscious, more able than animals?

We just happen to be really good with tools, apart from that, I only actually see animals being often times, much more intelligent than us. We are the only species, who has managed to shift the ecosystem so much, that not only are we annihilating our own species, but we are bringing just about every other species down with us. If that isn’t a huge failure of intelligence, I’m not sure what is.

Just because something is weaker than us, I’m not sure how that justifies us, making full use of it. It’s the patriarchal mindset, use what can be used for your own means. Use other races for slaves, because you can, use woman and children for sex and labor without their permission because you can. Use animals for all of your needs, because you can. Use the world and its resources for your needs in excess because you can, Take from the poor, the sick, the helpless and the weak, because they are vulnerable, and it will keep you in power.

This is the mindset of many of the dominant cultures of the world today, They have hidden the messages so cleverly, yet they are still so bold and vibrant since, these are the actions unfortunately much more common among humans than the choice of compassion on this earth.

Our societies have successfully taught humans that this is the normal way, the only way, to gain strength, to gain fortune.

However, what is true compassion, what does living in an ecosphere mean. What is true connection. We live in a world that hardly anyone dare enter, or attempt to understand. We are trapped in the mundane everyday existence of cleaning, working, driving, using our gadgets, absorbing ourselves in made up stories projected onto screens. We are numb. Yet the mystery of the universe, the divine in all creation is here, waiting to be discovered in the minute occurrences that we too often ignore on a daily basis.

Yet, if we choose to listen, if we choose to be present, we can find this unshakable propensity of wisdom, in nature, we are not limited to the spoken words of humans throughout the ages, of course they would be telling the story with the creature of their choice (their race, gender and religion of human) in the center, but that hardly is anything but a boastful lie, to imagine the world as only full to the extent of that one component. Humans can’t exist without the functions of the ecosystem on planet earth, we are hardly important.

We in fact, are so weak, so fragile, so small in the grand scheme of things. To believe humans are at the center of the stage above and beyond all other life. It’s the same mindset as the belief that the Sun rotated around the Earth, claiming everything is only about us. So arrogant, so boastful, so untrue. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfP-XBUbMvs

Well I tried veganism and it didn’t work

I was actually the most unhealthy that I’ve ever been on a vegan diet. It was a really hard decision

to veer away from plant foods, but not everyone can be healthy on a vegan diet.  Nice thought though.———————————————————

Here is my response to someone who said something along those lines….

 I guess I disagree with the statement that it wouldn’t work for everyone, it’s like saying, not all pandas thrive on plants.. of course they do! Of course you had your personally experience, and that section of time that you chose particular vegan foods did not work for you, and I can whole heartedly respect that. I’ve personally been on a vegan array of foods in certain periods of my vegan eating, that did not suit me. However with experimentation and research, it’s easy to get on track and pick up your health with solely plant foods. Saying veganism doesn’t work for everyone is an unfortunately common fallacy proclaimed by those who haven’t had much exposure to plant based foods and how they work in our bodies, in combination with the assumption that there is only one version of veganism. There are hundreds of versions of veganism, in fact, there are probably as many versions to plant based diets as there are people on them. However if there’s not the adequate intake of a variety of different vegetable material and legumes, and whole foods which is very important, of course it is very possible that there could be nutritional inadequacies. However blaming the plant based diet, is incorrect, and can be misleading since when a plant based diet is done correctly can be the healthiest diets for humans. With more and more doctors becoming vegan and recommending vegan it is becoming easier and easier to learn what foods on a plant based diet supports the health the best. Granted, in this society, it’s more than easy to cave to the society’s perception of plant based and what it means, it’s easy to give up when most others aren’t doing it, don’t know anything about it, and largely are terrified by it. It’s easy to cave to the ideas and the compulsions of the masses.. however it’s healthy, possible and completely doable to leap out and experiment with eating plants only. If it doesn’t work, it’s completely doable and possible to learn, research and tailor it, until it does. One of my favorite authors is Gabriel Cousens. he is in full support of the myriad of ways to be a plant based eater. He talks about how some do better with more fats, some do better with no fats, and on and on. I love this approach because, through his guidance, I felt less guilty about experimenting on my own, and trusting the process. Now I’m three years in, and couldn’t be happier. I hardly get sick and when I do, it’s nowhere to the degree of illness that I would be when I was vegetarian. Anyway, thought I’d share. All the best. Only here to encourage and support.

 

but vegan products wouldn’t exist without the animal product version they were trying to imitate

This conversation came up on fb as someone was arguing that if the FDA wanted to allow the regulation that  ‘just mayo’ should not be allowed to exist labelled that because the original recipe of mayonnaise contains whipped eggs, that they should do it.

It’s not completely true that vegan versions of things would only exist if the animal version existed too. Did you know that cooked jackfruit has a texture and taste very similar to pulled pork? We just happen to compare jackfruit to pulled pork because most ppl have had pulled pork before they ever had a chance to try jackfruit. So your right, it’s a form of semantics that is helpful, especially when a meat, dairy and egg culture is most of what people’s foundation is in cooking. But in my mind, we modify meat and dairy much more to resemble plants than we do the other way around. separating every body part, separating fats, adding sugar and salt, fermenting, drying, cooking, pounding, smashing, churning, seasoning… ultimately meat is meat, milk is milk.. if we all ate them in their natural state, raw, and directly from the animal, I’d imagine a lot more people would automatically be more if not entirely plant based, and the variety of milk and meat would be almost negligible except perhaps for a few aquatic species. Yet we don’t consume animal products in their natural state, modifications to meat, egg and dairy are beyond normalized in our culture, in fact many of these products do hardly resemble the animal product found in them, in fact most people may not even really realize if they aren’t reading labels how many animal products are in everything. Think of a poptart. This food is sweet, solid, crunchy on the outside, and oozing with fruity filled insides. The sweetness wouldn’t be possible without fruits, the strongest flavor in the poptart wouldn’t be possible without fruits. The crunchiness texture is more like a plant food– and is largely made of plant foods, milk is liquid. Yet milk is an ingredient in that food, and that food isn’t made to taste like milk. If we take mayo– sure maybe the original recipe was whipped eggs. Yet whipped coconut milk can make a very similar texture to this. But what makes mayo, mayo… the sweet, yet salty, creamy based sauce. The largest ingredient in mayonnaise today, is actually soybean oil. Mayonnaise doesn’t taste like egg, because they have actually flavored it to taste like plants and minerals — salt, lemon and sugar. Egg is just a filler, in fact it’s a little interesting the we put egg in it in the first place if mayonnaise can be just as easily made without it. And by not using eggs, we are saving greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere, effluent from chicken egg farms, brutality to hens and baby chicks, brutality to workers inside of those factories, and cholesterol. The truth is, most meat and dairy hardly resemble the original entirety of that substance or the animal it came from. I don’t know anyone who could tell the difference between raw ground turkey, raw ground lamb, raw ground duck, raw ground dog, or raw ground human…. maybe there would be slight color variations, but ultimately they’d be used pretty similarly. We don’t go vegan because we don’t like the tastes or textures of the foods we grew up with, veganism is an ethical stance. There are 100’s of thousands of plants along with those corresponding fruit and vegetables. There is such a wide variety of tastes and textures within fruits alone, yet we hardly make use of a few species since somehow we’ve gotten to the space in time where our societies largely eat animal based products. At this point it’s unfortunately most of what we know about food, there are very few recipes that most ppl are familiar with that don’t contain animal products. i guess ultimately in my mind it shouldn’t matter if a company has slightly tweaked a name. Since companies have been doing it since the beginning. personally it’s much easier if a product that resembles another product can have a similar name so I know what recipes I can substitute it for. If someone wanted a ranch dressing, but it happened to be made with completely different ingredients, yet it was also possibly cheaper than the original ranch dressing… they wouldn’t know to buy the other ranch dressing if it didn’t have a similar name. If the FDA made that kind of a regulation that foods could not have similar names to each other, it would be slightly chaotic. Many companies would end up having to change many of their product names. Think of how many maple syrups are labelled maple syrup without having actually a trace of real maple syrup inside of it. I guess what’s bothersome about it, is the targeting nature of the egg lobby, when ‘just mayo’ isn’t doing really anything different that any other company has been doing since the beginning.