Jcsb

Vegetarian or not for environment

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Hi, in school, since i study biology, a lot of ppl are pro environment. I recently decided to become vegetarian too, and quickly I realised a lot of ppl in my degree were convinced it would be worse if everyone was vegetarian, partly due to monocultures, and the fact that a lot of livestock would still be needed for cheese, eggs, ... And vegan would be worse due to a huge amount of monocultures. I believed livestocks were fed from monocultures too, and therefore a bigger amount of cultures were dedicated to livestocks over human consumption. Do you guys have any good source with stats on how many monocultures there are today, and percentage dedicated to us vs livestocks? And your opinion on whether we could all be vegetarian (pollution wise only) or not? I cant find any credible stats, and opinions are diveeging so much, i dont know what to believe at all atm. Thanks!

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I do not have papers on hand, but I doubt that there is any dispute that industrial livestock use, especially of ruminants have an important negative environmental impact. But fundamentally the argument that are proposed are rather nonsensical. If you have livestock, you do not decrease monocultures for example. 

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On 2/22/2018 at 11:27 PM, Jcsb said:

And your opinion on whether we could all be vegetarian (pollution wise only) or not?

We're omnivores, and there are ways to make that more amenable to the environment, so why not explore that instead of the extreme measure of forcing a major dietary change on the whole species? Personal tastes aside, I'm also loathe to give up a process that helped make us as successful as we are. 

I don't think we should ever ALL be anything but human.

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It wouldn't hurt the environment to eat less meat.

The arguments presented are easily countered by the fact that cattle eats lots of crops, and growing those crops takes land that could otherwise be nature.

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"If everyone .." is a communist utopistic assumption so there is no need to worry about everyone becoming vegetarian indeed. However, given various environmental and perhaps even health concerns, having one less meat meal per week is probably good idea as Bender noted. Oh I just rephrased already stated.

Well, there are places, steep hills for example, where growing plants, unlike livestock, is not feasible. 

As for stats, you can find some here for example: Livestock production: recent trends, future prospects - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2935116/

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Bender said:

The arguments presented are easily countered by the fact that cattle eats lots of crops, and growing those crops takes land that could otherwise be nature.

...which in turn is easily countered by saying that removal of meat will require turning large if not all of that pasture land to grow monocultures. Also, the largest amount of pasture land are used by "free range" cattle, sheep, etc., which is much closer to the "nature" than, say, a corn field. The biggest change these areas experience is removal of most of trees to improve grass growth with usually no herbicides/pesticides and other chemicals being used on regular basis. On the other hand, animals being produced in confined enclosure, such as most pork, take very little space for a very large calorific output and very efficient use of space.

It seems like the best course of action would be to make "free range" meat produce illegal.

 

Edited by pavelcherepan

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What would you suggest these animals eat?

Quote

47% of soy and 60% of corn produced in the US being consumed by livestock. 

Source 

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On 2/23/2018 at 1:27 AM, Jcsb said:

Hi, in school, since i study biology, a lot of ppl are pro environment. I recently decided to become vegetarian too, and quickly I realised a lot of ppl in my degree were convinced it would be worse if everyone was vegetarian, partly due to monocultures, and the fact that a lot of livestock would still be needed for cheese, eggs, ... And vegan would be worse due to a huge amount of monocultures. I believed livestocks were fed from monocultures too, and therefore a bigger amount of cultures were dedicated to livestocks over human consumption. Do you guys have any good source with stats on how many monocultures there are today, and percentage dedicated to us vs livestocks? And your opinion on whether we could all be vegetarian (pollution wise only) or not? I cant find any credible stats, and opinions are diveeging so much, i dont know what to believe at all atm. Thanks!

I started a thread about this in 2014. https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/83542-a-vegetarian-future/

A couple of exerts from that thread:

"It takes, on average, 28 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of meat protein for human consumption, [whereas] it takes only 3.3 calories of fossil- fuel energy to produce 1 calorie of protein from grain for human consumption. " David Pimentel, Cornell University

"A report from the International Water Management Institute, noting that 840 million of the worlds people remain undernourished, recommends finding ways to produce more food using less water. The report notes that it takes 550 liters of water to produce enough flour for one loaf of bread in developing countriesbut up to 7,000 liters of water to produce 100 grams of beef. " UN Commission on Sustainable Development, WaterMore Nutrition Per Drop, 2004

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/549

 

There are 500 million vegetarians in India and another 50 million in China.

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-02-01/news/46897985_1_faye-wong-vegetarian-meat-dishes

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The trouble with vegetarianism, with no animal sources, is that you have to fanny about making sure all your nutrient bases are covered, otherwise you could end up with deficiencies.

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22 hours ago, StringJunky said:

The trouble with vegetarianism, with no animal sources, is that you have to fanny about making sure all your nutrient bases are covered, otherwise you could end up with deficiencies.

That is pretty much why I'm not vegetarian: I'm too sloppy about food. But we get enough nutrients with a lot less meat than we eat on average. 

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1 minute ago, Bender said:

That is pretty much why I'm not vegetarian: I'm too sloppy about food. But we get enough nutrients with a lot less meat than we eat on average. 

Yes, I think you only need a couple of ounces of complete protein a day.  Mine mainly comes from milk but I do have chicken 2 or 3 times a week. AFAIK eating any more than that just gets deaminated into glucose and waste products by the liver.

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