“One humanely dispatched animal will feed many people, but one vegan person kills thousands of creatures in inhumane ways with every bite they take.
So, if we go by ‘net murder rate by eating’, I would say that people who only eat grass fed beef are way ahead of everyone else.”
“So, you would prefer to kill 20 or so mice and small rodents, via slow painful liquification of internal organs, and/or many small animals by being torn apart and left for the carrion birds by plows, than eat one cows worth of beef, killed as humanely as you can afford to ensure? Why? “
Whenever you criticize the American dietary pattern of extreme amounts of meats, it always turns out of course that everyone who reads what you had to say only consumes the grass-fed beef cattle who live idyllic lives and sequester all the carbon by building up healthy topsoils and yadda yadda. No, it’s always the hoi polloi, it’s someone else somewhere, who eats the pigs fed plastic and cardboard. It’s definitely not you.
And so that immediately raises a seeming contradiction: If I say I reject animal cruelty, but eat grains that need pesticides that kill mice, am I not killing more animals than someone who merely eats his grassfed beef? Was I scammed all along? Should we all just be eating big fat cows? Or heck, should we transition to eating elephants perhaps? Would that be the most ethical option, grassfed elephant meat?
Well I’m glad to see you’re all so well off that you’re eating grassfed beef in today’s economy. Those who are worse off are eating pigs fed plastic:
And if you’re eating chickens, you’re eating some animal with pus-filled sores somewhere that can’t stand on its own feet, surrounded by dead specimens of its own kind:
But you’re one of the lucky few of course. You’re rich enough not to be dependent on this stuff, you get your grassfed beef directly from the local family farm where little blonde children hug the little calves in the grassy meadows. So what about you then?
Well, we can say one thing: The cows you eat have to eat something too. They generally end up eating the food that humans could have eaten. With beef cows, the cows need to eat 25 grams of protein, to produce 1 gram of protein you’re eating.
“Well the cows I eat are all grassfed animals.”
Alright, the same principle still applies. What do you think would be where the cow lives, if you didn’t eat the cow? It would be forest, but humans spray those pesticides you talk about, to kill off any other animals. We have plenty of mice plagues here in our Dutch farmland, where we kill all the mice running through the grass where the cows live:
They kill them by drowning them alive. And of course, geese are attracted to the grass as well, so we end up having to shoot the geese too.
After all, this is what grassfed beef generally means: It means you have a plot of land, where you spray a bunch of pesticides, to ensure that only one species of high protein grass can grow. This attracts geese as well, so my country now has millions of them, which will have to be killed somehow. They kill a quarter of a million of them here every year in this country.
Here is the real problem you’re dealing with:
Take a good look at that. The humans weigh as much as ten times all the wild animals put together! and the cattle that we humans eat, weigh about three times as much as us! In other words, you eating your “grassfed beef” leads to a planet with thirty times as many cows as wild animals! How do you think this is supposed to be sustainable exactly?
Grassfed beef kills animals, because the animals have to be killed to stop them from eating the grass that the cows need to eat. And, it turns entire forests like the Brazilian rain forest where animals used to live, into cattle pastures.
It’s ultimately all very very simple:
When you eat peanuts, one gram of plant protein becomes one gram of protein for you.
When you eat a cow. One gram of plant protein, becomes one gram of protein for the cow. But the cow now needs 25 grams of plant protein, to produce one gram of protein as food for you!
And so what should we expect? We would expect that we need roughly 25 times as much physical space to feed you your grassfed beef, as we would need to feed you plant protein directly!
Is it any wonder that basically 80% of human land use for agriculture is not for plants we eat ourselves, but for the animals that we eat? No, it is exactly what we would expect.
But wait. I already know what you’re going to say. You’re the rare exception of course, you’re the guy who doesn’t just eat grassfed beef, no, your grassfed beef comes from the handful of places on Earth that can’t be used to grow plants directly for humans beings!
First of all, I don’t know how you get that stuff in your local supermarket. You’re not living in Mauritania. You’re not living in rural Tibet. Statistically speaking, you’re living in some big multimillion people metropolitan coastal settlement somewhere, just like me and every other dude on the Internet. Yes, even the guy in my comment section who claims he looks like Jesus. But alright, I’m going to play along with you.
Bear with me here. Do you think this plot of land you’re using doesn’t have value for nature? Do you think it’s normal to have basically thirty times as many cattle as wild animals? Of course it isn’t. In nature, you would get animals like wolves, bears and lions, that would keep the herd small.
Rather, all those cattle put together end up damaging the environment. They produce massive amounts of methane, which ends up poisoning our atmosphere. But saying this of course brings out all the people who think it’s perfectly fine to poison our atmosphere, who think that all this madness will somehow not have any harmful consequences to our future.
And that’s the general pattern I notice:
YOU JUST DON’T WANT TO KNOW
That’s really all there is to it. And I wish you would all just say this out loud, it would make it all a lot easier, it means we all know where we stand.
-You don’t want to know the chocolate you eat is harvest by child slaves. Well, neither do I. I never said I’m a saint.
-You don’t want to know the animal you’re eating was some deformed chicken with sores on its legs that spent a week of its life sitting next to the decomposing corpse of another chicken.
-You just don’t want to know that the pig you’re eating ate plastic.
-You just don’t want to know that eating meat gives you prostate cancer. Hey, I couldn’t get my dad to stop eating so much meat until he developed prostate cancer either. It’s human nature, we just don’t want to know.
-You just don’t want to know that food prices are skyrocketing and people in the Middle East and Africa will now start dying of hunger, which could have been prevented IF WE DIDN’T USE UP ALL OF THE WORLD’S SPACE TO GROW YOUR FRICKING GRASSFED BEEF. The Japanese eat seaweed. The Chinese eat shellfish. None of this stuff competes with fertile farmland. When you eat meat, it takes up physical space for fertile farmland.
-You just don’t want to know that it’s causing deforestation in Brazil.
That’s it. That’s really all there is to it. And I’m not blaming you. Do you think I want to be aware on a constant basis of all the suffering my existence requires? No, I can barely handle the part I am aware of.
Life is a lot of fun, when you’re not aware. I’m pretty sure the Gautama Buddha had a good time too, as long as they didn’t let him leave his house.
But I’m not just going to pretend that the problem is not real and come up with some far-fetched argument to pretend that it’s not true.
Americans have a choice:
Option A: They can start eating less meat and help keep the world’s poor from dying of hunger. In the process they will reduce global warming, they will reduce animal suffering, they will become less obese, they will free up room for nature, they will avoid running out of fresh water and they will live longer.
Option B: They can continue the way they’re living now and turn this planet into a mediocre copy of hell itself.
You’re choosing option B. And that’s fine. But do me a favor and stop pretending that option B is actually a grass-fed sustainable form of option A all along. It isn’t.