Veganism - to save the world? Watch

Mittalmar
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A huge proportion of land around the world is taken up with livestock far more compared to agriculture (especially in Britain). Furthermore the energy required to look after live stock is huge; conservative estimates (from Permaculture - environment magazine) claim that 100,000 litres of water is required to produce 1kg of beef, compared to 900 litres for a 1kg of wheat.

With fears of world hunger through lack of food (already food riots in developing countries). Can we afford to waste huge agriculture spaces for non essential animals? Is it possible for us to justify the amount of energy required for 'our' carniverous diet? Would veganism (animal product free) allow a sustainable and viable alternative to a spiralling problem?
Discuss.

Edit: I stand by the figures of beef production bacause from research it is obvious that beef has a large amount of secondary ingredients + other factors that contribute to water consumption. The figure is not merely measuring how much the animal drinks ...
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shootbangfire
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This is actually a surprisingly sensible idea, given the amount of energy wasted by feeding cows and then eating them, rather than eating, say, the wheat or maize we feed them. In countries like India, where food is often scarce, and probably has been in the past, this has effectively developed on it's own, although for religious reasons rather than ecological ones. But the end result is the same.
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jgupta
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If the factors you mentioned were the only ones of concern, then by that reasoning we should confine all humans to a three-metre cubed area and feed them vital nutrients thourgh an intra-venous drip. We could fit thousands of times more people that way.

Sorry to open so heavy handed, but my point is that there is such a thing as quality of existence.

The simple answer to the food problem is, firstly we in the developed world have to accept higher prices for our food - it has been far to cheap for far too long now. Secondly, people need to stop *****ing about GM crops, and drop the fuss over 'organic' - they take up FAR much more room than normal crops to grow.
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marcusfox
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Explain how, when we are designed to be omnivorous - look at our teeth, and require cyanocobalamin in our diet, which can only be obtained from animal products?

Marcus
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uthred50
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Someone who used to be a good friend of mine was a vegan. He's really pale though and goes purple in the slightest cold; I think it's some kind of mineral deficiency
It's a nice idea but too many people like meat and eggs, cheese, butter etc too much to ever give them up

uth =]
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Drummer23
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(Original post by marcusfox)
Explain how, when we are designed to be omnivorous - look at our teeth, and require cyanocobalamin in our diet, which can only be obtained from animal products?

Marcus
Not only that, but religiously: in the bible, Genesis, God says to adam that the animals he has created are there for man's usage. This could easily mean eating, and im positive that it may actually SAY eating them.

So is it against biology (like Marcus points out) and religion?
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Sarahl89
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(Original post by jgupta)
If the factors you mentioned were the only ones of concern, then by that reasoning we should confine all humans to a three-metre cubed area and feed them vital nutrients thourgh an intra-venous drip. We could fit thousands of times more people that way.

Sorry to open so heavy handed, but my point is that there is such a thing as quality of existence.

The simple answer to the food problem is, firstly we in the developed world have to accept higher prices for our food - it has been far to cheap for far too long now. Secondly, people need to stop *****ing about GM crops, and drop the fuss over 'organic' - they take up FAR much more room than normal crops to grow.
Sorry but that really is the most ridiculous & irrelevant analogy.

(Original post by drummer23)
Not only that, but religiously: in the bible, Genesis, God says to adam that the animals he has created are there for man's usage. This could easily mean eating, and im positive that it may actually SAY eating them.

So is it against biology (like Marcus points out) and religion?
God says alot of things. read through the bible & make a little list of all the conflicting ideas it presents, you may find quite a few. Plus 'God' has nothing to do with this concept - we need to find alternative ways of sustaining our growing population and the OP was presenting one which maybe sensible for a number of ideas. Do you have a quote for where God actually said that animals are for our use? cause i seem to remember another one where humans were appointed stewards of the earth (ie - to look after the earth and everything in it, another conflicted idea with what you're saying.) Also we're on our way to a population crash and need to find ways around it - unless you believe that God (:rolleyes:) would be happier for us to continue eating meat and then die of starvation?

the ideas being: - energy efficiency - there will be fewer trophic levels in our food chain & so less energy will be lost from farm -> plate, economically beneficial as it maybe cheaper to mass produce crops than to mass produce animals AND their food aswell, & reduce transport costs. Also the issue of animal cruelty - i believe that the whole concept of comercially farming meat is very cruel, which more people are aware of now, and even having spent time working at a very good, organic dairy farm, despite the animals spending part of the year field grazing, the time they spend being shoved in & out of milking sheds, & their treatment in general, although good in relation to the scale of the industry, was still horrible - the animals are treated as simply a product, they have no life or personality & are just going through the motions, it was most horrible to watch really.

And yes we do need some animal products in order to survive, but many of these are able to be artificially produced nowadays anyway, many people live very healthy vegan lifestyles, so it is in no way impossoble. And at the same time, reducing cattle herds, could quite efficiently reduce emmisions of methane, as cows contribute quite a large percentage of them!
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marcusfox
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(Original post by Drummer23)
Not only that, but religiously: in the bible, Genesis, God says to adam that the animals he has created are there for man's usage. This could easily mean eating, and im positive that it may actually SAY eating them.

So is it against biology (like Marcus points out) and religion?
People can debate the existence (or not) of a God, but they cannot debate the biological facts.

Marcus
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Veni_vidi
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Veganism is unhealthy, for children specially
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nolongerhearthemusic
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Perhaps everyone being vegetarian would be more doable?
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Airel
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(Original post by jgupta)
If the factors you mentioned were the only ones of concern, then by that reasoning we should confine all humans to a three-metre cubed area and feed them vital nutrients thourgh an intra-venous drip. We could fit thousands of times more people that way.
Plug us into a computer system and you have a good movie plot going.
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lemily
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It's not just the water it uses, or the land it takes up but the green house gases emitted by producing food for the animals to eat, producing pesticides to grow the food animals eat, by driving/flying it for slaughter, butchering/packing, and to the supermarket - it is far far more than the amount of green house gases produced by all human aviation and motor vehicles. Vehicles/travel account for something like 2% of emissions whereas farming is closer to 30% when you factor in the food produced to feed them, and driving them through their lifecycle. Cows are one of the biggest offenders because they produce excess amounts of methane by farting and burping but from their manure. Methane is vastly more worrying than CO2 because it has a more potent effect on the environment (considering you buy into the whole climate change thing anyway). About 1/20th of the energy used to produce a kilo of beef is actually provided to us in the form of the actual beef. That's a staggering loss of energy along the way.

I work on an eco-exhibition at the science museum and occasionally we get people in talking about their hybrid cars and refusing a carrier bag in the shop and all of that and I bring this up with them and they have absolutely no idea (even though both the water and emission and energy loss is brought up in videos in the exhibition - I guess they couldn't be arsed with that bit). I like to tell the kids as well - not to brain wash them, but to give them a more balanced view on things.

If I had to stop eating meat tomorrow to help the environment or whatever, then I would. It's a part of my life I could live without, I don't consume a lot of it as it is, and I think if more people were made aware of the 2% car/plane emission to 30% meat production emission ratio they may start to think similarly or choose chicken instead of beef.

Check out the following website:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...r1=environment

or type in greenhouse gas emission meat into google if you are interested in more facts and figures.
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-WhySoSerious?
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(Original post by uthred50)
Someone who used to be a good friend of mine was a vegan. He's really pale though and goes purple in the slightest cold; I think it's some kind of mineral deficiency
It's a nice idea but too many people like meat and eggs, cheese, butter etc too much to ever give them up

uth =]
Hehe, loads of Indians I know are vegans, nothing wrong with them whatsoever.

Interesting point though, however don't most 3rd world countries already do this? I'd rather have meat than not.
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nolongerhearthemusic
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(Original post by Veni_vidi)
Veganism is unhealthy, for children specially
Not really, as long as they are getting enough fat and B vitamins.
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Drummer23
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(Original post by marcusfox)
People can debate the existence (or not) of a God, but they cannot debate the biological facts.

Marcus
I was AGREEING with you, turnip.

Merely providing more argument for the context of veganism within the roots of our development.

AGREEING.

turnip.
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Airel
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(Original post by Drummer23)
Not only that, but religiously: in the bible, Genesis, God says to adam that the animals he has created are there for man's usage. This could easily mean eating, and im positive that it may actually SAY eating them.

So is it against biology (like Marcus points out) and religion?
There are more religions than christianity you know. Don't go bundling all religious law under this crazy 'God' character.
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marcusfox
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(Original post by Drummer23)
I was AGREEING with you, turnip.

Merely providing more argument for the context of veganism within the roots of our development.

AGREEING.

turnip.
I know. However I find it difficult to rationalise such an argument because a lot of information provided by the bible is irrational. So I tend to stick to arguments proven by science, or theories with scientific evidence in support.

Marcus
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Veni_vidi
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(Original post by nolongerhearthemusic)
Not really, as long as they are getting enough fat and B vitamins.
read this
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4087734.ece

"A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman.

The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones."
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wtid
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(Original post by marcusfox)
Explain how, when we are designed to be omnivorous - look at our teeth, and require cyanocobalamin in our diet, which can only be obtained from animal products?

Marcus
I';m not getting into this, but if cyanocobalamin is required to live, why am I (who has been veggie for 17 years) and many other vegetarians, still alive?
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nolongerhearthemusic
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(Original post by Veni_vidi)
read this
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle4087734.ece

"A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman.

The girl, who has been fed on a strict meat and dairy-free diet from birth, is said to have a severe form of rickets and to have suffered a number of fractured bones."
As long as they get the required nutrients they can be perfectly healthy.
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