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View Diary: If you like quinoa, asparagus, or free trade, read this. (207 comments)

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  •  Meat requires much more energy per pound to produc (6+ / 0-)

    than any crop. As others have said, lots of the soybean expansion in the amazon is used for animal feed. Reducing meat consumption will greatly help reduce our impact on the environment

    That quote about GDP by Robert Kennedy

    by erichiro on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:07:26 AM PST

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    •  yeah, I don't believe that for a second. (0+ / 0-)

      just a little bit bored.

      by terrypinder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:12:59 AM PST

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      •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, Donkey Hotey

        Here in the US the majority of our grain and soy production goes to animal feed. I read somewhere (a book years ago, so I don't know if it's absolutely accurate) that it takes 5 pounds of grain fed to a stock animal to produce the equivalent of 1 pound's worth of human nutrition (as meat). It really isn't very efficient, on any level of examination.

        It's certainly a waste of energy and land. But then again, Americans have to sustain a whole lot more fat than most people in the rest of the world have to sustain. Hell, most of those in the rest of the world never pack on the extra fat in the first place, much less need to sustain it!

        •  7 billion and climbing is why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          certainly is true a significant portion of the world exists on subsistence agriculture.

          now it's my personal belief that within 100 years and perhaps 50 or less we're going to stop eating a lot of cows.  Much of the world does not eat that much meat to begin with. But culturally---wow--people have their work cut out for it. I mean I tried doing one meatless day at home and no one went for it, so I just don't bother trying outside of just myself.

          (Well, we'll still eat cows and et cetera, they'll just be grown in vats. I personally think the people researching this and putting it into production are great.)

          but until the population slows and declines, and barring a war, wars, asteroid strike, massive volcanic event or so on, that's not going to happen until after we cross the 12 billion mark sometime between 2040 and 2060. They gotta eat. As much as I want to believe sustainable agriculture practices will take place that allow most of those 12 billion to be localvores I realistically (and perhaps a bit cynically) don't see it happening...the food will be mass produced and will have a significant environmental impact, especially if movements to completely ban any genetic tinkering at all are successful.

          ...until after I'm dead. I do hope to see 2061, when I'll be 80 years old. I do know it really won't be a very nice world though, and after that year, poof. But the civilization that exists after the Great Dieoff will, ironically, be awash in resources to be recycled and everything.

          I'd also love to be wrong, in fact I very much want to be wrong, but I'm a cynic, and it's served me pretty well at forecasting events to come over the last ten years or so.

          just a little bit bored.

          by terrypinder on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:13:18 PM PST

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          •  Wow. I've been vegetarian (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Donkey Hotey

            by choice (ovo-lacto, do consume cheese, milk, eggs, occasional fish) for nearly 40 years. Mostly because I never much liked meat anyway, always fed it to the dog under the table. There's so much great taste-treat variety in fruits, veggies and grains that I've never missed it. Kids grew up without meat from toddler-dom, one grandson was vegetarian until teenager-hood (when hamburgers are apparently a rite of passage). He got to be 6'4" and 170 pounds, mostly without meat.

            I grow quite a chunk of our vegetable and fruit diet here on our ~23 acres (mostly forest). Also grow forest crops of medicinal herbs - because they grow naturally here, so I encourage that). Trade with neighbors and dealers at the tail-gate markets for what I don't grow. Grains are mostly dabblings because I don't have but a few acres cleared, but I've been trying them out for 20 years. Eventually something will like it here.

            Humans weren't designed to subsist on meat 3-4 times a day, 365 days a year. Being a 'wannabe' locavore can inform you a lot about what can be the healthiest diet (even with meat). So much of our carbon output goes into transportation of food that we really need to start taking that seriously.

            On the other hand, some folks like meat. My Mom cut the tip off her finger when she was 12 trying to cut off a rooster's head for Sunday dinner during the Depression. After that she got pissed off, learned to flip chicken heads off just by twisting her wrist (and was rather proud of it). If you can raise your own calves and dairy cows/goats and chickens and pigs and ducks and rabbits and don't mind killing them humanely and dealing properly with the meat products, go for it. I've no problem with killing fish, am contemplating a trout farm in my retirement. No problem with hunting for game food either, the hunters I know take it seriously.

            I can't deliberately kill a critter I know by name, and don't care to kill critters I don't know by name. If you can, that's fine. Choosing not to be a party to the whole impersonal death industry where someone else kills your food so you don't have to think about it is something that gives me the greeblies. That's just me.

        •  I've never heard 5 pounds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I've heard 10-12.  In general when you move up the food chain (from producers like plants, to primary consumers like cows or deer, to secondary consumers like wolves or alligators) only about 10% of the calories travel.  For a wolf to get one calorie of deer meat the deer mush have eaten 10 calories of leaves, and the tree must have produced 100 calories worth of leaves over time to make that 10 calories the deer ate.

          "If you defeat a thousand opponents, you still have a thousand opponents. If you change a thousand minds, you have a thousand allies"

          by Donkey Hotey on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:49:11 PM PST

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          •  I haven't done the appropriate (0+ / 0-)

            research on this, probably should. I checked out of the death industry all those years ago, because I like critters. My dad told me that was the worst reason to become vegetarian, I still think it's the best. Health issues are gravy.

            I took some dumb intertoobs test some time back, found that despite my bad habits I'll live to be 99 or more. My sweet spousal unit (who is also extremely healthy) won't. Why the heck would I want to live decades beyond him? It's almost depressing to consider the possibility that I might be the last one standing.

            Our lives are limited in time, and aren't very long in the scheme of things. I've just wanted to live my life as an adventure, and that is how I view it. Adventures encompass tragedies, and lots of life's corners are tragic. Some supervene that by sheer amazement. All I've got is my life in time however long it lasts, I might as well invest it.

            In the end, if I'm ever asked, I'll say with total honesty "I tried - I did the best I could with what I had to work with." Maybe that'll be enough. Maybe not...

    •  But that soy goes to feed cows that have been (0+ / 0-)

      moved to feedlots. Better that the Argentines would leave their cows on the fields - it was more sustainable that the system they are heading towards... our own. But they're growing soy like you wouldn't believe on fields that used to support cattle.

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