Commentary: The dark side of veganism

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There’s been plenty of chatter in this space lately over the numbers game that vegan activists like to play  trying to convince themselves and their followers that hordes of people are eager to jump onto the no-animal-foods-or-products bandwagon.

As citizens of an affluent, highly developed, post-modern society, we have that luxury. We have the luxury of choosing to go vegan, a choice unavailable to billions of people elsewhere on the planet. We shouldn’t demonize such a benefit; we should instead be cognizant of, and grateful for, the privileged status of being able to forego the consumption of animal food, should we decide to do so.

But I would go further and argue that veganism is far worse than a mere curiosity, a plaything with which privileged people like to experiment. I would argue that the vegan lifestyle is wasteful, selfish and irresponsible.

Harsh? Not at all, not if one honestly dissects not just the dietary dictates but the environmental and socio-economic consequences that would result if billions of people were to go vegan.

I say wasteful because if livestock were eliminated both as a source of food and fiber, billions of acres of marginal farmland and rangeland could no longer contribute to human nutrition. Assuming we can all agree that with seven billion-plus people now alive on Earth, the hunter-gather lifestyle is no longer viable. Those billions of souls have to be fed through agricultural activity.

Without being able to use land where precipitation is unpredictable, where soils are too unproductive or growing seasons are too short to raise the crops vegan advocates insist we live on, humanity would lose a huge percentage of its overall food productivity, not to mention the loss of billions of tons of animal manure vital to maintaining the fertility of the acreage that is suitable for conventional farming.

I say selfish because demanding that people everywhere go veggie would deprive millions of people of the foods, the culture and the lifestyle that have sustained them for millennia. The nomadic herding tribes of sub-Saharan Africa, the native people of the Arctic regions, the aboriginal inhabitants across Polynesia as but a few examples — all of them would have to somehow import most of their food from afar (as if that would even be possible), or abandon both their homelands and their lifestyles.

Such a development would be hugely traumatic, but the selfishness of the vegan philosophy is so profound that most of its disciples never even consider such a scenario, much less express any remorse that their extremist ideas might actually cause more harm than good. It’s all about making them feel good about their moral superiority, not about relating to people elsewhere who aren’t in a position to even consider giving up all animal foods.

I say irresponsible because if the global food systems currently straining on the brink of unsustainability are to be remedied, the challenge cannot be met without the synergies provided by animal agriculture. We’ve temporarily ratcheted up the “efficiency” of modern farming via massive inputs of (relatively) cheap fossil fuels. Whether that can be maintained short-term — much less over generations to come — is very much up for debate.

What isn’t debatable is the reality that all of characteristics of an ideal food production system — efficiency, localization, biodiversity — cannot be implemented without incorporating livestock into the equation.

Nothing converts sunlight into calories more efficiently than livestock, and the capture and utilization of by-products from those animals are central to creating a farming model that optimizes both inputs and outputs.

The basis is biology

In the end, choosing veganism is akin to choosing celibacy, in three important ways.

First, it is a highly personal decision, one that cannot by any stretch of logic be considered prescriptive for society at large.

Second, although there is merit to both choices, neither can be sold to any but a tiny minority of people, no matter how vigorously its advocates proselytize the rest of us.

And third, the basis for both concepts runs directly counter to the most profound biological imperatives affecting every species on this earth. Only people willing to voluntarily eschew reproduction, or those who consciously try to separate themselves from the very ecosystem that sustains us, could embrace either celibacy or veganism.

Neither choice is natural or normal.

Are there aspects of the vegan and/or celibate lifestyle that have merit? Of course, and some would contend that they represent a higher moral stance.

I’d argue that if either concept had gained more than the tiniest sliver of participants way back when, none of us would even be here today to argue about them.

Dan Murphy is a food-industry journalist and commentator


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JasonMason    
Planet Earth  |  January, 03, 2014 at 03:51 PM

Clueless.

Karen Cottenden    
London  |  January, 04, 2014 at 05:20 AM

What a load of crap. Written by a shill for 'dairyherd.com.' No peer-reviewed evidence, only biased opinion. I can assure you it is drinking the baby-milk of another species that is neither 'natural' nor 'normal.' Most of the world (around 65%) DON'T eat dairy, and lots are vegetarian. And peer-reviewed science, (sonething you clearly have no concept of) tells us that those who eat the least animal products are the healthiest. As for the environment, how about perusing this article, in TIME magazine, that came out yesterday http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

grc    
January, 04, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Well said Dan. You may, however, have overstated vegans' insistence upon doing away with all livestock -- surely they have in mind an important exemption for themselves to retain their imperial high horses. Tally-Ho girls...bolster yourselves with veggieburger and tofurkey for power to save the world from itself!

Bruce Motta    
Panama  |  January, 04, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Meat is murder take it from a 3rd generation EX- cattle rancher. Dairy is even worse as it takes babies from their mothers, in our ranch hundreds died yearly once forcibly kidnapped from their mothers. You are not a hunter gatherer, we have evolved and need people like you to catch up, for once put yourself in the animals place. Pretty shameful practices those of enslaving other species by way of confinement, torture and ultimatley death.

Athonwy    
Portland, OR  |  January, 04, 2014 at 11:57 AM

First you ignore us Then you ridicule us Then you oppose us Then we win Guess which phase we're in now? You'll probably delete this just as you did my other comment, because you fear the truth. You are a relic Dan, clinging to an outmoded way of life. Please catch up with the rest of us or stop trying to hold us back.

Techlvr    
USA  |  January, 04, 2014 at 12:13 PM

People should eat what they want. If you'd like to try vegetarian/vegan diet, try changing just one meal a day ( lunch is a good option) and see if you feel lighter, better. If you are a woman with frequent bouts of UTI, you may want to research link between chicken and UTI. If you are overweight, veganism has been proven to be very effective in bringing down bmi. If you have heart disease, diabetes, depression and/or hypertension - research link to meat. PCRM.org (physicians committee for responsible medicine), Nutrition facts.org and google are your best friends for further research and how to get started.

Annette    
Sydney  |  January, 04, 2014 at 12:14 PM

I have never read anything so stupid in my life

Rational Vegan    
Atlanta, GA  |  January, 04, 2014 at 12:42 PM

The idea that veganism is an elitist notion is absurd. After all, in the third world people are not starving to death because they don't have enough animal products; they are starving because they don't have access to enough of the vegan food that they normally eat. Would feeding 13 pounds of the vegan food they normally eat (grains, legumes, etc) to produce 1 pound of meat make sense? No, it would make the situation worse. Only in an affluent society can we afford to feed 13 pounds of soybeans or corn to animals so that we can enjoy the luxury of 1 pound of flesh. If we fed the soy, corn and other grains that we feed to livestock to people we could feed the world. Veganism is far from elitist. What is elitist is to rape a cow, make her go through pregnancy, and then take her calf away from her when it is born so that we can take the milk that was produced for that calf. If the calf is male he will be killed for veal. If she is female she will have to endure the some pain as her mother until productivity wanes and then she will be sent to the slaughter house. All this so that we can drink a product that is linked to many health problems. We are the only species that drinks the milk of another species or drinks milk into adulthood. And we do not need animals to grow vegan food. Veganic farming is a growing trend. The reason it isn't mainstream now is because animals raised for meat and dairy produce 1.37 billion tons of solid waste per year in the US and it has to be put somewhere. Using this waste on the crops can lead to problems, such as E-Coli in the food supply.

jenny    
Wisconsin  |  January, 04, 2014 at 04:08 PM

i'm sure people in the south in the 1800s were saying how "privileged yankee folk" were able to not have slaves thanks to THEM having slaves. Guess what? THE HUMANS survived despite giving up black human slaves, and we can also survive WITHOUT non human ANIMAL SLAVES too. YOU ARE TRASH, lying to people, and BILLIONS of people CAN bloody eat a plant based diet. you MAKE money from the dairy industry, you prefer to feed NON HUMAN animals food for a profit than grow FOOD to feed humans. LYING VILE SCUM

ZPX    
Caribbean  |  January, 04, 2014 at 06:08 PM

The meat and dairy industry has been hit hard in recent years by their own doing. And these past few years there's been a huge surge in new vegans advocates that in most cases start off for health reasons. High profile names like President Clinton, Rev. Al Sharpton and many more have contributed to this vegan tsunami. Also documentaries like Food Inc and Forks Over Knives have also done much to educate those willing and looking for a healthier lifestyle. This poor attempt of a news article is no more than a pathetic scare tactic. As more and more people turn to veganism, more of this articles will crawl up. Paid by the industries to scare people back to their obsolete, unhealthy products.

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  January, 04, 2014 at 07:01 PM

What a faulty premise (again). To use cultures who *must* consume flesh for survival as justification to enslave billions of other animals is a pathetic attempt to demonize those who opt for a better way. Mr. Murphy you haven't a clue about who is or isn't "elitist". My husband is disabled. We live on a very, very low fixed income. We live on a vegan diet without negative impacts to our health or our wallets. It's absurd to think that one can't eat a nutritious plant based diet. Rice, pastas, grains, beans, vegetables and fruits are a very thrifty choice. But then... People living "fat on a hog" would never begin to understand what affects their bottom line. Please stay in your state of denial to the positive shifts that are happening in the public's food choices. We all need comic relief.

Minnesota Farmer    
Minnesota  |  January, 04, 2014 at 08:09 PM

So, Ah what happens to all of the animals if there is no reason to take care of them? Do we just leave them run around killing each other and competing with us for food? I think it is time for you to evolve.

Rebecca    
Midwest  |  January, 04, 2014 at 10:28 PM

If humans weren't the world's most horrendous invasive species, we could allow the animals to live free from human interference and "management." They can take care of themselves. As for the main article, all I can say is that it is very amusing. Consider the source!

Frank    
January, 05, 2014 at 07:42 AM

Its not a news article! Its a commentary! And the Pro-Vegan are just and opinionated and biased as the article! This particular country is a free country. Eat whatever the hell you want! Get McDonalds every night. My Great Grandmother died at 92 and Great Grandfather died one month shy of 97 and they drank milk out of the bulk tank of the dairy farm everyday of their lives. And they definitely ate their share of meat. If you think eating meat is going to kill you, then don't eat meat! If you enjoy a nice steak, then go for it. But don't use B.S. propaganda to force your views on others!

John B    
US  |  January, 05, 2014 at 07:58 AM

While I can appreciate your, and the industry position, it only boarders on being factual. I did get a few good laughs from your opinion though, thank you.

Helen Margaret    
Cincy  |  January, 05, 2014 at 09:12 AM

Celibacy? No sex is better when you 're a vegan :0)

John Mooter    
January, 05, 2014 at 09:30 AM

Perhaps one of, or the most ridiculous article I have seen in ages, and I have been around quite awhile, having not eaten meat for 45 years, and being vegan for over 10, and in great health. Veganism is common sense. It is not a perfection but a practice of compassion. Since a vegan can eat on a third acre of food a year, as opposed to a meat eater using acres worth, this is a no brainer.

Maureen    
NJ  |  January, 05, 2014 at 09:54 AM

Regarding "the loss of billions of tons of animal manure vital to maintaining the fertility of the acreage that is suitable for conventional farming," there's more than enough manure in this article to fertilize the entire planet for many years! The statement that "Nothing converts sunlight into calories more efficiently than livestock," is so absurd that it epitomizes the pure BS in the entire article. Converting sunlight into calories (energy) is called photosynthesis, and that's what plants do.

Paul    
Illinois  |  January, 05, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Nothing I say will change your opinions but from this farmers viewpoint you have a number of misconceptions about life on the farm for animals. Your present a 'mantra' of suggestions that are false and used only to support your own ideals. Vegan lifestyle, your choice, but stop reporting claims of animal management practices that you do not understand. Odds are that you have never stepped foot on a real farm. ...your closing comment about vegan ism and not going mainstream makes absolutely no sense. Best wishes.

Shellyvegan Norton    
Vancouver Canada  |  January, 05, 2014 at 11:59 AM

This guy should write comic strips.....trying to paint Vegans as extreme and cruel.....funny! When carnists are the ones raping, murdering and consuming flesh,,all just for greed.

Steve    
new york  |  January, 05, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I see the nut jobs are busy posting.

Rational Vegan    
Atlanta, GA  |  January, 05, 2014 at 02:16 PM

This and many other "Buts" are addressed in a new book called Eat Like You Care by Gary Francione. The answer is that if we stop eating animals we would stop bringing domestic animals into existence. After all, some domesticated animals, such as turkeys, have been so genetically manipulated that they cannot reproduce naturally. The abolitionist vegan view is that we should not bring more domesticated animals into existence but we should take care of the ones we have to the best of our ability. So at farm sanctuaries the animals should be spayed or neutered to prevent them from reproducing and bringing more unwanted animals into existence the same way unwanted dogs and cats are spayed and neutered by shelters and rescue groups. I disagree that they should be released into the wild because they are not wild animals. But this comment is assuming that the entire world is going to go vegan overnight, which would be great but is unlikely to happen. The paradigm is gradually shifting to veganism, but old habits die hard.

scott    
usa  |  January, 05, 2014 at 02:17 PM

Embracing factory farming was a colossal error for the meat, egg, and dairy industries. By switching from animal husbandry to animal torture, these industries have made themselves the scorn of decent people everywhere. By switching from natural systems to fossil fuel fertilizers, chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics these industries has made themselves into a pariah and one of the most destructive forces on earth. By pushing the grotesque and unhealthy over-consumption of animal products, these industries have made themselves public health enemy #1. By putting profits far ahead of moral, ethics, and decency these industries have become the prime example of evil business practices. Factory farming must be abandoned completely. Immediately. Every last vestige of it. The industries should then apologize for having stooped to such brutal lows. They should donate enough billions (or trillions) to undo all the damage, to the extent possible. Factory farming must die. Now. Factory farmers and their enablers must repent. Let's end this nightmare and remember it only by memorials all over the nation to it billions of victims. Thanks.

Rational Vegan    
Atlanta, GA  |  January, 05, 2014 at 02:31 PM

According to the American Dietetic Association, "vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention of certain diseases." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19562864) So what is our excuse for torturing and killing 57 billion land animals and one trillion aquatic animals per year if we can be healthy on a vegan diet? It is because we like the way animals and animal products taste. There is no difference between Michael Vick using dogs because he likes to watch them fight and us using animals because we like the way meat and other animal products taste. Michael Vick liked to sit around a pit watching animals fight. The rest of us like to sit around a BBQ pit roasting the corpses of animals that have been treated as bad if not worse than Vick's dogs. We are all Michael Vick. These ideas and more can be found in the book "Eat Like You Care" By Gary Francione and Anna Charlton.

Rational Vegan    
Atlanta, GA  |  January, 05, 2014 at 06:41 PM

Paul, at the end of my first comment I was talking about Veganic Farming, not veganism(http://www.woodstocksanctuary.org/learn-3/global-environment-issues/veganic-farming-and-gardening/). Veganic farming is a method of growing vegetables that doesn't use any animal by-products. This is in response to the sixth paragraph in Dan's article where he says "the loss of billions of tons of animal manure vital to maintaining the fertility of the acreage that is suitable for conventional farming"

Rational Vegan    
Atlanta, GA  |  January, 05, 2014 at 06:41 PM

Paul, at the end of my first comment I was talking about Veganic Farming, not veganism(http://www.woodstocksanctuary.org/learn-3/global-environment-issues/veganic-farming-and-gardening/). Veganic farming is a method of growing vegetables that doesn't use any animal by-products. This is in response to the sixth paragraph in Dan's article where he says "the loss of billions of tons of animal manure vital to maintaining the fertility of the acreage that is suitable for conventional farming"

steve    
new york  |  January, 05, 2014 at 09:30 PM

Let's just skip everything in the middle and go for the "Brawndo". its what plants crave!

Beth    
Minnesota  |  January, 06, 2014 at 02:06 AM

Frank, yours is one of the only comments here that is sensicle and valid. I have no idea what the uneducated people feel is a factory farm or where to find one. If you would like to see how farm animals are treated and run through a few scenarios of what would happen if they were left to fend for themselves, as some on here suggest they can, come spend the day with me. If you haven't collapsed from exhaustion from a true day's work, I'll treat you to a nice salad. Oh, and those of you that think we dairy for the money---hahahahaha, 49 years and I have yet to make a dime.

ASanka    
Sril Lanka  |  January, 06, 2014 at 09:47 AM

crap...............

den    
January, 06, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I'm pretty sure we're all being punked here!

mark    
pennsylvania  |  January, 06, 2014 at 10:04 AM

I will ask you how it felt to be on the wrong side of history in a few decades. I am an just an average civilian vegan, nothing to do with the industry, and I can so easily debunk EVERY single you thing you said. Do you mind if I ask how much you are paid by corporate agriculture?

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  January, 06, 2014 at 10:26 AM

It isn't surprising that veganism has a dark side. Most vegans are essentially pagans. Most of them will tell you that they are atheists or agnostics. But, when push comes to shove and if you can get a began to comment on what they believe, you will find that they hold the earth or animals or something in such high regard that it can be interpreted as worship. I think Dan Murphy's editorial is 100% on target. Can we live as vegans? Sure, if we are willing to spend a lot of money or completely alter our life style to accomodate procuring and preparing food. Should we live as vegans? The way the very vast majority of people live indicates that they don't think ther is really sufficient reasons to think so.

anonymous    
The Dark ages  |  January, 06, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Every sentence was opposite of the truth, using the dirtiest tricks in the con book. - thus giving himself away. We're in the last phase. Ethics is overtaking power, greed and selfishness.

Yrrek    
January, 06, 2014 at 12:55 PM

You might notice this is listed as a COMMENTARY piece. As in, it IS opinion. Opinion pieces abound everywhere and they are not held to the necessity of peer-reviewed anything... because they are someone's OPINION. If you take issue with the author's opinion, that's one thing, but don't criticize the author of a clearly labeled COMMENTARY for daring to voice an opinion you don't like. It just makes you look silly and as though you didn't read the piece fully.

Dee    
US  |  January, 06, 2014 at 01:24 PM

Wow it's annoying when someone has to make a smart comment AND uses the wrong word; It's 'borders', John.

Tom    
Ozarks  |  January, 07, 2014 at 09:20 AM

I like to chase my steak with a large glass of whole milk yum....... A couple more comments from the wack-a-doodles and we will have heard from all the vegans. Nice article Dan.

steve    
upstate ny  |  January, 07, 2014 at 02:21 PM

Ok its -5 to day in upstate NY. while all you consumers sit home in your "heat provided by.." and whine about animal abuse, your relatives in nursing homes are being neglected daily. you probably actually believe this article can in some way contribute to the nutrient requirements of a plant! try living off the land for awhile, cut and chop your own WOOD to burn, try to grow enough food for you and family. then see if you're intelligent enough to figure out how to store it without killing yourself. the majority of you are way too lazy to actually do something to combat any "factory farm" so they will always exist!! thank god!! by the way, I eat a lot of beef, and pork. none of it is bought at a store. I grow, can, and store almost all of my own vegetables too! I've never raped an animal, I prefer human women. and o yeah hows that photosynthesis working out for plants out side today.

steve t.    
upstate ny  |  January, 07, 2014 at 02:28 PM

animal torture? u are the most clueless person scott. do u think if I torture my animals, they will produce anything? stop in to my farm sometime. but get ready to learn, because you my friend are ignorant in practices of a modern farm. not a victim. THANKS!!!

anonymous    
US  |  January, 07, 2014 at 02:43 PM

Steve, your comment makes no sense. Vegans don't deny all the advances of modern science, only does that involve the torturing and killing of non-human animals. I'm sure there are a minority of vegans who live off the land with no electricity and store there food for the winter months. Or maybe there are parts of the world that have a tropical climate and they can grow vegetables there all year long? Oh wait there are places like that. But the vast majority of vegans, like the vast majority of meat eaters make an honest living doing something other than farming and buy their groceries at the grocery store. It is just common sense to accept the comforts of modern society as long as they are not causing harm to others, humans and non- humans a like. The majority of meat eaters also accept the conveniences of modern life if they have the opportunity so don't try to hold vegans to a higher standard when it comes to that. Your argument falls apart because the same could be said about meat eaters by a vegan who lives the same lifestyle as you. All it is is a personal attack.

steve t.    
upstate ny  |  January, 07, 2014 at 03:01 PM

Anonymous. as I am from the north east, I was speaking of the climate I live in, sorry for not being more specific. as for the personal attack portion, have u read the other "vegans" responses? they're pretty much all personal attacks, but thanks for being open minded. being a farmer, I'm looking at these issues from an angle many aren't familiar with. no one cares more for my animals than I!! You probably are correct about the personal attack, I would much sooner attack a person than an animal. THANKS for opening my eyes ;)

steve t.    
upstate ny  |  January, 07, 2014 at 03:05 PM

sorry I didn't address the factory farm portion. my point is if no one chips in to help grow food, the factory farm will always exist. weather its animals or plants, the term factory farm indicates high volume, high quality, efficient, mass production?

Fred    
Wisconsin  |  January, 08, 2014 at 04:58 PM

This is undoubtedly the stupidest thing I have read this month. I'm convinced, after reading this I'm going to start the year vegan if this is any indication of the intelligence of the opposition.

steve    
new york  |  January, 09, 2014 at 08:05 AM

Go right ahead fred no one is stopping you just leaves more for me, pass the a A-1 please.

maxine    
SD  |  January, 09, 2014 at 03:31 PM

Since facts are so scarce in the comments, here are a few: Raising food animls is a very small margin business, as in a return of one to three percent on your investment. Try figuring out how much investment you would have to make to enjoy a most modest income of say $50,000.00 for a very labor intensive job. Full of personal rewards gained from giving animals the best possible care, but not much pay!!!!; Re. "Factory Farms", what is your definition? Where have you seen one? Have you ever toured one, or any other farm, for that matter? FACT: more than 98% of farms are FAMILY owned, operated, and managed. That doesn't leave many opportunites for "factory farms" by whatever definition!!!! Most ridiculous claim tossed about by many vegtivists: Bill Clintons 'conversion' to veganism and attribution of it as the cause of his improved health. Perhaps his sexual lifestyle had some part in the cause of any ill health he has suffered??????? And even consuming a modest diet of any kind would have improved his out of control lifestyle of satisfying his desires however he chose. FACT: meat consumption of people in the USA averages less than three ounces per day! That is certainly NOT putting people in danger of anything, much less ill health! It barely reaches the necessary need for protein and other valuable nutrients found in beef.

Ed Long    
Ireland  |  January, 10, 2014 at 03:47 AM

What an embarrassingly poor article. 2014 is the year that the first country in the world is expected to run out of water and by 2050 scientists predict that the current 20% of our protein from animal products will need to drop to 5% to sustain a population of 9 billion people. Wasteful, Selfish and Irresponsible is a better summary of animal agriculture and in general this article.

Ed Long    
Ireland  |  January, 10, 2014 at 03:48 AM

See http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/aug/26/food-shortages-world-vegetarianism

Laura Vegan    
New Hampshire  |  January, 11, 2014 at 02:35 PM

I knew it! Planet Earth has been taken over by aliens from Planet D'Nial, and they love their flesh eating. Vampires are gaining attention these days in TV land. Guess that blood dripping from the mouths of carnists has some appeal that got alien ships here to inhabit human bodies with no human(e) characteristics such as mercy, empathy, compassion, the Golden Rule, all things needed to manifest civilized society. Amazing one could consider, on a sphere called Earth, made up of 70% water, and 70% land, with 7 billion people, half of which are food insecure while the other half gorges itself on body parts to get protein from beings that got theirs from PLANTS, that this the best use of earth's finite resources. Got absurdity? We feed 70 BILLION farmed animals that generate billions of tons of methane, lethal to the environment and at the root of what is happening outside my window, an ICE STORM and downpouring of rain, and THIS is better for the food system than eating the plants directly? REALLY! OMG. It's true. Buy enough marketing and repeat lies enough times, and someones bound to believe it. Just not a growing number of people who still have the capacity to think. Besides, animal flesh has NO FIBER, NO phyto-nutrients which ARE natures BEST medicines, and our anatomy is far better suited to herbivore nutrition. Go see any diseased colon or arteries leading to the heart, filled with atherosclerosis. That stuff aint veggie residue my friends. Those beefy cheesy burrito's from Taco Bell, look JUST LIKE the inside of arteries filled with clogging cholesterol from the ONE source cholesterol comes from other than our liver, animal food! My father and most of my family would still be alive were it not for meat,dairy

beth aaron    
conway nh  |  January, 11, 2014 at 02:48 PM

What we SHOULD be working together on is LOBBYING the political leaders, USDA, and Office of Management and Budget, to assist in the urgent transformation of this centuries old system called animal agriculture, that took hold when gathering and little hunting became herding, became agriculture....all based on dominating animals for our utility, and all such a destructive human behavior on every level. If Obama or ANY president that touts adherence to a Judeo/Christian view of CREATION, can allow CREATION ( the environment) be destroyed from a FOOD SYSTEM, a food system that gave us chronic disease, infectious disease, bacterial threats, viral threats( see Dr. Michael Greger's video on Youtube on Pandemics, Infectious Disease, Aids and Influenza)there's something flawed in that leaders understanding of scripture. If we want healthy children and health care(disease care) costs to plummet, use natures best medicine, a plant based lifestyle, and that WILL occur. If we want restoration of clean air and water, same thing. All we need is political will and the PROPER use of government agencies to HELP people who currently rely on harmful agriculture systems, to transform into helpful food systems. Won't be easy of quick, but we CAN DO IT if political ethics wills it. This is something I'd hope and pray we ALL agree upon. We all must work together to make the earth a livable and thriving ecosystem for ALL who depend upon her and her gifts. Why have we abused our privileges here?

Mark    
Canada  |  January, 11, 2014 at 05:16 PM

Hey I raise livestock and eat meat. I watched this video, and think its interesting, I hope I'm not infringing on copyrights by pasting the link on this post! Thanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Helen Hroyd    
UK  |  January, 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM

What an absolute load of nonsense from an obviously very uninfprmed person not willing to make the changes required for an evolving civilization due to laziness and fear! Educate yourself dear sir, by doing so you will come to see a dark side you cannot imagine. This change will come, it is not a choice but a given, it's just a matter of time as we wait for the babies to grow up and see the light!

Helen holroyd    
UK  |  January, 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

At last, some wisdom in the words. Thank you for your words of insight. I beleive this will come, in fact there is no other way for it to go. An unsustainable food source full of suffering and hazards to everythng it touches has no place in the future, that is for certain. Thanks to the many people who have the courage and wisdom to see the truth behind these industries, that are lnked together to profit from the suffering of animals and people alike, they are hand in hand to keep the truth from the poor ususpecting public, but many more speak out now and have had enough. All will change :)

Kris Fuentes    
ca  |  January, 27, 2014 at 01:16 PM

this is the dumbest article I have ever read in my life!

jen    
wisconsin  |  January, 28, 2014 at 04:12 PM

Yours is one of the stupidest comment on the board. Cows, pigs, etc. are being BRED by humans for human consumption. If the world were vegan, they would not be bred!

Jeen    
Wisconsin  |  January, 28, 2014 at 04:16 PM

Steve, remember to take your high cholestrol medication along with that A-1!

Letty Grayson    
USA  |  January, 30, 2014 at 08:04 AM

A ridiculous article with self serving agenda.

Simone    
AZ  |  January, 30, 2014 at 03:50 PM

Lol, this gave me a really good laugh. You have to admit this writer is a master of turning things around. Lol those selfish vegans, all those acres of ag land will just be left useless. hahaha.

Tracey Williamson    
USA  |  January, 30, 2014 at 04:33 PM

I needed a good laugh today, reading pure drivel always does that for me.

Lazy W Ranch    
CA & WY  |  January, 31, 2014 at 10:01 AM

I am a rancher and even I had to laugh at this one. Come on now. Guess I found the part about ground going to waste if not used for cattle pretty insulting. As if farmers or ranchers could not find use for land. Who was this written for? bah ha ha ha ha

Sharon    
February, 15, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Wow....nothing in this article is true. I learned enough math in kindergarten to know the amount of grass and grain it takes to provide a pound of meat, not to mention the amount of water, could feed a small village if they ate the grains and grasses themselves. And don't forget about the environmental havoc in the way of manure and toxic runoff from corn fields etc that are the direct result of intensive livestock farming...and are a problem even with local, organic herds.

Lee    
none ya  |  February, 17, 2014 at 07:49 PM

I totally agree.

the right side of history    
canada  |  March, 14, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Most asinine and factually bankrupt non-article I have ever had the extreme pleasure of laughing at. Basically everything written here is beyond wrong. What a pathetic attempt to sway the opinions of a few against the future of food for humans. ( yes, all that 'abandoned' land can be used to grow.....food. surprise!) Another feeble attempt of a dying industry. you're all on the wrong side of history.

anonymous    
March, 17, 2014 at 01:45 PM

Meat has fiber? Nothing converts sunlight into calories more efficiently than livestock?. What an idiot.

Tumeria Langlois    
Maynard, MA  |  March, 17, 2014 at 03:27 PM

What a load of BS. For one thing we wouldn't even NEED the marginal farmlands. We could simply convert the thousands of acres used to grow crops for farm animals into growing crops for humans. 80% of all grain grown in the USA is grown to feed livestock, not humans. It can take up to 16 pounds of grain to produce only 1 pound of beef (Different ratio's apply to different species- chickens, pigs etc.)Bottom line is that you have to feed the animals. The animals will eat a lot more in food than they produce. Animal agriculture also wastes water. In a hot environment 1 cow needs up to 35 gallons of water per day. Manure waste pollutes ground water, rivers and streams. Consuming the breast milk of another species is not normal or natural. Humans are the only species that drink milk into adulthood. Animal agriculture can never be sustainable. Why would anyone want to take the life of another Being if they didn't have too? Why would anyone want to cause needless suffering just because they think someone else's body tastes good? Who is the selfish one?

Barbara Dunaway    
Missouri USA  |  March, 17, 2014 at 04:00 PM

I have never heard so much nonsensical crap in my life!!!!

Rajisg    
June, 08, 2014 at 05:54 AM

Just read the below and tell me whether it would be okay if that was done to you? http://www.peta.org/features/dairy-industry-cruelty/? utm_campaign=0514%2018%20Images%20Big%20Dairy%20Doesn%20t%20Want%20You%20to%20See%20Post&utm_sour ce=PETA%20Facebook&utm_medium=Promo

tristan    
ma  |  July, 23, 2014 at 02:16 PM

I am disgusted that this was shared by a United States politician on her facebook page. Biased and paid for by all cattle farmers/slaughterers/torturers in Wyoming...won't be seeing your state anytime soon.

tristan    
ma  |  July, 23, 2014 at 02:16 PM

I am disgusted that this was shared by a United States politician on her facebook page. Biased and paid for by all cattle farmers/slaughterers/torturers in Wyoming...won't be seeing your state anytime soon.


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