Meat Eating takes more land? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 09-17-2017, 05:29 PM
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Meat Eating takes more land?

I was doing some research on environmental effects of animal agriculture and saw somewhere that it takes way more land to plant crops that we will eventually feed pigs, chickens and cows rather than consuming the crops directly. Isn't it most of the crops being fed to these animals are corn and soy? Not kale, lettuce, or beans. I just think it doesn't really make sense because not everyone will eat corn and soy all day. So making that argument is not reasonable. Can someone please enlighten me??
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#2 Old 09-17-2017, 06:14 PM
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Sounds like you've answered your question. The majority of soy and corn, GMO Btw, is grown to feed animals that are bred and raised and killed for human consumption- which also take enormous amounts of limited resources in land and water.

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#3 Old 09-17-2017, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RealisticOptimist View Post
. Isn't it most of the crops being fed to these animals are corn and soy? Not kale, lettuce, or beans. I just think it doesn't really make sense because not everyone will eat corn and soy all day. So making that argument is not reasonable. Can someone please enlighten me??
Of course: The land that is used for corn and soy can also be used for other crops as well, with much of it being able to be taken back over by nature as not nearly as much of it would be needed. Some of the land used to grow corn or soy would not be suitable for kale or lettuce, and that would be the land used to grow human eaten soy/corn/beans/legumes/lentils/grains and other hardy foods, or it could also be the land let go back to nature. There is no one way to do it, as long as the land was used to support the foods needed by humans, it would still be much much less land than used for animal agriculture. Not to mention all of the land that housed the animals, as well as the abattoirs (and especially the surrounding land, as most people do not want to build a house near such stench).

So yeah, just because land is used to grow soy or corn does not mean that it has to always be used for that purpose. I imagine that if the world went vegan that much of the land that currently supports corn/soy would be turned to wheat and other grains, as grains are a major mainstay in many vegan diets.

Land needed to feed a vegan : 1/6 acre
Land needed to feed the common American (Standard American diet) : 3 acres

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#4 Old 09-18-2017, 07:38 AM
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Ok so the land that cannot be used to grow kale, spinach, and lettuce can also be land to go back to nature...so is that land going to be just bare? Can any species even live and thrive in that land? Can animals whose habitats been destroyed go back to those lands? If not, what exactly the point of leaving a land bare when it can be used for other purposes? Anyone knows exactly how much land do greens take? Because vegans eat a lot of greens. I would say they eat it more than soy or grains.
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#5 Old 09-18-2017, 04:37 PM
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Ok so the land that cannot be used to grow kale, spinach, and lettuce can also be land to go back to nature...so is that land going to be just bare? Can any species even live and thrive in that land? Can animals whose habitats been destroyed go back to those lands? If not, what exactly the point of leaving a land bare when it can be used for other purposes? Anyone knows exactly how much land do greens take? Because vegans eat a lot of greens. I would say they eat it more than soy or grains.
The land that is left to go back to nature will not go "bare" it will be populated by native plants and animals, also the savings in water usage will be immense, especially for areas that are desert turned to croplands. For marginal areas, much of them can be used for more hardy crops like beans and grains, but even many of them can be let go back to nature, where native grasses will set root and help with the whole run-off problem. Using less farm land as a whole will be beneficial when it comes to hydrocarbon use (fertilizers as well as fuel for farm vehicles and fuel to carry animal feed around) which is of course more sustainable. As far as greens go, there is plenty of high quality farm land for them, and much of that land could go back to nature as well. And as far as the animals, they will thrive in reclaimed (by nature) land without human interference. When it comes to vegans eating a lot of greens, yes, but the backbone of most vegan diets tends to be grains, beans, lentils especially where calories and protein are concerned, so these could be thought of as the foods that replace the animal products in the current S.A.D diet. Remember, a vegan needs 1/6 acre to feed, someone who eats a S.A.D needs 3 acres, that is a huge difference in land per capita, and the less land we use and the more we let go back to biodiverse and natural states, the better.

(Sorry if this seems rushed, I was typing a long reply in the website and it decided to reload on me and lost everything I typed, so I had to rehash it in notepad...then paste it here)

Carnist: Someone who kills animals and then takes from their bodies.
Vegetarian: Someone who takes from animals' bodies, and then kills them when they are no longer profitable.
Vegan: Someone who tries to avoid unnecessary harm to animals as much as is possible and practicable.
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#6 Old 09-19-2017, 10:36 AM
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The land that is left to go back to nature will not go "bare" it will be populated by native plants and animals, also the savings in water usage will be immense, especially for areas that are desert turned to croplands. For marginal areas, much of them can be used for more hardy crops like beans and grains, but even many of them can be let go back to nature, where native grasses will set root and help with the whole run-off problem. Using less farm land as a whole will be beneficial when it comes to hydrocarbon use (fertilizers as well as fuel for farm vehicles and fuel to carry animal feed around) which is of course more sustainable. As far as greens go, there is plenty of high quality farm land for them, and much of that land could go back to nature as well. And as far as the animals, they will thrive in reclaimed (by nature) land without human interference. When it comes to vegans eating a lot of greens, yes, but the backbone of most vegan diets tends to be grains, beans, lentils especially where calories and protein are concerned, so these could be thought of as the foods that replace the animal products in the current S.A.D diet. Remember, a vegan needs 1/6 acre to feed, someone who eats a S.A.D needs 3 acres, that is a huge difference in land per capita, and the less land we use and the more we let go back to biodiverse and natural states, the better.

(Sorry if this seems rushed, I was typing a long reply in the website and it decided to reload on me and lost everything I typed, so I had to rehash it in notepad...then paste it here)
Thanks for the time giving me some info. I have more questions. How about the land that is not arable? Land where crops or native plants cannot grow at all? Instead of leaving it as it is, wouldn't it be more helpful to make that a grazing land for animals? Since it is just deserted, no plants or trees, and doesn't play a contribution in reducing CO2 or methane in the air, it would be better to utilize it to feed the world with grazing animals and regenerative farming?

What if in the future the government increases the price of meat so only the rich will be able to afford it in attempt to deter people from consuming too much meat? I don't know if this will ever happen, but there must be a point where the negative effects of animal agriculture on the environment can no longer be ignored, especially with the population growing every year.
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#7 Old 09-19-2017, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by RealisticOptimist View Post
Thanks for the time giving me some info. I have more questions. How about the land that is not arable? Land where crops or native plants cannot grow at all? Instead of leaving it as it is, wouldn't it be more helpful to make that a grazing land for animals? Since it is just deserted, no plants or trees, and doesn't play a contribution in reducing CO2 or methane in the air, it would be better to utilize it to feed the world with grazing animals and regenerative farming?

What if in the future the government increases the price of meat so only the rich will be able to afford it in attempt to deter people from consuming too much meat? I don't know if this will ever happen, but there must be a point where the negative effects of animal agriculture on the environment can no longer be ignored, especially with the population growing every year.
If everyone went vegan, we simply would not need to use non arable land in such a way. Remember 1/6 an acre per vegan vs 3 acres per S.A.D eater. There would be more arable land than we would need to feed the world. We could put grazing animals on the land, but to let them be, there would be no intrinsic need to harvest them.

Currently the US government spends massive amounts of money to subsidize animal products in the form of subsides for field corn and soy (for the use as animal feed). If the US stopped doing this, the cost of animal products would triple over night (this nearly happened 4 or so years ago, but there was an emergency meeting to continue the Farm Act). What will happen is: as the resources become more scarce (water and hydrocarbons, mainly) the cost of animal products will go up any ways. So basically, nature will decide when animal products will become a food of the rich, and it wont be too far in the future considering the ways things are going.

Carnist: Someone who kills animals and then takes from their bodies.
Vegetarian: Someone who takes from animals' bodies, and then kills them when they are no longer profitable.
Vegan: Someone who tries to avoid unnecessary harm to animals as much as is possible and practicable.
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#8 Old 09-19-2017, 05:56 PM
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How about the land that is not arable? Land where crops or native plants cannot grow at all? Instead of leaving it as it is, wouldn't it be more helpful to make that a grazing land for animals?
Given that grazing land would need plants to graze on, nonarable land seems particularly unsuited for that use.

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#9 Old 09-19-2017, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RealisticOptimist View Post
Thanks for the time giving me some info. I have more questions. How about the land that is not arable? Land where crops or native plants cannot grow at all? Instead of leaving it as it is, wouldn't it be more helpful to make that a grazing land for animals? Since it is just deserted, no plants or trees, and doesn't play a contribution in reducing CO2 or methane in the air, it would be better to utilize it to feed the world with grazing animals and regenerative farming?

What if in the future the government increases the price of meat so only the rich will be able to afford it in attempt to deter people from consuming too much meat? I don't know if this will ever happen, but there must be a point where the negative effects of animal agriculture on the environment can no longer be ignored, especially with the population growing every year.

All good questions, though we in this forum don't support the killing of animals for food.

The United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) has published two very well-researched reports on the environmental effects of animal agriculture. The UN is a reputable organization, and these reports may provide some answers to your questions. Here are links to those United Nations reports:

"Livestock & the Environment: Finding a Balance": http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5303e/x5303e00.htm

"Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues & Options": http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM


If you are looking for authoritative, evidence-based answers to your questions, I would also encourage you to begin a textbook study of agronomy (agricultural resource economics and science). It's a huge, detailed topic, and public forums aren't really the place to study it in depth.
.
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from Witch Baby, Francesca Lia Block, 1991

Last edited by David3; 09-19-2017 at 07:35 PM.
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