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so i just finished reading peter singers newest(?) book "The Way We Eat: why our food choices matter". there's a section called "are vegans better for the environment?" where he concludes that eating a vegan diet is indeed better for the environment.<br><br><br><br>
i've been eating vegan for about a year and a half under the assumption that yes, it is better for the environment, but i'm having trouble finding actual evidence of it. in the above mentioned chapter of his book, singer talks about waste run off, deforestation, water/energy consumption, and predator control among other things, but he neglects to acknowledge crop farming as contributors to these same causes.<br><br><br><br>
so my question is, does eating a vegan diet (including foods that are processed and/or imported/shipped across the country) mean you are eating more eco-friendly, and if so, where can i find studies that support this?<br><br><br><br>
oh, by the way. i'm new.<br><br><br><br>
hi.<br><br><br><br>
-Derek
 

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<a href="http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/studies/report-58013.html" target="_blank">Here</a>'s a recent report.<br><br><br><br>
Also, remember that many mono-crops go to feeding animals.<br><br><br><br>
Avoid contributing to this problem by avoiding eating animals and by knowing how your local farmers grow their produce and buying from the ones who are most in concordance with your ecological viewpoint.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>derekVT</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
so i just finished reading peter singers newest(?) book "The Way We Eat: why our food choices matter". there's a section called "are vegans better for the environment?" where he concludes that eating a vegan diet is indeed better for the environment.<br><br><br><br>
i've been eating vegan for about a year and a half under the assumption that yes, it is better for the environment, but i'm having trouble finding actual evidence of it. in the above mentioned chapter of his book, singer talks about waste run off, deforestation, water/energy consumption, and predator control among other things, but he neglects to acknowledge crop farming as contributors to these same causes.<br><br><br><br>
so my question is, does eating a vegan diet (including foods that are processed and/or imported/shipped across the country) mean you are eating more eco-friendly, and if so, where can i find studies that support this?<br><br><br><br>
oh, by the way. i'm new.<br><br><br><br>
hi.<br><br><br><br>
-Derek</div>
</div>
<br>
 

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I saw Peter Singer speak about his book and while his book sounded interesting, he said some pretty weird stuff (e.g., he'd eat chicken if he were stuck on an island...my young son said he'd find some fruit to eat instead!).<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, there's plenty of info out there on how veganism is much better for the environment (in terms of land, soil, water, forests, global warming, efficiency, etc.) and much of it, with ample links, can be found on my web site. Check it out and let me know what you think.
 

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His animal rights arguments involving comparisons to mentally retarded people convinced me that I don't believe in animal rights and that he's a kind of a jerk.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>epski</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
that many mono-crops go to feeding animals.</div>
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and relatively wasteful government subsidized production like ethanol. yeah i totally agree though, much of it is animal fodder, you point this out and not everyone realizes which in itself tells you how little people think about farm animals <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>otomik</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
His animal rights arguments involving comparisons to mentally retarded people convinced me that I don't believe in animal rights and that he's a kind of a jerk.</div>
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Singer puts consistency above clinging to established notions, which explains why he's gotten into a lot of trouble (but also managed to create positive change).
 

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I think it depends on who you compare a vegan to.<br><br><br><br>
If you compare a vegan to a self sustaining person who lives in the country or wilderness hunting, probably not.<br><br><br><br>
Comparing the vegan to the average person who buys factory farmed animal products, the vegan comes out as being more enviromentally friendly.<br><br><br><br>
Some other factors are: Driving a day, having a computer, having multiple homes, airline traveling, any other high consumption luxery goods etc.<br><br><br><br>
I know some rich veg*ns who have multiple homes, multiple cars and of course have more stuff. They might buy enviromentally friendly products but the living in the excess part probably cancells it out.<br><br>
Are they are more envirmentally friendly then an omnivore living a more simple life?, I think not.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>derekVT</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
waste run off, deforestation, water/energy consumption, and predator control among other things, but he neglects to acknowledge crop farming as contributors to these same causes.</div>
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I haven't read Singer at all...But all the things that crop farming contributes to is also present (in much higher quanities) in animal agriculture. That is, the animals (especially cows) eat much more crops--so any environmental damage done by plant agriculture is heightened by the amount of crops necessary to feed the animals--and drink much more water than a human being does, more "predator" animals are INTENTIONALLY killed to "protect" the agricultural animals, etc.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Singer puts consistency above clinging to established notions, which explains why he's gotten into a lot of trouble (but also managed to create positive change).</div>
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kind of, like all utilitarians there's this weird happiness math where they go through their logic and say this and that should be morally acceptable but when it's his own mother that is mentally incapacitated he's not so quick to euthenize. most people quickly realize that happiness math misses something. Anyway I'm not sure he has created positive change, I think the shift towards Animal Rights had radicalized the debate rather than focused on common ground, his ventures into abortion and bestiality also alienate potential supporters. In spite of this Peter Singer is the intellectual bloodbank of the movement, and it's not without it's problems.<br><br><br><br>
Let me say that some vegetarians habits are not good for the environment, I regularly make trips a few miles out into the boonies in my car to relocate chipmunks I humanely trap messing around in my herb garden. There's also the Veggie foodies buying exotic off season expensive organically grown produce flown in from new zealand, that's a lot of energy and makes meat eaters seem austere.
 

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Somebody pointed out to me that, although our mass egg production, in this country is very cruel to the animals; it is a very efficient "food making" process. An end-loader to send food down a conveyor belt, and extract waste is all that is required.<br><br><br><br>
Compare this to the processes required to make egg replacers, whether it be soy, transported bananas, or whatever; and the eggs may win out. Keep in mind, that there is very little manpower required to run an egg production facility (that's why eggs produced in this manner are less than $1/dozen), and that means less fossil fuel usage transporting employees to and from work. Again, this is only from an environmental standpoint.
 

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It is not efficient because: <b>1)</b>the grain/feed used and the power AND workers used in that grain/feed's production and transportation, <b>2)</b>the power used for the fans (usually used to keep the chickens cool and to transport away SOME of the ammonia smell), conveyer belts, etc, <b>3)</b> the workers and power needed in the transportation of eggs/spent hens, <b>4)</b>the pollution created (land, air, waterway), <b>5)</b>the water used to keep them alive and energy needed to get it to them (most hen houses don't have a spring that naturally rises to each chicken's position), <b>6)</b>many also allow, or at least have, some eggs to hatch and use a lot of energy to "dispose of" the unwanted male chicks and sometimes "mail out" the overabundant female chicks (more workers needed for these processes on top of energy use), <b>7)</b>there are tons more people who eat eggs than people who use egg replacers (so even if--and that's a big IF in my opinion as it depends on the "egg replacer"--egg replacers are bad for the environment, the effect is negligable compared to the environmental impact of egg production), <b>8)</b>the eggs are usually placed into cartons (some of which aren't environmentally friendly and most are not recycled), etc. There are almost 300 million "layers" in the U.S. at any given moment, so consider what a drain that is (environmentally) on water, grain/feed, air quality, water quality, transportation costs (in big rigs), etc.<br><br><br><br>
If we directly used the grain meant for the chickens to produce the eggs, that would be efficient.
 

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I have to agree with eclipse...I think even if you're vegan it depends on your food choices. Are you choosing organic magoes from Chile? Living on the east coast and choosing luxury food products that have to be packaged and shipped from California? If you are I don't think you're choices are...environmentally speaking...very good. They are probably good for the animals you are intending to spare, but for the environment....not so much. You're not doing any better than an omni subsistance farmer that has a few cows and chickens, which get pastured...and a very large garden. In fact, probably...environmentally speaking, you're doing worse damage.<br><br><br><br>
I have really, over the last year, tried to improve my vegetarian food choices. I probably don't need that cheese from denmark, however much I might like to have it. (or maybe, as Barbara Kingsolver said in her last book...which included several essays on environmentalism and food, that can be a very special treat...while most of the time I eat locally grown food that's in season).<br><br><br><br>
B
 

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Peter Singer's twist on eating local food was an example of locally grown food in a hothouse that used a tremendous amount of energy to produce; another example was a poor peasant family in South America growing organic berries and finally making a living. In those cases, he suggests, eating locally may not be as good, from his utilitarian perspective. Just some food for thought...
 

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What about all the hot air vegans generate? That can't be good for the environment.<br><br><br><br>
*ducks*
 

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I think as long as you are not spending extra money on out-of-season exotic produce and stuff all the time, then veganism can be very good for the enviroment just based on not supporting the meat, dairy and egg industries. If you can get those out of the way, since they use the most resources, then buying that out-of-season pineapple doesn't do as much damage. Sure, it's not the best option, but some poeple can't get a hold of in-season fresh produce either.<br><br><br><br>
And I agree with Vegnik, if the money spent on some of those exotic or imported organic produce goes back to poor family farmers, then it is totally worth spending you money on it. For example, there is a farm around where I live that makes organic milk and ice cream, and they only have three cows. They've had them for years. I would feel better about eating that even though I'm vegan than some "organic" ice creme that is mass produced.
 

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I think the argument is all else being equal (i.e., a "normal" American in their energy use, buying groceries at a big chain grocery, etc.), veganism is better for the environment. Of course, Americans in general are not good for the environment (in how much energy we use), but with "all else being equal," being vegan is better than what most omnivores and even vegetarians eat. Of course, that doesn't take away what many of you have said (there are other ways to help the environment), but it is generally true.<br><br><br><br>
The environment is part of the reason I'm glad to be a vegan, but the main reason I am vegan is due to the ethical concerns of animal treatment (in their treatment and their deaths--even if treated better on free range organic farms they are still killed).
 

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if comparing consumer vegans (buying from stores), with consumer non-vegans, then from what i've researched..yes an all-plant diet involves much less water depletion, soil erosion, oil use, air pollution, pesticed, and pollution runoff, than a consumer omnivore diet.<br><br><br><br>
If comparing a consumer vegan, with a hunting omnivore, then the hunting omnivore diet could have less environmental impact. This is because the hunting requires much less oil, water, pesticides, fertilizers, and transport than commercially-grown plant foods, especially large scale crop operations.<br><br><br><br>
If comparing a gardened or small farmed vegan, with a hunting omnivore, then the all-plant vegan diet has less impacts.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
For large scale farmed diets, the main aspect is the conversion of plants to mucle(meat). A cow needs to eat 7 pounds of plant food to grow 1 pound of muscle(meat). Sometimes some of their food is other cows, sawdust, and other cheap sources of calories and protein, but they do eat much more than 1 pound of plant food to produce 1 pound of muscle.<br><br>
All the additional plant pounds they eat, require water, and usually involve a lot of fertilizers and pesticides, and involve transportation. The fertilizers and pesticides are oil and chemical based, and they cause worker illness, and contaminate water, and the pesticides build up in the diet of the cow (similar to DDT builds up as it travels higher in the food chain).<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
I have a page where I go into a bit more detail on this and other environmental aspects of diet, and all the information is solidly referenced so you can see the sources are govt or educational agencies. <a href="http://www.helpusall.com/foodsummary" target="_blank">www.helpusall.com/foodsummary</a> the envi. section is the 2nd section<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Related to this, is that there can also be harms to animals involved in an all-plant diet. During plowing and harvest, animals can be 'affected', and often wildlife are poisoned to prevent them from eating the growing crops, and the crops in storage. Pesticides, and runoff pollution also affect them. Again, a diet with a higher % of plant foods is more helpful.<br><br>
Here's my page detailing about this...<br><br><a href="http://www.helpusall.com/morepeacefuldiet.html" target="_blank">http://www.helpusall.com/morepeacefuldiet.html</a><br><br><br><br>
in learning, and in sharing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br>
Jon
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>das_nut</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What about all the hot air vegans generate? That can't be good for the environment.<br><br><br><br>
*ducks*</div>
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totoro, you're lucky you can fly. it will help you escape the attacks on you after saying that :b
 
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