+Fretfull Farmer: "What do you propose is done with farmland (and the farmers who maintain that land) that is dedicated to the production of grass-fed beef? Couldn't that be perceived as a waste of resources not to take advantage of a source of food that we can't consume and use it to produce a food that we can consume?"
Hmm... The thing is, in order to create that particular "food" (i.e. the bodies of sentient beings), one has to kill those individuals. Having a desire to use the land for something doesn't seem to provide sufficient ethical justification for the act of needlessly killing those beings.
So... I don't really know what will happen with those tracts of land, but it will be an interesting problem to have once we get there, eh?+Fretful Farmer: "When you say that each pound of edible flesh can only be produced with four to thirteen pounds of plants, which plants are you considering? Are you considering the vegetation that humans can readily digest, or grass that naturally grows and is not digestible for humans?"
Those estimates range from grains to grasses, and from chickens to cows. For the most part, those figures come from CAFO confined beings, which is to say that the foods their eating are predominantly purpose-raised crops (soy, corn, etc.). Because there are orders of magnitude more
calories going in to CAFOs than are coming out of them, it's clear that as we phase out of eating animals, we'll be producing food far in excess of our present needs. Of course, farmers aren't going to raise what they can't sell, so they'll be switching to crops that with market demand.
When you consider that factory farming now accounts for more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered (at least in the States; ref: goo.gl/GAN2fT
), the percentage that are grass fed is trivial by comparison. As such, the question of whether the figures I offered include the grass fed animals doesn't seem applicable. Heck, one could say "yes" or "no" to that, and it still wouldn't change the numbers, eh?+Fretful Farmer: "If I am being deliberate in choosing food that was raised ethically, then consuming meat is not needless. I am sustaining myself. My consumption of meat has less to do with taste, community traditions, and habits than it does with well-rounded nutrition for me and my family."
Hmm... Respectfully: no. The thing that makes consuming animals needless is not whether or not they were well treated before they were killed. Rather, it is that humans not only don't need
to eat animals, but there have been individuals, communities, and societies that have been thriving without
doing so for as long as there have been humans. As such, humans have no physiological "need" to eat the bodies of other animals. In modern life, the only
reason we do so because like the taste, or because we've been taught to do so by our parents; obviously, neither of these motivations rises to a level of "need" which justifies forcibly taking the life of a sentient individual, eh?
So, as it effects you personally, you actually are
fully capable of sustaining yourself without
eating animals, and thriving while you do so, and there plenty of evidence to support this. As I understand it, this means you can
claim that you have the right, both socially and religiously, to choose to eat sentient beings. But it doesn't appear like you can claim that you need
to do so.
Does that seem like an unreasonable stance for me to take in your
view, +Fretful Farmer
—☆—★—☆—★—☆—★—☆—★—☆—★—☆—★—This post is one in a series in which excerpts of discussions on veganism from other threads are reposted (or paraphrased) for the sake of expanding the conversation. As always, your thoughts and questions are welcome. See the full collection via the #spommveganchats hash (or perhaps with a more robust search, such as goo.gl/PAF46f or goo.gl/JoxZC ).(for anyone requiring/desiring more context, the original conversation can be found at goo.gl/UYA9mH ) #farmers #grassfed #ethics