Cleveland Amory once said, “People have an infinite capacity to rationalize, especially when it come to something they want to eat.”
Almost every week, there is a new attack on vegetarian / vegan eating, with meat eaters creating convoluted scenarios to try to justify killing animals to eat them. A recent example is an article posted by IFLS compared meat from cattle grazed on otherwise unusable land to plant products produced on freshly-cleared land.
We posted this to Facebook, with the request for people to make constructive comments at the original article. Readers chimed in with great insights about a wide range of topics (other animals being grain fed, suffering, environmental issues, etc.). For example, Heidi put up this article: Vegetarianism: less grain for cattle, fewer animals killed in grain fields.
Lyra shared this quote, which is worth reproducing in full:
“I should have seen it coming, but I watched in horror as the meat industry used my article to justify the consumption of all meat, however it was produced, rather than just the meat raised on food that humans can’t eat. A potential for good is used to justify harm.
“While researching my book Feral, I also came to see extensive livestock rearing as a lot less benign than I – or Fairlie – had assumed. The damage done to biodiversity, to water catchments and carbon stores by sheep and cattle grazing in places unsuitable for arable farming (which means, by and large, the hills) is out of all proportion to the amount of meat produced. Wasteful and destructive as feeding grain to livestock is, ranching appears to be even worse.
“The belief that there is no conflict between this farming and arable production also seems to be unfounded: by preventing the growth of trees and other deep vegetation in the hills and by compacting the soil, grazing animals cause a cycle of flash floods and drought, sporadically drowning good land downstream and reducing the supply of irrigation water.”
See also this chart from AnimalVisuals. And Vegan Sidekick got in on the action, too!
Thanks to all the readers who chimed in against the ridiculous IFLS article!