Sticker #0561.3 Billion People Could Be Fed
by Sparky Taylor Author
Meat and dairy based diets starve the world. It would be so easy to root out global hunger if we could switch over to veganism!
(Sturdy vinyl sticker with black print on a white background. Reads: "1.3 billion people could be fed. Meat and dairy based diets starve the world.")
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Comments & Reviews
Agriculture actually seems to me to have more cons than foraging. Being able to have a crop or product all year round can create unhealthy dependence in many ways. And can create a less healthy and diverse diet. Also, if you're not a farmer, you don't do any physical work for your food, so it decreases excersise. And agricultural cities are more prone to disease and famine than foraging communities.
Also, I think that just because a food is meat and dairy free defiantely does not mean it isn't wasteful or just plain shit. Many vegetarian foods are obnoxiously over packaged which also contributes to disgusting amounts of waste. [Which is actually why I don't buy a lot of garden burgers anymore]
And finally, I don't think that this sticker misses a point, because it got all of you talking, and isn't that more the point? To create thought and discussion?
meat is 10% as efficient as vegetables. how do you think shit grows? it uses some stuff, burns energy, throws it away. if we could eat dirt, it would be 10x as effective as eating vegetables.
Ann Onamous, although you're right that the problem lies more in distribution instead of supply, the resources on this earth are currently capable of keeping people ALIVE, but not in a very healthy way. We could, theoretically, feed everyone for survival, but not enough to provide for all of their nutritional needs.
MJ-"So the rich cattle ranchers are the only few who make out." Find a rich cattle rancher, rather than one that's struggling to get by (or any farmer who's rich), and then I'll believe you. I'm not talking about corporate farm owners, either. I'm talking about the people who own the ranch and work it themselves. Cattle ranchers have leather gloves, horse-crap covered boots, and (frequently) empty pockets. Not 3-piece suits.
you know agricultures pretty unsustainable in and of itself. In general our whole civilization is unsustainable and prone to collapse (as many others have). Re-routing the grain to go feed hungry people who are living on land where they can sustain themselves is only going to perpetuate the problem. I agree with what this sticker is saying, but it dosnt address the bigger picture.
EmilyH- The land they used to grow the cattle is then ruined and useless for generations to come. They cut down natural forest destroying good land, animal habitat, you know that pesky eco-system thing? So they make money in the short run but destroy future chance for a stable economy. So the rich cattle ranchers are the only few who make out.
Just some facts- If Americans alone reduced their meat intake by 10% for just one year they would free up at least 10 million tons of grain for human consumption- enough to feed 60 million people. Reducing the U.S livestock population by half would make available enough food to make up the calorie deficit of 3rd world nations nearly 4 times over. More than 1/3 of North America is taken up for grazing, more than half of U.S croplands are planted with livestock feed and half of water consumed in the U.S goes to livestock. Plant food is far less demanding on our resources and environment.
Actually, our demand for meat and dairy in this country lead other lesser developed countries to use their resources to grow beef to export to us, instead of planting agricultural crops to feed their own people. They make more money growing beef to export than growing food to export to the rich than growing food to feed poor people. So this sticker does have a point.
America distributes a lot of food and we help a lot of third world countries. It's the governments of the countries we help which keep the food from getting to the people who need it.
Other countries only hate us when we don't do what they want. Don't get sucked in.
It's not the amount of land used, it's distribution and production. Zimbabwe for example is starving because they have taken the farms from white farmers and given it to black friends of Mugabe with no farming experience. Joe's point only strengthens the argument, saying that it's not having milking cows in Europe and the US which is the problem, it's that "food is hoarded in first world nations and it is not distributed...". So no, it's not failing to be a vegan that keeps the rest of the world starving, it's keeping prices low at supermarkets and importing all the food from the third world.
"Intensification of production to feed an increased population leads to a still greater increase in population." -Peter Farb
As a vegetarian for almost two decades, I've always bristled at arguments for vegetarianism that just don't ring true -- yes, meat and dairy production are an inefficient use of land and wasteful use of natural resources. BUT -- there is still currently enough food for the entire human population -- it's a question of power and distribution, not supply. This sticker misses the point.
Anonymous, we truly don't and can't know that there is enough food on earth to sustain everyone on an omnivore's diet - simply due to the fact that food is hoarded in first world nations and it is not distributed actively to the places that need it most. According to impartial studies I've read, there is enough food to sustain just over 2 billion people on a vegan diet to eat 3 full meals per day. Veganism increases the output of land used to develop food.