Who would take care of the animals in a vegan world?

  • #51
The point is that they consume the amount of grain (primarily, corn) that could've satisfied caloric requirements of 800 million people, IN ADDITION to grass. BTW, the use of land as pasture to grow grass is still inefficient. We could use that land to grow vegetables and feed even more people. And corn is quite fit for human consumption. If we intended to feed it to humans, maybe we would've grown different varieties or used somewhat lower plant density, but that does not change the arithmetics substantially.

Ultimately, it's simple conservation of energy. Plants collect sunlight and turn it into chemical energy. We could either eat plants directly, or we could pass that energy through an intermediate step (feed it to animals, and then eat those animals). We know that the intermediate step is very inefficient: <10% with cattle, 20%, tops, with rabbits.
http://jas.fass.org/cgi/content/abstract/74/6/1406 [Broken]

Not all grains are of a quality usable by humans and not all land can be used for producing vegetable foods for humans. Distilleries even sell their byproduct grains for feed. As well, cattle can consume a larger portion of the plant than a human.

Much of the corn produced by the US is exported as feed (we apparently have much more than we need).
http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/corn/trade.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #52
90
5
To answer OP question you must know more exactly how that letting domestic animals free should be performed. Some domestic animals are too much changed and manipulated by man to be able feeding and defending themselves in the wild. But a lot of them would survive, although most of them (due to carnivores, diseases, etc) should
not survive in the long run. Some species should also be taken care of by man without being exploited. People have dogs, cats, horses, goats and so on as pets - and having
cows or buffalos keeping their properties clean from excessive vegetation could be a sufficient reason for having them. A lot of people also like having animals like cows around - I know myself the feeling of having cattle nearby: You feel lucky. I have also read somewhere, that original reason for man keeping animals was not as food - but just as company. So animals have much, much more value to man than just as meat - at least to most of us. Look at India, where cows are welcome just as friends and worshipped like gods,

As all of us know, still today herds of horses, buffalos, camels, elephants may live free in the wild without involvement by man. In essence the animals are like humans: They may survive both in urban area and in the wild. If not being shot. :approve:
 
  • #53
Monique
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Monique had posted an excellent study showing that artificial nutrients did not perform nearly as well as the natural vitamins and nutrients found in natural foods. I'll try to find it later.
I am not aware that I posted such a paper, I did post the following one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...el.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum". It states:
ADA position paper said:
"It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."
The only vitamin that vegans cannot get from plant products is vitamin B12, so they must rely on microbial produced vitamin B12 (incidentally, vitamin B12 present in meat is also produced by microbes).

The point is that you need artificial supplements in order for it to be balanced. That means a vegan diet, by itself, is unhealthy. The supplements are necessary. Now, if you're worried about the animals and the planet and whatever have you, why is it better to have factories producing artificially manufactured vitamin supplements when an animal product is sufficient to fulfill that requirement?
I fully do not agree. First, meat farms heavily supplement their animals, so the argument is circular. Second, since when is a supplement unhealthy? If the vitamin B12 comes in a bottle, does that make it unhealthy? If you were to ferment substrates yourself and use that as a source of vitamin B12 would it all of a sudden be healthy?

You can't feed everyone a peanut butter sandwich for every meal. There is just no way that the whole world could live on just vegetables with this many people! A small group of people would probably be able to do it if they were living in a large enough area but there is just not enough vegetation in order to fulfill the demand for food.
Do you have any idea how much vegetation you need to feed an animal in order to create meat? A lot of energy is lost in that process. The idea that a population can not be sustained on a meatless diet is flawed in itself. You just need to look at India, 40% of the population adheres a vegetarian diet, amounting to 399 million people.
 
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  • #54
Evo
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I am not aware that I posted such a paper,
It had nothing to do with vegetarianism, it was about the efficacy of supplements. I even thanked you for posting it, it was excellent. I'm still trying to remember what the topic was.
 

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