The Vegan vs. Omnivore Debate Part 1

It's an On-Going Battle

This vegan vs. omnivore sparring is an ongoing debate that seems to have no end in sight. You can see this debate occurring on many Internet discussion forums, in the comments sections on news articles online magazine articles, hubs, blogs, and of course due to the opinion expressed by authors (like myself) writing hubs or blogs like this and many others. A lot of the debates I have gotten involved in occurred either in discussion forums, question and answer sites, and even comments of hubs like this and others I've written. Most vegans I've sparred with seem to base their arguments more on their emotions and from reports of little value, with, what I see as mostly inaccurate research to back them up. (Some aren't as dumb though--I've come across several that have done their research and laid the facts on the table as they see fit, so I'll give them credit for that.) I often find just as many people on the omnivore-side of this debate that either do not have enough gumption to have a strong argument in debates against "the other side," or they cannot come back with adequate research and evidence to use to attempt to win a debate against various claims that put a bad light on omnivores, not to mention animal agriculture itself.

There are three main things that vegans and omnivores clash over: greenhouse gas emissions, animal agricultural practices, and the digestive tract in humans. And all three of these topics have been discussed over and over again, to the point where I admittedly do get tired of them since it really ends being beating a dead horse, but I would like to shed some light on the facts behind the claims in a multi-part series.

Greenhouse Gass Emissions from Livestock: Is it as Big a Deal as People Make it Out to Be?

I was asked a while ago about beef being a major cause of global warming since, "cows' methane emissions are neck-and-neck with carbon emissions at cooking Mother Earth?" And, "If everyone on earth became vegetarian, decreasing the demand for gas-producing cattle, would that help?" Ever since I read Livestock's Long Shadow, and some reviews of what the FAO had to say about livestock methane and carbon emissions, including one from one of my favorite hubbers, I have come up with my own conclusions.

If you see Table 3.12 in Chapter 3 in Livestock's Long Shadow (Section 3.4: Summary of Livestock's Impact) on page 113, you will notice that this chart summarizes all that has been covered in the previous sections of that chapter. Now I have done some calculations on the methane portion of the chart (as well as the other two GHG's), and have come up with an answer that strongly disproves the claim made by the first quote above: Of the Grand Total Anthropogenic (human activities) GHG emissions, which is 40 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, methane emissions from livestock only contribute to 5.5% of that grand total. According to the table, total methane emissions from livestock (enteric fermentation and manure management) accounts for only 2.2 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent, whereas total anthropogenic methane emissions comprises of 5.9 billion tonnes of the grand total (14.75% methane contribution). That is a HUGE difference, far from being equal with total carbon emissions. Speaking of which, CO2 emissions from livestock only contribute to 0.4% of the grand total of anthropogenic emissions. Total anthropogenic CO2 emissions, on the other hand, is 31 billion tonnes, which contributes to 77.5% of all CO2 emissions. Well, the person who said that should be eating their words by now.

It is obvious from above that people make a big deal out of something so trivial. Going vegan simply because of misinformation, or fictional facts that are made to make the animal agricultural industry a sinful thing, including effects on global warming, is like trying to become a farmer simply because of the misconception that country life so much more peaceful and quieter than the big city. Those things, in themselves, are absolutely laughable! One has to get their facts straight before they get into an argument, otherwise it's going to come back and bite them in the ass. Getting emotionally involved doesn't help matters either. This is where a lot of brainwashing occurs, as people nowadays tend to put their emotions first before the facts.

Now for the second quote, I had already written a response to that and I would like to post it again here:

" has many variables and is a very complex question, unable to be simply answered by a yes or a no.

"If everyone became vegetarian thus decreasing the demand for gas-producing livestock (not just cattle), it would and it wouldn't help.

"The reason it might help is economics. Less demand for red meat and dairy products, the less supply there needed in the market. Less supply means less cattle are being raised for slaughter and dairy production, thus reducing methane emissions. Less cattle also opens up land that had been used for forage production to be used for vegetable and crop production instead.

"But in reality, it is not that simple. Thus the "no" part. There are large tracts of land that cannot be used for producing crops and vegetables, but instead are much better suited to raising cattle, sheep, goats and other livestock. There happens to be much more of this type of land than the land available for crop production. Also, the land that is also great for producing fruits, vegetables and grains is also great for cities and towns to expand on. There has been a fierce war going on over this for a very long time. Only in a realistic world would it have no variation in soil type nor topography so that all crops can be grown on all land, which seems to be stuck in many a vegan's mind when it comes to fighting against animal agriculture of any sort (no offence).

"The second part of the argument is the fact that we humans are not biologically built as herbivores as ruminants are. We have digestive tracts very similar to pigs and bears, which are omnivores. Thus, this limitation also limits the parts of plants that we can eat. Lets take corn as an example. We can only eat 5% of the corn plant: the kernels, and this has to be at the right stage of growth. We cannot eat the corn plant during any of it's growth stages. A herbivore can and will happily do so. The same goes for other cereal grains including wheat, barley, oats, rye, canola, peas, beans, etc. We also cannot eat all parts of vegetables either: potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. Though there is a method of producing "green manure" through composting plant matter, this does not produce the nutrients nor faster break-down of plant matter into manure than through the gut of a herbivore. This is the more efficient and economical means of using plant matter, especially the parts and types of plants that we do not nor cannot eat. According to my previous argument, since there is only a small percentage of land that can be used for crop production, grass and legumes are able to grow on the rest of the land that is not useable for crop production. The only way to "harvest" these tough plants is to either have livestock graze in those areas, or form larger wildlife habitats on that type of land.

"My third reason for not agreeing to the world-wide switch to veganism is water. If you think livestock "waste" so much water, you should see how much water we humans waste on a daily basis. We do not use water simply to drink it or to put into food production, but we also use it to water our pretty lil' lawns, for large industrial purposes from oil and gas to construction, to mix with fluids for many purpose other than personal consumption. Livestock only use water to drink it and cool themselves in. Pets only use water to drink and cool and bath in. Less livestock means more excuse for the corporate companies to waste it.

"Fourthly, is we have relied on the use of animals for as long as we started finding other means of using parts of the animal that we don't eat. And this has expanded greatly to the point were the general population don't even realize it. If the population of livestock decreased, we would have to find other means of making our tires work and wear like they do, our cosmetics as nice as they are, our mattresses, chairs, couches, love seats etc. have the lovely comfy fabric and parts to them like they are, among many other things.

"If we lessened our consumption of livestock purely on the fact that they produce too many farts and burps that harm our atmosphere, then we must have completely lost our minds. There are many other things we can do to decrease the production of methane from cattle than just stopping eating them.

As you can see, this issue with greenhouse gas emissions and the livestock industry shouldn't be made such a big deal out of. There are more important things to worry about right now.

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Comments 46 comments

Zoey 6 years ago

Hi - I really enjoyed reading all of your articles on omnovore -vegan debate. I am an animal scientist in Australia and we are working on ways to reduce methane from ruminants, like breeding for those that genetically rpoduce less or my particular one - plant bioactives and how they can inhibit methane-producing microbes in the rumen (and also do ther good stuff like control lactic acidosis). These plant bioactives are present in many plants - even in your favourite one, wild rose, but we only have looked into Australian native plants, Europeans have looked at their plants, but not much is happening in America - so maybe you can go and snoop around a bit about this. Anyway best luck in your work!

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demosthenes.locke 6 years ago

i never realized it was a big deal. as far as i know humans are evolutionarily omnivores and there are several key nutrients that we need that are only found in meat. particularly b vitamins which are not digested properly as pills taken by vegans.

but i look at it this way if I'm in that line at McDonald's and i don't eat that burger, the guy behind me is gonna

Alexa 5 years ago

im doing a persuasive essay on vegans vs. omnivores and im having trouble finding sources

im not sure this really helped

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Hi Alexia,

If I were doing a persuasive essay on this subject, I too wouldn't use such things as blogs or hub-pages as a source. So I'm not at all offended if you don't use this hub as a source. What you could use is the book Livestock's Long Shadow (you can find it by doing a google search on "Livestock's Long Shadow"), as well as other things like scholarly articles about humane treatment of animals, human diets, etc. Make sure that the articles that you are using as resources actually have cited sources so that they are relevant to your project, not something that is purely based on opinion, which is what my article is based on.

Good luck with your essay! :)

Alexa 5 years ago

Thanks. Thats really going to help me on my essay!

Alexa 5 years ago

Could you tell me the actual URL of the website?

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Your welcome. The url is this one:

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akelly96 5 years ago

to me veganism does not solve the problem instead it just hides it. A true solution would be to reduce animal methane and co2 using science

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Akelly, you have a point there. And there is work being done on finding ways to reduce such emissions from livestock, whether its through the different diets that can be fed to improving the livestock themselves. And of course other things like finding ways of being sustainable and practicing holistics in agriculture are also gaining ground.

Thank you for the comment.

Bob 5 years ago

You've got to be kidding me. How are you extrapolating these numbers? A quick search reveals that the numbers you've posted are completely false. Check the EPA's website: for example. Livestock methane contributes 20% of the total methane gas production in the U.S. (28% globally).

You're having trouble being unbiased in your post because you have ties with cattle (I'm assuming a cattle farmer), so it's not surprise that this is very much one sided.

You can't deny the effect factory farms and the raising of livestock for food production has on the planet. Unless, of course, you have some sort of vested interest in it. From the methane gas production, to water contamination from seeping waste, to wasted resources and used up aerated land caused by growing the feed required for all of these animals. You would have to be blind to deny all of this.

Stop trying to located sources to support your confirmation bias and open your knowledge base to some new information. I know information that contradicts your theories may be hard to digest, but just because it's contradictory, doesn't make it wrong.

Also, some sources below for your viewing pleasure.

US Environmental Protection Agency. 1984. Report to Congress: Nonpoint Source Pollution in the US Office of Water Program Operations, Water Planning Division. Washington, D.C.

Merritt Frey, et al., Spills and Kills: Manure Pollution and America's Livestock Feedlots, Clean Water Network, Izaak Walton League of America and Natural Resources Defense Council (August 2000)

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Bob, it's called "getting out the calculator." And it's also called "reading between the lines." Don't you see that those numbers you're quoting INCLUDE Land use, Forestry and Land Use Changes? Or is that something that you yourself wish to ignore because you're blaming me for being ignorant? The numbers that every media device, include the infamous EPA quotes the fabled numbers but FAIL to mention they include the LULUCF factor. It sounds like you need to do some re-reading yourself.

And was I supposed to make this hub unbiased?? Of course not!! Why are you nit-picking me for being "one-sided" when that's what the whole hub is about, to see THE OTHER SIDE of this vegan vs. Omnivore debate? Honestly!

And no I don't support factory farming, as you call it, but I sure as hell don't support the environmental extremists that claim that cows are the primary blame for "ruining" our planet. Sure they produce methane, but can't you see the other side of the picture?? Can't you see that there are much more significant sources of methane besides the products produced from animal agriculture? Lemme me put it this way: Have you passed gas any time today? Have you had to throw anything out that goes to the landfill this year? If you answered no to ANY of these questions, I really think you're out of your mind. Because if you look at the BIG PICTURE instead of focusing on one small, albeit insignificant factor in all this, it is HUMANS--yes, I said us humans--that are to blame for all this. Why you cannot see past this is beyond me. So I think you're pretty blind yourself to have to see you saying that animal agriculture is to blame for all our methane emissions.

You say that water is used up by aerated land used to feed animals, contaminated by animal waste and yaddi yaddi yadda but don't you stop and think that HUMAN waste is a much bigger contributor to water contamination??? What about run-off from landfills, the crap we dump in our toilets that can't be filtered out by the waste plant, the crap that is dumped into lakes and rivers by other industries besides agriculture?? Jeeze man don't tell me you've got your blinders on about that too! And the water "wasted" to produce animal feed is only a small part of it all: what about all that water wasted to keep your pretty big lawn all nice and green, that only sees a dog or cat crap on it once in a while?? What a bloody waste of space! That huge yard of yours is probably on prime agricultural land that should be used to grow crops or see livestock grazing on it!

Go ahead, tell me off for being stupid and ignorant and arrogant and insolent or whatever the hell else you have at the tip of your fingers, but don't you DARE tell me that I am misinformed! From where I come from and what I see, I see a hell of a lot more than what you can ever see out of that house or apartment you live in in the middle of a city.

Secondly, don't you dare tell me to stop "...[locating] sources to support your confirmation bias" because that's really what I did not do. Does the Livestock's Long Shadow look like a so-called "source to support my confirmation bias" to you? Have you even READ the book at all? Something tells me you haven't. And there you go making assumptions again about certain information that is contradicting my, what you call "theories," that are "hard to digest." No, you're really not getting the point at all! I am merely analyzing the information that is presented to my by the book made by the FAO and pointing out all the holes that this book has made! So why don't you take the time to read through the article again.

And yes I am a cattle farmer and DAMN proud of it. And no I don't crowd them in a tiny little pen and feed them grain all day like you're probably thinking I do, they're out on pasture 24/7 doing the very thing Nature intended them to do.

So here's a piece of advice for you: Stop assuming things because you're just going to end up making a complete ASS of yourself, like you just did just now. And while you're at it, maybe you need to stop and do some actual reading instead of skimming along and noticing certain words that have piqued your interest and are peckin' me about.

Bob 5 years ago

Look buddy, I applaud you for not crowding cattle in a pen all day and letting them roam like nature "intended them to". That's great and all, and from what it seems, that is not what's causing an environmental impact from livestock ranching. The problem stems from what I call "factory farming" (in quotes because it's not a term I made up, but a serious problem in the U.S.). It's an overproduction of meat that this country/world does not need. That is where this waste comes from.

"...HUMAN waste is a much bigger contributor to water contamination???" Ok bud, nowhere in my comment did I say this is NOT a problem. First: How much bigger issue is it than factory farming waste? Second: Water contamination needs to be controlled, regardless of where it comes from. Not eating meat is one way to REDUCE water pollution. It won't eliminate it, no, because of the human factor of course, but we have to start somewhere.

Your whole attack on vegetarianism is unbelievable. Especially when you compare it to a religious cult in a latter post. The best part about this whole thing is that you call it a "debate", but you only present one side of the argument. Last time I checked, that's not called a debate, but rather a preaching.

Also, if you're arguing with EPA's numbers then that is on you my friend. I am not an environmental scientist, but I somehow doubt the EPA is trying to deceive us. It seems like you're onto some sort of conspiracy theory here. The EPA report clearly says that the 20% of methane come from livestock.

One of the points of vegetarianism is to reduce the carbon footprint and leave the planet in a "usable" shape for future generations. Every piece of evidence shows this to be supported. For you to rip into vegetarians and to have this debate about it shows that you truly have an ulterior motive in this fight. How does someone argue against somebody's actions that are aimed at improving the lives of others (confined animals, affected humans, etc...) when these actions don't harm anyone else, and have been shown to be effective?

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

And I complete understand that factory farming is, indeed, a huge problem, so I'm not saying nor wasn't saying that it isn't. But I was also saying that it's not JUST factory farming that is a problem to water, soil and air quality. It's also due to a lot of other things, mostly human related, which you stated you are already aware of...which I commend you for knowing and understanding.

However, here stands the argument about the numbers I have above versus what the EPA has come up with. Maybe I am conspiring to something here, but maybe not, that's up to you to decide. The thing is is that, from the table that is presented in the FAO Livestock's Long Shadow that 18% or 20% is a number that includes the LULUCF factor, which is Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry. If we do NOT include this factor, then we end up with a different number. And I believe I have to correct you on something: That percentage is actually total greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to the anthropological emissions that take up the other 80% of the equation. But with the methane emissions, I've also done the calculations and have come up with the same percentage they have: Livestock emit 37% of the world's methane (including emissions from manure waste and what-not), not 20%. Boy, if the EPA is saying that livestock only emit 20% of methane to the atmosphere I think that's something we BOTH should be pleased about!!

But now I have a feeling we are reaching a misunderstanding here. What part of the numbers above is getting your hackles raised? Is it the part where I mention "methane emissions from livestock only contribute to 5.5% of that grand total" that is causing you concern? (I've a feeling it is...) How I got that calculation is by taking the value of the total methane emissions from livestock (which is 2.2 billion tonnes) and dividing it by the Grand Total (40 billion tonnes). I'd get a different number if I were to divide the 2.2 billion tonnes by the total methane emissions of both human and livestock activity, where the 37% would come from.

I totally agree that North Americans are eating too much meat. That is something that I would be totally stupid to deny, and I know you probably know that. But the hub above is more of a numbers game (Mathematics...gotta love it) to show you what was not mentioned by that book.

I'm sorry you're taking my criticisms about veganism/vegetarianism so hard, but like you were telling me, things that contradict your views are going to be hard to swallow, and it also doesn't mean that those views are wrong. We can argue and debate about this until we're blue in the face, and even then there's still disagreements that are going to come up. But why slam me for being so hard on vegetarianism when there are vegetarians that will slam omnivores and meat eaters just as hard?

My apologies for coming off to you so harsh, but at least we can agree to disagree.

Bob 5 years ago

I'm just going to leave this here because I don't want to spend a lot of times going into the details:

It has many sources to peer-reviewed journals and studies. The scientific community unequivocally agrees that meat production harms the environment. If you want to doubt that, that's obviously your prerogative.

We all think we're climate scientists, but few of us actually listen to the real climate scientists.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

I don't agree that completely taking out the meat industry is going to solve anything. There's even environmental concerns with producing grain and vegetables, especially with all the pesticides and fertilizers that are needed to produce them. Crops cannot be grown without some form of fertilizer, and most man-made fertilizers are petroleum-based. Tractors, which use petroleum-based fuel, are needed to till, sow, spray and harvest fields and crops, respectively. Non-renewable resources are needed to make tractors and other farm machinery. Wetlands, forests and trees are being plowed under for crops, to the point where there's no where for wildlife to live, no suitable areas for carbon dioxide to go back into the soil. Plowing releases a TON of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And that doesn't sound like that's harming the environment to you? I hate to be blunt with you Bob, but vegetarianism can do just as much damage to the earth as your case against meat production.

Only a small portion of the world's soil is suitable for growing crops to feed 9+ billion people. The rest is best for grazing livestock on. We both can agree that the world can do without factory farming and CAFOs, but I will never EVER agree with you that completely taking out animal agriculture out of agriculture is the solution to the world's climate and environmental problems.

Like I said before, you can call me ignorant all you want, but the real truth about this environmental thing is that we need to achieve BALANCE in order to find what is TRULY best for the earth. Going to either extreme is never the solution for anything. I seriously hope you stop and think about this before you start bereaving me for being pro-meat production or anti-vegan.

Bob 5 years ago

It's clear nothing will change your mind on the pure and simple fact that producing crops is much more economical than raising animals purely for food production (those animals require lots of crops too).

Bob 5 years ago

Look, I agree with you that extreme situations can be wrong under many circumstances, but in order to adapt to new ways of life people have to be able to change from conventional thinking and conventional ways of doing things.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

You really don't get it, do you? You are stuck on the fact that all animal agriculture is based solely on factory farming and can't seem to get your head around the other stuff, the more sustainable methods of raising livestock. Not all methods of producing livestock involves raising crops for them.

If you want to talk economics in an agricultural point of view you've really got the wrong ideas, and always think that things are "pure and simple" or black and white, which they're not. Let me ask you something: Have you ever been raised on a farm? Have you seen the costs that are involved with raising crops, versus raising livestock on just grass?

Cropping isn't economical when you look at all the money that has to be spent on fertilizer, pesticides and fuel, not to mention the depreciation costs, maintenance costs and repair costs that have to be done on machinery. Environmentally speaking, quite often too much fertilizer is put in the fields, all that excess fertilizer runs into lakes and rivers which harm the flora and fauna that live there. Vast amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere from plowing over wetlands, pastures, natural grasslands, and from the fuel burned in the machinery needed to till the fields, sow seeds, spray herbicide and harvest and store the crops. Millions of animals are killed everyday (mice, voles, rabbits, hares, baby fawns, even deer if they eat pesticide-ridden crops) from these monoculture crops, and even worse these monoculture crops are in no way designed to sustain natural ecosystems: rather it's a battle to take over and rid these ecosystems. This is a different story when referring to the practices of ranching and grass-fed or free-range animals.

You don't need to spend money on fertilizer, feed or fuel if you know how to graze properly and sustainably. Letting the livestock do the work, and properly maintaining areas that are sensitive to both grazing and cropping system, particularly riparian areas, simply by fencing off the area and only letting livestock graze in there for a short period of time is much more economical and sustainable than trying to tame the land with the plow. Yes, this is doing it as "nature intended." I find we get a lot more wildlife coming around with such practices than what you would ever dream of getting with a field of GMO corn or canola. There was one ranch I visited that times its grazing practices with the nesting season of sharp-tail grouse, and the sharp-tail grouse population is certainly not threatened by the grazing action of cattle. It certainly would be if that same area was covered in crops. Same thing goes with managed grazing for elk come winter time: cattle are put in the elks' winter grazing areas in the summer to push out the sage brush and other forbs that elk won't eat, and encourages grass to grow for winter grazing. Do you get that with cropping systems? Definitely not!

If all livestock where made to be extinct and no meat was allowed to be eat or no animals allowed to be killed, what would happen with the areas that are not nor ever will be suitable for growing food for humans, nor for building houses, towns and cities on? Will more habitat be made for wildlife, or will this become so that even the wildlife themselves cannot manage themselves properly? I know that the government won't help in these matters because they tend to screw everything up in the first place. Parks where natural grasslands are prevailant can't be managed properly without some form of grazing. Since the buffalo herds are too small to even create much of an impact in these areas where grasses thrive and exist because of grazing, invasive species will come in and the park that is supposed be a natural reserve will only be a place for invasive species. Crested wheatgrass has taken over much of the Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan because the federal government prohibited any cattle grazing in that park, which made a large number of ranchers not too happy, since they're the ones that have a much better idea how to manage such land more sustainably and economically than a bunch of bureaucrats from Ottawa how've never ranched in that area or even been in that area before. And now they've got a huge problem with Crested Wheatgrass, which is an invasive species that have pushed out a lot of natural grasses that have existed in the past because they've been grazed. Plowing this land over is definitely not the solution, since there's so little of natural grasslands left thanks to crop farming itself.

Yes of course factory farming is uneconomical, jeeze every one knows THAT! Look at what the documentary Food Inc. reveals to us about how hogs and chickens are raised and beef cattle are finished (NOT raised, they were raised on grass on a farm/ranch before they got to the feedlot). But I'm talking about grain farming versus the natural way of raising livestock. That's why I keep saying that I think you're really misinformed if you keep going on about how animal agriculture is "harming the environment" or how "producing crops is much more economical than raising animals purely for food production." That is a total load of bullshit when factory farming is taken out of the equation. And I seriously do hope some day factory farming WILL be taken out of the equation.

Open your eyes, Bob, quit paying attention to the bullshit advertisements and goings-on by PeTA and HSUS. And for God sakes quit pressing your views about how agriculture should be with someone who's got more farming experience under her belt than you'll ever have. Because nothing is ever "pure and simple" about producing food for 9 billion people in this world.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

"Look, I agree with you that extreme situations can be wrong under many circumstances, but in order to adapt to new ways of life people have to be able to change from conventional thinking and conventional ways of doing things."

Yeah I know that, and that's what I was trying to tell you by saying that balance needs to be achieved in order to settle this whole meat vs. veggies thing. And the only way to do that is to step away from the factory farming thing and instead support local farmers and the small farmer by buying meat from people who take more responsibility in raising their own animals. Which I am in no way condoning. But how to step away from this conventional way of thinking is all down to the consumer, because that's what controls what should be grown and what people want: agriculture doesn't control what people should want to eat. So target the consumer here, not the farmer.

So let's stop beating a dead horse about this alright? We obviously both agree that factory farming is bad, and I've told you above how things in agriculture is definitely not pure and simple. I think I've (or we) have said enough about this already.

Bob 5 years ago

I don't have to be an expert on farming to be informed about the environmental effects of the livestock sector. You are obviously very well informed about farming, and are also well informed about your side of the argument. Which is precisely why you fail to see (or believe) the research that has been done in response to your proclamations.

You appear to refer to me as some unscrupulous consumer of advertisement propaganda, who needs to stop paying attention to "PETA and HSUS". The ironic part of this accusation is that it shows your ignorance, since the issues of PETA and HSUS have nothing to do with the environment but are rather ethical instead.

Again, you can argue with the many climate experts and scientists about livestock's effect on the environment if you want to. I'm sure that your expertise as a long time and experienced farmer is comparable to their expertise in environmental science.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Really? You have to stoop that low to pick out the trivial stuff that I mentioned, perhaps by accident, to make me look like a stupid, ignorant idiot? Who gives a rat's ass that I mentioned HSUS and PeTA, they're all integrated in this whole "factory farming" debate stuff, ethics or not? Apparently you do. Apparently you still like to believe you're always right and I'm always wrong. Fine, I get that. But if you're so damned concerned about the environmental implications that livestock agriculture is contributing to the earth, then don't eat. Don't use ANYTHING that has even a speck of animal by-product in it, that goes from your car to the paint and insulation in your house. Why don't you go live in a grass hut and wear nothing on your feet an back and take a nice long walk to and from work every day? Oh and how about not use any hair gels, lotions or shampoos or any of that sort? Jeeze the list could continue of all the things you shouldn't use that are by-products from livestock...esp. if you're that much of a vegan.

I am getting sick and tired of your mockery and false commemorations of my experiences and knowledge in the field of agriculture. You seem to want me to surrender to your views and want me to give up and state that your right and I'm wrong. Well I've got news for you buddy: I'm not. I've been called ignorant by you I don't know how many times on here, and I've done my best to show you my side of the story and my research that I've done to further understand this problem. And I've told you time and time again that things are different when factory farming is taken out of the picture, but you just go on right ahead and ignore that and instead get so condescending that it's down right offensive. Maybe I was being a little condescending myself, but who started this whole conversation anyway? Who was the one that took offense to what I wrote and told me that I was completely ignorant? Not me.

You say that I "fail to see (or believe) the research that has been done in response to [my] 'proclamations.'" I say you're wrong. I've read the research done by the scientists that wrote Livestock's Long Shadow and I certainly do see what they are trying to say. That is why I was saying in the first reply before your reply tonight how livestock farming is that much better than crop farming IF WE TAKE FACTORY FARMING OUT OF THE PICTURE. But why in the HELL do you choose to ignore that??? That's what I don't understand!! Why do you choose to be so God DAMNED ignorant about that and instead pester me for "not seeing (or believing the research"??

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I admit that I do not agree with factory farming. I said above that we BOTH don't agree with it. So why do you have to keep beating a dead horse about this? Why are you not seeing that I realize this? Is it something that I didn't mention or did mention that pissed you off enough to be so belligerent about this?

I don't get you. I really don't get you. So maybe I'll end by asking this: What do you want to know? What do you want me to do or say or whatever to resolve this whole thing so we can go our separate merry ways? I would honestly love to know.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Alright, please IGNORE the first paragraph, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent there, nor did I have enough time to edit it out. But I just want to add a thought here: Maybe the fact that I may seem ignorant to you is due to some sort of communication block that we seem to be having. You are talking about factory farming itself, and I want to and have gone off talking about animal agriculture with exception to factory farming. So I think maybe there is just a bit of confusion going on here, not ignorance, and that is what is causing both our feathers to be ruffled.

But I still would like to know the questions I asked in the last paragraph above.

Oh, and I also forgot to add to my previous comments above that I have seen first hand the damage that is done with having animals confined like we've had in the past. It's not a pretty sight, and it takes a lot of hard work to get things back to the way they were before our corrals were made into a bloody mud-bog. At least Nature is on my side in encouraging the grass to grow in places where it should've been before. No, factory farming or any kind of production system where livestock are confined to a corral for a lengthy period of time (like we've had no choice to do with our stocker steers over winter and into spring) certainly isn't the greatest for the environment, that's for sure.

Bob 5 years ago

Look I'm not trying to get you to change your views, nor do I want to argue with you. I really do not think you're ignorant. I've stated that I think you're well informed in your field of expertise, and I don't question that.

I understand that we have some things in common (like views on factory farming), I'm not ignoring this part. To kind of answer you question in the post above, what really gets me going about your position is that your whole view unfairly disparages vegans. This article you are writing makes them seem like evil beings who are doing more harm than good. And the evidence you're using is questionable at best.

Look, I'm not trying to be abrasive and deride you for your beliefs. But, even if we decide to doubt the scientific research, those who are vegans are still doing more harm than good.

This article, and frankly this whole debate whenever it comes up, is nothing but an inquisition against meat non-eaters. All the evidence points to saying eating meat does more good than harm, how much "more good" is it, well that's not exactly quantifiable. There is no need to get out the pitchforks when someone chooses not to consume animal products.

And just to be clear, raising cattle and using livestock for the support of humans is not what I (or most vegans) have a problem with. It's the way that it's presently done that is the problem.

Bob 5 years ago

3rd paragraphs should have said:

Look, I'm not trying to be abrasive and deride you for your beliefs. But, even if we decide to doubt the scientific research, those who are vegans are still doing more GOD than HARM.

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WildRoseBeef 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thank you for clearing that up for me. And I do have to agree with you. You know that sometimes these harsh comments that I've made can stem from something called a rant, which I believe, though it has been quite a while since I wrote this, was most likely where these comments stemmed from. And of course I tend to easily get carried away with what I have to say, and it's not uncommon for me to get a little bit of flack for what I have to say. You've seen that first hand. They are biased opinions, indeed they are, but you have to give credit to the fact that these opinions, however false, misleading, questionable or partly true they are, can be shared and won't get shut up where no one can read or make their comments on them. And of course it doesn't end with the non-meat-eater vs. meat-eater debate...

It used to be fun for me to be discussing stuff like this, getting flack for the opinions I have to say about this sort of stuff and coming back with more things. It still is kinda fun, of course if there's no personal insults thrown at each other...then it gets a bit ugly. And you know what? I LEARNED from these discussions. I learned a lot from reading articles and books like Livestock's Long Shadow, and those in itself helped open my eyes a bit more to what's really going on with agriculture. I was so niave about these things before I sat down and read those sort of articles, from the ethics of handling livestock to the environmental implications of raising livestock. The documentary and book Food Inc. are also amazing sources that really lay things out on the table for me to see. And even funnier was that I was able to relate these concerns with the sort of things that I called "normal" back at home, which are doing more harm than good. I'm still learning about this stuff and more! They say the day you stop learning is the day you're already dead, and that couldn't be more truthful.

But like you say, all debates like this is just beating a dead horse. But will everyone stop beating that dead horse about this? I doubt it, but it may cease when factory farming is finally banned, corporate farms are reined in a bit more than they are now, and more wholesome, healthy food is grown for the human population.

In short, I admit I honestly enjoyed this discussion with you, even though it got out of hand a little, and I hope it was the same with you. :)

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denial77 4 years ago

I am a vegan of 4 years who believes that it is wrong to claim ownership of any living being without their permission. Remember slavery?? People bought and sold people. Broke their spirits and beat them, Forced them to work for their financial benefit. Wildrose do you have the cows permission to buy and sell them and send them to slaughter? These animals that humans consume are our equals. Historically, we have done more damage to this earth than any cow has ever done. Our oceans are contaminated, our "BIG BRAINS" are too busy defending evils we commit everyday, to counter any of the damage we ave done and continue to do.. Mankind will never see peace until we stop claiming superiority over other species, races and genders.

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denial77 4 years ago

A PIECE OF ADVICE TO ALL CATTLE RANCHERS: Start looking for career alternatives Because 9 out of 10 people I come into contact with these days cannot in good conscience watch a cow being slaughtered. (Not a good place to start if you ask me. ) People are starting to spread these videos around the internet that actually shows these animals last moments of life- and people DO NOT LIKE THE REALITY. THE BLOOD Start growing Kale, Chard, carrots, Potatoes, Legumes, Lettuce, peas, cherries, peaches, apples, pumpkin, brussel sprouts and oranges. This is cruelty free food, and people are going to make the change whether it takes another 100 years to abolish animal slavery. Its going to happen. I send these videos out to hundreds and hundreds of people every day. I will continue doing so until the day I die.

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Denial, I think the first part of your comment is chuck full of horse droppings. The last part I agree with. Since I prefer to discuss the disagreements than the agreements because you don't get any discussion if you agree with everything, I'm going to give you my arguments as to why I strongly disagree with your views.

You treat animals like humans. That's the huge issue I have: Animals are NOT HUMANS. That is plain and simple. So, since they are animals and not humans, how in the world am I or any other producer able to walk up to a "cow" and ask, "Hello, do you give me permission to buy and sell you and convert you into flesh" ???? We CANNOT. Do you see a lion asking a zebra if he can kill it for food, or a chameleon asking a cricket if he can catch it with its tongue and eat it? Of course not! That view that animals have rights or morals or anything like that is simply the most ridiculous and stupidest thing I've ever heard! They are NOT our equals, they are something entirely different from us, they think differently, act differently and see the world differently from us, and you've got the nerve to say we're equals?? Yeah, I've heard it all, humans are animals too, but that's where the similarities end. We humans treat animals like humans too damn much, especially those who have never lived on a farm and don't truly understand the psychology and behaviour of an animal, regardless of a bovine, a dog, a cat, horse, whatever. And that's what the big problem is that I have with your statement and with all animal rights activists.

With you comparing human slavery to using animals for food and fibre is like comparing apples to oranges. Animals do not complain about how they're treated or whether they change hands or anything like that; as a matter of fact they don't give a damn either way. They live in the now, never in the past or present like us humans do, and are always accepting of their situation if the current situation they're in is not causing them pain or fear. Of course they're not accepting of the situation if they're being put in pain or are made to be highly fearful.

And quite frankly, animals have it a hell of a lot better than what the slaves have had it, and quite frankly get treated a lot better.

The nine out of ten people you meet are city slickers, people who are so far removed from the farm and agriculture that they have no real understanding of animal slaughter so much that they are easily affected by this. Today's society is also more emotionally-run than intellectually, nor do most use their common sense. They've no idea, nor do you I presume, that animals have a lot different concept of Death than we do. And it's funny that people react more to the blood of animals being spilled, and yet hardly at all when people spill the blood of other people!

And FYI, animal slavery DOES NOT EXIST. There is no such thing as "animal slavery," just like there's no such thing as "animal rights," or "factory farming." These are all terms coined by extremists who want nothing more than the money from gullible people like you.

Say what you want, but you started this fight and I'm more than willing to defend my position.

Tore 4 years ago

Hi. Im from Norway. We just tipped the 5 million mark in our population. We have plenty of areas for animals to feed on that is not possible for corn raising because of the many mountains and all. But still we are dependent on importing 700000 tonnes of Soy from Brazil which directly leads to deforesting of the rainforest in brazil... And we are only 5 million people! We still are dependent on importing meat, but we have no factory farms though.

meagan 4 years ago

Hi, i'm from Ontario and i really enjoyed reading ur article and some of the comments(arguments) following it. I particularly like how u pointed out the differences between factory farming and sustainable/ home farming. i also wanted to add that i've heard the argument brought up about crop vs livestock agriculture and deforestation. many try to say that raising livestock leads to more deforestation. barring factory/industrial farming deforestation is not necessary to raising livestock. i myself live on a small farm where we raise highland cattle, chickens, and a couple horses. our farm is 52 acres with almost 40 acres of that being woods and scrub and the animals thrive in this environment. however any type of crop needs to be in a cleared area to grow without competition for sunlight and nutrients.

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thanks for the comments, Meagan! I understand that much of Ontario is one that has a lot of forest, and your lucky to live in such a beautiful area.

It's unfortunate too that many people who want to find fault with agriculture is that they have to pick on the deforestation problem occurring in South America and southeast Asia, and can't seem to get beyond that, besides the methane produced from cows and that.


aha aha 4 years ago

The Demon-Haunted World

Michael A Llosa 4 years ago

A biased & ridiculous argument, your propspurious claims focus only on damage caused by arable farming and water needed to grow crops, ommiting the serious ammounts of GHGs from the beef & dairy industry. The meat indudstry does not conduct business supplying meat to the world through small sustainable outlets, it is vast and must incude current & future deforrestation, due to land cleared fo grazing and feed soely for animals.

Two thousand pounds of grains must be supplied to livestock in order to produce enough meat and other livestock products to support a person for a year, whereas four hundred pounds of grain eaten directly will support a person for a year. Thus, a given quantity of grain eaten directly will feed 5 times as many people as it will if it is eaten indirectly by humans in the form of livestock products.

Animals that feed on grain or rely on grazing require more water than grain crops. According to the USDA, growing crops for farm animals requires nearly half of the U.S. water supply and 80% of its agricultural land. Animals raised for food in the U.S. consume 90% of the soy crop, 80% of the corn crop, and 70% of its grain. In tracking food animal production from the feed through to the dinner table, the inefficiencies of meat, milk and egg production range from a 4:1 energy input to protein output ratio up to 54:1. The result is that producing animal-based food is typically much less efficient than the harvesting of grains, vegetables, legumes, seeds and fruits. Millions of people world-wide could be spared from hunger-related suffering and death by simply using food to directly feed humans versus funneling foods through animals. It’s a very simple equation.

A UN Report on food and agriculture states that 18% of all GHGs are from livestock a figure equal to all the transportation cars, planes in the world. 70% of all agricultural land is used to raise animals, that's one third of the land surface of the entire planet. More than one third of all cereal production produced is for animal feed. The fossil fuels used to power this vast industry produce 160 million tons of CO2 per year add the figure of deforestation and that figure is far, far higher, most deforested land is used for grazing and the UN estimate that takes the carbon cost of livestock 2.7 billion tons CO2 per year. Carbon dioxide is not the only GHG produced by the meat industry neither is it the most dangerous! Methane is 20 times as powerful a GHG as CO2. There are more than one and a half billion cows on earth; a dairy cow can produce up to 500 litres of methane every day 35 litres of methane per litre of milk. The methane produced by farm animals contributes the equivalent of 2.2 billion tons of CO2 per year. Add to methane nitrogen from cow manure can become nitrous oxide 296 times as powerful a GHG as CO2. These agricultural practices are set to continue on a far greater scale, it is estimated that we will have to produce five times as much meat as we do now over the next twenty years. The annihilation of the rainforest is set to continue on a greater scale, unless meat consumption can be reduced.

Michael A Llosa [Vegan]

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Michael, you calling my hub "A biased & ridiculous argument...propspurious claims" and posting those even more ridiculous "statistics" makes me think you are even even bigger BS'er than me.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of the stats you've posted are quite flawed and immeasurable, especially the methane one. There's no sure way or accurate way to prove what you're trying to state with your stats on the methane emissions from dairy cows.

I've done enough dead-horse beating with you vegans that this gets pretty old. So please, don't try to impress or intimidate me with your "facts" and stats that can do just as much lying as any.

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Michael, you calling my hub "A biased & ridiculous argument...propspurious claims" and posting those even more ridiculous "statistics" makes me think you are even even bigger BS'er than me.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of the stats you've posted are quite flawed and immeasurable, especially the methane one. There's no sure way or accurate way to prove what you're trying to state with your stats on the methane emissions from dairy cows.

I've done enough dead-horse beating with you vegans that this gets pretty old. So please, don't try to impress or intimidate me with your "facts" and stats that can do just as much lying as any.

Michael A Llosa 4 years ago

They are not my figures but the United Nations Report on Food & Agriculture. But you have already made your own assumptions and attempt to debunk climate change science with the aid of one dubious report. It is less destructive to the earth to raise crops than farm animals, a point you choose to ignore, yet try to demonise vegans to justify your own selfish behaviour.

Another citation below, you will find (if you care to look) peer reviewd reports that set a figure as high as 800 to 1,000 litres per day.

K A Johnson and D E Johnson

Department of Animal Science, Washington State University, Pullman US

Increasing atmospheric concentrations of methane have led scientists to examine its sources of origin. Ruminant livestock can produce 250 to 500 L of methane per day. This level of production results in estimates of the contribution by cattle to global warming that may occur in the next 50 to 100 yr to be a little less than 2%.

Methane figures only the rest of the article considers methods for reducing emmisions in the future, this may never be achieved. This report does not take into account the increased demand for meat as other (present day third world) countries become major ecconomic powers.

Michael A Llosa

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

And you choose to go the route to get a rise out of me....good job on that. You yourself have made your own assumptions as well, based on these so-called "facts" that you love to side with. And you yourself love to demonise us omnivores to justify YOUR self-righteous selfish behaviour. Guess that makes us pretty much equal now doesn't it?

You vegans are all the same. You can never get past the point that much of the crops that are sown are wasted only to get a small percentage of that crop for food, and you still love to claim that "cutting out the middle man" will be "better for the environment." I'm sorry but I don't believe that bullcrap. You all are mining the soil of its nutrients in the attempts to take off that crop. 90% of the nutrients that go into the seed are taken away as a seed crop; same with vegetables and fruits. How to replace all that without animals? Hmm let me about petroleum-based fertilizers? And what about carbon being released into the atmosphere? So you think that even some level of no-till or contour tilling isn't going to make your little heaven of vegetable-based diet not a source of carbon? You're sadly mistaken. Fields are a carbon source, with the practice of tilling releasing millions of tonnes of carbon back into the atmosphere. Pasture does not allow for this, that or native grasslands that never see the business end of a plow. Animals grazing that pasture or grassland or even crop-residue grazing put nutrients back into the soil that wouldn't be put back anyway that we humans can unless I get a whole pot load of vegans defecating in my fields...but I doubt if that's going to help any either.

The methane deal is bogus, there is no accurate means to measure the amount of methane a bovine, hog or any other animal produce per day, so how can I know that you're right about that?

And now you're calling me ignorant, just like another person who commented on here did. I've got something for you mister: You don't call someone ignorant who has seen a helluva lot more of what goes into growing crops than you could ever imagine. No, I'm not ignorant, I believe you are because you just can't get yourself to see the negative side of producing crops and vegetables all because you choose to ignore it, just like you're accusing me of.

Like I said above, this horse is already dead and you love to beat it just for the hell of it, just to see what kind of reaction you can get out of me. Congratulations, you just did.

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

By the way, my hub was made to make a case FOR animal agriculture, not for and against. I think I made that clear in this first hub, so there was no reason for you to make such rude and unnecessary comments about this hub, that it was "biased" and "ridiculous." There's no hub on here that's not going to be as unbiased as you would like it to be, but I would think even you would react like I did at the part where you called the hub I wrote as "ridiculous."

Statistics can lie, and a lot of facts that folks like you can present can be misleading and half-truths. The vegan minority like yourself sing all the same tune, so it's no surprise that you just had to post the comments like you did.

Look, I know that the current North American population eats too much meat, too much dairy and what-not. I know that in order for us to leave a better environment for our future generations that a certain balance needs to be obtained, and that means eating LESS meat and having LESS cows on the planet. I know that, I'm not ignorant about that. But the part about going to the extremes and claiming that going vegan or doing the "all or nothing" approach does not help matters either and is what I fight against, what I say is wrong. There is a point where the teeter-totter can tip too far either way and bad things will happen that we don't intend, regardless if it's one the vegan side or the more-carnivorous-than-omnivorous side. That's the problem I have, I don't care what you try to say to get a rise out of me or try to get me on your side and, essentially, shove information down my throat and convert me to a vegan. That's also the big problem I have and I really do not appreciate!!

If you haven't already, I would recommend you read through the comments on here, reread my hub (and subsequent hubs) again and try not to come from an offensive, belligerent stand point like you already have.

Despite the rudeness you displayed towards me (and I fired right back at you), I thank you for your input and your comments.

Michael Llosa 4 years ago

I was trying to save a couple of animals yesterday and could not return to your comment.

I have re-read my posts and at no point do I refer to you as ignorant! Choosing to ignore the facts is entirely different but may be construed as deliberate distortion of available scientific data. Nor do I accept your claim that I was overly aggressive, I am sure you are used to excessive aggression from individuals who consume too much meat but I can assure you In this instance that is not applicable.

According to modern day science the figures you quote are woefully inadequate, I merely stated the facts as observed by scientists. I have now included four different sources over last three replies and could provide a further 30 of 40, I am sure you will still insist that the one commercial report you quote is still correct.

Science is based on observations of a phenomenon, scientists may generate a model. This is an attempt to describe or depict the phenomenon in terms of a logical, physical or mathematical representation. As empirical evidence is gathered, scientists can suggest a hypothesis to explain the phenomenon. While performing experiments, scientists may have a preference for one outcome over another, and so it is important to ensure that science as a whole can eliminate this bias. This can be achieved by careful experimental design, transparency, and a thorough peer review process of the experimental results. After the results of an experiment are announced or published, it is normal practise for independent researchers to double-check how the research was performed, and to follow up by performing similar experiments to determine how dependable the results might be. It is not however usual practise to obtain one set of results and form a cast iron opinion then refute or refuse to accept any other evidence which subsequently comes to light. United States Department of Agriculture Report

I realise it would be very difficult for you to change your personal view of the Meat Industry as it would appear you are inextricable part of this a view compounded by this blog. A situation not unlike a local meat processing factory under threat of closure, they too are bound by their position and cannot change until the plant is closed.

Vegans do not seek to attack every unsuspecting, non-plant based, eating human for their views, for what appears to be universal and irreducible. You will say again this is not a forum for this subject but you initiated this discussion "The Vegan vs. Omnivore Debate". We would ask only that humans are morally conscious of their behaviour. The easiest means by which to avoid instinctive prejudices is to take an objective, disinterested point of view, a view all too common in the lives of carnivores.

For all who consume animals & their secretions, there is the ultimate destiny. Approximately 99% of the animal based food supply comes from factory farms where animals are drugged, tortured & kept alive just long enough to get them to an unimaginable slaughter. It's time to stand up & not let the big corporations dictate what to eat, how do you spell out of control health care costs just for a fleeting selfish pleasure of eating animals.

I thank you for taking the time to read this

Michael A. Llosa

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author


My apologies for coming across as that aggressive towards you.

The purpose of using the FAO's Livestock Long Shadow really wasn't a means to prove myself right about this, but rather to point out how they are wrong. I also used my own level of understanding from personal experience and talks that I've had with other people similar to your views and beliefs to compile all that into this hub. I would have only used more sources if I was deliberately trying to prove myself right, not as a means to write about my personal thoughts and opinions about the subject. I think you can agree that there's nothing wrong with doing that, right? Perhaps that's where you came at the point of calling my hub "ridiculous" and "biased."

Actually the aggressive nature of people I've had to deal with came from people like yourself but with less maturity and self-control than what you've come across to me with. So no, not from "excessive meat eaters." No, you yourself do not come across as what I had mentioned to you previously, but there are those type out there that are like that.

I don't care for the big corps either; always best to support the local farmer, not the big agribusiness companies.

Thanks once again for your input. :)

Sanxuary 4 years ago

I could careless if we eat animals. The true argument is how animal based products and the over consumption of them is destroying the health of most people. Anyone could get a complete medical write up and discover that 6 months on a Vegan diet would improve their health. Its actually the only cure for cardiovascular disease that is known. A typical person will return to a healthy weight. In fact many people in terrible health have actually returned to normal and no longer even take medication. It does not take long for someone wanting to be a Vegan to realize how bad the choices are. Almost every product in a store contains an animal by product. When you discover this, you suddenly realize that your eating the equivalent of ten to twenty steaks a day and no one can even afford to actually buy one. With the high cost of food a recent statistic saw a decline in cardiovascular disease for the first time in decades. The same thing occurred when the Nazi's took over Norway and took all meat, eggs and milk from the population. Unfortunately, you will be lucky to convince a person dying of its benefits. Its hard to convince people that making life changes is how you change your current condition. The question is how motivated are you to change who you our and possibly feel better doing it. I am not a big supporter of saving the domesticated animal issues of the World. I believe the problem is 100 percent human made and that there is no solution to the problem. There are a million other issues that have a bigger purpose.

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WildRoseBeef 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Duly noted, some good points and thank you for your comment, Sanxuary! :)

Sanxuary 3 years ago

I go Vegan for three months a year. This year I had a friend diagnosed with congestive heart failure who went on the diet with me. This persons doctor actually advised against it for fear of a drop in potassium, due to the medication the person was taking. We stopped at 3 and a half months and the appointment was today. The doctor was amazed to say the least because this person has returned to normal. Never in my mind did I ever think such a short amount of time would have such an effect. The person is in the forties, but has been dealing with this since age 19. I am incredibly amazed tonight and so is this person.

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WildRoseBeef 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Thanks for that Sanxuary, that's quite interesting. :)

Annie 2 years ago

I worry about the chickens grwon on Delmarva are they safe to eat? All those chemcials and antibiotics and hormones. I've heard they grow from day old chicks to harvest size in 6 weeks due to the diets they are force-fed. And how is it that I can purchase an already cooked rotisserie chicken in Acme for $6? That seems too cheap, I will pay more for healthier chickens, I think. Wouldn't fewer chickens that cost more and are not stuffed with chemcials be better for us, our water quality and the Bay?

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WildRoseBeef 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada Author

Annie, those broiler chickens are not force-fed, it's the genetics that allow them to grow to such large sizes in such a short amount of time. It's illegal in the US and Canada to feed or inject hormones into chickens. The antibiotics are fed to protect against coccidiosis, which is a parasite and a huge avian killer if not medicated for. But the antibiotics that are given to them are supposed to be given to them at rates which will not contaminate meat supply, and any residue that is left is not there because of protocols following withdrawal periods are met.

I would rather, though, have chicken that was grown without the intensive practices that are in place for growing broilers (and layers). More chickens can be raised in an environment that is much more natural, and what they're fed more natural too. Joel Salatin raises his chickens as naturally as possible (and processes them outdoors as well, not in these highly sanitary facilities), and is one producer you could look into to see what you can do about buying better chicken for yourself and your family.

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