Vegetarianism -The Facts regarding our current meat and diary industry (1.0)
This article is from the book “Meditation and the book of Time and Life Management (version 1.0) -by Norbert Szentkereszti (2015)” (To read the whole book online visit book1.vr2b1.org or subscribe here and get the pdf edition for free.)
I would like to start this section with a quotation from the free book “The Natural Mind Waking Up -by Alan Macmillan Orr (2008) – Book 1 -pg 58 (agriculture section)”, to give you some knowledge about the statistics regarding the meat- and the clearly plant based food industry. This is a small comparison of the 2 industries:
“Every day millions and millions of animals are killed for human consumption – that you know. You may also know that we destroy the natural environment (i.e. forests) to create grazing areas for cattle and sheep etc. and you may also know that by everyone just giving up meat for a day you would be saving millions of animal lives, and freeing up land that could be used for growing vegetables for human consumption. You could grow nearly 40,000 pounds* (18,143.7 kg) of potatoes per acre (4,046 m2) compared with about 250 pounds (113.4 kg) of beef, and that over 50% of farms are dedicated to animal production. You may also know that it takes about 5,000 gallons** (18,900 liter) of water to produce a pound of beef! You may also know that most of the corn and oats grown, goes to feed livestock. If we all stopped eating meat, or at least cut down to eating it once a week, the volume of natural resources we would consume would drop to negligible. We use nearly all of our resources and available farming land producing beef and other meats. For what? So you can have a burger, or a lamb chop, and say, “mmmmm, that was tasty.
We are the most intelligent species on the planet, yet we can’t seem to do the maths. Eating meat on the scale we are now is killing the planet, and is doing our health no good either. If you care, you will do the research. Investigate the statistics. Don’t believe me. But don’t just dismiss what I am saying and carry on what you are doing. Unless you don’t care of course. But I think you do.” END of Quotation.
* = (gardensofeden.org webpage says that actually you can get 15,200 pounds potato per acre, 25,400 pounds apple…, but oregonspuds.com says that “Oregon potato farmers harvested 35,000 acres in 2006, Oregon has one of the highest yields per acre of potatoes in the world at 53,000 pounds of potatoes per acre!” -so it looks like that yield is influenced by many factor… (1 pound=453.6g; 1 Us gallon = 3.78 liter))
**=the tenth anniversary edition of Diet for a small planet by Frances Moore Lappe states, on page 76, “ According to food geographer Georg Borgstrom, to produce a 1-pound steak requires 2,500 gallons of water” source: earthsave.org. But many other sites put this number between 2,500-6,000…
I think these lines explain everything about our current wasteful and illogical society. Currently we produce so many plant based food that we could feed all the humans on Earth, but people rather waste their energy on raising animals to be killed, and we rather accept that there are hunger in certain regions of the world.
In reality if everyone would stop eating meat, the whole food production process would end with harvesting and than preserving the plants, which means that globally we could reduce the time we should spend on working since e.g.: we would use less transportation and machines, we would require less energy for cooling the base products, not to mention that animals would be much happier if we all would be converted to the vegan or to the special free-range farming vegetarian lifestyle. And please note that from the meat industry point of view after the harvest comes the real work!
If people want to eat meat after they harvested and stored the plants, they have to feed the animals (usually they use low quality GMO foods and automated machines), they have to clean the animals’ places (which is almost impossible if you have too many of them and you have only a few people who work for you even if you can use machines, which results in a situation that the air is unbearable around such places), than they have to care for the animals’ health (so all the animals must be regularly examined and they should get various vaccines), they need to heat the poor creatures’ places if it is cold outside (and hopefully they don’t want to save on the heating costs), than if the animals are raised they need to be transported to the butcher, the meat needs to be processed and than continuously kept on cold temperature in every phase of selling and transportation. Additionally handling meat is riskier (because of the many infection possibilities) than working with simple plants while e.g.: cooking, but in any kind of production.
But even though meat production involves more work compared to the plant based industry, the problem and the most important concern regarding meat eating is how animals are treated during the whole process. Many times they are beaten up, handled cruelly, usually they are kept in smelly small cages or boxes, they have no room for movement, they eat almost always the same dried low quality food, and many times they have to stand in their own stool, crammed together with their fellow sufferer. Even animals that are kept outside and who are sold under the bio and fair trade labels for consumption, are given only a very little place, they usually stand in the hot sun all they long, the air around their places is full of concentrated urine smell, not to mention that their stool is not removed regularly from their place, which means that they usually have to lie in their own stool. And even when they are about to saved from their misery and are transported to the butcher place they have to endure lots of stress and more misery while transportation. And poultries suffer even more than any other animals during transportation, since their cages are on top of each other, which means that those creatures who are on the lower lines will have to endure the most stress during the travel since many times all the birds defecate during the journey and sometimes they lay eggs…
So as we can see meat production involves much more processes, and since it costs more and since it is cruel, violent and bloody, and since the air is unbearable around such farms, the government should not support it especially from the taxes of the vegetarians. And how great it that support can be measured and rather observed by the simple fact that although plant based food involves less processes many times (or rather all the times) animal products in the same category (e.g.: sausage…) are much cheaper (sometimes 3 or more times cheaper) as the plant based counterpart products, although if we take a look at the whole process we can see that a lot more energy is poured into meat “production” which means that logically those products should be more expensive. And if they were more expensive, people would choose more often the plant based counterparts, which would mean that less and less animals would be necessary to raise and kill, and that could result in a situation that animal farmers should increase the prices of their products more and more, while the plant products prices would be lowered because the increased volume and better machine utilization, which would mean that even more people would choose the plant based counterparts… and animals would be more and more happier.
And please consider that meat production is not economical since it yields around 40-50 times less calories compared to e.g.: potato production per acre (especially since we have to deduct also the extra calorie people require because of the physical work on such industries).
If we believe the statistics above (which was that we can produce around 113kg beef or 18,000 kg potato per acre) and if we do the math we can say that we could feed 40-50 times more people/acre if we all convert to the vegan lifestyle. So if we say that e.g.: beef with some fat is 250 kcal/100g (à2,500kcal/kg), and potato is around 70 kcal/100g (à700 kcal/kg), and if we consider the kilogram data, we can calculate that we can get:
2,500kcal x 113kg = 282,500kcal beef and
700kcal x 18,000kg = 12,600,000kcal potato per acre.
This means that we can get around 44 times more calories if we produce potato instead of meat… (12,600,000 / 282,500=44.6)
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