the sounds you hear in the distance are liberal vegetarians heads exploding after reading this article and trying to think up a counter argument
the only thing I can say to them is
he concludes that animals have a moral obligation to consume a vegan (use no animal products) diet
There, now it's state-of-the-art moral philosophy.
Liberals couldn't. Someone with a basic knowledge of farming could. There are 120 million hectares farmed in the US annually because it takes roughly 10 times the amount of forage land to produce a pound of beef as it does an equivalent pound of plant protein (mmmm. soybeans. [drooling sound]) This ratio varies significantly depending on the animal (emu and ostrich - both of which are very tasty - require approximately 3 times the amount of land to produce a pound of tasty flesh as the equivalent pound of plant protein (mmmm. wheat gluten. [drooling sound, sudden choking as sticky gluten blocks air ducts])). The vegan's theory is that by eliminating meat and meat byproducts from our economy, we will vastly reduce the amount of land necessary for agriculture. With less land being cultivated, less little fieldmice getting their heads chopped off by the disk.
The problem with the argument over all is that the numbers of dead critters from any form of agriculture is vastly greater than a mere 1.2 billion or .9 billion fieldmice. Compared to the number of insects and microbia (as long as we're talking about animal rights, why stop only with things that possess central nervous systems?) that are killed even by the "best" agricultural methods, the cows, chickens, emus, ostriches, bison, pigs, cats, and other edibles remain a miniscule portion of the total number of deaths.
The bottom line is that animals are tasty.
Bambi, it's what's for dinner.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
Animals of the field are killed by several factors, including: 1. Tractors and farm implements run over them. 2. Plows and cultivators destroy underground burrows and kill animals. 3. Removal of the crops (harvest) removes ground cover allowing animals on the surface to be killed by predators. 4. Application of pesticides.
This is laughable. We raise beef steers. None of them have ever been run over by tractors or farm implements. They are too expensive to buy and raise to be so careless. First rule of the farming road: No drinking and tractoring.
#2 Seasonal flooding of the irrigation ditch also destroys and kills underground animals. This is a good thing. If the burrows are too big and soft a steer can break a leg with a fall. Them pesky critters (the underground kind) also destroy gardens in one night. Kill em all!
#3 Yeah, so. Crops are to be harvested. This is mother nature at work. It's how the world works. Get a grip.
#4 We have never had to use pesticides. But if we needed to we would. It's called rotation. Let the cattle feed on one section of unsprayed ground while the sprayed section sits for a couple of weeks. Get it?
Now, all you liberals, you can have my portion of tofu if I can have your portion of beef.
save for later
In case you didn't know, this argument has been easily refuted.
It argues that more animals die in growing plants than the animals that are killed for meat. This is partly true: many animals living in the ag fields are killed when the plants are harvested. However, we must feed the animals we eat, and, in fact, feed them 10 times as much plant matter as we would eat ourselves if we just ate the plants. (10-times is an average; some animals consume less, some consume more.) So we have to grow 10 times as much plant matter AND THEREFORE KILL 10 TIMES AS MANY ANIMALS in order to eat animals over plants. And this is without taking into account the number of animals being fed these plants...
So, while eating solely plants does often result in the death of nonhumanimals, eating animals will just as often require a far larger number of nonhumanimals killed in the process.
So, if we are trying to minize our harm, eating plants wins out. Unless, of course, you are eating wild game or 100% grass-fed animals, or other 'special' conditions are present.