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Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Vegetarians, vegans and saving the planet!

I've been vegetarian for thirty years, BUT!!!

1) Humans eating meat is not destroying the planet: if you went back even 200 years, the plains of the US and Africa were teeming with buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, gnus etc: far more than there are cattle on Earth today! Further back still, the bio-mass of herbivorous dinosaurs was many times that of domestic animals alive today. Humans cutting down forests (whether for beef production or to grow palm oil) is detroying the natural environment. Check how many veggie / vegan foods contain palm oil!

2) Children should not be forced to be vegan: the diet just doesn't give them the proteins they need. There's a reason that young mammals receive mothers' milk, not soya milk! Veganism (like religion!) is something young people should make their own choice about when they're old enough to make sensible decisions.

3) If it weren't for their being domesticated, chickens, cattle, pigs, sheep and goats would have become extinct by now.

4) It says a lot that many veggie foods (ie: the famous Gregg's sausage roll) mimic meat in shape, texture and flavour!

5) Eggs are not alive! If they haven't been fertilized (which they haven't!) they are just protein. No-one and nothing was harmed in their production. Eating an egg is no more harming an animal than biting your fingernails! They are an animal product, but so is wool (which many vegans I know happily wear!)

6) Huge swathes of the planet are given over to growing 'healthy' foods like soya, cereals, pulses etc which is good, but where do the fertilisers that artificially increase yields come from? Oil! Animal manures are far superior! Also: the majority of arable farmers are not the 'guardians of the natural environment'. The over-use of herbicides and insecticides and the 'prarification' of farms has wiped out scores of species in Europe. What we need is not a change of human diet, it's less greed, less waste and a return to more traditional agriculture. If more people learned to cook instead of eating crappy burgers, the demand for cheap beef would drop dramatically.

7) And don't get me started on not wearing leather shoes or belts! By all means avoid animal products if it's a moral issue for you: but you are not saving the planet! The alternatives are made of plastic, a by-product of coal and oil production. You can't have it both ways!

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