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EnviroLink Forum • View topic - Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Of the four reasons to become a vegan: religion, animal welfare, personal health, and environmental concerns, it's this last one that I think should have the final say on the issue; since the present oversized world population puts even more stress on the environment by adopting meat and dairy diets. It's a simple, obvious problem: the conversion of plant food sources to animal protein is at best a 5:1 ratio with chickens, and closer to 10:1 for beef. If the trend to meat consumption in Asia was reversed, and North Americans stood up to the powerful meat and dairy industries, we would at least have a fighting chance to scale back world population to sustainable levels.

This recent article posted on the Guardian website over the weekend shows that these issues are becoming especially urgent, as water scarcity spreads around the world: :

Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world's population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages......


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:16 pm 
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You know those animals we eat, right to left? Ever wonder what they eat? Why, plant matter of course...very fibrous stuff that...what do you know, comes from the same plants humans grow for their own food. Would you not want to convert non-edible portions to food by feeding it to animals? After all, it's only your time, energy, and water going into growing it. You know those ratios you spoke of? They work for plants too.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Last edited by Donnie Mac Leod on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:04 pm 
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The conversion to grass fed animal products would seem to be in order. The supplementation with the by-products of soy oil and corn oil production could be included.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:21 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:34 pm 
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I saw this same post in several vegan websites and to be polite, I never voiced my objections to the claim in of the article that water shortage would result in a reduction of meat. If you look at the people in the driest parts of the world, they are primarily meat eaters (and some 100% meat). The reason for this is the ground is not moist enough to sustain a crop... not even a crop of hay. The only animals that can survive such a land are grass eaters... and those that eat the grass eaters. In the shortage of water for irrigation of human crops (especially cotton), land will be turned into grain crops. I have worked at grain cleaning companies and on grain farms and know that only about 1/3 of the crops are fit for human consumption. The rest gets turned into animal feed or if it is bad enough, composted and used as land-fill in swamp land. That animal feed has to go somewhere and it is definitely not going to animals in pastures eating cheap grass (along with wildlife). If you want more wildlife, stick to pastures for cattle (but not sheep... they kill the grass without a human shepherd moving them around). Grain farming is highly destructive to wildlife areas. Water shortages are primarily caused by a lack of burrowing animals who allow the rain water to stay on the land and a lack of beavers to keep the water table up. Beavers, gophers and prairie dogs can only co-exist with cattle farming and never work with grain farming (There are law suits in my area because one farmer never bothered to kill the beaver and blow up the dam and caused a few million dollars in crop damage because of that... yep, sue the farmer for letting a beaver do it's thing). Dropping water tables and lack of water is purely from grain and cotton production that has replaced the buffalo for as far as the eye can see... grazing animals.

I will have to add that I agree that massive starvation will occur because of the lack of water... the people around the world will have to grow their own food rather then rely on the "bread basket of the world" of the North American prairies. Look at how few people can survive in Mongolia... they can only eat meat due to the grass taking 2 years to recover from being grazed once... that is what the prairies will end up being like if the weather keeps changing the way it has lately.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:50 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 6:31 pm 
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From Ann; " Water shortages are primarily caused by a lack of burrowing animals who allow the rain water to stay on the land and a lack of beavers to keep the water table up." Come now, water shortages are caused from too many people. Sure ground water is affected by the lack of burrowing animals, from to many people and their pets killing them. That is only the upper ground water, mainly, and not the deep aquifers being used up for very long time spans(for drinking water and irrigation to get 6 times the yields as 'dry' farming). It also doesn't include the river waters used up by peoples' demands, for drinking water and agriculture/irrigation.
For the thread title, food shortages from AGW droughts and too many people will force more people into a less meat diet or even vegetarianism. Food shortages will also drive some to poach wild game to extinction or low numbers. It will drive others to wars, and still others to cannibalism.
'Greek historian Herodotus wrote 2,500 years ago, “Man stalks across the landscape, and deserts follow in his footsteps.” Indeed, even Plato saw the impact of man upon the land. Much later, Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to Italy and Turkey reported similar environmental destruction and scalped landscapes. Even President Nixon acknowledged the challenge of curtailing population growth.'
Food shortages will lead to malnutrition and compromised immune systems, which leads to more disease. Food shortages will drive people to use soils totally up(no organics left) and use poor soils prone to desertification. It will drive more people to slash and burn more forests for short term soil and high CO2 output. The more people, the more food shortages, until the effects of water loss, soil loss, and cheap energy depletion cause large reductions in yields and distribution with the mass die off of humans.
Large areas will be devoid of even bugs to eat as the "horsemen" pass, leaving human skeletons and bone fragments behind.

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Last edited by Johhny Electriglide on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:30 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:56 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:27 pm 
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The issue involves not just water scarcity but also peak oil, and not just meat but also plants. It's not about vegetarianism but being forced to eat less food that require more resources and energy, and as a combination of three predicaments take place--a permanent global economic crisis due to increasing debt, peak oil and generally a resource crunch, and the long-term effects of environmental damage and global warming--even eating less food.


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