right to left wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
Ummm but you clearly said:
The fact that animals eat stuff that we don't, doesn't deal with the fact that so much extra vegetation has to be grown to feed them. Most of the feedlots in Canada and the U.S. that are stock raising beef and dairy cattle just shovel in the same corn and soybeans that they feed to us in processed foods.
Which is incorrect, but you also stated:
If we went to a more vegan diet, agriculture would be organized a lot differently than it is today...which is primarily focused around the beef, chicken and pork industries
So, I guess you come here bearing an agenda! Either your work has some relationship with meat and dairy or you're afraid the government is going to force you to become a vegetarian.
No on both counts and you lost a lot of credibility going there.
For my part, I only have a casual interest in going in depth on this topic, because there is too much obvious sense in the premise to waste time debating it with people who are going to insist that water consumption will not vary whether a population is vegan or not.
Possibly because your argument is critically flawed.
Most of the food we're feeding animals that we want to eat later is less food available for humans,
No, it is not. If you base your assumption on a flawed premise nothing will remove that initial flaw.
as the conversion ratios from plant to meat protein vary from 5:1 to 10:1. It takes a great deal of water to produce grains.
That also does not take into consideration the fact humans are taking their food from some of this feed first or that some of the products being fed cannot be digested by humans so there is a conversion of non-food to food.
Less water would be wasted if we were eating them ourselves, rather than feeding them to other animals.
This would be true IF the animals were only being fed food humans could consume, but that is not the case and this fails badly.
As for the mix of ingredients in compound feed, here's the rundown of the most common ingredients listed in the Wikipedia entry on the subject:
How about a real source such as the USDA for example. But wait, the USDA classifies anything not grown for human consumption as feed, even though it may be used at least in part for human use.
The main ingredients used in commercially prepared feed are the feed grains, which include corn, soybeans, sorghum, oats, and barley. Corn production was valued at nearly $25 billion in 2003, while soybean production was valued at $17.5 billion. Roughly 66 percent of sorghum production, which was valued at $965 million in 2003, is used as livestock feed. Approximately 60 percent of barley production, which totaled 227 million bushels (4,610,000 metric tons) and was valued at $765 million in 2003, is used as livestock feed. Annual oat production in 2003 was valued at $218 million.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_feed#Ingredients
I suppose humans did not consume any of the oats, but then again oats are generally fed to horses rather than animals raised to consume. Dogs, cats, and all of the pets we have are included in this figure as well. I suspect the figures for feed are inclusive of the products used for other things and the residual used for feed, but the references for this article are sorely lacking.
but you seem to exclude vegetables from the vegan diet.
Corn and soybeans hardly qualify as a vegetable diet!
What do they qualify as if not vegetables? They are not animal nor mineral, so what are they?
Those changes which would tend to preclude the normal varieties of plants being grown? If more drought tolerant species are developed for the more arid areas and more flood tolerant species for the areas which will get more rain we might be able to muddle through a bit longer.
We were muddling through fine for thousands of years before the advent of seedless GMO plants came along.
Not with 7 billion people to fed we were not. We have been modifying plants and animals for that whole period of time. We have gotten better and better over the years.
These new plants are highly specialized for specific environments and cannot adapt to the sort of changes which we are experiencing with greater frequency.
And you believe the natural adaptation will be able to respond faster?
And what good does it do to develop more drought tolerant and flood tolerant species when the same area can experience record floods two years ago, and has been subjected to record droughts this year?
Not much no matter what is planted, but it does when there is an extended drought or increased flooding over the norm.
From your link, I notice that the list of alternatives which they feel should be used more widely as animal feed contain many which can and are added to our food or used in making other products.
Really? You can digest cellulose?
I didn't say all of it could be eaten. But some of those fibers can be used for making other products after switching from oil-based sources. A quick example I first heard of two years ago is Straw-bale construction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw-bale_construction
So you switch the discussion mid-stream for what reason? Which is more important food of straw bale construction? If we cannot support ourselves with the food production as is your premise, why would we need straw bale construction?
I forgot to add this article, which I found while looking for stuff on the present factory farming practice of feeding dead animals to natural herbivores. Here's what they also feed the animals which provide the beef, pork, chicken and dairy products on your supermarket shelf:http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_industrial_agriculture/they-eat-what-the-reality-of.htmlSame Species Meat
Feathers, Hair, Skin, Hooves, and Blood
Manure and Other Animal Waste
Drugs and Chemicals
Unhealthy Amounts of Grains
You should not look at what of this is in the food you consume.
???????????????? I'll need an explanation for that point.
Check for the allowable levels of insect parts, animal parts, excrement, and the like in the food you consume if you think you really want to know.
Also, how exactly does growing crops under rain fed conditions consume the water? http://afrsweb.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/pe ... igarss.pdf
About 70% of Iowa and Illinois is primarily cropland; corn and soybeans are the predominant crops. The field sizes average 64 hectares (0.5x0.5 miles). Crops are grown under rain-fed conditions, and crop planting is completed by the end of May, with corn planted about 2 weeks earlier than soybeans. Crop maturity occurred by late September.