[Diggers350] Monbiot on Simon Fairlie and being wrong on veganism
ilyan.thomas at virgin.net
Sat Nov 30 01:20:49 GMT 2013
Vegans are intent on exterminating a large part of our co-evolution.
If you want to avoid mass extinction, start eating people before their
idiotic industrial behavior make this planet uninhabitable..
On 28/11/13 09:40, Alison Banville wrote:
> Wrong About Being Wrong
> Posted: 27 Nov 2013 06:34 AM PST
> The argument seems, once more, decisively to favour veganism.
> By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian���s website 27^th November 2013
> He did it quietly, and the decision is the better for that: Al Gore,
> according to reports in the US press, has gone vegan.
> Certain things could be said about other aspects of his lifestyle: his
> enormous houses
> and occasional use of private jets
> for example. While we can���t demand that everyone who espouses green
> causes should live like a Jain monk, I think we can ask that they
> don���t live like Al Gore. He���s a brilliant campaigner, but I find the
> disjunction between the restraint he advocates and the size of his
> ecological footprint disorienting.
> So saying, if he is managing to sustain his vegan diet, in this
> respect he puts most of us to shame. I tried it for 18 months and
> almost faded away. I lost two stone, went as white as a washbasin and
> could scarcely concentrate. I think I managed the diet badly; some
> people appear to thrive on it. Once, after I had been unnecessarily
> rude about vegans and their state of health (prompted no doubt by my
> own failure), I was invited to test my views in an unconventional
> debate with a vegan cage fighter. It was a kind invitation, but
> unfortunately I had a subsequent engagement.
> In 2010, after reading a fascinating book by Simon Fairlie
> a fair part of which was devoted to attacking my views, I wrotea
> column in which I maintained
> that I���d been wrong to claim that veganism is the only ethical
> response to what is arguably the world���s most urgent social justice
> issue. Diverting grain that could have fed human beings to livestock,
> I���d argued, is grotesque when 800 million go hungry.
> Fairlie does not dispute this, and provides many examples of the
> madness of the current livestock production system. But he points out
> that plenty of meat can be produced from feed which humans cannot eat,
> by sustaining pigs on waste and grazing cattle and sheep where crops
> can���t grow. I was swayed by his argument. But now I find myself
> becoming unswayed. In the spirit of unceasing self-flagellation I
> think I might have been wrong about being wrong.
> Part of the problem is that while livestock could be fed on waste and
> rangelands, ever less of the meat we eat in the rich nations is
> produced this way. Over the past week, a row has erupted between chefs
> and pig farmers
> over the issue of swill. The chefs point out ��� as Simon Fairlie does ���
> that it is ridiculous to feed pigs on soya grown at vast environmental
> cost in the Amazon instead of allowing them to dispose of our mountain
> of waste food. Feeding pigs on swill has been forbidden since the foot
> and mouth outbreak of 2001.
> The farmers respond that the risks of spreading disease are too great
> and that pigs fed on waste grow more slowly than pigs fed on soya. I
> side with the chefs: I believe that a society capable of identifying
> the Higgs boson should be able to sterilise waste food. But I suspect
> that they���re not going to win: the industry and its regulators are
> firmly against them.
> I should have seen it coming, but I watched in horror as the meat
> industry used my article to justify the consumption of all meat,
> however it was produced, rather than just the meat raised on food that
> humans can���t eat. A potential for good is used to justify harm.
> Whileresearching my book Feral
> I also came to see extensive livestock rearing as a lot less benign
> than I ��� or Simon Fairlie ��� had assumed. The damage done to
> biodiversity, to water catchments and carbon stores by sheep and
> cattle grazing in places unsuitable for arable farming (which means,
> by and large, the hills) is out of all proportion to the amount of
> meat produced. Wasteful and destructive as feeding grain to livestock
> is, ranching appears to be even worse.
> The belief that there is no conflict between this farming and arable
> production also seems to be unfounded: by preventing the growth of
> trees and other deep vegetation in the hills and by compacting the
> soil, grazing animals cause a cycle of flash floods and drought,
> sporadically drowning good land downstream and reducing the supply of
> irrigation water.
> So can I follow Al Gore, and do it better than I did before? Well I
> intend at least to keep cutting my consumption of animal products, and
> to see how far I can go. It���s not easy, especially for a person as
> greedy and impetuous as I am, but there has to be a way.
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