Eat Meat to Save the Planet

Omnivores Save the World

According to an analysis, veganism is the worst diet for the planet with lacto-vegetarian and omnivore diets being the best:

If modern agriculture in the U.S. were adjusted to the vegan diet, according to the study in Elementa, we’d be able to feed 735 million people—and that’s from a purely land-use perspective. Compare that to the dairy-friendly vegetarian diet, which could feed 807 million people. Even partially omnivorous diets rank above veganism in terms of sustainability; incorporating about 20 to 40% meat in your diet is actually better for the long-term course of humanity than being completely meat-free.

Their reasoning is what I’ve been saying for years. We can raise pastured livestock on land that is not suitable to tillage and machine working crops. There is another factor which is the synergy between animal and plant agriculture that together they are more productive than either apart. It’s a system. Nature includes meat in the food web and we are part of nature. It will benefit people, society and the planet ecosystem if people recognize this.

I have also observed that the wildlife does better where there is diverse agriculture. This is because most wildlife does best in a patchwork ecology rather than in a monoculture. Deep mature forests are low in biodiversity and reduce their rate of carbon dioxide sequestering. In fact, the maximum sequestering of CO2 comes from well grazed diverse pastured systems.

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About Walter Jeffries

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19 Responses to Eat Meat to Save the Planet

  1. Matt Connors says:

    Allan Savory would be proud…..
    A “fact” I recently heard. *if all industrial farmers switched to pasture based regenerative practices, all of the CO2 emitted since the industrial revolution would be sequestered in 15 years.

  2. Well said. Those of us who farm understand this intuitively. Cattle graze every acre of my farm at least once.
    More cattle should be grazed on fall and winter cornstalks after the corn is harvested. My cousin drops oat seed from a plane into his standing corn so after harvest the cattle have a more balanced diet. This is efficiency!

  3. Chiral says:

    I still think Michael Pollan summed it up well, whether you generally agree with him or not.

    Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.

    @curiousfarmer. I live in ranch country. The farmers here graze their cattle on the corn stubble in the winter, and move them out to the sagebrush steppe (where they do a ton of damage) in the summer. I never see them drop oats in, but they might. I’m not a huge fan of the gmo corn monoculture, but I figure the cows help offset the chemical fertilizers they need to apply.

    • Matthew Connors says:

      Cows are ruminants, meant to eat grass. Although I suppose corn is technically a grass.

      • Correct. My understanding is that the problem with cattle eating corn is a matter of degree. Naturally out on the pastures they get some grain in their diet from seed heads but it is a small part of their total diet. In a confinement situation with them being fed a high grain diet their gut bacteria types change producing more of the dangerous E.coli types because they’re getting too much grain, typically corn.

        • Robert says:

          The concentrated corn and high grain diet also screws up the Omega 3/Omega 6 balance which directly effects the consumer. The high corn diet causes the Omega 6 to go way up and the Omega 3 to go way down. Omega 6s have some benefits to us but only if it is in balance. For example it increases inflammation and can raise your triglyceride levels (bad). Omega 3s do the opposite (good).

          The shame of is that the beef cattle industry takes a cow that was raised on mother’s milk and grass/hay (who’s Omegas were in proper natural balance) and in a short time turns it into something we have to be warned not to eat much of.

          For the consumer the best possible choice for healthy beef to consume is “grass fed and grass finished”.

          • Agreed. This is part of why we are pasture based.

          • Mary says:

            This is the line of the grass-fed purists, but the actual rate of omega 3s in 100% grass fed grass finished beef is TINY. Double of almost nothing is incredibly low!!!! Same for conjugated linoleic acid. CLA doesn’t show any health benefits in humans in MULTIPLE studies at 10x the rate that you’d get from a whole stick of grass fed butter a day.

            Better to spend your money on shifting to preserved meats that are nitrate/nitrite free, either by choosing different curing methods or going to fresh sausage/bacon over preserved. That’ll definitely lower your cancer risk.

            Also better to go to high-omega-3 eggs. You can get WAY more omega 3 in eggs than in any kind of beef thus far produced. This actually doesn’t have much to do with pasture raising because you can get higher DHA with linseed cake or fishmeal than with pasture, though.

            I wonder what linseed does to beef!

          • I realize you’re talking about beef but I’m going to turn the conversation around to pork since I don’t, currently, raise beef. The scientific research says that feeding a omega-3 rich diet changes and improves the n-3/n-6 balance to favor the beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids.[1, 2, 3] Fortunately it only takes small amounts. As to the question of what linseed does to the animal meat, or more specifically fat, I don’t know for certain but I grow linseed in our pastures so our pigs are eating it. All too often people think of pasture as being grass but in reality it is, at least on our farm, not a monoculture but rather a diverse mix of grasses, legumes, brassicas, chicory, amaranth, linseed, wild flowers & herbs, sunflowers, sunchokes and shrubbery. Even the maple saplings have a beneficial effect on the grazers as shown by research. Our pigs eat the maple leaves and twigs. They also eat white pine an spruce needles which act as natural dewormers. The problem is when animals are grain fed with high Omega-6 source grains, pasturing prevents this. Meanwhile, back in your kitchen – don’t fixate on one food. Variety is the spice of life.

            PS. Please leave real email addresses if you want to have a dialog.

      • Chiral says:

        Yeah they aren’t eating much of the seed. That’s been harvested, though they probably spill a fair amount. They’re eating what are basically the stumps, but it’s grassy.

        I’ve always called it stubble. Maybe there’s different names in different parts?

  4. Farmerbob1 says:

    For some reason this made me think of some research I read about a while back, and videos I found relating to it.

    Most people do not understand how opportunistic wild animals are when it comes to food. For example, if you poke around on Youtube, you will find videos of deer eating baby birds.

    Yup, if meat is good enough for Bambi, it’s good enough for me.

  5. wackyinternetcommentguy says:

    An all meat diet is great for you, as long as you’re chasing every meal for a few hours!

  6. Tim says:

    Your sentence “It’s an system.” should be “It’s a system.” Otherwise, I agree completely with your wisdom.

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