The Age Old Vegan/Vegetarian Debate

My brother’s big argument against my vegetarianism has always been that soya and similar crops contribute so heavily to the environmental problems in the world (sorry if I’m abridging too much, it’s been a while since we’ve talked about it and the article says it perfectly anyway).

However, today I discovered two articles on the Guardian website from January (I’m a bit behind!) where his side of the story is eloquently set out in the first before a knowledgeable member of Peta summed up everything I’ve always wanted to say but haven’t done very well.

Some of my main points are:

  • 97% of the world’s soya crop is fed to livestock to cultivate for meat. If the only soya grown was fed straight to people instead of animals, world hunger would go down substantially and deforestation would hopefully be reduced too.
  • The footnote in the first article in which they admit the above statistic completely defeats the point of their soya paragraph- “embarrassingly, for those who portray it as a progressive alternative to planet-destroying meat”. No, embarrassing for you now!
  • I have never actually eaten quinoa, or very much soya. Vegetarians and vegans like a wide range of food, and plenty of meat eaters also like these crops that we are being told off for, often as a side dish to go with their meat- a double offence!
  • It is therefore downright unfair to accuse all herbivores of being the reason that the poor in Peru and Bolivia can no longer afford to eat their staple crop.
  • If more of the world were to go vegetarian or vegan, there wouldn’t have to be any mass-killing of animals (if humane people were left in charge of them) but they could just cut down on their breeding in a more natural way.
  • I will readily admit that Peta have many faults, but everything said here is reasonable and logical, with no proposal of anything unjust included.

The meat-eater’s article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa

The veggie’s article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/quinoa-bolivian-farmers-meat-eaters-hunger

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