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What about famines?

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  • What about famines?



    I am all for the primal diet - I've been loving it so far. My only worry is the same that has been put out by vegetarians for a long time: that raising animals requires lots of plant matter that could directly feed a great many people.


    Is it that following the primal diet becomes a luxury of the 1st world? Could it be that by raising so much meat we are denying other human beings from food to live? Is there any data to prove or disprove this reality? Do any other Grokkers here share my fears, or do you think that non Americans/Westerners should just suck it up and deal?


  • #2
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    This doesn't address your question directly but may help ease some concerns:


    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-lifestyle-good-for-environment/


    Basically, the way I see it is that yes, there are people starving all over the world. That's not because the animals we raise for meat are consuming too much food matter - it's because there are just too many people. Do the best that you can; buy local and organic and donate to one of the many fantastic charities aiming to help those in need.

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    • #3
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      The bottom line answer is yes, of course. All things being equal, we could raise lots less meat animals and use the space, ostensibly, to feed more of the world's population but globalism has really only become a reality in the past few decades and the same could be said about our own reproduction. Neither is realistically going to happen. My opinion is that buying local, humanely raised animal meat is the one of the best things you can do for the planet while still giving your body what it needs AND what you want to eat.

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      • #4
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        This is a bit of a fallacy. Free-ranging pasture raised animals can (and are) be raised with less damage to the environment, and a high yield. Read "The Vegetarian Myth", and look into Joel Salatin's work at PolyFace Farm. In my locale, the terrain, soil and climate provide for millions of cattle (formerly bison) to be grown and harvested annually with zero input of supplemental feed, irrigation, pesticides, fertilizer and the like.


        Agriculture as we know it (the Green Revolution, mutant grain strains developed, increased dependance on petroleum, fertilizers, modern irrigation techniques etc) are precisely why we humans have overpopulated the earth, created dependancy and starvation, and taken many places on earth past the point of no return.


        I do feel lucky to have been born here and able to live the Primal/Paleo way, and hopefully many generations behind me will be able to do as well. Lucky that buying local here means a rich array of wild/pasture raised animal food is available, and the human population is small.


        There is no doubt the world would do better with a bit of a die off of humans. Seems our human carrying capacity is a full 33% to 50% past reality. More grains grown will help nothing, but only further the problem.

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        • #5
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          Just a thought but maybe we should be growing/creating less calories? Perhaps then we wouldn't be so overpopulated because people aren't going to want to bring kids into the world if they know they wont be able to feed them.


          On a completely different note the UK has a massive problem of underage mums and dads I think more education and less access to food would certainly make a dent in that problem, something akin to an updated world war 2 rationing system.

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          • #6
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            [quote]

            My only worry is the same that has been put out by vegetarians for a long time: that raising animals requires lots of plant matter that could directly feed a great many people. </blockquote>


            Who eats grass? No humans I know of.


            If we got everyone in the world to practise IF, things would work out fine.

            You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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            • #7
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              That argument is not valid if you apply it to pasture/ grazing/grass fed cows....Grass keeps growing you don&#39;t have to replant it....However, conventionally raised meats are few grains and soy. Which have to be replanted and transported(wasting gas) in order to get to the cows....rather than just letting the cows hang out in a field near a stream. Plus if you obtain most of your calories from meat you are eating less. A huge salad might have 100 calories. A pile of rice my ight have 200-300 depending on the size... same with protein. Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram while fats contain 9. So if you get energy from fat you can literally cut out half the mass of food....


              let me know if I am wrong...but thats how i see it. And i personally thrive on the paleo diet....

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              • #8
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                Dual, in order for your hypothesis to work out we would have to stop growing meat altogether and use all the land to raise fruit, vegetables and, yes, grain. That said, the world doesn&#39;t work that way and something else would go wrong if we did that. Cows are simply SUPPOSED to eat grass. Grain fed is an accident of the first world.

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                • #9
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                  If we got rid of the animals, what would fertilise the soil? What would eat the weeds that we couldn&#39;t? What could we grow on near-vertical mountainsides? Also, do you wear wool or leather?


                  No vegetarian has answered those questions for me yet


                  Brownie points for asking though - I seriously believe we all need to think about these kinds of things!

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                  • #10
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                    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. I am not really suggesting we should stop raising animals for meat, but I was more thinking about how we in the 1st world take our birth for granted. It&#39;s easy to say "Well the world would do with 30% less people" when you are living in a nice house with plenty of food, and it is a whole other thing to say that when you are one of the poorest of the poor, or to honestly suggest contributing to that.


                    For me, it is really about asking the question - is what I am doing making the world a better place for not just me? I think we forget to do that a whole heck of a lot when we view the poor and marginalized as a statistic.

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                    • #11
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                      If people were starving off in mass numbers then there wouldn&#39;t be a population problem. Something is keeping them alive.


                      Even if we were to convert these fields to vegetable fields, would it solve anything? Why don&#39;t their countries use their land to grow grains and crops? And if the land isn&#39;t suitable for that, why not use it to raise animals?


                      When you throw food at something, like money, it doesn&#39;t exactly solve a problem, it prolongs it and sometimes makes it worse. Kind of like those Christian missionaries and others that would go into Africa and feed people and convert them, and then leave later. Guess what? The people reproduce more, have 2x the problem, and then the food is gone after the missionaries leave.


                      Producing more crops would just allow for the production of more people and then you would be stuck again having to produce more and more and more. What vegetarians won&#39;t tell you or talk about is that they are responsible for animal deaths as much as carnivores. Animals have to be killed and driven away because they are competitors for crops. Pesticides kill many others and their habitats are destroyed.


                      I&#39;m all for teaching the world sustainability. But being the world provider and world savior? Seems arrogant to me.

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                      • #12
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                        Personally... I don&#39;t really care. As long as me and mine are taken care of, how the rest of the world eats really isn&#39;t my problem. I know it sounds selfish, and it may be, but it&#39;s the truth.

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                        • #13
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                          Nothing like a healthy dose of depressing self-centeredness to start off the weekend. I mean, maybe all those toxic lakes from Coca Cola plants are a good thing. It&#39;s killing people off and putting less strain on our food supply. Hooray for us, right?

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                          • #14
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                            There was an old Oxfam advert that either "made up" or used a proverb:

                            "Give a man a fish, and he&#39;ll eat for a day. Give a man a net, and he can catch his own fish".


                            If we wade in with our arrogance, dishing out scraps to he poor, we are sustaining the problem.

                            If we help with the means to feed themselves, then it becomes their responsibility to use that knowledge.


                            The overpopulation thing can only be solved by education, or draconian China-style regulation. But what gives us the right to impose control and beliefs on one country when we have the likes of "Octomom" in the US and a massive teenage pregnancy rate here in the UK?


                            I&#39;m afraid I can only do my best in my own backyard.


                            I&#39;m trying to learn to live off the land, as when oil runs out we&#39;re all dooooooooooomed anyway!

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                            • #15
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                              Answer to overpopulation problem: Education, especially of women. It works everywhere, every time. It&#39;s that simple.


                              UN demographers think that world population will peak around 9 billion peeps about 2050 and decline slowly after that. Not sure what their premises are.


                              If you think the global economy is weird now, just wait until business and governments have to survive on a declining population. Too many models are based on increasing population.

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