On my Facebook I posted a link to research about vegetarians possibly causing more deaths (through destroying habitat) than meat eaters. They said this, "This is an interesting article, but ultimately pointless. Not only is it focusing exclusively on Australia which is by no means typical, but also other than beef most commonly eaten meats such as pig and poultry are grain fed, thus kinda nullifying the argument."
My boyfriend said this: "Whilst pigs and poultry can be grain fed, increasingly - particularly with local meat from the butchers in the UK - they are grass fed. Thus the argument isn't nullified and stands strong. (Personally I only ever eat grass fed meat, primarily for my own health benefits, secondarily for ethical reasons).
On a whole I am against grain feeding animals as it's a lazy way to go about farming and - particularly with cows - burns a hole through their stomach if repeated."
She replied this: "Neither pigs nor chickens can survive wholly on grass. It can subsidise their diet but nothing else and they will eventually die."
I don't know about what pigs eat apart from grass so I don't know how to reply but from what I read in Primal Blueprint and Vegetarian myth I know they can live without grain, but anyone know what else they eat besides grass???
Your friend is right, pigs and chickens don't eat grass. I don't think they EVER purposely eat grass, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm pretty sure pigs eat whatever you throw at them, such as fruits, veg, etc... but I'm pretty sure they don't just munch on "grasses."
According to wiki, they do eat some grass: "Pigs are omnivores, which means that they consume both plants and animals. In the wild, they are foraging animals, primarily eating leaves, grasses, roots, fruits and flowers. In confinement pigs are fed mostly corn and soybean meal with a mixture of vitamins and minerals added to the diet."
I can't find specifics for chicken (and don't really want to spend too much time on it) but I do know chickens also have a pretty varied diet.
Lastly though, stop wasting your time with these people. They think eating animals is wrong so you will NEVER come to an understanding. They're going to want to promote whatever helps them, and shut down what does not -- much like we do.
Chickens eat bugs and grasses.
However, most people don't eat pastured meats, they eat factory farmed meats, which is really hard on the environment. Plus they eat lots of soy and grains. The vegetarian article is correct.... It's pretty hard to argue that the SAD diet is superior to vegetarianism, in environmental terms. Now, if you eat primal, buy all local meats, sustainably raised on pasture, you probably do have a platform to argue from.
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