"Oppenlander, however, illuminates the environmental consequences of
choosing alternative sources of animal products. This is an important,
much needed, emphasis. How many times have you heard, after all, the
comment that “I choose grass-fed beef because it’s more sustainable”?
Well, it’s not more sustainable. Especially if you compare it, as
Oppenlander does, to growing kale and quinoa–two of the healthiest foods
on the planet.
His juxtaposition of the inputs and outputs of raising a grass fed
cow on two acres of land versus growing kale and quinoa on that same
land is astounding. After two years of raising a cow on grass you’d
have 480 pounds of “edible muscle tissue. [Animals who all have the right to live.]” You’d also have produced tons
of greenhouse gasses (especially methane), used 15,000-20,000 gallons
of water, imported loads of hay for winter feeding, been left with a
carcass needing disposal, wound up with food that, eaten beyond
moderation, would cause heart disease, and very likely trampled the
soil, establishing preconditions for erosion. In a world of 7 billion
people (about to be 9 billion) crunched by diminished resources, we
cannot afford this waste.
By contrast, if you used those two acres to grow kale and quinoa,
you’d end up with–get this–30,000 pounds of nutrient-rich, delicious,
fibrous food. You’d have done this while having used very little water
(if any), produced no greenhouse gases, and been left with loads of
green manure to work back into the soil as fertilizer. We could not
only feed the world this way (with, of course, a huge diversity of
plants), but we could do so on much less land."
Learn more here:
I also highly recommend World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle and this wonderful website: