textbookhippieman said: You talk about the farmland that's being used up, but animal feed is actually used for A LOT of that land. So much of the world's farm fields and grain fields are used for food for animals; if we all stopped eating meat, the land would actually clear up.
I did not actually mention land in relation to food production which makes this a bit weird, though I’ll address the point because I’ve heard it before and it’s a opportunity to discuss it.
1. People eat too much of certain foods anyway, be it meat or processed grain. I totally agree that people eat way too much meat and this obviously has an environmental impact, however the exact same can be same of grain. I would advocate for a reduction in the production of both.
2. I personally eat grass-fed organic meat, and wild game when I can, therefore no grain is used to feed it and the same land used to cultivate the meat provides its food.
3. If we stopped eating meat the land would not “clear up” Big Agriculture, be it soy, grains or meat, is an industry that relies on excess, eliminating meat would only create a deficit that the industry would fill, their production does not meet our needs, the industry sets the needs of its consumers in line with what it produces. Take for example corn syrup and oil in the states, they are used not because they are environmentally sound or even better or cost effective, they are used because the industry creates the need for its product regardless of the environmental or health costs to its consumers.
In short, though I accept the premise that vegetarianism/veganism does have environmental benefits over a standard big industry based western diet, that is in no way what I practice, and regardless of its basis, big industry is bad for the land, the environment and people.