By Teresa Platt, Executive Director
If you’re engaged in food and fiber production, you’ll want to watch the PeTA’s vegan VP, Bruce Friedrich debate a member of the BYU debate team, Bruce Daniels, on the topic: “Should Mormans eat meat?”
Friedrich argued that compassionate, moral Mormans who want to reduce waste, cruelty, environmental devastation, and hunger should be vegetarian. Veganism will essentailly save the world and we’re just all a bit slow to embrace this moral imperative. Friedrich argued that humans don’t need meat to survive and that “buying meat causes people to starve to death”, that “when we eat meat we are choosing to kill”, pollute the Earth and even causing climate collapse.
Goodness gracious and pass the pot roast!
The counter argument, put forth by a member of the BYU debate team, Bruce Daniels, was that waste is not a moral issue – we are all wasteful -- and that ethical people should choose more regulation of farms to meet humane goals. Daniels agreed that being a vegan is a virtuous pursuit but that just because the meat industry has some “bad” elements doesn’t mean we should eradicate it. Daniels supported pressuring BYU to source the school’s food from humane sources
Let’s hope this doesn’t mean vegan-certified meat! Lord save the farmer!
I have to disagree with the arguments -- on both sides. Why?
1) The world is already vegetarian/omnivore
80% of our calories currently come from plants (heavy on soybeans and corn). So, essentially, we are consuming “vegetarian” diet. But, that said, we humans are omnivores, not herbivores. We do rely on animals -- and the animals do rely on us -- since less than 3% of the planet can support crops to feed and clothe us.
Since we humans are omnivores and such a tiny percentage of the Earth can support crops, God bless the animals that take inedible foodstuffs and transform them into food and fiber for we human animals. We are locked in an eternal symbiosis with the animals.
Vegans such as PeTA’s Friedrich support outlawing as immoral any use of the 97% of the Earth’s surface that provides food and fiber for humans via a natural transformation of energy through the bodies of grazers, birds and fish, wild and domesticated, on land and sea.
Sustainable hunting, trapping and fishing -- the ultimate in free range -- is taboo to vegans such as those at PeTA. To conserve wild populations, humans rely more and more on domesticated animals. But PeTA opposes humans using animals from wild or domesticated stocks.
Since it is a fact that less than 3% of the planet can support crops to feed and clothe us, compassionate people are omnivores. Compassionate people reject vegan food and fiber policy since it will result in mass starvation combined with pollution from all the polyester we’ll have to wear!
2) Animals help us maximize the efficiency of food and fiber production
Friedrich argued that by using crops to feed livestock, we are somehow starving people. Let them eat grass, is his argument. But people are not herbivores. Yes, the bulk of any plant crop, the stalk and leaves, is fed to livestock since just the tiny kernels and seeds are edible by humans. Livestock actually help us reduce waste in the food system. The animals eat what we can't consume. The animals graze on land that is too dry and arid for raising crops. And when we’ve harvested all the food and clothing we can from the animals we hunt, trap, catch or raise, the carnivores consume the rest.
For good measure Friedrich tossed in some misinformation from the UN about agriculture and climate change. All discredited but still used in PeTA’s vegan propaganda.
3) A vegan food and fiber policy is immoral
Missing from the debate were definitions of omnivore, herbivore, veganism, vegetarianism. No one defined meat, animal flesh from so many sources -- from wild bison to domesticated cattle, wild stocks of salmon or farm-raised tilapia. “Meat” can include seal meat in the high north, high seas tuna caught under herds of dolphins, chickens raised by the millions in one location or pheasant, turkey and quail hunted one at a time in the fall by a man and his dog enjoying the outdoors. PeTA opposes all this as immoral, sanctioning only plant-based sources of protein as their version of what is a “moral” imperative.
So, we all strive to be moral, compassionate people. We want our country to be filled with great looking, healthy animals raised by prosperous farmers enjoying their lives and living in peace. We all want the world to be well fed and well clothed.
Veganism is a personal dietary choice embraced by a tiny percentage of the population. But, if the world adopted veganism as food and fiber policy, we’d be creating mass starvation and pollution.
A vegan food and fiber policy would be a starvation diet, a mass starvation diet. Literally. And that’s simply immoral.