A recent anti-vegan commenter wrote, albeit in terrible English:
“The land that is being used for meat production is not able to support crops. It’s either to [sic] rocky or its [sic] wetlands or some other type of property unfit for crops. [...] The land won’t be available to grow food.”
- It’s true that cows can graze on land that’s unfit for crops. But usually they don’t get a chance to graze at all. They’re kept in big warehouses in factory farms or “CAFOs.”
- It’s true that local, small farms that raise both animals and plants for human consumption as food can be “environmentally sustainable” and low on land use. However, the VAST majority of animal flesh that American meat-eaters consume doesn’t come from small, sustainable, local farms. Most of it comes from factory farms. And factory farming methods are unsustainable, period.
- And even if the commenter above were correct that none of the land currently used for animal agriculture could be used for plant agriculture, there’s still the problem that CAFOs are cruel, environmentally destructive, and a danger to human health.
- Hydroponic gardening could make good use of land that’s “unfit” for growing crops.
- We should develop backyard gardens, community gardens, school gardens and use the land we can use for growing food rather than for pretty landscaping or empty lots.
- The average American consumes too much. He or she eats nearly 4000 calories a day – which can be too much even for an athlete or hard laborer. We need to reduce our consumption, and thus use less land overall.