Meat-Free diets could end world hunger

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Crouton, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    Okay, so this is something I have been researching for a while now, and I thought I would share my findings with you and read your opinions.

    Every single thing I am about to tell you has been researched by scientists from hundreds of countries around the world, for many years and has been proven over and over again.

    As we all know, the world is a pretty screwed up place. Half of the world is dying from starvation, while the other half is dying from obesity. There is actually a solution to this, one that has been proven time and time again, and it is simply eating less meat, and the advancement of the vegetarian diet.

    Here are some facts to begin with.

    - 20 million people will die from malnutrition this year
    - Reducing meat consumption by only 10% frees up enough land to feed 100 million people

    So, a 10% reduction of meat consumption could feed 100 million more people each year. If that was the case, imagine what a 50% reduction would be, or even a 100% reduction. The end of starvation in third world countries? Some scientists have said almost certainly.

    A few more interesting facts. One of the biggest crisis plaguing our planet today is the lack of water. Future wars won't be fought over oil or money, they will be fought over water. Even though we know how desperate our water situation is, this is still happening...

    - 50% of water is used for livestock “production”. To produce one cow it takes enough water to float a battleship
    - It takes only 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. To produce a pound of beef takes 5,000 gallons

    Also...
    - Current world's known oil reserves would last 13 years if every human ate a meat diet. If we took meat off the menu it would last 260 years

    It starts to seem pretty stupid as to why we do it at all.
    And for health.

    - The risk of a heart attack in a person who consumes animal products is 50%
    - The risk to a person who consumes no animal products is 4%
    - The most common cause of death is heart attack – every 45 seconds


    Just a few more facts to do with world hunger and environmental issues.

    - It takes 55 square feet of irreplaceable rainforest to produce 1 big Mac
    - We lose 1,000 different species to extinction every year
    - 90% of the grain produced is fed to livestock – and 90% of the protein is wasted by “cycling” it through livestock
    - 1 acre of arable land produces 250 pounds of beef – and 40,000 pounds of potatoes

    In short, mankind torture and kill 2 billion animals every single week. And for what? In this process we are destroying ourselves, our economy and our planet.

    What are your thoughts? Do you think mankind is really just so consumed with greed, indulgence and arrogance that we continue to live like this? Or is this a problem of ignorance? Is more education needed. Do people simply not know how much their diet is effecting the balance of this Earth?

    A quote from Albert Einstein (a strict vegetarian) that fits this thread. "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  2. Gayle Miller

    Gayle Miller New Member

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    If we survived on crops alone we would be in danger of further problems due to crop failure. The land wouldn't necessarily be used to create farms because the human population is increasing and we are already destroying vast areas of our planet. We are also destroying our oceans so if crops failed there would be no guarantee that we could feed everyone. On top of that, we have people who are ignoring the plight of the starved and neglected in their own countries. Some have vast wealth in affluent areas while in the poorer areas the people are eating rats to survive because of their class system and government. Until the greed of man is addressed there will be no improvement. Even if we all ate meat free we would have the same problem with wastage and starvation.
    A better understanding of our planet and a willingness to help one another would go a long way to help rebalance the planet but that is going to take centuries to re-address.
     
  3. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    1. you're welcome to save the world, go ahead
    2. vegan diets should be persecuted by law in case of pregnancy and lactation
    3. Iron: veggies have very little iron. Read beets, for example are always mentioned as rich in iron... well you need to eat 1kg of them to reach levels which you can get from 200g liver, 230g veal or 360g chicken... I prefer not to eat 1kg red beets ;)
    4. vitamin b12: you basically have to eat products which are artificially enriched in vitamin B12, like cereals... screw that!
    5. Vitamin D: almost same problems as with iron... and don't bullshit me about sunbathing, better heart attack than melanoma...
    6. calcium. screwy to get enough without milk products... again it's enrichment with synthetic crap... screw that!
    7. Omega 3 ... good luck getting that without fish! and again screw synthetic crap!
    8. Choline... plenty of that crap in eggs, meat, fish... not so much in veggies...
    9. as I said, you're welcome to start saving the world... I'll pass...
     
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  4. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I don't think there is a clearly correct answer in this debate or else people would be adhering to it. I think the key is in moderation, many cultures have made meat part of every meal which is a bit much, rather than going straight edge it is more feasible to just cut back and try to maintain more of a dietary balance with all different consumables.

    Greed and indulgence are also programmed into our brains as good because, and you can never forget this, we are animals too. Our technology has far surpassed our evolutionary rate and we haven't got used to it yet still. It will take a long time to rewire thinking to counteract hunger and taste. Very few people actually think about the world after their own death too, most seek more indulgence on an alternate plane.

    I don't think stopping animal consumption and use is a good idea, but I do think more affluent nations overproduce and overuse what they don't need to survive because our brains justifiably reinforce this for survival.

    World hunger could be helped by crops, there are many new crops being genetically modified to grow in more harsh environments, but the idea of everyone only producing crops and then trading it is more difficult and would require people to ultimately abandon their survival instincts again.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Don't forget that much of the food grown in poorer countries can end up being shipped out of that country into western markets as a cheap food source. Those farmers forced to sell because if they want to raise a crop next year they need money from the international buyer to purchase fertilizers as many tropical soils (where you have a lot of poverty nations in that ecological belt) are simply not suited to long term farming practice.

    Redistribution of current produce could go a very long way to solving food problems over the world without any need to adjust the actual amounts produced. The problem is most countries don't really want to invest in another country; they'll cream off the top of their waste and excess and send it over in times of strife or great need, but the rest of the time self interest at a national level prevents free exchange and distribution of world food resources.

    The other problem is many poorer countries lack trade in sufficient quantity (and in distribution within the population itself as well) in order to trade for food from western nations - couple that with differences in the value of various currencies and the poorer countries are fighting a losing battle.


    In the end the greater evil isn't meat production, its really self interests at a personal and national level coupled with the attempt to farm soils in different ecological bands with the wrong methods.
     
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  6. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I'm not going to read any of this because I don't have time, but I'm a vegetarian, so I guess I'm saving the world ^o^
     
  7. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Yes, this world is pretty screwed up. Let's look at the facts :)

    Ok, I am going to assume here the 20mln figure is correct. However, 20mln people die from malnutrition each year because food is not where they are. The food does exist. But it is elsewhere (in a German trashcan, for instance). I don't think we have a world food shortage problem, but a world food distribution problem...

    Water isn't exactly known for being distributed evenly either. One way of saying it is that we need to save water for more important business than for meat production. Another way of saying more or less the same thing is that one can only breed livestock when there's enough water around. I agree that water is wasted on livestock in arid regions of the world - but to say that we can't have meat because there's a water shortage is sort of missing the point. I am unaware of a region in the world with an acute water shortage as a result of livestock overpopulation, for instance.

    ... so you say that 95% of energy from oil is invested in meat production and related industries (assuming stable world population)? I'd like to have some figures on that...

    I get different figures.



    I'm not going to argue these, I'm too lazy to check my facts. I wonder what 1000 extinctions have to do with meat production, though. And the philosophical question whether the last two are intrinsically bad deserves asking.

    I know for a fact, though, that most beef for McDonald's comes from Argentina and, as far as I know, there's no rainforest there. It might be true that rainforest is lost to build soy. However, I'm curious as to how much rainforest is lost in respect to produce the palm nut oil that, no doubt, is also used by the great golden-arched evil.

    I think you have a very strong, even emotional opinion about this matter. And I don't blame you, you are entitled to one. On the whole, it seems that meat consumption is a big load on our world, but I don't think it's something the world can't deal with right now. Over consumption and wasted meat are somewhat different, I think. I think that we, as a world, should try to limit those two factors as much as we could. And we should look at different protein sources, including animals such as insects, small and microscopic sea life and in vitro meat.

    People can't - won't be forced, however, into vegetarianism.
     
  8. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    First I'd like to say, as much as these are scientific facts, scientific facts isnt the universal and only truth. Facts are facts until they discover a new fact that makes the old ones outdated and false. And this subject is also very important. Although I don't believe that its that easily fixable as it sounds. As others have said I rather believe in food distribution, I mean, no wonder there are Dumpster divers in most rich countries, the food we throw away is perfectly fine!!! Thankfully many stores that throw away food have realized this and have started to give away the food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

    But still I believe we should consume less meat simply because its not fair for the animals to live under the conditions they are living at the moment. I mean, there wont be more food cause we cut down on our meat... because the space cleared will be used for others things. The men at the top of the foodchain and all the people in power will use that to their advantage and to make money, its as simple as that. This world is ruled by money and greedy idiots that does not think about anyone else than themselves.

    And heart attacks and obesity will still be a problem, not because of meat, but because of sugar and fats, candy and soda drinks and fast food.


    Now I'm slowly working towards a vegetarian lifestyle. I've been thinking about it for years, I have just not dared to take the last step just yet. But I do think more people should consider it.

    It was interesting to read these facts, now I do believe some things have been overlooked, but when you research an area, its not easy or even possible to cover ALL areas. But great of you Crouton to share this information, made me think a whole lot :)
     
  9. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    actually many of these scientific facts are taken out of the context and used, since they're useful for this particular opinion, like 50% heart attack vs 4%, I'd like to have reference. From a journal, with impact factor, not from website, which was made by vegan fan, with as much medical education as Crouton herself... same goes for the facts...
     
  10. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Yeah I know. Most scientific results are.
     
  11. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    I would suggest to read that one, so that you understand that meat by itself is not evil, evil is FAT:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10918988

    Here's nice meta-analysis, showing how consumption of fish helps against colorectal cancer (btw potatoes are bad in this respect):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22513196

    Nice stuff, proving that our predecessor's brain was growing, because they started feed ing on water animals (fish and other):

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20534571

    Actually, rather that going nuts about eating certain crap be that fruits veggies or mushrooms, if you are really interested in diet, I suggest to have a look at these dudes:

    http://thepaleodiet.com/nutritional-basics-of-the-paleo-diet/

    Quite interesting...
     
  12. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    results aren't, interpretations are... I don't read "discussion" part of papers for a long time now :D
     
  13. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Ah well, results can be as well. But also the way people present them. If a scientist want a thing to be a certain way, its easy to find facts to support his/hers theory. By only looking into that but not other contributing factors.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Very true indeed, however being able to read and understand the results and how they were gathered one can often see when more heavy bias has been introduced into a study or where there are clear weaknesses present in the data. The greater problem is that most people (esp media and government groups) only read the results from the data and after its been "interpreted" via statistical applications.

    As a result difference science bodies can, sadly, warp the results or change them greatly depending upon the focus of the scientific study itself. Unfortunately reading and interpreting scientific papers isn't something taught in school
     
  15. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    of course fellas trained at drawing are much better at that ;) you know just like that :)

    i am also been drawing for a while ;) My skills are at this level, more or less ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    Okay, whoa this thread grew heaps during the night. I guess I'll just try and tackle it one post at a time.
    Would crop failure really be such a big issue? Crop failure is something that happens in small isolated areas, when compared with the entire worlds farming land. I don't really see it as a big issue. And how is it any different to have issues like livestock getting diseases which lead to mass culling? It's true, we are destroying our oceans and by 2048 we may have completely fished the whole ocean to the point of complete destruction and no fish. Overfishing - another great reason to eat less meat.

    As for our growing population and land not being used for crops well... it takes more land to raise livestock than it does to grow crops. As I said in my post 1 acre of arable land produces 250 pounds of beef – and 40,000 pounds of potatoes, this means that more people can survive off less land in a meat-free diet. It benefits everyone. More room for a growing population and less room having to be used to create more food.

    The greed of man is the source of basically every problem on Earth (that and religion, but that's a whole other story.). Of course the greed is a huge issue. It's what's causing this entire problem to begin with. The greed of the population in some countries who desire meat, are screwing over all the other ones who could eat and survive hunger if it were not for the meat industries.

    Would we have the same problem, how would you know that for sure? A meat-free diet is highly effect in it's production and use of energy compared to a meat-eating one. Less people would be dying, the hospitals wouldn't have such long waiting lists, and economies would thrive. Look at the US, one of it's biggest problems right now is the debt surrounding it's health industry. This is an industry that has to spend millions every year on peoples heart attacks, colon cancer, heart disease, obesity. Many things that are easily avoidable and much more preventable on a meat-free diet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  17. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    no they're not... but you wouldn't even listen or read anything which proves otherwise...
     
  18. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    1) People eat way too much meat
    2) Factory farms are disgusting and inhumane
    3) No one expects everyone in the world to become vegetarians, just to eat less meat and treat animals better
    4) People need to get less defensive. Vegetarians are passionate because they want better treatment for animals. What is there for meat eaters to get made about? The taste of food?
     
  19. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    deadly argument :DDDDDDDD
     
  20. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    I can only try. Unfortunately the greed and ignorance of many individual people make it hard. And through their stubbornness they are destroying the world not only for themselves, but for everyone else too. Talk about selfish.

    I never once said woman should be vegan while pregnant. In this page I am specifically talking about eating less meat. Not going full vegan. Facts about vegans may be mentioned once or twice, but bringing up the issues of vegan pregnancy is quite strange since it's not really relevant to anything I said.

    Many people who eat a lot of meat get more iron than the human body needs. Vegetables do actually have more than enough iron for the human body. When combined with chickpeas, and other such legumes. What your basically saying is that it's easier to eat a lot of iron very quickly in meat, and harder to eat a reasonable about in plant-based food. It's also easier to go and buy a Big Mac from a store than making your own salad at home. It doesn't make the faster one a better option. Also, just on a personal note, when I used to eat meat I had such bad iron deficiency and anaemia that I would go days where I could hardly stand up at all. Now in the 9 years I have been vegetarian I have not had one iron problem due to being healthier overall on this diet.

    Okay, you don't like cereal. That would suck for you. But for many people who are vegans and vegetarians b12 enriched products are fine. It's only vegans who need the enriched products anyway, since vegetarians can still easily obtain it through food easily.

    Haha, you don't need to "sunbathe" to get vitamin D. Spending hours out in the burning sun is something I would never recommend to anyone. However, a nice stroll around the neighbourhood every now and then and what do you know, vitamin D! You can be exposed to sunlight without destroying yourself with it. Skin cancer is bad, but it's also equally bad for people to stay locked up in doors all day and never see the sun. We need the sun to be healthy, and we don't need THAT much (the extent of sunbathing) for vitamin D.

    Vegetarians = very easy to get a lot of calcium. Vegans = easy to get calcium on a healthy diet. I think you would be surprised how many foods contain calcium. Leafy greens like spinach for example are a good source of calcium.

    Good luck getting omega 3 from fish in the future when the world's rapidly depleting fish sources in our oceans have completely run out due to overfishing from humans. It's a lot closer than you think. As for sources of omega 3 that aren't fish? Try brussels sprouts, hummus, cauliflower, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed and flaxseed oil etc etc.

    Again, this is the same as your iron argument. Just because it's easier to obtain something in large amounts in some foods doesn't make it the best possible choice. Sure there is less choline in vegetables than there is in meat. But guess what else meat does? Raises your risk of heat disease, colon cancer, heart attacks etc by an incredible amount over people who do not eat meat. It's fairly clear which one is more beneficial for the human body. Choline is easily obtained if you eat a healthy plant-based diet.

    That's okay, it's hard to care about people who aren't yourself sometimes. Especially when the rest of mankind make it so damn hard to give a shit about when all they seem to care about is destroying everything for their own personal gain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012