Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:20% of GHGs not from ruminant animals really (Score 0) 283

The bulk of the food cows are eating is unfit for human consumption. You couldn't feed it to people even if you wanted to. Our digestive system is completely different and can't be "upgraded" to work like that of a cow.

Calories are not all equals, otherwise we could just feast on corn sugar all day and be healthy.

If you want to be a vegan because you feel sad thinking about animals being slaughtered or because you have a craving for foliage, knock yourself out, but stop peddling that bullshit that's been around since the hippies.

Our digestive system can't digest corn and soy? That's what cows are fed in industrial agriculture. Get your facts straight and ease back on your venomous hate.

Comment Re:20% of GHGs not from ruminant animals really (Score 5, Interesting) 283

Most of their diet is grass while in pasture, hay over the winter, and grain when fattening them up for slaughter. Grass and corn grow very well with little help beyond planting and limited watering...the cows get most of that water from eating grass in their pasture and drinking from ponds in the pasture.

This is a romantic view of how cows are reared. The cows in our food chains are in fact fed almost entirely on corn and soy, and they don't have any pasture or ponds to drink from. Animal agriculture is in fact an industrial commodity produced using factory farming methods. The water problem lies in the fact that it takes all the fresh water that a cow drinks, plus all the water used to irrigate the 10-40 pounds of feed (for each pound of meat), plus the loss of fresh water in the supply that is polluted with their sewage. The EPA themselves estimate that 2,500 head of cattle produce the same amount of raw sewage as 411,000 people.

Comment Re: 20% of GHGs not from ruminant animals really (Score 0) 283

1. You don't need meat to thrive; it's simply a taste. With that taste comes dietary cholesterol and heart disease, cancer, choline, TMAO, carnitine, obesity and type-2 diabetes, bio-accumulated pollutants and toxins, and poisonous heavy metals.
2. See point one.

Ask a paleoanthropologist and they'll tell you that we have no biological adaptations to eating meat, in our guts or elsewhere. Biologically speaking we have the digestive systems of frugivores. Our evolutionary ancestors simply had to reach reproductive age, which is why they ate almost anything that was available to them. I wouldn't imitate the diet of peoples with average lifespans of the mid-to-late teens though. Better to stick to the advice of nutritional scientists and eliminate or strictly limit your meat, dairy, fish, and egg intake.

Comment Re:20% of GHGs not from ruminant animals really (Score 5, Insightful) 283

The problem is indeed growing cows for food, no matter how it's done. If people stop eating meat and instead ate the vegetables fed to the animals, the efficiency of the food supply increases 10 to 40 fold (depending on who's number you use). A pound of beef takes 10 to 40 pounds of feed, an absurd amount of fresh water, a huge expanse of land, countless antibiotics, and the transportation of elements within the system (feed to cows, cows to processing plants, etc). Why not just skip the middlemen and give humans the vastly-more-efficient feed?

Comment Does big ag care about emmissions? (Score 4, Insightful) 283

What incentive does big ag have to do anything to reduce their environmental footprint? They have a get-out-of-jail-free card for emissions, fresh water usage and water system pollution, food poisoning, antibiotics abuse, employee and animal abuse, and land degradation. They're richly subsidized to be the world's greatest pollution offenders.

Comment Re:Just stop raising cows (Score 1) 190

Sure, eating healthier has its benefits, but not everyone is able to survive on a strict vegan, or even vegetarian, diet.

You can absolutely survive on a fully vegan diet, and humans have been doing it for millions of years. The American Dietetic Association released a statement to this effect. They are the United States' largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, and represents over 100,000 credentialed practitioners — registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, registered, and other dietetics professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics.
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods.

As for the article you posted. You need to look at the source of your information before jumping to conclusions. Nina Planck (who wrote that NY times article), like most journalistic writers, has several financial ulterior motives for attacking vegans. For every vegan feeding their baby apple cider and soy milk there are thousand equally moronic meat eaters being jailed for the neglect of their children. Does that mean anything about eating meat, or just neglect in general?

From Nina Planck's own website and wikipedia page:
-Ms. Planck‘s London Farmers‘ Markets sell, among other things, “organic & outdoor reared meat, game in season, dairy“ and fish.
-Her website invites browsers to “Learn why butter and lard are good for you and corn oil and soy milk are not.
-She lives in New York City with Robert Kaufelt, proprietor of Murray's Cheese Store
-In 2003, she returned to the United States as the director of the New York Greenmarket program; she was dismissed after six months:

Also, there are an estimated 100 million vegetarians in the world ranging from strict vegans to lacto-ovo-pescatarians and everything in between. In every single large-scale non-industry funded nutritional study, vegans always exhibit the lowest levels of chronic lifestyle disease such as cancer and atherosclerosis. They also have the longest life-spans worldwide. Look in to the traditional Okinawans and the Adventists for a start.

Slashdot Top Deals

"What a wonder is USENET; such wholesale production of conjecture from such a trifling investment in fact." -- Carl S. Gutekunst