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Becoming vegetarian can harm the environment

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Adopting a vegetarian diet based around meat substitutes such as tofu can cause more damage to the environment, according to a new study.

It has often been claimed that avoiding red meat is beneficial to the environment, because it lowers emissions and less land is used to produce alternatives.

But a study by Cranfield University, commissioned by WWF, the environmental group, found a substantial number of meat substitutes – such as soy, chickpeas and lentils – were more harmful to the environment because they were imported into Britain from overseas.

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HA! I knew it!

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This has been apparent to just about anyone with an interest in the matter and a keen sense of the obvious, really. While I respect the person that doesn't eat meat for whatever reasons they have, those that preach about it and spread false information (knowingly or not), really chap my hide.

That said, I was a vegetarian for two years because I thought it would be healthier. During that time if anyone within a ten mile radius of me sneezed, I got sick, I blew a disk in my neck that doctors said had everything to do with my diet, and I had to take supplements, which really says a lot for the lack of balance in such a diet. If you notice, too, eating meat is what keeps people in harsh environments from dropping dead from exhaustion. I was not one of those vegetarians that ate junk food to replace meat. I went strictly on healthy foods - and they are healthy, but they are not enough. Once I started eating meat again on a glorious summer's day in 2006, my health improved greatly. Even if eating meat were more harmful than not for the environment, I put my own health ahead of anything else.

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I put my own health ahead of anything else.

Agreed, its all nice and that trying to take a moral high ground saying its better to eat vegetables instead of meat but in the end its silly for a animal (which we are) to keep putting other animals well being in front of your own health, just because the thought of them being killed makes you go all teary eyed.

I respect vegetarians, if that is what they want to do that's great, but I will stick to eating meat and vegetables as I don't want to keep popping supplement pills and do enjoy both meat and veg.

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Agreed, its all nice and that trying to take a moral high ground saying its better to eat vegetables instead of meat but in the end its silly for a animal (which we are) to keep putting other animals well being in front of your own health, just because the thought of them being killed makes you go all teary eyed.

I respect vegetarians, if that is what they want to do that's great, but I will stick to eating meat and vegetables as I don't want to keep popping supplement pills and do enjoy both meat and veg.

Amen to that, brother! And really, it's not any more moral to not eat animals. We are animals ourselves. Just because we can think about what we are eating doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We are a part of the ecosystem as well. We need to have people hunting, and we need to raise livestock.

I refuse to be preached at about one of the most natural things humans do.

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I refuse to be preached at about one of the most natural things humans do.

That's right, its not normal for a animal to not want to eats its food supply and instead hug it, im all for trying not to wipe out animals and helping them to repopulate but im still going to eat animals as a source of food. It really is silly getting all squeamish and teary eyed over the thought of your food suffering in some way.

we are animals and we consume both veg and meat when your start feeling sorry for your food something is seriously wrong.

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That's right, its not normal for a animal to not want to eats its food supply and instead hug it, im all for trying not to wipe out animals and helping them to repopulate but im still going to eat animals as a source of food. It really is silly getting all squeamish and teary eyed over the thought of your food suffering in some way.

we are animals and we consume both veg and meat when your start feeling sorry for your food something is seriously wrong.

Well stated! There is a difference between compassion and cutting one's nose off to spite one's face. I am a strong believer in knowing where my food comes from, and protecting that food supply. Animals that we eat deserve to be treated well, as does any animal we do not eat, but we should not lose sight of the fact that as animals who eat animals, we are not obligated to sacrifice our own well being.

I worked with animals for five years, and they were the most rewarding years of my working career. I dare any PETA member to try me.

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Also important is how unpleasant most vegetarian food is! Tofu is vile!

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Also important is how unpleasant most vegetarian food is! Tofu is vile!

Don't remind me!!! :cry:

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It's like a lion deciding one day that it feels sorry for its prey and switching to eating grass, then trying to convince other lions to do the same, not only does it hurt itself in the long run but others it convinces.

Humans can eat meat and veg, just trying to eat the one is silly, especially if its because it makes you cry when you see a steak on your plate, either way we are going to harm the environment no matter which we choose.

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It's like a lion deciding one day that it feels sorry for its prey and switching to eating grass, then trying to convince other lions to do the same, not only does it hurt itself in the long run but others it convinces.

Humans can eat meat and veg, just trying to eat the one is silly, especially if its because it makes you cry when you see a steak on your plate, either way we are going to harm the environment no matter which we choose.

Yep, also, domestic sheep and cows are completely man made species, they simply don't exist as wild animals, they have succeed as species because of farming.

As for deer, well since there is no other predator to control their population (which is extremely important for all animals) in most of its range and the fact that we are a natural predator of deer, it is seems wasteful to not consume the meat if we have to cull them.

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I agree with you both.

I'm originally from Florida. When I was growing up, alligators were endangered and thus, one was not allowed to hunt them. They finally made a successful comeback that opened them up to limited hunting because not only were they damaging other species with their numbers, they were attacking people and their pets. To say that all hunting should be banned is like shooting oneself in the foot. We are a part of that ecosystem. There is no holding ourselves above it, and there is no ignoring it.I would rather have game on my plate knowing that it's doing something for the balance of the ecosystem, than have them stuck in sanctuaries or sterilized to control their numbers. That is not a natural solution.

Humans need a balance of both meat and veg. That's how we are built no matter how people attempt to refute this. As chaoszerg mentioned, a lion isn't going to stop eating meat the day it feels sorry for its prey and if it did, that would be disastrous. To further expand upon that, when people complain about an animal being killed for our use and call it cruel, then I have to wonder if they've ever seen a lion kill its prey. We have developed ways to do it almost painlessly. Most predators start chowing down before their prey is even dead. I'm not criticizing that predator because I fully realize that this is how nature works, and nature isn't all unicorns and rainbows, but to call humans cruel in this instance is way out of line.

A lot of these radical organizations go on about how veal is raised, using information that was true thirty years ago, but isn't now. The same with the nature of slaughterhouses. Slaughterhoues are more sanitary than most of our bathrooms, and most animals these days are not used for consumption if they are in any way ill (this is another argument people use). Sure, there is still the issue of battery farming, but it has become a necessary evil. While I personally go out of my way to buy free range when I can, I am not going to criticize the family that has to buy cheaper inhumanely raised animals because it's food on the table, and their lives are more meaningful to me than that chicken's. A lot of these radicals forget that they themselves are human, and forget to show compassion for their own species. One cannot be truly compassionate to animals if they ignore the fact that their own species counts as well.

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can i make a point. if we went vegetarian, how much time would we have before we had used up the land. growing food uses up the nutriants in the ground. according to the rules in the bible every 7 years your supposed to let the land rest so it can recover. we can however speed the process up with cow pies and other animal droppings.

need i remind everyone that humans are omnivours that means we are supposed to eat meat and plant. we probable eat to much meat but still.

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can i make a point. if we went vegetarian, how much time would we have before we had used up the land. growing food uses up the nutriants in the ground. according to the rules in the bible every 7 years your supposed to let the land rest so it can recover. we can however speed the process up with cow pies and other animal droppings.

need i remind everyone that humans are omnivours that means we are supposed to eat meat and plant. we probable eat to much meat but still.

If you are going to use the bible as your farming manual you are going to have some severe problems.

The four field crop rotation system is more up to date than that.

Edited by Mattshark

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I am a vegetarian and have been for about 25yrs. My wife has been since she was 8yrs. Both my children are and have been from birth.

No adverse effects on myself, my wife or my children. It takes a certain amount of skill to manage a diet like that, but that applies to most things worth doing.

Matt as I am certain you are aware there is only a 10% transfer up each trophic level, so it takes 10x the resources to produce meat as it does vegetable proteins.

The argument put forward is that meat is more environmentally friendly because it has less food miles. Since most meat is now traded across the globe and fed on soy and fish protein the argument in practice is almost totally erroneous.

I personally advocate a return to a more natural diet where meat constitutes less than 10% of the overall diet. This would allow for a balanced form of agriculture and a healthier diet for almost all the population of the developed world.

Quite frankly the article has very little worth as a basis for policy decisions.

Br Cornelius

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I hear meat is a very important part in the development of the brain in young children. We evolved on a meat diet and I personaly think it's unhealthy not to have some meat in your diet. Oh course i'm bias as I love cow on my plate with a side of pork LOL

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I hear meat is a very important part in the development of the brain in young children. We evolved on a meat diet and I personaly think it's unhealthy not to have some meat in your diet. Oh course i'm bias as I love cow on my plate with a side of pork LOL

I would love you to explain how my vegetarian from birth daughter is top of her class in all subjects and a reading age of 19 at age 13. Not bad for a crippled vegetarian brain.

Frankly that one was put to rest a long long time ago.

Br Cornelius

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I would love you to explain how my vegetarian from birth daughter is top of her class in all subjects and a reading age of 19 at age 13. Not bad for a crippled vegetarian brain.

Frankly that one was put to rest a long long time ago.

Br Cornelius

LOL a wee bit touchy this morning. All I said is thats what I had heard I never made claims of it being factual and I also said I was bias LOL chill out as now I may go and look this up and post it as fact if thats what I discover.

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LOL a wee bit touchy this morning. All I said is thats what I had heard I never made claims of it being factual and I also said I was bias LOL chill out as now I may go and look this up and post it as fact if thats what I discover.

You can consider this a spill over from another thread - where things got really techy. My apologies.

You will find plenty of evidence that certain proteins and fatty acids which are readily available in meat are more difficult to aquire from vegetables. However if you are a vegetarian and not a vegan, you still have access to all of these in the form of eggs and diary. Also all of these essential nutrients are available from vegetables - but you have to be a bit more savy about making certain that you get them. Meat makes life easy for the consumer, but not for the planet.

Its is definitely the case that western society consumes far to much meat protein as part of their diet and this puts a heavy load on the body systems. Most is lost in excreta or converted to less complex compounds. Since we are most closely related to chimps we should look to them for inspiration as to what level of meat we need to consume - and I think you would find that it would probably stretch to less than 5% with a good deal of that been in the form of insects.

Of the first true humans it is most probable that they got the bulk of their protein from seafood and this is probably why fish is so good for brain development. My grandparents lived on a diet of mostly vegetable (home grown) supplemented by fish from the lake and a very occassional bits of beef. They both lived over 100yrs. I cannot see my parents generation faring quite so well on their high meat and carbs diets.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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Hey Cornelius I hear ya in that one can get the proper amounts of iron, protien and zinc with a veggie diet, it's just a bit more difficult. Can I ask why you have choosen to be a vegitarian. Is it health, enviroment, or just personal taste?

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Hey Cornelius I hear ya in that one can get the proper amounts of iron, protien and zinc with a veggie diet, it's just a bit more difficult. Can I ask why you have choosen to be a vegitarian. Is it health, enviroment, or just personal taste?

I had a vegetarian girlfriend who cooked more interesting food than my mother could cook fish fingers :devil:

Once I gave up for the love of a good women there was really no looking back. Beyond that I think it has always been ethics for me.

Br Cornelius

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Ahh yes it would have to take a women to give up red meat lol I almost became a vegitarian everytime my mom cooked meatloaf lol

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I was a vegetarian for about 8 years, from the time I was 18 to 26, then the #$%&! i mean my ex and i, had our first child. The Doc told us that meat was essential to growth. And after watching one of my friends raise their child meatless, I decided it would be beneficial for us to start eating meat again. My friend’s kid was small, got ill all the time, and had some behavioral issues... not stating it was because he was vegetarian, but I do have my suspicions. My choice not to eat meat was not out of pity for the animals, in fact I would still eat eggs, milk and cheese. I just felt it wasn't necessary. At the time I was vegetarian, I was very athletic, and had no issues with fatigue or weakness. To this day I will only eat it once a day, and in small amounts..... unless its a BBQ, then its ON!! Anyway I will continue to feed meat to my children until they make that choice for themselves.

Anyway, I kinda think this article is a bit of propaganda from the meat industry. Raising Cattle is way more damaging to the environment. Not only do you need the land to raise the cow, but you also need a huge amount of land to grow hay for them to eat. Consider the amount of water needed to grow the hay, and all the pesticides that are used to protect it. These pesticides will eventually run off the fields and end up in our streams sometimes killing many of the fish that live there as well. Which is also not good for meat eaters!! Mmmmm trout If we could just cut down on the amount of meat being consumed then we would open up land for more veggies. Not all vegetarians go for that tofu grossness. Nor do they go for the processed soy or hell processed anything, If you have ever eaten a can of green beans you know what I’m talking about. Give me a fresh steamed broccoli burger dripping with cheese any day!!

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If you are going to use the bible as your farming manual you are going to have some severe problems.

The four field crop rotation system is more up to date than that.

Except it doesn't give the land a chance to rest. true they use different things from the groumd but it never gets to rest.

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I would love you to explain how my vegetarian from birth daughter is top of her class in all subjects and a reading age of 19 at age 13. Not bad for a crippled vegetarian brain.

Frankly that one was put to rest a long long time ago.

Br Cornelius

i was able to do 7th grade math in 1st grade. in fact my father was told i could go to 7th instead of 2nd. so if your daughter ate meat how much more would she be able to do?

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