The farming community is under attack by vegans and Extinction Rebellion for what meat eating is supposedly doing to the planet as well as the health of the population. Organisers of “Veganuary” (giving up meat products in January) say that switching to a vegan diet is good for animals (presumably because they will not have to be killed) and also for the planet.
In fact, the grass that the animals eat soaks up carbon and, because of this constant “cropping”, keeps growing. If it is left to simply wither and die, it will play no part in the reduction of carbon dioxide. Methane is a short-lived gas, which survives less than ten years.
The feed needs of 90% of cattle and sheep in the UK are met by grass and conserved grasses such as hay and silage. Since the 1970s cattle and sheep numbers have reduced by a huge amount so at present cattle and sheep in the UK are contributing nothing to the climate issue.
We have been told to plant more trees, but saplings take years to grow into trees and in that time they can die from diseases such as Dutch elm disease and ash dieback. In the event of severe summer drought there can be, as is currently being seen in Australia, uncontrollable bush fires causing enormous destruction. Grass fires, on the other hand, are far easier to bring under control. Unlike trees, grass only takes weeks to start growing and soaking up carbon and will very quickly recover from extreme weather such as drought and hard frost.
In the past year, 98% of UK households brought red meat and not eating meat can leave people short of essential nutrients, including protein, fatty acids, vitamin B12 and iron.
Alyse Parker, a long time vegan from Connecticut, with 204k followers on Instagram, uploaded a video on YouTube in December, to explain she had spent the last 30 days following a carnivore diet, eating only meat, fish and eggs, and now says how much it improved her physical and mental health.
To stop eating meat for sentimental reasons is one thing, but to stop in order to save the planet or for health reasons is debatable.
In recent weeks there have been protests by German, Dutch, Irish and French farmers for their voice to be heard in the debate that farming is supposedly having on the climate.
UK farmers are going to stage rallies to engage with the public to explain why they should not be tarred with the same brush as Brazilian and US livestock farms. The rallies are to be organised on a date to be set in the next three months.
Image Credits: Rye News library .