Author Topic: Ethical milk  (Read 23455 times)

itsbruce

  • Lavender Bike Menace
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #125 on: December 02, 2010, 12:34:56 am »
I am surprised that throughout this discusion about the ethics of eating meat noone has mentioned the fact that feeding vegetable matter to animals is an incredibly ineficient way of producing food.

It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from plants, carnivores would never have evolved.  Brutally, animals higher up the food chain let the animals lower down the food chain do the work of creating complex substances from more basic substances.  This is why carnivores spend much less time eating than herbivores.

The fact that some modern cattle farming practices are destructive and inefficient doesn't change this.  There are alternatives which are quite capable of feeding large populations; musk ox, for example, forage in deciduous forests.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked: Allen Ginsberg
The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads: Jeff Hammerbacher

ludwig

  • never eat a cyclists gloves
    • grown in wales
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #126 on: December 02, 2010, 07:01:57 am »
Of course meat is a highly concentrated form of all the nutrients that it offers and of course that is why carnivores evolved to exploit those neat little packages of nutrition. That's not the issue though. It still takes a lot more land to get the energy equivalent from meat than it does from growing a crop. I don't know anything about musk ox but I suspect that the same rule applies to them. I would also imagine that farming them on any kind of scale would be hard in a forest.

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
  • Not really a Tiger.
    • Humanist Celebrant.
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #127 on: December 02, 2010, 05:21:34 pm »
Are there women who do breast milk for general human consumption? I have not seen it in the shops and I am wondering where it is available commercially.  I have an idea about a dinner party surprise.
Humanists UK Funeral and Wedding Celebrant. Trying for godless goodness.
http://humanist.org.uk/michaellaird

itsbruce

  • Lavender Bike Menace
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #128 on: December 02, 2010, 05:44:58 pm »
Would you settle for milk from an invisible cow?
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked: Allen Ginsberg
The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads: Jeff Hammerbacher

itsbruce

  • Lavender Bike Menace
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #129 on: December 02, 2010, 11:46:24 pm »
It still takes a lot more land to get the energy equivalent from meat than it does from growing a crop. I don't know anything about musk ox

I can see that.  You're missing the point, which has already been alluded to, that many meat animals can be raised in land that has other uses, or which would otherwise be unused.  Large scale crop farming, in contrast, generates barren monocultures.

See?  Vegetarians are killing the planet :P
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked: Allen Ginsberg
The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads: Jeff Hammerbacher

ludwig

  • never eat a cyclists gloves
    • grown in wales
Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #130 on: December 03, 2010, 08:17:52 am »
I was in the butchers yesterday and they were fresh out of musk ox. However they did have plenty of beef, pork lamb and chicken. Now it's been a long time since I sat in lectures working out feed ratios so I'm a bit rusty but from what I remember cattle are mostly fed on grass or it's derivatives( including cereals) . Pig feed is mostly cereals and soya and sheep graze upland areas and are supplemented with hay. I don't know much more about chickens than musk ox but my guess would be that they eat grain and some sort of concentrate that is derived from grain. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that with most of the commonly consumed meat (in the uk at least) although the little fellows can live on non productive land, they are fed from land that could grow crops to be fed to people. Producing meat on land that has no other uses has got to be a good thing and I for one would applaud it but some of the other ethical issues also come in to play. Here in Wales for instance the natural habitat of the upland oak forest is devistated by over grazing by sheep. The oaks are there but the under storey has gone. I am not trying to support vegetarianism particularly (I,m not vegetarian myself) I would just like to know the facts.

Re: Ethical milk
« Reply #131 on: December 03, 2010, 11:18:07 am »
I am surprised that throughout this discusion about the ethics of eating meat noone has mentioned the fact that feeding vegetable matter to animals is an incredibly ineficient way of producing food.

It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from plants,

"It really isn't.  If it were more efficient to feed directly from animals, Humans would never have developed a society based on agriculture."

ftfy
<i>Marmite slave</i>