The U.N. wants us all to be vegan. No, really it’s true. The video below is a propaganda piece about a report written to justify pushing humanity toward a vegan diet. The video is also filled with not too subtle messages about meat consumption. The basis for the reasoning behind the U.N.’s push is because they believe that meat consumption is unsustainable. That eating meat is damaging the planet and using up too many resources, like water and fossil fuels. The information is of course, one-sided. The video does not make it clear if any other alternatives besides going vegan were considered. While I will address the flaws of their plan, I don’t believe this is about saving the world or being kind to animals. But that I will talk about that later. How is a Paleo diet follower supposed to reckon with someone else’s desire to take way the main source of nourishment? Is there anyway that vegans, the U.N and the Paleo diet can get a long?
Transcript_of_video-UN_Call_to_go_vegan (Adobe PDF)
The focus of the video is the belief in the unsustainability of eating meat. I noticed that there was a total lack of concern for humans and what a vegan diet would do to us. Perhaps the authors don’t understand that humans evolved eating meat and is in fact, a requirement for our continued good health. While I deplore current farming practices and wish to see them changed, I also understand that there are ways to make animal products good for everyone, including the animals and the planet.
Much of what is said in the video is meaningless. It’s a lot of government speak. That is the art of saying many words and saying nothing at all. These people are professionals at it. However there was some information to be gleaned. A case in point, the statement below (bold is my emphasis):
Edgar Hertwich, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, co-author of the report, “And so what I see is that actually meat has a higher energy use per calorie produced or per kilogram produced than vegetables. That is something that we have found from our studies.”
The above is true, to some degree. In a CAFO it does take more energy to raise an animal than to raise crops. But what you get in return is energy dense food, even from a CAFO. Food that can last a person throughout the day. The same cannot be said of plant foods. We all know the gnawing hunger that kicks in only after a few hours after a meal filled with plant foods.
But lets look at this. We know the cost of raising animals in CAFOs are prohibitive since so many resources are used: growing the grain (using water, using fossil fuels), harvesting (using fossil fuels), transporting the grain (using fossil fuels), feeding confined animals and cleaning up manure (using fossil fuels), somehow disposing the waste (not going there), water the animals (water usage). Transporting massive numbers of animals to the slaughterhouse (using fossil fuels). When you compare CAFOs to raising plant foods, CAFOs are very costly.
But what about grass-fed? What is the cost involved in raising grass-fed cattle on the environment? A calf is born. It’s allowed to stay and nurse from its mother until weaned. The calf grows and grazes on pasture, day after day, no transportation needed except his own hooves. Water is available, but not the same large quantities as a CAFO, since he’s eating food that’s appropriate for his species and contains moisture. While he grazes he also fertilizes the grass, which, by the way, creates a stronger root system, fixes the soil and prevents erosion and dust storms. The grass also uses the CO2 exhaled by the cattle, and creates oxygen. The only time fossil fuels are used is when the farmer plants and harvests grass for the winter, and transportation to the slaughter-house. Pretty minimal impact for what you get. I know the scenario is simplistic, but it is basically correct.
Let’s look at raising grains for human food. Preparing the soil, (using fossil fuels), planting the grain (using fossil fuels), fertilizing and applying pesticides and herbicides (using water and fossil fuels), harvesting (using fossil fuels), transporting the grain (using fossil fuels), processing the grain into a marginally edible product (using fossil fuels). The cost of grains on human beings – cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other diseases.
Is there a pattern emerging here? The bottom line is that if all that was looked at in the report, was going vegan as opposed to CAFOs you might get the impression that veganism is a good thing for the planet. But if you leave out the human health equation you get a different answer. Human life depends upon the consumption of the animals and their products. There is no nicer way to put this. I have never known a vegan or vegetarian that was really healthy. No matter how much you believe in the lifestyle, eventually your health will suffer and it will be a case of eat meat or remain sick. 75% of vegetarians go back to eating meat, mainly because of health problems.
Those of us who follow the paleo diet are very much aware of how animals are raised and we strive, within our means, to find the best sources of meat possible. We also want to make certain that this can be repeated around the planet. Farmers like Joel Salatin of Polyface farms proves this daily by maintaining a thriving organic farm that raises pigs, cattle, poultry and rabbits.
Personally, I believe that there is more to this than meets the eye. I believe it is all about power. Power over humanity, to control everything we do. We see it in the fight to be able to consume raw milk. We see it when people are sued over keeping organic gardens on their property. We see it when limits are put on supplements, as is being done in Europe. The U.N. and our own government have been seeking to control us for many years. They are doing so by making us afraid of climate change and now they are doing it by causing us to fear running out of food and resources. If the U.N. and European Commission has its way, they will be responsible for the greatest mass genocide this planet has ever seen. But it will be a slow painful genocide. Not an immediate murder as was done by Mao, Stalin or Hitler. But take heart! Humans are not causing global warming or climate change. We can change our agricultural practices so that we can raise enough of the right type of food and teach others to do the same. I think that vegans, the U.N. and Paleo diet are mutually exclusive. As long as there will be people who want to ram their ideas and grains down our throats, the harder it will be to stay Paleo.