Strengthening our motivation: Fostering peace, preventing conflict and the illusion of sustainable animal agriculture


Strengthening our motivation: Fostering peace, preventing conflict and the illusion of sustainable animal agriculture
Vegan Society of Canada News, August 26th 2018

In our series aim at strengthening our motivation we wanted to discuss the illusion of sustainable and organic animal agriculture and how choosing a plant-based lifestyle foster peace and prevent conflicts.

Too often we hear the solution to factory farming is sustainable, or organic animal agriculture. However, there is a huge problem with this and a little math should easily explain why. Currently we are about 7 billion people with forecast of about 10 billion in 2050 under a medium growth scenario. As our western corporation spread our way of life to other country and more middle class emerge, nations are eating more meat. If we take all the meat we eat in 1 year, about 100kg of it and as we saw previously forecasted to increase, using a sustainable animal agriculture model with the following numbers:

  • 1 cow per 10 acres
  • 50kg of red meat, with a total of 100 kg of all meat intake per person
  • 300 kg of meat production per cow
  • 7,550,262,101 billion people on earth in 2017
  • 10,348,773,375 billion acres of marginally suitable to very suitable land for agriculture

Doing the calculation this gives us the following very problematic result: 12,810,081,610 billions acres required for producing red meat alone let alone all meat and this is with our current population. As we can see this is a little problematic since we have at most about 10 billion acres of land suitable for agriculture.

Those who are advocating for sustainable animal agriculture without a significant intake in meat reduction, similar to Greenpeace's ecological leftover model advocating for a 84% Canadian meat reduction and 50% globally, are severely mistaken or have no issue with creating conflict between nations. Under the sustainable model without significant meat reduction target, as people eat more meat and population grows we would run out of land for animal agriculture at which point we would have to tell some nation that unlike us they cannot eat as much meat as we do. What happens usually when we try to dictate the behavior of other nations: Conflict.

Adopting a vegan lifestyle is one solution to this problem and helps fostering peace and prevent conflicts by adopting a lifestyle that can be adopted by all and scale well to our current and projected population.