Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for Farmers and Food

Below is a response I wrote to a girl on Facebook who was promoting a vegeterian lifestyle because of its "environmental benefits" and the cruelty of humans to animals....


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it gives reason to pause and be thankful for the blessings that we often overlook. I'd like to share a few blessings I'm thankful for:

1) As an American citizen, I'm thankful to live in a country that has a higher standard of living than many places. Most of us have the luxury of choice when it comes to food; we can eat in restaurants, eat specialty label food, eat higher priced proteins. These choices are a luxury! The average American citizen spends about 10% of disposable income on food, compared with other countries that spend anywhere from 20-60% on food. On the flip side of that coin, we often talk about the "poor people in third world countries", but what about the 36 million people living in poverty right here in the US that have the same nutritional requirements as affluent people but a fraction of the income? Meat provides valuable nutrients that are readily absorbed by the human body to keep us functioning at our best. As the least cost protein, poultry products allow even low income families to eat nutritiously. 100 billion pounds of food are wasted each year...I wonder if those 36 million people would turn their nose up because of fears of "environmental damage" or "inhumane treatment"?

2) As a consumer, I'm thankful that I can find a grocery store on practically every street corner that is always stocked with nutritious, safe, affordable food. Only about 2% of the American population is involved in food production, so that means that 98% of the population can rest assured of constant, easy access to food. What a blessing to know that farmers are doing such a great job keeping our mouths and tummies full!

3) As the 6th generation in my family that is involved in production agriculture, I am thankful that I was raised to have the utmost respect for precious resources that provide nutrients and sustain human life. Farmers care for the land, their water resources, livestock, etc. in a way that best utilizes and preserves the resource while supporting food production. American farmers have become so effective that 1 farmer feeds 144 people!

4) I'm thankful that tomorrow I'm going to sit down with my family to a table overflowing with food. My hope is that everyone around the globe could do the same, though I know that isn't going to happen. I'm thankful though that farmers across America are working day in and day out to get a bit closer to making that a reality. Lets also remember that there is limited unbiased & nonpolitical science that supports the human-caused climate change religion. And besides, warming of third world countries won't matter much if people are dying of malnutrition.

17 comments:

British Monotony said...

Thought I'd respond to this post. I agree in part with what you're saying, but believe vegetarianism to be ideal and encouraged. (I am a proud meat eater myself, and believe in the choice). There is a major argument that because animals are inefficient with energy (energy is lost through heat etc), eating the intake of a sheep would give humans upwards of 10x more energy than the sheep actually provides. Whether or not you believe in global warming, it is economically sound to reduce energy use.

1) As an American citizen, thankful for the luxury of choice, you should also be thankful for the choice to be vegetarian. It is difficult for people in developing countries to choose to be vegetarian, simply because they need to take whatever food comes their way. It takes a certain level of lifestyle to choose to be vegetarian.

100 billion pounds of food are wasted each year. I would say that a large proportion of that is from meat. Meat cannot be stored easily as vegetarian foods can be (rice etc). Mean can be frozen for a period of time, however consumes a large amount of energy in the process, and then can only last in the fridge for a few days after.

2) I'm not sure on your point with this one, there are still farmers for vegetables/grains.

3) Vegetarianism by no way is aimed at hurting farmers, or belittling their technological progress and skill. However the practice of farming animals in itself is inefficient, as energy is lost in trophic levels. Farming for vegetarians saves energy. Similar excellence in animal farming also occurs in crop farming.

4) This is more or less a statement of the economic privilege of USA, rather than anything to do with meat farming. If we were to truly want to help reduce poverty overseas, the way to do it would be through lowering trade barriers currently protecting American farmers (both crop and meat) and through growing an increase in corn/grain which can be exported.


I am 100% for freedom of choice for people to choose what to eat. However I believe vegetarianism to be the better choice. I still eat a large amount of meat, just don't protest people who choose not to. Ultimately, their choice to be vegetarian benefits me - without me having to do anything.

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