View Full Version : what would happen to all the animals?

05-20-2008, 05:49 PM
my mom sent me this in response to listening to my show.

A question for you -- In response to your article about the meat prices rising, (I understand why). If the country all of a sudden decided that eating meat was totally not a good idea, because of the obesity issue, hormones, starving people in Africa, cruelty issues, and any other sundry health issues, what would we do with all those animals? I am not trying to be argumentative with you. I totally understand what you are saying, but given that we have this lifestyle around eating meat, and the economy is attached directly to our eating meat, if we stopped, consider for a minute what would happen to all the animals as well as the economy.

Granted, it probably doesn't make much sense to stuff the animals with grain that we can eat directly, but the reason the cost of the grain is going up is that we have discovered that we can make ethanol from the same grain. The problem is not feeding cows over people, its feeding gas tanks over people and cows. So, what is the answer? First of all, I think you are on the right track. If you can find other means of educating the public about alternative diets -- cutting out fat in the schools as they serve the children cuts of various types of meat may be one solution.

i know how i want to respond, but i was hoping to get some facts, opinions, or just general information to help. she's not going to become vegetarian or anything, but anything i can do to convince her that i'm not crazy is a good thing.

05-20-2008, 06:21 PM
You are crazy. That can't be denied.
You crazy walrus, you.

05-20-2008, 06:45 PM
we would...

stop breeding them
omnivores would eat most
find sanctuaries for as many as feasible
euthanize the rest

People somehow think its cruel to kill X anmials at once and forever, versus killing X animals every year in perpetuity.

Per the economy, its all subsidized, they don't make much money anyway, the tax payers actually pay for it all, so take that lot of money and do something more productive with it.

Ethanol is also subsidized I'm sure, its surely not an efficient use of grain or resources.

my two cents anyway

05-20-2008, 09:52 PM
Grain used for fuel is a recent development that is on people's minds. It's just one more way that grain can be diverted from the human food supply. However, even if ethanol really takes off, I'm sure that the amount of grain used for fuel will never even begin to compete with the amount fed to animals.

Anyway, there's no way everyone in the world, or in the US is going to give up eating meat overnight, so the "what would we do with the animals" argument is purely hypothetical. If everyone did eventually become veg*n (which is pretty much impossible) it would happen so slowly that the animal-food industries would fade away.

A more realistic possibility is that many more people become veg*n and the demand drops for animal products. With a drop in demand, the breeding would slow down considerably. That would free up a lot of grain... or even better, it would free up land from agricultural use at all. That, in turn, would reduce our use of water, pesticides (most are petroleum-based), and fertilizers (again, lots of petroleum used). Wouldn't that be better than converting grain into fuel? A fuel which still pollutes?

05-21-2008, 11:34 PM
Emiloid totally nailed it.

05-22-2008, 09:40 AM
Yeah, Em got it. It's a red herring argument in the end.

05-22-2008, 12:59 PM
If everyone did eventually become veg*n (which is pretty much impossible) it would happen so slowly that the animal-food industries would fade away.


Something else, is that evidently much of the meat product (animals) normally have very short live-spans anyway, before they're sent to market, like I think just a few months for chickens (even egg-layers, I read somewhere that layers turn into fryers at 8 months or when their producitivity drops, whichever happens first) so as people have already mentioned here, with reduced demand the producers just wouldn't bother to breed more of 'em, so there wouldn't be a bunch of 'em left over.

Good ol' capitalism at work, reduced demand = less production (breeding) of the item that's not in demand anymore.

If the entire world changed the 100% vegan in, say, the course of a couple of years ;), about the only foodstock animals that would be left over (I'm guessing) would be a certain number of larger livestock animals (maybe mostly dairy cows, as the others would have already been sent to market). A couple of years would be plenty of time for lots and lots of 'em to have been, er, consumed (I'm trying to avoid the "e" word, it sounds so indelicate ;)) by the remaining non-vegans.

As everyone's pointed out, though, I don't really think you have to worry too much about that happening anytime soon.

Oh, one other thing, as far as people possibly being put out of jobs in the meat industry, well, you know, "progress happens" and people have to find new stuff to do -- wagon-wheel makers had to find new jobs after cars took over (okay, bad example, since cars are controversial) ...[thinking] ...well, okay, how's this: an example of progress putting people out of work, would be if everyone spayed and neutered their pets (or didn't let them wander around loose, unsupervised), all those animal-shelter euthenasia-workers would be out of work and they've have to retrain to do something else (I used to know someone who worked in one of those places, incidentally; it was his job to kill many animals each and every day, and the animals' bodies didn't even get put to any good use -- a quite tragic waste of life; I also used to know a guy who worked in a meat-packing plant, at these those animals weren't killed for absolutely nothing like the unwanted pets were). Anyway going back a ways, historically, cavemen/women who made stone tools were presumably put out of work when someone figured out how to do bronze (or copper or iron or whatever it was, I can't remember my history) and presumably they adapted, maybe even welcomed the change once they figured out it had some advantages (more durable, whatever) although of course those things happened slowly so there was time to adapt. People adapt. Society adapts.

Society, and capitalism, is pretty darn good at ceasing production of things that aren't required anymore, and in a gradual transition from meat-eating to vegan things would just all sort themselves out, with probably no (or very few) leftover livestock-type animals. Heck, now that I think about it, during such a transition, even the leftover long-lived dairy cows would probably have all/mostly been shipped off to dinner tables for the last handful of meat-eaters that remained.

Erm, well I think I've exceeded my maximum allowable number of words per month ;) (brief? what is this strange "brief" concept you speak of? ;)) with today's posts (it probably all works out even since I seldom post anything) and it's past my bedtime anyway so I'll sign off for a while and quit hoggin' the mike :)