My word, isn’t this amazing?

Raising these animals already uses three-quarters of the world’s agricultural land.

Agricultural land is used for agriculture. Wonders will never cease, eh?

The point really being that this isn’t a portion of all land, nor of all we could use for agriculture, it’s just the portion of the land that we do already use for it.

13 thoughts on “My word, isn’t this amazing?”

  1. And, as I think others have pointed out here before, an awful lot of that land acreage is low-density sheep grazing, mostly on land which isn’t suitable for any other agricultural use.

  2. “mostly on land which isn’t suitable for any other agricultural use”: we could press it into use for the stalking of feral environmentalists.

  3. The CIF comments section has as usual fully blown diehards of the I’m right you’re wrong leaf eaters sect. Hows about this for some rash generalisation. Most guardianistas (or what ever) live in London and wouldn’t know a cow if it fell on them. The countryside is where they go for a music mud concert. milk is soya based and produced magically in a factory…mmm nice.

  4. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Quoth Mongbat: “…were we to eat soya rather than meat, the clearance of natural vegetation required to supply us with the same amount of protein would decline by 94%.”

    If course a moment’s thought suffices to spot the flaw in this argument: by eating soya rather than meat we would be eating soya, not meat, and soya is fucking rank.

  5. And what are the ecoloons going to use to fertilise these acres of soy? Of course, we can make our own fertilisers without relying on the digestive tracts of ruminants, but this generally involves the use of energy.

  6. @ Chris Miller
    We do make our own fertilisers without relying on the digestive tracts of ruminants – we use our own digestive tracts. George Monbiot clearly wishes to employ more night soil collectors and abolish flush toilets.

  7. The problem with the fertiliser derived from our own digestive tracts is the high levels of heavy metals and pharmaceutical leftovers that it can carry into the plants and render them apparently unfit for human consumption. That’s why Severn Trent Water’s thriving maize crop is only used to feed their bio digester. Doesn’t stop people moaning about “wasted” food though.

  8. @ Gus
    Do you live in Los Angeles? – the city that demanded car makers make car whose exhausts were cleaner than the air they input in Los Angeles. The dlluted leftovers of human excrement have too high a concentration of X,Y. and Z for human consumption? only a lawyer could think so.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    john77 – “The dlluted leftovers of human excrement have too high a concentration of X,Y. and Z for human consumption? only a lawyer could think so.”

    Actually it does appear to be so. Especially things like Cadmium.

    Some things we do not want building up in the human food chain. East Asians have been putting raw sewage on the fields for generations. Still do outside Japan and perhaps South Korea. East Asia has incredible rates of stomach infections and intestinal parasites.

  10. Just outside Milton Keynes actually, John. It is a pretty funky place these days, but not quite LA yet. And as far as I’m aware the Severn and the Trent are still in the UK.
    Human sewage sludge can be (expensively) refined and soil nutrients extracted but in its pure form there are a few persistent x, y’s and z’s that you really don’t want concentrating in your grub. Oestrogen and Progesterone from contraceptive pills for example. God knows I’m no fan of aggressive lawyers and unnecessary legislation, but my middle aged man tits are big enough as it is and I don’t want to provoke any further growth.

  11. @ Gus
    How many females in Milton Keynes use contraceptive pills? In the UK as a whole it is, according to ONS, 1 in 4 of women aged 16-49, so roughly 1 in 16 of the population. So, if the plants picked up 100% of the oestrogen in the fertiliser, and 100% of the fertiliser was used on fields growing food for human consumption, they would be excreting oestrogen at a rate sixteen times the rate you were ingesting it.
    Allowing for the run-off of fertiliser from the fields, the limited absorption of fertliser by plants, the dificulty of plants absorbing complex compounds (let alone binding them into the food they produce), the 75% of agricultural land used for grazing (with a lower but non-zero fertiliser input), … we’re looking at a ratio greater than 100 to 1 before you consider how to get the oestrogen from the roots into a grain of wheat.

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