George, George, a vegan and organic diet doesn’t work

I’ve converted to veganism to reduce my impacts on the living world
George Monbiot

The world can cope with 7 or even 10 billion people. But only if we stop eating meat. Livestock farming is the most potent means by which we amplify our presence on the planet. It is the amount of land an animal-based diet needs that makes it so destructive.

An analysis by the farmer and scholar Simon Fairlie suggests that Britain could easily feed itself within its own borders. But while a diet containing a moderate amount of meat, dairy and eggs would require the use of 11m hectares of land (4m of which would be arable), a vegan diet would demand a total of just 3m. Not only do humans need no pasture, but we use grains and pulses more efficiently when we eat them ourselves, rather than feed them to cows and chickens.

This would enable 15m hectares of the land now used for farming in Britain to be set aside for nature.

You need the shit from the animals to grow the sodding grains and pulses. Assuming that you’re not going to use that nasty artificial fertiliser stuff.

42 thoughts on “George, George, a vegan and organic diet doesn’t work”

  1. The world can cope with 7 or even 10 billion people. But only if we stop eating meat.

    Well starting with an outright lie isn’t going to impress any thinking person.

    We already feed 7.4 billion, even with meat eaters.

  2. Eh, there are different forms of veganism – obviously he’s not an ‘environmental vegan’ though.

    So it makes perfect sense that he’d use animal crap to fertilize his organic garden – contributing to the factory farming of livestock, greenhouse gas emissions, *and* a significantly less efficient method of food production leading to more land needing to be razed for farming.

    Next he’ll be telling us he’s against nuclear power.

    As for this: <b?Not only do humans need no pasture, but we use grains and pulses more efficiently when we eat them ourselves, rather than feed them to cows and chickens.

    Has he considered that cows and chickens can eat a much wider variety of grains and pulses than humans, are less concerned with quality and can eat stuff that humans would find inedible?

    Because I’m pretty sure Scholar Farlie would not like to forage through the local field munching on grass and worms nor would he like to have his bread made from the lowest quality possible wheat.

  3. And don’t forget that around here, there’s a LOT of land that you could not use for anything but rough grazing. That nice Cumbrian fell lamb – fed mostly from scavenging the rough pastures you’d never get a tractor to, let alone try and cultivate ! Sheep are particularly good at that.

  4. Yes, but he says that sort of land should be “left to nature”. What did the Cumbrian fells look like before the landscape was modified by/for sheep farming? Dense forest.

  5. Six or seven hundred years ago George would have been one of those people walking through the street flagellating themselves.

    Not much has changed really, except now they do in online and can reach the world, instead of some shitheap village.

  6. “An Italian politician this week proposed jailing parents who impose a vegan diet on their children, in case it leaves them malnourished. Curiously, he failed to recommend the same sanction for rearing them on chips and sausages.”

    Hmmm…. perhaps its because such a diet doesn’t leave them malnourished, being as it is a main-stay of our decidedly non-malnourished population. Probably wouldn’t do you much good to live on sausage and chips alone, but add in some baked beans and sunshine, and you’re not far off everything you need.

  7. Unlike a vegan to announce this sort of thing publicly. Normally they go about it quietly, not imposing themselves on anyone.

  8. It may have escaped GMs notice, but the world price of food (ie commodity prices) keeps going down, if not in actual terms (although it does do that at times), certainly in real terms. The price of wheat for example is current about £120/tonne. I was getting more than that in nominal £ terms 25 years ago.

    This is because virtually all productivity gains in agriculture (and they are large) accrue to the consumer, not the producer, because agricultural products are fungible, largely easily transported and produced by many small producers. Thus there is almost perfect competition – as soon as one producer gets a productivity advantage by a new technique or technological advance, everyone adopts it and within a short period the market price has dropped to take account of the extra production.

    Thus the only crisis in world food production is that of too much, not too little. I can guarantee you that if the world wheat price hit £200/tonne (as it nearly did few years back) that world production would rise rapidly – there’s plenty of marginal land at £120/tonne that would be planted if prices rose significantly.

  9. George does not make the obvious, albeit small, logical leap and decide to off himself for the socialists’ beloved “greater good”.

    Odd, that.

  10. He knows fuck-all about farming. If he’s looking for smaller fields rubbing up against mother nature, pastureland is the way to go. If he’s looking for gigantic, county-sized fields then grain is what you’ll likely find growing in them.

  11. George would reduce to a much greater extent his impact on the modern world if he refrained from publishing asinine, ill-researched and ignorant articles in the Guardian on topics of which, quite evidently, he knows sweet fvck all.

  12. Has Moonbat reached the logical conclusion of arguing for a National Food Service?

    It would make sense (in his universe): the state would take over all farming, and an army of middle managers would direct all the operations (yes, Cumberland and Wales should indeed be covered in large arable fields.) Then everyone could be assigned, free at the point of use, nutritious daily meals, with absolutely no added sugar, salt or fat and no fizzy drinks, and all at the low, low price of just an extra 20% on income tax.

  13. He is currently locked in an arms race of guilt-induced self-harm. One day it will drive him to actually starve himself to death, and that will be that.

  14. Rob, Moonbat may well be the Booby Sands of the eco-loon movement. Let the fucker starve himself to death.

  15. anon

    “Actually I think there might be crops that fix nitrogen.”

    Yes. Legumes. But you need more than nitrogen to grow decent crops and high yields. Manure has that.

    Having said which, you don’t need livestock for the manure, nightsoil (human waste) will do the job and there’s plenty of it.

  16. Can get most of what you need from vegetables as well as meat. Need to eat quite a bit of certain items and you can’t just get what you need, you get the rest of whats eaten too. Even when the body isn’t using that extra.
    As an adult you can be relatively healthy on a vegan diet. As you can on an omnivore diet
    Can. Not will, but can.

    Have met dozens who have sworn off this or that, not because they need to but because they want to. Yes, any change in diet can make you feel better. Not necessarily making you healthier, some even can be bad for the individual long term. But they may convince themselves they are feeling great.

    I do tend to get amused at the people who think that we should all be on vegan diets. Like whats going to happen to all those nice meat animals.
    Bison; cows; deer; bears; ostrich; kangaroo; squirrel; chicken; turkey; sheep; goats; horse;
    Kill them and not eat them? Kill them just for the fur/feathers? Kill them to wipe them out as a species?

  17. ‘The world can cope with 7 or even 10 billion people. But only if we stop eating meat.’

    What’s this ‘we’ shit? His collectivist bent is showing.

    Here’s a clue: if we (sic) can’t feed 10 billion people, there WON’T BE 10 BILLION PEOPLE!
    H/T George Carlin.

  18. Fairlie?

    Guy’s a nutter, who will happy lend you a scythe with which to criminally damage GM crops in a demo.

    Going equipped with a bladed article, anyone?

  19. Some interesting points by Monbiot but every argument he makes is trumped by the fact that bacon tastes good.

  20. Moonbat alone produces enough green shite to fertilise a terraformed Mars.

    It is obvious that an age of cultured meat products is on the horizon. Taking a few cells from a prime meat animal and industrially culturing thousands of tons of the finest quality meat imaginable.

    He already is a Vague-‘un.

  21. Has Mr Monbiot volunteered to have his eyeteeth pulled out?
    Oh! Why not?
    Mankind is not designed to be vegetarian, let alone vegan. It is very difficult for a growing child to get enough protein from a vegan diet. One can buy vitamin supplements (although I personally never have done so), but AFAIK there are no vegan protein supplements on the market. One can get some protein from pasta, rice and beans but not enough in a balanced diet without eating mountains of food.

  22. Since no one has yet invoked the Soylent Green corollary to Godwin’s Law, the duty falls to me . . .

  23. “What did the Cumbrian fells look like before the landscape was modified by/for sheep farming? Dense forest.” To what altitude?

  24. Dearieme, given there’s not a rock in Cumbria above 1,000 meters, “to the top” would seem to cover it.

  25. Recusant

    “…you don’t need livestock for the manure, nightsoil (human waste) will do the job and there’s plenty of it.”

    Human waste has to be collected, transported, spread on the fields and then ploughed in. It’s a foul and filthy task, and far worse (and more costly) than ordinary muck-spreading. Far better to let livestock fertilise the land gradually and naturally, if possible.

  26. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I had a juicy, tender piece of sirloin the size of a baseball mitt last night. Mongbat can go fuck himself.

  27. You can’t use human waste on agricultural land ad infinitum, heavy metal build up would make the land toxic eventually. Sewage sludge is disposed of on farm land right now, but with constant soil testing to monitor heavy metal buildup. I won’t have the stuff on my farm, I don’t trust the water companies to be honest about exactly what is in their product, and once its on your land its your problem, not theirs.

    There is also no way you could 100% replace artificial fertiliser use with sewage sludge, the amount you’d have to put on, would be huge, and be needed every year.

  28. Sewage sludge is used to fertilise energy crops (maize for AD plants) but as Jim says you really don’t want it on your food crops. Not just heavy metals but pharmaceutical remnants, hormones etc. Perhaps that’s what moonbat has been eating?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *