What’s Really Behind The Plant-Based Diet Agenda?

Reposted from Sustainable Agricultural Systems Ltd. (SAS)

(Don’t mind giving them the link and credit  This article is not an advertisement. ~ctm)

January 23, 2019

I have previously covered the anti-animal agriculture narrative here and the plant-based and/or alternative protein agenda here.

But as the plant-based diet agenda is currently enjoying an uninterrupted public relations campaign facilitated by the obliging media; and given last week’s launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report on healthy diets for sustainable food systems, I feel compelled to delve a little deeper into the matter.

Although I loathe mixing business and politics, livestock agriculture is becoming increasingly politicised. Regrettably, this forces one’s hand.

Why something so innocuous as personal dietary choice needs to be voiced so loudly is a strange phenomenon. However, there are some interesting facets of information that can be gleaned by analysing the EAT-Lancet Commission’s posturing and the alternative protein movement.

The anti-animal agriculture narrative and plant-based diet agenda combines political ideology and commercial interests. This “movement” is insidious, unsavoury, and cannot be ignored by those who value liberty and consumer choice.

Although most people cannot deprive themselves of high-quality nutrition for long-periods of time, the fact that some people are going to such great lengths to avoid the consumption of meat and dairy products is rather telling.

The nutritional argument against consuming animal source foods is non-existent. It is quite simply illogical that red meat or dairy products cause modern diseases (I have previously covered this subject here).

Dietary recommendations have been moulded by religious and other personal beliefs (such as the temperance movement), animal rights activists, and food companies since their inception. None of this is anything new. What is new, is the concept of promoting a “planetary health diet.”

Nutrition science is ambiguous enough without adding extra layers of complexity. What’s good for the planet and what’s good for human health are understandable concerns to have. But conjoining the two is imprudent, especially when innumerable falsehoods are bandied about regarding both.

By far and away, the biggest contemporary driver of the anti-animal agriculture narrative is the supposed environmental impact of livestock – and that is a good place to start a critique of the plant-based diet agenda.

Climate Change Cover Story

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

Central to the anti-animal agriculture narrative, is climate change. The accusation that cattle are a leading cause of anthropogenic climate change is perhaps the most absurd concept of the global warming theory.

Nevertheless, this is the charge being laid against livestock agriculture.

Analysing the anthropogenic climate change thesis is not the purpose of this post. But the promotion of this claim is pivotal to the anti-animal agriculture narrative.

It is important to remember, that there is no such thing as consensus in science. Science progresses by exploding dud theories of the past. Consequently, the debate around anthropogenic climate change will continue for some time yet.

That the climate is constantly changing does not appear to be in dispute. What causes the weather to do what, particularly in terms of historic records and future predictions, is the bone of contention.

In the video below, the oft berated Lord Christopher Monckton shares his thoughts on climate change and why it should be questioned.

Lord Monckton’s conclusions on what is really driving the fixation with anthropogenic climate change is important to note, if one wishes to fully understand the plant-based diet agenda.

In any event, even if the politically distorted and commercially valuable anthropogenic climate change claim is assumed to be true, and the correct course of action to “save” the world from impending doom is to reduce the minute concentration of a substance essential for all life on earth, targeting livestock agriculture is of little consequence.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), agriculture accounted for 9% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2016. Of this 9%, animal agriculture was responsible for 4%. Transportation and electricity generation were each responsible for 29% of emissions, industry 22%, and commercial/residential 12%.

However, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) claim that livestock agriculture is responsible for a sizeable 14.5% of global emissions. This figure is such because less developed countries are generally home to inefficient, unproductive livestock.

For example, in 2014/15, the average daily milk yield of indigenous cows in India was 2.54 kg. Whereas the average daily milk yield of an American cow is approximately 31 kg.

Therefore, one American cow produces as much milk as twelve Indian cows. As a result, the less developed countries contribute a greater portion of their greenhouse gases to the world total in the form of livestock emissions.

In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that 70 – 80% of global livestock related greenhouse gas emissions stem from developing countries. The implication of this, is that third world countries are to blame for “causing anthropogenic climate change” – which is obviously ridiculous.

As a final blow to this livestock emissions nonsense, consider the following:

In 1909 the number of motor vehicles registered in the U.S. totalled 312,000. By 2015, this had increased to 263,610,219. Over this time period, the number of motor vehicles per person increased by a whopping 27,233%.

However, between 1909 and 2015, the number of cattle (beef + dairy) per person in the U.S. decreased by 58%.

The premise that cattle are a leading cause of anthropogenic climate change never really made sense. This argument is merely co-opted to further the anti-animal agriculture narrative.

Resource Depletion

After cattle are accused of causing global warming, the allegation soon follows that they are responsible for resource depletion and world hunger as well.

The sustainable management of natural resources is indeed a subject worthy of attention. Nevertheless, this topic area can quickly give rise to all kinds of perturbed knee-jerk reactions.

Calls to limit population growth or redistribute surplus food are the most common, yet ultimately misguided “solutions” to the resource question. Indisputably, there is still considerable room for resource efficiency improvements in livestock agriculture, and this is of course our company’s raison d’être.

However, the anti-meat posing as green activists, propagate many dubious resource use factoids to discredit livestock agriculture.

A 2017 study published by Global Food Security examined the claims concerning the “burden” livestock agriculture places on the human food supply. The report suggests the feed/food challenge is a much smaller threat to food security than often reported.

Furthermore, the report explains that livestock contribute directly to global food security, because animals produce more highly valuable nutrients for humans, such as proteins, than they consume.

The reports lead investigator, Anne Mottet PhD said: “As a Livestock Policy Officer working for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, I have been asked many times by the press to report on the negative environmental impacts of livestock.”

“Doing so, I came to realize that people are continually exposed to incorrect information that is repeated without being challenged, in particular about livestock feed.”

The report determines that 86% of livestock feed is not suitable for human consumption. Dr Mottet said: “The media often reports how consumers’ choices can contribute to sustainable development, like through a vegetarian diet; however, erroneous information is provided regarding livestock feed requirements.”

The FAO estimates that 32% of the world’s cereal production is used for animal feed. It is worth noting, that one of the key pieces of technology to be employed by the SAS System is hydroponic feed production. This technology has the potential to reduce the quantity of grain consumed by cattle by as much as 40 – 50%.

Furthermore, it is often stated that there is so much food in the world, 2.1 billion people are overweight or obese, yet 815 million people go hungry. The naive utopian belief is that overweight people eat too much, and this food could otherwise feed those who are hungry.

This oversimplified statement is correct in that there is no global shortage of calories. There is, however, a shortage of nutrition.

As I covered in this piece here, carbohydrate foods keep people fed, but not nourished. In order to alleviate malnutrition, populations throughout the world need access to nutrient dense animal source foods.

People who wish to insinuate that animal source foods have a high carbon or resource footprint (compared to plant source foods), can only do so when privileging calories as the numeraire.

Vegetables and grains are nutrient poor, whereas animal source foods are nutrient rich. Comparing bioavailable minerals, essential fatty acids, and digestible protein would be a much more appropriate measure, but this would tip the scales in favour of animal source foods.

Less developed and developing countries struggle to produce adequate quantities of nutrition for various reasons. Chief among them is political corruption; civil unrest or war; inadequate property rights; resource mismanagement; poor infrastructure; inability to access finance; inefficient farming practices; and a shortage of farm management expertise.

There are very few technical reasons preventing people from enjoying healthy diets rich in nutrient dense animal source foods.

For example, last year a British agronomist in Kenya grew a trial plot of barley that yielded 11.84 tonnes/hectare. The UK average spring barley yield is approximately 7.5 tonnes/hectare. The agronomist said: “The only food crisis Kenya should have is where to export all the food it produces. Shows what is actually possible right now with the application of proper science and agronomy.”

Any suggestion that the consumption of animal source foods in developed countries has anything to do with world hunger or resource depletion, is complete and utter drivel. Dangerous political ideologies, brutal tyrants, and warlords are responsible for famine and resource mismanagement – not “livestock agriculture.”

Food Utopia or Food Dystopia?

“Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good.” – Thomas Sowell

Given that the anthropogenic climate change and resource footprint accusations against livestock agriculture do not hold water, what’s really behind the plant-based diet agenda?

Well, the empirical evidence suggests it is the advancement of plant-based diets for all.

Indeed, the plant-based and alternative protein movement is about more than industry disruption. It’s an ideology, one hell-bent on replacing traditional food with a utopian “food” solution – it’s political as much as it is commercial.

The CEO of Impossible Foods, Patrick Brown, has announced that: “The whole mission of the company is to completely replace the use of animals as a food technology globally, by 2035. And that is unequivocally the most important mission in the world, full stop.”

The level of hubris emanating from alternative protein companies is remarkable. Removing the pinnacle of human grade nutrition from the food supply could only be considered the most important mission in the world in the minds of ideological elites.

But can the founders and CEOs of the alternative protein companies really be so ignorant as to believe their own hype? Or is the disinformation campaign being waged against livestock agriculture merely the pretext for the insertion of imitation animal food products into the food supply?

The UN also believes “tackling meat is the world’s most urgent problem.” Unsurprisingly then, the UN named Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat as the 2018 joint winners of the Champions of the Earth Award, in the Science and Innovation category.

It is interesting to note, that in the two great dystopian novels of the 20th century, Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, synthetic food is integral to the themes explored.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell recounts Winston Smith’s interactions with food on several occasions.

When Winston is queuing in the canteen, food trays are pushed beneath the grille: “onto each was dumped swiftly the regulation lunch – a metal pannikin of pinkish-grey stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory Coffee, and one saccharine tablet.”

Orwell then describes Winston eating the lunch: “He began swallowing spoonfuls of the stew, which, in among its general sloppiness, had cubes of spongy pinkish stuff which was probably a preparation of meat.”

Did the EAT-Lancet Commission take its cue from Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Similarly, in Brave New World, Aldous Huxley references “vitaminized beef-surrogate.” In these novels, food is linked to survival and it comes from the state, hence the state equals survival.

Alarmingly, the relationship between a nation’s protein food supply and political ideology is nothing new.

In 1929, Benito Mussolini ordered the formation of the Committee for the Study of Soya, and boldly announced a plan to require soy flour as a mandatory ingredient in the Italian staple polenta.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Communist Party in the Soviet Union pushed soy protein and soy margarines as the solution to low-cost feeding of the masses.

Indeed, Stalin’s efforts to collectivize agriculture involved the liquidation of the kulaks as a class (landowning peasantry). These farmers were opposed to giving up their cattle and land to collectivization, and as such, represented a counterweight to Soviet power.

Furthermore, the Native American Indian were starved into submission when the settlers exterminated the main food source upon which they had relied for generations – the bison.

The best hope to control the Native Americans was to: “make them poor by the destruction of their stock, and then settle them on the lands allotted to them” – according to Major-General Phillip Sheridan, the man tasked with this objective.

Controlling the means of production and interfering with a country’s food supply appears to be a constant theme of totalitarianism. Undoubtedly (from an historical point of view at least), the consumption of nutrient dense animal source foods is associated with wealth, health, physical strength and intelligence. In combination, these attributes empower the individual and enable independence from the state.

It is not hard to deduce, that the end goal of this contemporary plant-based diet agenda, is not about treating animals with humanity, but treating humans like animals.

The Elite Diet Diktat

“I think that insofar as dictators become more and more scientific, more and more concerned with the technically perfect, perfectly running society, they will be more and more interested in the kind of techniques which I imagined and described from existing realities in Brave New World.” – Aldous Huxley, 1962

The plant-based diet rhetoric is sounding increasingly dictatorial. It is morphing from a teenage rebellion or bohemian novelty into an officially endorsed diet option.

Undoubtedly, some of the plant-based diet promoters will be simply well-intentioned but misguided people (and perhaps suffering from early onset SDS – Steak Deficiency Syndrome). Nevertheless, ignorance is no excuse when such damaging agendas are being peddled. As Thomas Sowell said: “Activism is a way for useless people to feel important, even if the consequences of their activism are counterproductive for those they claim to be helping and damaging to the fabric of society as a whole.”

It is all too easy to deride the conflicted puppets of the anti-meat posing as green crowd – such as Gunhild Stordalen, the founder of the EAT organization. Similarly, it is easy to single out the “Intellectual Yet Idiot” report contributors – such as Walter Willet (nutrition researcher) or Dr Marco Springmann (meat tax study). But of far greater importance, is establishing who the puppet-masters are.

It is important to acknowledge, that the anti-animal agriculture narrative; the plant-based diet agenda; calls for the introduction of a meat tax; and the anthropogenic climate change claim, are cut from the same cloth.

“Climate change is a convenient horse for elites to ride in the implementation of a new world order. Debating the science of climate change is beside the point. There are heated views on both sides; some science is settled, some not. Global elites treat the debate as settled to mask a larger project. For elites, a global problem once defined conjures a global solution. Climate change is the perfect platform for implementing a hidden agenda of world money and world taxation.” – James Rickards, The Road to Ruin

The plant-based diet rhetoric could be more correctly described as a propaganda bombardment. One where the end goal is to coerce the masses into accepting the elite diet diktat.

However, to really decipher the plant-based diet agenda and the bizarre EAT-Lancet report, an understanding of the Hegelian dialectic is a prerequisite.

In a July 2018 insight, Alasdair Macleod (Head of Research for Goldmoney), wrote the following in an article entitled “State or Individual?” As a preface, Macleod outlines that modern statism has its origins in Marxism.

“Marx was a student of Hegel and based his philosophical analysis on Hegelian dialectic. Hegel concluded we all take our cue from our social and cultural surroundings and circumstances, and that they in turn are set by historical events. This became the basis for Marx’s extreme philosophy of class structure, which, in common with that of Hegel, denied any role to the independence of human thought.”

“Marx’s philosophical stance was comprehensively set out in his book, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, published in 1859. The fundamental principle behind Marxism is stated early in the preface, where he defines his deduction from the Hegelian dialectic: ‘It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness.’ In other words, social organisation takes precedence over the individual, and it therefore follows that the individual is subordinate to the social organisation.”

The following statement found on page 34 of the EAT-Lancet report confirms the analysis of Macleod’s writing: “However, the scale of change to the food system is unlikely to be successful if left to the individual or the whim of consumer choice.”

By understanding Marx’s philosophical stance and applying the Hegelian dialectic, it becomes rather obvious that the plant-based diet agenda promoted by the EAT-Lancet Commission contains at least a strand of political ideology.

Macleod summarised the Hegelian dialectic as follows: “Hegel, as did Marx, reasoned from a thesis, then a negation of the thesis, and then a negation of the negation. This was meant to be irrefutable proof of a surviving conclusion. But if the historical and ordinary facts and any assumptions are wrong at the outset, the whole thesis obviously fails.”

I find explaining the Hegelian dialectic in plain English to be somewhat difficult. But as a layman, I will attempt to use the dialectic in the context of the plant-based diet agenda.

Essentially, two extremes are required – one being the thesis (“livestock agriculture destroys the world”), and the other the anti-thesis (“the consumption of animal source foods must be phased out”).

However, the two are capable of reconciliation by combining them into a wider idea – a synthesis of opposites (“insert imitation animal food products made from plants into the food supply”).

Therefore, it can be deduced, that the advancement of the plant-based diet agenda will not take the form of a coup d’état. Instead, its implementation will advance subtly through various institutional and corporate channels, most likely via the alternative protein industry.

Food Financialisation

The lure of “disrupting” what remains of the unadulterated food supply (meat, dairy, fish, eggs) is an appealing proposition for start-up alternative protein companies and incumbent food industry giants.

The profitability of taking what should only be considered livestock feedstuffs, and processing this into human-consumable products, is an extremely lucrative business.

At the time of writing, a 415-gram box of “Nestle Shreddies Cereal” (96% whole grain wheat) can be purchased at the UK supermarket Sainsbury’s for £2.15 or £0.52/100g (a retail price per tonne of £5,200).

Currently, the spot UK milling wheat price is approximately £180/tonne.

A back of the envelope calculation indicates a mark-up of 2,788%. Although I am not familiar with the detailed economics of breakfast cereal processing, one can assume the margins will be at least several hundred percent – after packaging, transportation, and the processor’s margin is accounted for.

Whereas beef processing margins (after all costs), as an industry norm, are “in very low single digit percentages” – according to Tom Kirwan (CEO of ABP, a leading UK and Irish beef processor).

Given these indisputable facts, it is easy to see why Cargill and Tyson Foods (established animal protein processors) are keen to invest in alternative protein companies.

To them, a saleable product is a saleable product. If impressionable people are willing to buy their offerings, then a market will develop.

In late 2018, Nestle announced its plans to tap into the plant-based trend, having identified this as one of several fast growing “food tribes” (their wording). According to media reports, Nestle’s scientists are “experimenting with a liquid derived from walnuts and blueberries, with a purple hue. There’s also a blue latte featuring spirulina algae.”

Evidently, there is substantial corporate interest in the alternative protein concept.

Impossible Foods, the company receiving much of the alternative protein limelight, has attracted nearly $400 million in total funding. The company counts Google Ventures and Bill Gates among its investors.

Gates is not the only high-profile billionaire backing the alternative protein mania. Richard Branson is another notable example, he is an investor in Memphis Meats – a synthetic protein start-up.

Despite operating an airline (apparently among the worst airlines for pollution); and developing a space tourism venture, Branson wrote the following concerning his investment in Memphis Meats: “This could have a huge impact. Livestock is estimated to produce 18 per cent of all ‘man-made’ greenhouse gas emissions. This makes it a bigger contributor to global warming and environmental degradation than all forms of transportation.”

Sir Richard Branson’s actions perfectly demonstrate that the anthropogenic climate change story is worthy of the appellation “Saving the Planet Inc.”

Last year, New Crop Capital (private venture firm) launched a $100 million “New Protein Fund” to focus on investments in alternative protein companies.

The fund’s co-founder and chief investment officer (CIO), Chris Kerr, certainly believes there are fortunes to be made. “We will be rich, not matter what” he said in a pitch to a food manufacturing business, according Bloomberg Businessweek.

Reportedly, Kerr created New Crop Capital with funding from “wealthy backers who wish to remain anonymous.” The December 2018 article said that the fund has stakes in 33 vegan food companies.

Bloomberg summarised the discussion with the fund’s CIO, by stating: “To go truly global, in other words, vegan foods must be financialized and industrialized.”

Indeed, in this age of financialisation, it isn’t entirely surprising that the concept of an alternative protein industry has eventuated – anything seems possible.

Patrick Brown has said: “I love VCs and particularly the ones invested in us…. but it’s truly astonishing how little diligence they do in terms of the actual science that underlies some tech companies.”

“Sometimes……some of the VC firms we work with will ask me to take a look at a company. But it doesn’t really matter what I say because sometimes I’ll say, ‘If I were you I’d just flush my money down the toilet because it is faster and easier.’ But it doesn’t matter. They’ll do the deal.”

Patrick Brown’s observation confirms a recent comment made by financial journalist Edward Chancellor: “The market value of Elon Musk’s firm overtook BMW’s even though the profitable Bavarian luxury carmaker produced 30 times as many cars last year as the loss-making Tesla……With so much dumb money about, one of Silicon Valley’s new mantras is ‘spray and pray’.”

Many companies today exist only because of financialisation. As Roy Sebag, Founder of Goldmoney recently said: “We live in an age where liquidity masquerades as solvency.”

However, the situation the global economy and financial system finds itself in today is unprecedented. Many alternative protein companies who think they have a future could end up as ephemeral as dot-com companies – the similarities are striking.

Food Supply Control

It is important to distinguish between plant-based and synthetic protein (lab-meat) alternative protein companies. Synthetic protein companies have not yet commercialised the manufacture of “lab-meat.”

But if (and it is a big if), the process of manufacturing synthetic protein proves to be technologically and economically feasible, this would potentially put the means of “meat” production under the control of a small group of intellectual property-owning companies.

However, a more credible outcome, is that the promise of synthetic protein is simply used to cajole unwitting omnivores towards a utopian “meat” future. When they get there, they will instead find a plant-based food solution.

Covertly, I suspect the alternative protein promoters know that the commercial production synthetic protein is impractical.

By following the money, it is plain to see that the alternative protein movement is primarily focussed on plant-based companies. Imitation plant-based products (such as the Impossible Burger) can be manufactured now, using readily available agro-commodities such as soya, wheat, peas, oilseeds etc.

Therefore, the only real barrier preventing alternative protein products from entering the mainstream food supply, is consumer preference.

Alternative protein company executives know that most food consumers will only buy their imitation products if they can be made cheaper and more appealing than the real McCoy.

Josh Tetrick, founder and CEO of JUST, Inc. (an alternative protein company with a 2017 valuation of $1.1 billion) has said: “If my Dad can go to Walmart and buy cheap cod for $2.99 or [cell-based] Bluefin tuna for $2.49, then he might pick the tuna. If you can figure out how to get the cost down and the quality is better, it doesn’t matter if they [consumers] care about animal welfare, if they understand anything about the GFI, or if they believe in the science of climate change, or if they are a Trump voter….that’s when the switch [from conventionally produced meat to cell-based meat] will occur.”

Price is one of two elements central to the success of any food product.

The second element, taste, is outlined by Patrick Brown (he really is the gift that keeps on giving) in a response he gave during a 2009 interview (see interview here).

As a preface, Brown was explaining that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN published a study looking at the environmental impact of animal farming, “and the bottom line is that it is the most destructive and fastest growing environmental problem.” Here’s what he said about his plan to “eliminate animal farming on planet Earth”:

“The gist of my strategy is to rigorously calculate the costs of repairing and mitigating all the environmental damage and make the case that if we don’t pay as we go for this, we are just dumping this huge burden on our children. Paying these costs will drive up the price of a Big Mac and consumption will go down a lot. The other thing is to come up with yummy, nutritious, affordable mass-marketable alternatives, so that people who are totally addicted to animal foods will find alternatives that are inherently attractive to eat, so much so that McDonald’s will market them, too. I want to recruit the world’s most creative chefs – here’s a REAL creative challenge!”

Firstly, this statement is a clear indictment of the alternative protein agenda, including the meat tax conspiracy.

Anyway, as the ultra-processed food industry has demonstrated, the blandest ingredients can be made palatable through chemical trickery. Supposedly, Impossible Foods has mastered this technique also. If a concoction of grain and oilseeds can deliver a meat-eating sensory experience, perhaps unsuspecting omnivores will buy alternative protein products?

Alas, it is the average Joe who will determine their level of entrapment to the elite diet diktat. Aldous Huxley very nearly surmised this exact predicament several decades ago:

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” – Aldous Huxley, 1962.

Corporate & Academic Collusion

In the 2009 interview, Patrick Brown also alluded to “driving up the price of a Big Mac.” I wonder how he intends to do that?

“A new study (useful things these studies eh?) from researchers at the Oxford Martin School has found that a health tax on red and processed meat could prevent more than 220,000 deaths and save over US$40 billion in healthcare costs every year.”

The report was led by none other than Dr Marco Springmann – a vegan activist.

And which journal published the report?

Well, that would be the Public Library of Science (PLoS) – “a nonprofit Open Access publisher, innovator and advocacy organization with a mission to advance progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication.”

And who co-founded this journal?

None other than CEO and founder of Impossible Foods – Patrick Brown.

In that expository 2009 interview, Brown said: “I want to LITERALLY overthrow the scientific publishing establishment……that is what I want to do. PLoS is just part of a longer range plan. The idea is to completely change the way the whole system works for scientific communication.”

Evidently, “part of a longer range plan” means publishing studies conducive to his commercial interests.

And lastly, does the Oxford Martin School really think that taxing meat could “prevent” more than 220,000 deaths every year?

To quote the inimitable Dr Malcolm Kendrick: “The chances of getting out of life alive are zero. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, no-one has managed it yet.

(Note: Dr Malcolm Kendrick’s exceptional 2014 book, Doctoring Data, is a must read if you have even the slightest interest in your own health).

Governments & Meat Tax

Indisputably, there is a vociferous mob who would willingly support a plant-based diet for all. Indeed, after announcing the meat tax study, Dr Marco Springmann made sure he used the one-sided mainstream media soapbox to full effect: “For the average consumer……the takeaway message is, change your diet and write to your politicians to implement better regulations.”

However, politicians in office are not yet displaying much fervour for taxing meat. They must surely know that pushing up food prices is a sure way of instigating a revolution? (case in point, the Arab Spring).

A British Minister of State (Claire Perry) has said: “I don’t think we should be in the business of prescribing to people how they should run their diets……Who would I be to sit there advising people in the country coming home after a hard day of work to not have steak and chips?”

The idea of taxing red meat doesn’t seem to be getting much traction in Australia either.

The Australian Minister for Agriculture (David Littleproud) said: “The idea of taxing red meat by Oxford University shows just how irrelevant these institutions are becoming……You have to question who commissioned this report.”

“I don’t tell people what they should eat. People can make up their own minds and government should stay out of their lives.”

Of course, plant-based protein companies are bound to lobby for a meat tax, and by colluding with biased academic researchers, they will strive to compile a body of “evidence.” (There isn’t a shred of discernible evidence to validate the red meat pseudo-science or the climate change claims).

Although I suspect calls for banning this and taxing that will increase as the Western world undergoes continued social, moral, and economic turmoil; it would take a brave, desperate or despotic politician to tax something as primal as meat.

It is imperative that the protein food market remains free. Free from overzealous regulations, penal taxes, and corporate dictation.

If this holds true, and people are free to eat a diet of their choosing, then alternative protein companies will have to compete against real animal source foods. This is the free market, that is how business is supposed to work.

But if food companies use corporate cronyism to influence policy makers, then the free market element will be lost, along with consumer choice.

Open Farm Pinprick

“Kill weeds when they are small – this rule applies to any problem you encounter in life.” – Matthew Naylor, Farmers Weekly columnist

Currently, the anti-animal agriculture narrative is doing damage to the livestock sector. Even if it does not result in people deliberately removing animal source foods from their diets, this propaganda bombardment plants the seed of doubt in the minds of the majority who do eat meat and dairy products.

To date, the livestock industry has been slow to dissect the anti-animal agriculture narrative and formulate a solid rebuttal. The response has been to ignore this dietary fad; pass the buck onto certain production systems; or advocate a “balanced diet.”

All these reactions miss the bigger picture. Understanding who is promoting this movement; who is profiting from the attempt to shift dietary patterns; and why this disturbing agenda is being pursued, ought to be the livestock industry’s focus.

History shows that complacency in such matters is unwise. The infamous Ancel Keys almost single-handedly instigated one of the greatest health deceptions of the 20th century.

But the contemporary assault on livestock agriculture and animal source foods could have far greater consequences.

The consumption of nutrient dense food is a fundamental pillar of a thriving civilization. No sensible person would wish to see real nutrition removed from the food supply. However, as this critique has sought to highlight, the anti-animal agriculture narrative and plant-based diet agenda harbours wider political and commercial schemes.

Nevertheless, dispelling the anti-animal agriculture narrative and exposing the fraudulent plant-based diet agenda is not an insurmountable challenge. All the actual scientific evidence, history, and logic is firmly on the side of livestock agriculture – as well as the vast majority of food consumers.

However, thinking the complicit media and ivory tower academics will embrace impartiality on this issue is ingenuous. The anthropogenic climate change claim and “red meat causes [insert non-communicable disease of your choice]” is entrenched dogma in the eyes of the media and many academic institutions.

Alas, many schools are also adept at spreading propaganda. I vividly remember being taken from the classroom to watch Al Gore’s 2006 “documentary” – An Inconvenient Truth (I don’t recall being taken to watch any other “educational” films).

Instead, the process of rebutting the anti-animal agriculture narrative and exposing the plant-based diet agenda must go direct to the people – as Dr Frank Mitloehner (University of California, Davis) summarises in the short clip below.

The whole point of our company’s proposed Open Farm agri-tourism venture is to provide a transparent platform for people to experience modern and sustainable livestock agriculture. I have briefly outlined this concept here.

Engaging with the very people agriculturalists seek to nourish is going to be a crucial aspect of 21st century food production – the state of public health and individual liberty just might depend on it.

Declaration of Interest!

Any damning assessment of the alternative protein movement, especially by a livestock agriculturalist, could easily be construed as typical luddite behaviour.

Therefore, when analysing this subject, I am mindful of the following quotation in more ways than one.

“The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated.” – Wilfred Trotter, surgeon and sociologist

Notwithstanding Trotter’s valid observation, suggesting that this critique is lamenting the demise of an “antiquated and inefficient” industry would be misguided. Our start-up agribusiness is intently focussed on innovation in dairy and beef production. Indeed, developing a super-efficient agricultural production system fit for the 21st century is our ultimate endeavour.

Without question, livestock agriculture is going to have to increase its innovation commitments in order to continue dominating its very own market segment.

But there is disruption, and then there is foolishness. Thinking that people can thrive on a diet devoid of animal source foods, or one laden with imitation “meat” products, is madness.

Edward Talbot


Sustainable Agricultural Systems Ltd. (SAS) We are a New Zealand farming family who in 2010 moved to the UK to investigate new agricultural opportunities. Since then, we have researched and designed the SAS System.

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February 1, 2019 10:10 pm

I have no issue with vegetarians and vegans until you get the extreme lunatics that cross the point they talk about using laws and force to mandate things. We don’t make them eat particular things and I expect the same rights and consideration back. If they can convince people to do a change of diet voluntarily then good luck to them it is a freedom we have.

Reply to  LdB
February 1, 2019 11:39 pm


Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 1:20 am

Vegetarians and particularly vegans have always been self-righteous, moralistic zealots who think their personal choices somehow give them a right to tell everyone else what to do.

This is now becoming the modus operandi of the left with “save the planet” being the ultimate moral argument from which to preach and dictate to others. They seem oblivious to the monumental self-parody.

Reply to  Greg
February 2, 2019 6:01 am

True. What amuses me is that they kill baby peas, yet remain sanctimonious.

They kill to stay alive, as all do.

Curious George
Reply to  Greg
February 2, 2019 7:27 am

Wasnt’t Adolf Hitler a vegetarian? Look what he did for the mankind.

Reply to  Curious George
February 2, 2019 8:52 am

Ah yes, Adolph, the first globalist in modern history. They couldn’t achieve it through force, so now they are trying via economics. Leftists try to blame his actions on nationalism, but nationalism is not a problem. The problem is the desire to take over OTHER people’s nations, aka, globalism.

Reply to  Greg
February 2, 2019 10:38 am

Very interesting that leftists seem hell-bent on “fixing” things that aren’t even broken. I found this article chilling, especially when you pair it with a number of other anti-nature agendas being rammed down our throats; “toxic masculinity” and “transgenderism.”

Because lacking the concentrated, easily-absorbed essential nutrients from animal sources, a couple of things happen, particularly with the consumption of non-fermented soy: Infertility, feminization of boys and men, precocious puberty in girls, low thyroid making both sexes fat and lethargic while ravenous for ever-more cheap empty carbohydrates, etc. Oh, and grain-based diets and overconsumption of sugars is mostly why the “Western diseases” keep so many dependent on the pharma industry to stay alive. Why, who wouldn’t want THAT?

Somebody out there seems to want a world of easily-led, cheap to feed, docile and declining population that isn’t allowed to make personal choices. Seems Huxley saw it coming.

Mike From Au
Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 4:12 pm

“particularly with the consumption of non-fermented soy:
Even many/most Vegans and vegetarians (Or meat eaters) do not know that fermented foods are not only much higher in bio-available nutrients than unfermented foods, they also contain vital K2. K2 is found in meat, but is much higher in food fermented by Bacillus Subtilis like Natto, the Japanese super food. Fermentation of foods is vital in any discussion about peak nutrition. We were built eat fermented foods and thrive.

To make matters much, much worse, there has been a massive mistake made with recommendation by GP’s to take vitamin D3. If taken, it mobilises calcium but does nothing to make sure the calcium is deposited in bones, instead calcium is deposited everywhere including arteries. On the other hand, it is K2 that orchestrates where calcium should and shouldn’t go or removal thereof.

How to stop cavities, recover brain and heart health with vitamin K2 – OraWellness – Kiran Krishnan

Mike From Au
Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 4:18 pm

“How to stop cavities, recover brain and heart health with vitamin K2 – OraWellness – Kiran Krishnan”

Reply to  Greg
February 2, 2019 7:02 pm

I knew a vegan like you are talking about. She was kind of an undernourished cross between Maria Muldaur and Joan Baez, without the musical talent.

I was pre-med working in the same lab as she, myself an undergrad, she a 5th-year grad student, not even close to starting to write up her thesis.

People made fun of her. When I say people, I don’t mean me, I mean her doctoral advisor and her co-grad students. First off, she spouted her health-centered diet, but was very sickly. Second, she somehow lost her specimens in the compartment of the Revco, and scraped them off the walls Third she ran experiments, and instead of running her own control regimen, used control data published in another institution.

The good news is, she didn’t convince anyone else in our lab that her veganism was worth following.

Reply to  Greg
February 3, 2019 1:36 pm

There are problems with vegans forcing their plant only diet restrictions on cats and dogs. Dogs get sick and the cats die.

Reply to  Tommyboy
February 3, 2019 11:56 pm

The irony of a vegan having a pet aside you are correct and even most vegans agree when they look at the science

Reply to  Greg
February 3, 2019 9:04 pm

Don’t paint us all with one brush. I’ve been a veggie for 10+ years and I would never feel comfortable forcing others to do it. That is an individual choice. I’ve ran into the types you describe and want nothing to do with their agenda. They are less than half the veggies I’ve met.

I tried vegan once for a month but didn’t feel good. A few years later after reading up I tried veggie (lacto/ovo) plus B12, EPA/DHA. Felt great and I’ve been on it ever since.

If anyone is thinking of trying a veggie diet make sure you get B12 (methylcobalamin form) and long chain EPA/DHA (purified fish oil). I get most of my protein from whey, hemp seed and egg whites. Any soy I eat has to be fermented (tempeh, miso, nato).

R Shearer
Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 6:31 am

Many of them cringe that you might celebrate a special occasion with the consumption of a steak at a fancy restaurant, but they are perfectly fine with ending the life of a newly born infant after it has taken its first breaths outside the womb.

Jeff Mitchell
Reply to  R Shearer
February 2, 2019 11:00 am

I think they’re taking a cue from Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal. Think Planned Parenthood’s selling of baby parts.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 12:32 pm

“We don’t make them eat particular things and I expect the same rights and consideration back …”.
That’s the harm principle viz. “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others” (On Liberty, J S Mill) and ‘harm to others’ in economics is a negative externality.
The naturally totalitarian personalities amongst us are constantly concocting negative consequences to restrict and control the choices of others and with CC™ they think they have discovered the ultimate catch-all negative ‘externality’.

Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 2:40 pm

Full disclosure. I eat meat. I’m firmly in the camp of vegetables are what food eats and If God wanted us to be vegetarians, he would have made broccoli a lot more fun to hunt!

However, I laugh at vegan/vegetarians all the time as they attempt to create recipes that taste like real meat. Apparently american hamburger is like the vegan recipe gold standard. Why do vegetarians want to do this? Why are you trying to get to hamburger? (there’s a simple solution at the butcher counter) You’re happy to eat vegetables why don’t you want them to taste like broccoli?

Reply to  taz1999
February 2, 2019 2:59 pm

I challenge anyone to smell bacon frying (or even walk past a McDonald’s) without salivating at the sizzling meat. And I have never, in going on 60 years, not even once, seen or heard of ANYONE, EVER, salivating at the smell of broccoli. 😉 This tells me a certain something about evolution . . . that, and the fact that I don’t have my horse’s cecum.

Reply to  Goldrider
February 3, 2019 11:10 am

cecum; well played; you made me look it up

Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 2:49 pm

And there’s another hypothesis that rain washes nutrients down from the mountains and animals climb up and re-deposit. I’ve also seen some experiments where they’ve used livestock to regenerate arid areas. Droppings and stirrings.

February 1, 2019 10:28 pm

Its not just this issue. After COP24 there has been an explosion of twitter people pushing this as well as radical reductions in flying, using shaming to push academics and laypeople from flying.

I think that there was something put together there as a marketing push across many interest areas as a means to push the radicalization of carbon policy.

Reply to  Dennis Wingo
February 2, 2019 7:08 pm

Around 1500 private planes flew into Davos for the annual talkfest of business leaders, politicians, rockstars and other A-listers. And they have the gall to tell us to reduce flying?
The demonization of meat is yet another effort by the self-appointed to keep the little people down, put them in their place, tell them what to do. Well, they can go and get stuffed.

February 1, 2019 10:36 pm

“It is quite simply illogical that red meat or dairy products cause modern diseases…”

This is not quite right in the details. Milk allergy and kidney stones (from red meat) are established consequences of the consumption of these foods for some people. There are many other allergic reactions to various foods as well.

Reply to  DHR
February 1, 2019 11:33 pm

I am intolerant to milk, that makes sense mammals are only suppose to consume milk as babies, only and idiot would thing other wise, and yes some groups of humans have overcome that, I might belong to that group but that one group trait I did not inherited. I can eat beef no problems, gluten and beans sorry not a chance. I am not alone on that, it not meat and cream that cause heart disease it salad oils and excessive carbohydrate that are the killer not only heart disease but diabetes also. In one blog a rancher made a very direct post, “we feed grain to cattle to fatten them up, why would we think the same would not be true for humans.” Very good question!

Reply to  Mark Luhman
February 3, 2019 9:16 pm

An interesting article on researcher’s speculation on milk consumption. Unfortunately it is based on models, but interesting none the less.

“Milk Drinking Started Around 7,500 Years Ago In Central Europe”


Reply to  DHR
February 2, 2019 12:22 am

So our ancestors didn’t eat meat or drink milk historically they were vegetarians and vegans and this modern eating is causing all the allergic reactions. It is pretty well known there has to be somethign else at play except you missed the memo 🙂

Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 9:43 am

Drinking milk didn’t start until after cows were domesticated, a relatively recent event from an evolutionary standpoint.
Hominids have been eating meat since they got big enough to drive scavengers away from a carcass.

Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2019 5:43 pm

And the first guy who came up with the hypothesis, “Maybe if I kill that antelope, it might be edible, let me devise a tool to take it down,” and then he killed it and ate it, and it was good, and he and his family became stronger and faster people, eating meat and vegetables, than his co-tribal brothers who were solely vegans, and so they became chieftains, and lived happy lives.

We modern humans forgot that our forebears were vegans, because, who wants to be a 97-pound wimp?

Tom Halla
Reply to  ilftpm
February 2, 2019 5:59 pm

I really doubt that our forebears were vegans, as Jane Goodall and other researchers have noted, chimps, bonobos and the like are rather omnivorous, and one would presume our ancestors were like out close relatives.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  MarkW
February 2, 2019 7:00 pm


My mother (and mothers everywhere) would beg to differ with the “Cows and Milk Drinking” hypothesis.

As a guy I’ve tried many times over the decades to get those “Cargo Planes” to land again as they most assuredly did when I was an infant. The fun now is in the trying.

Michael Henry Keal
Reply to  LdB
February 3, 2019 3:50 pm

“So our ancestors didn’t eat meat…”
Ldb perhaps you could explain why we humans are perfectly adapted for persistence hunting and are able to run most animals to exhaustion over long distances and then kill them when they’re exhausted. Humans are not herbivores. We eat herbivores. That’s why I like my steak rare.

Reply to  Michael Henry Keal
February 3, 2019 11:57 pm

You obviously missed the smile perhaps I need to put /sarcasm for you because it went right over your head

shortie of greenbank
Reply to  LdB
February 3, 2019 5:56 pm

Vegans are still trying to lie their way out of what was written by Weston A Price and his work investigating the health or diet of primitive tribes still around in the 1930s.

I personally changed my diet for a ketogenic style diet to alleviate several problems with my health that had been becoming worse over the last couple of years. In just a week of changing my carbohydrates from within the standard range accepted to a level of roughly 20-50g maximum of carbs a day most of the symptoms disappeared, my energy started returning etc.

Diets and dietary intake will vary for everyone so a one size fits all propagandising from a self-important group only seems to push a corrupt narrative. Much similar to the climate change one really.

Reply to  DHR
February 2, 2019 11:17 am


If you are one of the “some” people, it is genetics that is the cause. (I originally typed “your” genetics there, but dietary problems are also frequently the simple lack of the appropriate commensal organisms in your system.) The inability to correctly process a dietary intake is the disease, not the dietary intake.

John V. Wright
February 1, 2019 10:39 pm

Soylent Green.

Zig Zag Wanderer
February 1, 2019 10:47 pm

I believe that the breeding of large animals such as cows, sheep, goats and pigs was ultimately responsible for the levels of technology and wealth that we enjoy today. Anything that turns grass into delicious protein, fat and even calcium for bones is a true miracle.

I don’t care if some people choose not to eat meat or dairy products. I’m not going to tell them they’re wrong. If they try to tell me what I should or should not eat, I’ll tell them that, and a great deal more if they don’t stop.

Zig Zag Wanderer 2
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 2, 2019 5:40 am

Breeding animals is disturbing and gross. I think a human should only do their own personal breeding. We have to breed or inseminate (rape) these animals so we can create more bodies to kill and eat. Beyond that – they typically have pretty disturbing lives in the large scale factory farms, devoid of any basic pleasure that living creatures enjoy – space to move around, fresh air. Often loaded onto open air tractor trailers and driven on highways across states to be “processed” as many commenters have called it. If you can torture and play god with these animals, or pay someone to do it for you, then good for you. Way to go. I will continue to pray for the sweet creatures we share our planet with and I will not torture them, enslave them, rape them, steal their babies, or kill them. But have at it! Enjoy your disgusting mother’s milk from another species. Cook it well, make sure you kill off the diseases the can be found on DEAD BODIES! ewwww

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer 2
February 2, 2019 8:34 am

You are COMPLETELY divorced from nature and the world. You seem to think the natural world is accurately described in a Disney animation, where animals cavort and play in lovely meadows with plenty of food and no enemies. I’m not going to waste my time trying to lift your ignorance. Perhaps one day you will watch a video of crocodiles eating a zebra alive, or deer dying of starvation. THAT is what nature has given them. Every animal ends up being eaten by other animals, and quite often while still alive.
And if you think females in the wild give their consent to be impregnated, then you are, indeed, poorly educated.

KR Wolf
Reply to  jtom
February 2, 2019 11:31 am

Wait wait. Did I misunderstand that last bit? Yes they consent.
Any field zoologist has seen that females– in the wild and also in minimally-restrictive domestic circumstances– absolutely seek mating.
You have not seen my Walking Horse mare in heat following, peeing at and pushing against the individual of her choice (=smell my hormones I’m ready). You have not spent hours amounting to years observing animals in the wild wherein females choose their favorite or perhaps favorites and mate with enthusiasm multiple times.
Rape is seldom an issue in the non-human world but yes it does occur. In the wild I recall are pintail mallards who will swoop down on any female regardless of her species or appropriate hormonal status. Yes there are some others. Not common.

Reply to  KR Wolf
February 2, 2019 5:31 pm

Pintails and mallards are closely related, taxonomically, but different ducks.

Lee L
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer 2
February 2, 2019 9:20 am


Imagine an organism in an undisturbed ecosystem..go ahead and pick one. Now imagine its life … and its death.

I pick a caribou. Most of its time is spent grazing and wandering to the next eating spot. It’s life is to be constantly on the alert for predators which are constantly on the alert for caribou. It might be one of the lucky ones that survive freezing or starving to death in winter, or it might not.
If it is, then it might survive to become the victim of an infection and will receive no medical care or intervention. Perhaps it will just become weaker as it ages but either way it will become prey. Wolves are not fussy about how a caribou is slaughtered. Prey is eaten alive until it isn’t alive anymore.

This is the way of all nature. Pretty much everything (except farmed animals) is eaten alive until it is dead. So dear Wanderer… what organism do you choose?

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer 2
February 2, 2019 9:45 am

In other words, you have no idea what you are talking about and want to force your phobias onto everyone else.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer 2
February 2, 2019 6:21 pm

Zig Zag Wanderer, I follow you, having been where you are before you got there.

I have friends that are plants. I learned from a man who was second cousin to the wife of one of Semyon Kirlian’s most-loved students, that plants are sentient beings. I saw photographs that were smuggled out of the Soviet Union that proved plants were higher-order lifeforms who experienced pain when they were injured.

Later I read in Scientific American that plants released defensive biochemicals when they were under attack. Self-protective actions prove sentience.

As a result of this enlightenment, I entered a secret ashram, I can’t say what it is, except for those who want to enter the path of holy righteous sustainability, let’s just say it is within 25 radial miles of Esalen. That’s all I can say. You don’t have to first attend Esalen, but it gives you a head start, because there is a direct dirt trail to the ashram.

To find this temple of truth, you’re going to have to cross a lot of poison oak covered territory, happy I Ching. (Many people call this itching.)

Well, complete the ashram pathway to nirvana course, and you can live on cosmic rays and dark energy, and never have to kill another innocent plant in your life to survive.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer 2
February 3, 2019 9:35 pm

The realities of food production, processing and transportation are obviously unknown to people who think like Mr/Ms Zig Zag Wanderer 2. It doesn’t matter if you eat only veggies, getting food to your mouth also includes the death of countless insects, rodents, mammals, birds, etc. Causing death to other living creatures is a product of you being at the top of the food chain. Even if you grow 100% of your food in your back yard to avoid transportation death (such as that sweet raccoon that tries to cross the road in front of the semi hauling cauliflower to your local store) you will still have a negative impact on other life, such as the death of an earthworm when you till soil or the slug you kill because you’re tired of them eating the tomatoes you were going to can for winter. I tell people I raise sheep because they taste good! And I’m so thankful God created sheep for me to enjoy and nourish my body. And it takes a unique lack of curiosity, honesty and individualism to buy into the insemination = “rape”.

February 1, 2019 11:22 pm

Madness is were we are at almost across the board,to the most part it the fault of the left and the elites. The left are a proven murderous force, after all the did murder 200,000,000 people in the twenty century and are unapologetic about it and are trying to continue on, after all we only have to look at Virginia governor on that case he has no problem murder a child already bore(of course it has to be done humanely as if you can murder humanely) add in he a Doctor. The elites are only interested in feather their pocks no mater what the cost to the undesirable which is most of us. Add in that a vegetarian diet is actually harmful to the planet, simple it requires far more energy and land to pull it, add in that such a diet is detrimental to the health of the human race is a bonus to the elite and the left.

February 1, 2019 11:24 pm

After cattle are accused of causing global warming
Falsely accused. Cattle contribute no net GHG. Rather they convert grasses that humans cannot eat into proteins and carbohydrates that humans can eat. The grass was produced from GHG in the atmosphere. Any GHG released by cattle while converting grass to protein and carbohydrates is converted by bacteria and eventually ends up as grass to feed the cattle, completing the loop.

Cattle is a closed loop, fully sustainable food production system that releases no net ghg. Cattle produce high quality food for humans from low quality feed stocks that humans cannot eat. They recycle GHG in coordination with bacteria and plants.

Serge Wright
Reply to  Ferdberple
February 1, 2019 11:47 pm

Ironically, the Green mantra supports the concept of the closed loop carbon cycle when you discuss human population levels in countries such as China and their direct GHG emissions.


Of course these guys have zero integrity and spin the argument the other way when it’s suits their totalitarian cause.

Reply to  Ferdberple
February 2, 2019 5:15 am

Correct Ferdberple!

Unmentioned, is the simple fact that livestock tend to be grown on land unsuitable for raising crops or on lands left fallow.
Planting a land improving crop, e.g. alfalfa, rye, etc. while land is rotated into their fallow years is a key construct of sustainability.
Livestock roaming and consuming plant material returns to the soil mulch, humus and nutrients.

In less arable areas, livestock is raised simply because the land is not suitable for food crops.

As Ferd points out, livestock consume low quality coarse plants and through their complex digestive systems draw nutrients out that is converted to high nutrition meat.

Far too many activists proposing strict vegetative diets are oblivious to effort and conditions necessary to raise the tender vegetation, of which they are so fond. It doesn’t help that most also ignore the incomplete nutrition profiles most plant diets provide.
Meaning, it is all right with them that they and their families often are not consuming healthy diets. Their anti-meat bias dooms the less wealthy to unhealthy nutrition profiles.

Improved nutrition profiles are why many people are taller and healthier than their ancestors were a couple of hundred years ago. i.e. unless their ancestors were royalty or wealthy.

February 1, 2019 11:41 pm

This is an excellent article and yet another warning about the corruption, greed and lust for power and control that is out there is the world.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 2, 2019 6:20 am

Yes, that is what I wanted to comment too! Brilliant work and compilation – thanks a lot! I have noticed the huge markup on plant-based food a long time ago but never thought about this in numbers! Amazing that companies get so easily away with this but when chicken wings are sold for $2, people call it rip-off!

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 4, 2019 7:35 am

Corporations are hoping to jump on the green movement and climate change agenda, and they want to take over the biological role that animals have performed for thousands of years, efficiently converting grass and other plants into digestible protein. Corporations are thinking “We want to do that job now! Dispense with the animals!” Their new profit frontier.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 4, 2019 7:56 am

Corporations as usual are jumping on the bandwagon because they see a huge profit potential. They want to replace the job that animals have been doing for millenia, of converting grass and other plants into human digestible protein. Not because they can do it better, but because of profit. Just make the fake meat cheap and good tasting, don’t worry about health and nutrition. And there are no government regulations! Another health disaster in the making. Years in the future, people will realize that this fake meat is a bad thing, just like oleo-margarine, trans fats, diet soda, processed junk food and all the other market driven food industry inventions.
Ironically, producing manufactured industrial food this way will probably emit just as much if not more greenhouse gasses as the old way.

Reply to  Kungfool
February 5, 2019 5:29 pm

Just don’t eat it like all the other shit they produce that you’ve spoken of. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out.

February 2, 2019 12:05 am

Just look at this evil incarnate. Meat means murder. I only eat the mushrooms to maintain my moral compass.

comment image

February 2, 2019 12:06 am

What will be done about the almost 200 million cattle in India? They are worshiped not eaten, kill a cow and you would be in serious trouble.

February 2, 2019 12:17 am

So what is bestn, to save the Planet, or to make us be in better health. Or both.

Perhaps we should take advantage of all the meat in the form of humans , and instead of wasting it via the crementorian, lets use the “Solient Green”solution. Recycling is all the rage. Hi.

Waste not, want not.


Reply to  Michael
February 2, 2019 12:25 am

An alternative is generating heat energy from crematoria… which is already a thing…

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 12:45 am

You have to put quite a lot of heat energy in to burn a body. Sounds like Climate Scientology to me…

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 2, 2019 3:30 am

how do you suppose they figure out the calorie content of ANY food? they burn it and figure out how much extra heat was produced. you can’t easily burn very wet green wood either but once it dries, watch out.

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 5:32 am

The body is 98% water even if you drain it of all easily displaced fluid it is going to be something like 50% . So you don’t ever reach a break even point it is a bit like trying to burn wet wood.

So basically a body has negative caloric value.

I suspect the confusion comes from an article that is written something like this
The article was written by a dimwitt at no point are they actually generating energy from burning corpses they just have to have the furnaces running anyhow so they are using energy not used to burn the body and using it.

The guardian actually managed to at least get that right for a change
It is the excess heat they are using not the the energy of burning the body

So no people they aren’t burning bodies to make heat 🙂

R Shearer
Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 6:36 am

It’s relatively easy to turn animal fats into fuel, and this is a possibility, but in actuality, the recycled human body is more valuable when harvested for its parts.

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 8:46 am

Doesn’t it bother you that cremation puts a lot of CO2 into the air, when it could be sequestered in buried, sealed caskets for thousands of years? I have been waiting for demands to stop cremations. How many tons of atmospheric CO2 does India, alone, produce in a year from this practice.

Loren Wilson
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 8:47 am

Since people are mostly water, we don’t generate much energy when burned. That’s why modern crematorium run on natural gas.

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 4:38 pm

You would have to wait until the bodies dried out….keep them in a stackoria ?
Otherwise you need more energy to burn them than you produce.

Egyptian workers building railways in the 19thC did burn mummies to keep warm [but mummies weren’t used as fuel for steam trains…Mark Twain was responsible for that ].
Your proposal might have more merit if the human population through much of the world continues its junk food fueled march towards extreme obesity. Perhaps people might start emulating lithium batteries and burst into flame of their own accord [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_human_combustion].

Reply to  GregK
February 3, 2019 6:55 am

Composting. Bury ’em for 6 months in a mixture of wood chips and manure, which “heats” and promotes bacterial decomposition. Nothin’ left but the bones, grind ’em up for your roses.
This is really a “thing.”

Reply to  Michael
February 2, 2019 12:25 am

The problem is the better health leads to deaths by other causes increasing which is always amusing to watch people try to understand. It seems to get lost that eventually you must die of something.

Rich Davis
Reply to  LdB
February 2, 2019 4:32 am

Exactly right. If you don’t have antibiotics then you can die from an accidental scratch. Plus, when people died 80 years ago, they would not necessarily have been diagnosed for the cause, which means that incidence of disease is confounded with better diagnosis.

Reply to  LdB
February 3, 2019 6:58 am

Haven’t you heard? The latest BS-buzzword from the WHO and other nannystaters is “premature death.” How can anyone determine it’s “premature?” You can ace your physical and step in front of a bus tomorrow. No one can predict the time and cause of death of any individual, and death is still always one to a customer. But-but-but! they could have lived LONGER, they say, if not for the bus, the bacon, the smokes or the tsunami that got ’em. Or something . . .

But it sounds good to the innumerate and scientifically illiterate.

Reply to  Goldrider
February 4, 2019 12:12 am

That is attribution statistics or attribution models and again and I repeat it isn’t science it is marketing. You can talk about using a science approach and any other fancy science sounding catch words you like but it isn’t science. It fails to be science because it has far to many loopholes in it.

There are only two fields that use attribution models or statistics and they are medicine and climate science and both instances it is used in the absence of real science by parties who wish to market a product or idea.

Ian Macdonald
February 2, 2019 12:25 am

There are arguments against meat on the grounds of cruelty to animals. When working in telecomms I had the dubious privelege of surveying a chicken factory for a phone system. That decided me to stop buying chicken.

Not all meat eating involves cruelty. I’d have no problem with taking a rifle out and shooting a deer for the table. The difficulty is in establishing whether the animal was treated cruelly, though. Dairy farming can in some cases be cruel, for example if milk cows spend their lives in cages.

To conflate meat eating with the infamous climate scam makes no sense though.

February 2, 2019 12:29 am

“Therefore, one American cow produces as much milk as twelve Indian cows”… well there’s a whole raft of unaddressed differences between India and the US there…

for example the US use of milk production increasing hormones like BST (banned in the EU), the intensive nature of US agriculture, with cows being entirely housed inside (and where and how does their feed come from?) – there are a handful at most of such dairies in the UK, for example… the difference in the breeds: a US dairy cow would fare badly in the heat of India…

And Us meat consumption is at a level much, much higher than the rest of the world… including that here in the UK.

Does excessive meat consumption cause illness? Hmmm… all Americans are not slim are they?

A C Osborn
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 1:50 am

You don’t get fat eating meat, it is protein, you get fat eating Junk processed food.

Reply to  A C Osborn
February 2, 2019 4:08 am

Primarily the carbohydrates. Protein actually triggers the full feeling, whereas you can eat an entire packet of crisps an not feel satisfied; bloated, yes, but still needing something.

R Shearer
Reply to  Hivemind
February 2, 2019 6:39 am

Yep, another reason to like big government, its diet is killer.

Reply to  A C Osborn
February 3, 2019 5:58 am

I actually lost a lot of weight after I gave up vegetarianism.

Lewis P Buckingham
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 2:21 am

One of the differences is that the Indian subsistence farmer needs essential amino acids to biologically improve the quality of his vegetable protein.
Do the greens want Indians to stop producing such amino acids and so die out?
If they were to do so Indian birth rates would fall and the survivors would not grow into healthy adults.
So, why are cows useful in India?

‘First, it is part of a composite farming system in most situation s, with interaction s between crop and livestock production systems. Second, there is gainful employment of surplus family labour, all the more important for eastern India, where there is a high rate of rural unemployment. Third, along with earning income from sale of milk, family nutrition is an important reason for the small producer to rear milch animals.

The problem is the dogma that animal protein is intrinsically bad.
In India and elsewhere, it is an absolute economic and community good.
Saying anything else just puts the anti cow dogma into disrepute.

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 4:43 am

Griff, as usual you’re so full of ‘it your eyes are brown. Have you ever actually seen a dairy farm?

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 4:56 am

“Does excessive meat consumption cause illness? Hmmm… all Americans are not slim are they?”

They would be better off if they ate more meat and less processed foods and high fructose corn syrup – the latter is in everything.

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 6:01 am

Griff, perhaps you actually noticed the mention of Ancel Keys? Your notions of a proper diet are based on his models, which were reinforced with what amounts to fraud. Suppressing his own long term study that disproved his pet theory says quite a lot about the person. He should be in the same reputation position as Sir Cyril Burt.

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2019 9:49 am

The EU bans many things that are not harmful and are in fact beneficial.
The fact that BST is banned in the EU is just virtue signalling.

Brooke e.
Reply to  griff
February 5, 2019 7:11 am

Actually Hong Kong has the highest meat consumption and the longest life’s recorded. Higher meat consumption seems to equal better health. In the is, meat consumption is at a record low historically.

February 2, 2019 12:31 am

Charles, you’re only wrong about one thing here. The nutritional argument FOR consuming animal source foods is non-existent. We know almost nothing about nutrition in 2019, but we do know that vegans are neither less nor more healthy than people who eat meat/dairy, and we also know that the “protein myth” is widespread. There is no nutritional argument here either way. I am a long-time reader and supporter of Wattsupwiththat.com, don’t believe the AGW narrative, and have been vegan for 35 years. It’s clearly better for animal welfare – you can’t tell me cows are better off in feedlots and slaughterhouses than if they hadn’t been born at all, and the same for other farmed animals. You can’t tell me industrial fishing is better for marine ecosystems. You can’t tell me topsoils and riparian habitats are better off as grazing land than as something else. Disease-levels of e-coli and other bacteria and the vast quantity of antibiotics sold can be found in the meat-driven food chain. There are many political forces you haven’t bothered to mention, like gag laws and “American” beef being raised in South America, misinformation, and much more. It’s far more complex than you have outlined.

It’s true that a belief in not eating animals comes as a “package” with the mistaken belief that man is causing global warming. But your argument FOR eating animals is no less ridiculous. Your belief that people need to eat a certain (high) level of protein was disproved decades ago by evidence that low-protein diets are no less healthy. This is one of the few highly biased articles that makes WUWT look less rigorous.

Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 12:44 am

While I accept your points my own point is that a fine steak is bloody lovely!

Particularly with a fine pepper sauce.

Lurker Pete
Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 1:00 am

Where do you get your vitamin B12 from?

Reply to  Lurker Pete
February 2, 2019 1:08 am

Synthetically produced via the miracle of modern science.

Graeme M
Reply to  Jones
February 2, 2019 3:03 am

The problem with that being? Modern science also provides all of the artificial aids that keep so many of us alive well past our natural use by date, and it’s not like it’s vegans eating the trillions of vitamin supplements in the world.

Reply to  Jones
February 2, 2019 5:57 am

Synthetic vitamins are not processed well by the body. Almost all of them are removed from the body quickly in the urine. I used to take vitamin supplements, lots of them. But I started to feel sick on my stomach every time I took one. This caused me to research. Which showed me that almost all of those vitamins I was taking left my body. I didn’t feel any better taking the vitamins, only worse.

Ever since I stopped taking vitamins, I decided to focus on a balanced diet. I also try to avoid soda or anything with high fructose corn syrup. That can be challenge. I limit my sodas to at most two a week (one of them must be a Mountain Dew or Dr Pepper with cane sugar), my beer and wine to at most one per day, and I avoid anything fried. And I feel pretty good. My weight is dropping slowly but assuredly. I have concluded that the best diet is a mixed one, with no extremes any way.

Reply to  Lurker Pete
February 2, 2019 5:46 am
Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 1:36 am

Wow , a non moralistic vegan.

Thanks for a sensible and argument point of view, David.

Reply to  Greg
February 2, 2019 5:49 am

Yeah unfortunately there are more of the other type around, if they were all like David they wouldn’t have the bad rep.

Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 3:28 am

but we do know that vegans are neither less nor more healthy than people who eat meat/dairy,

Then why is every vegan I know sickly?

No, seriously. I know a few, mostly millennials but also a few older folks, including one in their 60’s. All of them are skinny to the point of concern, and get sick 2 or 3 times as often as everyone else.


Reply to  Schitzree
February 2, 2019 7:31 am

They also seem to be grouchy. link OTOH, maybe I just have that effect on the vegans in my life because they are also left wing politically.

Graeme M
Reply to  commieBob
February 2, 2019 1:23 pm

It’s funny because I have mostly been a conservative (right wing) voter and found that I am healthier on a plant diet. That is more than likely just because I take more notice of what I eat than previously, mind you. I don’t think a “vegan” diet is healthier, but it *can* be healthy if you think about it. Most vegans I know actually seem to be a bit overweight!

R Shearer
Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 6:50 am

I drive by fields almost every day populated by grazing cows destined for slaughter. They appear to be happy and whatever joy they get in life, the frolicking young ones bring a smile. All of our lives meet the same end, but I think there are unanswered ethical questions about whether something or someone if better off to live or not. Given a chance, I would choose life.

Michael Spurrier
Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 8:01 am

Hi David I am vegetarian for 30+ years at times vegan, and aspire to be vegan again. What are you thoughts on animals that are killed by farming for vegetables etc and the knock on effect on their predators?
Does the ethical argument only apply to bigger livestock animals?,

Reply to  David Siegel
February 2, 2019 10:26 am

” The nutritional argument FOR consuming animal source foods is non-existent.”

[citation needed]

Seriously. Our ancestors evolved to eat meat with some plant material, which is why we have meat-eating teeth and a meat-eating gut, not plant-eating teeth and a plant-eating gut. It’s likely the reason those ancestors were able to spread right across the planet, because there are almost always other animals to eat, even when there are few, if any, plants.

“Your belief that people need to eat a certain (high) level of protein was disproved decades ago by evidence that low-protein diets are no less healthy.”

Whereas a quick web search finds claims of a ton of potential problems from a low-protein diet.

And we were also told for decades that fat is bad and we should all eat lots of carbs. Which resulted in the current obesity and diabetes epidemic. So I see no reason to believe any diet fad without some thorough scientific backing.

BTW, the vegans I’ve known were also the most sickly-looking people I’ve ever known. It’s clearly possible to survive pretty well on a vegan diet, because some people do; but none of those I’ve met have done so.

In any case, this is pointless. We’re a decade or two away from cheap vat-grown meat, so why does anyone want to waste their time arguing about meat-farming today? It’s going away, and it’s going away because it’s going to be replaced by something better, not because of internet arguments.

Plant based fool
February 2, 2019 1:02 am

I’ve been vegan for 20 years, I’m in perfect health without consuming a single animal based food, clear headed and energized. Try telling millions of healthy vegans around the world that people can’t thrive on a plant based diet 🙂

Reply to  Plant based fool
February 2, 2019 8:07 am

The problem is that people are different. Some people can apparently do well on only plants however that (as has been discussed in detail by Chris Masterjohn and others) is likely due to inborn differences in how some people recycle nutrients. Some people recycle nutrient very efficiently and others don’t, so if you do, then you may do much better as a vegan than someone who doesn’t. Some people, as exemplified by those who have had long-standing severe diseases resolved by the carnivore diet (see meatheals.com), clearly do better with little or no plant products. The problem with the healthy “plant-based” people is they assume everyone is just like them, however that does not appear to be the case. Also, the so called “blue zone” people almost all eat some animal products which likely provide critical nutrients for many people. They also have access to fairly little animal products in the first place. There is a big nutritional difference in mostly plants vs only plants.

Robert Bissett
Reply to  Superchunk
February 3, 2019 8:05 pm

“see meatheals.com”. Thanks for this. I should eat what I’ve been wanting to eat? Nice.

Reply to  Plant based fool
February 2, 2019 10:52 am

Try telling me why I SHOULD eat a plant-based diet.

WHY does everyone suddenly think THEY should dictate everyone else’s choices? Just WTF?

This is a strange historical moment we’re living in. Just do your own thing, PLEASE and leave others to do theirs.

Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 5:06 pm

+110%… again,they’re going to fix something that isn’t broken
people need to do their own food thing & stop trying to force it on others.

Being forced to do something that is perceived as stupid & unneeded only reinforces resistance & causes more animosity. I been down both sides of that road 50+ years ago & the anger that always results is not worth the hard feelings. This is what is wrong with the world today,way to many people want to be the know-it-all-know-nothing dictator.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Plant based fool
February 2, 2019 12:30 pm

How do vegans get around eating pharmaceuticals to supplement what is missing: B12, etc. Do they also eat burgers that need who knows what to simulate the beef flavor? One vegan mother I know who fed her two infants almond ‘milk’ has her two children receiving constant medical care. One of them at 4yrs doesnt speak. Now this may be of some other cause, but Occam’s Razor and all that…

Also, is it correct that soya simulates estrogen? Maybe not harmful to girls but boys? Maybe this is a myth?

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 2, 2019 4:15 pm

Estrogen is also found in the biologically active form when ingested by humans (17 – beta – oestradiol) in beef muscle & fat (liver too). Dairy has estrogen, & although some in the non-biologically humanly active form (17 – beta-estradiol) apparently most is in the form of bio-active oestrogen sulphate.

Soy phyto-estrogen are not the only widely consumed food with estrogenic aspects.Vegetable estrogen is in the lignin, lactones & iso-flavones. Of course we also synthesize estrogen internally.

Our liver deals with maintaining estrone & estradiol estrogen levels (e: liver cell mucro-somes process it via glucuronid-ation for excretion). Yet poly-phenols, flavonoids & estrogen inhibit this liver dynamic (glucronid-ation).

There is a human enzyme cascade (beta-glucuronid-ase & sulfat-ase) can free up the estrogebn again; up-regulation (stimulation) of beta-glucuconid-ase is increased by estradiol, estriol, estrone & stilbestrol (but not by 17-beta-estradiol, beta-sitosterol, di-ethy-stilbestrol or coumestrol. When bloggers decry soy as estero-genic agent fattening humans like soy fed does cattle they do not allow for any difference in enzyme dynamics.

Plant derived vitamin K is partially anti-esterogenic, so this also modulates the dynamic. Thus it is uninformed to declare plant estrogen is definitely a problem.

Reply to  gringojay
February 2, 2019 5:48 pm

Before the soy-boy there was a common conception that eating fresh killed meat’s liver made men better warriors/hunters. We know meat liver has estrogen in the active form for humans.

Extra estrogen holds back the volume a heart tries to pump as a stroke when the heart rate (speed) goes up; for example running to prey/fight. It (estrogen) reduces the amount of nerve inhibitor GABA & thus estrogen increases sensitivity to sensory nerves & increases motor nerve activity.

In addition estrogen fosters release of fat stores (lipo-lysis). This keeps “fat” (free fatty acids) circulating for potential “burning” & shifts from (free fatty acids inhibit glucose “burning”/oxidation) relying on limited muscle glucose stores. Of course in sedentary populations with excessive foid consumption this estrogen dynamic (increases free fatty acids; obese actually have increased free fatty acid circulation) contributes to insulin resistance.

There are estrogen receptors in every (as I understand it) human organ. At sites of inflammation estrogen is released (via enzyme beta-glucuronid-ase, mentioned above) & local estrogen instigates clumping of platelets.

Estrogen also causes cells (mast cells) to release molecules that are involved with inflammation response; like histamine & seratonin (the aggregating platelets release their seratonin, which instigate vaso-constriction). And then too, that inflammation site estrogen induces the synthesis of prosta-glandin (not related to prostate) ; thus that estrogen boosts the level of COX enzymes & COX molecules (humanly painful).

In the same context a side effect of anti-biotics is increasing liver glucuronid-ation of estrogen , thereby decreasing blood levels of estrogen; this in time reduces the excitatory impact of estrogen. In contrast, food related dys-biosis (endo-toxin taken in from gut bacteria) & food “poisoning” episodes block this licet enzyme function (glucuronid-ation) & excitaory estrogen levels arise (ie: we feel lousy all over).

Diets are non-linearly quantifiable. For examplr: insufficient protein intake causes our fat cells to make more estrogen; yet the specific amino acids glycine & taurine are anti-estrogenic. When we are younger estrogen increases human growth hormone & at night estrogen, as well as, human growth hormone levels go up; yet as we age there is less human growth hormone & then there is more likelihood nightime high estrogen can contribute to vaso-constriction if we hyper-ventilate during sleep (common).

Reply to  Plant based fool
February 3, 2019 6:27 am

Dear Pbf,
it’s good [for you] that you are managing on a vegan diet.
However your diet is still responsible for the deaths of thousands of animals….all the caterpillars, weevils and locusts that must be killed to produce your food at anywhere near the level of productivity needed to make it profitable to produce.
The soya fields of Brazil are a delight to see. The source of tofu, tempeh, soy “milk” etc and not a tree to be seen to the horizon.
Ah, but I only eat organically/bio-dynamically produced food.
In that case your food is filled with natural pesticides which still lead to the deaths of thousands of animals.
What ethically is the difference between killing a grasshopper or a cow?
Both are god’s creatures, both like to chew on grass, one is a little bigger than the other but otherwise…

Graeme M
February 2, 2019 1:07 am

While the case has been confused by a plethora of related arguments, and also no doubt by various financial interests, the true platform for veganism is simply an ethical stance regarding our relationship with other animals. The terrible treatment of so many animals in our food system (as well as other human systems) should be of concern to most of us. The nutritional argument is pretty settled – people can be healthy on a largely plant-based diet with substantially less meat and dairy than is the case currently in many nations. The reality is that the heavily meat and dairy dominated foodscape of Western nations especially is more due to those same economic interests than any nutritional requirement. Really, reducing meat and dairy in our diets in favour of more plant foods would do much to improve both human and farmed animal welfare. It just isn’t that tricky a concept.

Reply to  Graeme M
February 2, 2019 1:15 am

Agreed. Ref the ethics, halal is an obscenity.

Tina Thompson
Reply to  Jones
February 2, 2019 5:06 am

I disagree with all that’s been said about meat being a culprit. I eat a whole plant based diet. I’ve been eating this way for 5 months. I have eleviated arthritis pain. Better digestive health. Lost weight to a healthy weight and feel better with more energy than I’ve had in years. You and all these companies are in bed with the meat industry. Wise up America, by 2050 there won’t be sustainable food sources to feed this country’s population, if we continue eating as we currently do. Diseases such as diabetes and heart disease will continue to be rampant. Obesity will continue to plague our planet. Again…..wake up America!!!!

Reply to  Tina Thompson
February 2, 2019 8:11 am

I’m happy for your success, however many people who go carnivore experience the same improvements. People are different.

Reply to  Tina Thompson
February 2, 2019 10:30 am

“Diseases such as diabetes and heart disease will continue to be rampant. Obesity will continue to plague our planet.”

Those are due to the high-carb diet governments have pushed for the last few decades, and nothing to do with meat intake (more precisely, they’re due to a REDUCTION in meat intake pushed by governments as part of their high-carb fad).

Given what a disaster that fad was, why should we believe whatever new fad governments might be pushing? They have a proven record of pushing fads that destroy the health of tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of people; no sane person should be listening to anything they say.

Reply to  Graeme M
February 2, 2019 6:07 am

You are ignoring that many people don’t share your concerns about animal welfare to the level you do, they think the current standards are fine. It becomes a self righteous moralistic stance much like any religion because you feel self guilted.

PETA is an example of how to get a backlash and it is pretty well hated by large sections .. do a search of “PETA hated” if you want a small sampling of why.

My favourite is
Yep anti animal hate speech perhaps it should be a crime.

Reply to  Graeme M
February 2, 2019 8:16 am


Have you ever actually toured a traditional dairy farm? I worked on one and only saw excellent treatment of the animals. In fact helping treat sick animals was part of my job and there are cows there that would have died without human intervention. If I was cow or chicken, I would gladly trade milk and eggs for protection against predators and access to veterinary care. Please stop assuming that all or even most animals are mistreated. It’s especially disrespectful to the farming community who for the most part love and respect the animals. At least I and everyone I worked with did.

Graeme McElligott
Reply to  Superchunk
February 2, 2019 1:13 pm

Superchunk, the problem isn’t so much small scale traditional farming, it’s more the intensive operations so common now. If you are in the US you know a lot of dairy is now done in large indoor systems. That said though, even traditional dairy has some shortcomings such as killing male calves (around 200-400,000 each year here in Australia, out of a herd of just 1.75 million head), culling unproductive cows (around 70-80,000 per year here), and a variety of on-farm practices. Whether that’s OK or not depends on your own point of view, of course. It is a bit more nuanced than that as it isn’t just welfare that vegans/advocates are referring to.

A C Osborn
February 2, 2019 1:54 am

I only have one thing to say

Rod Evans
February 2, 2019 2:11 am

This is a well written piece and touches on a subject the advocates of World Authority would like to keep quiet.
The change in attitude to diet will be made, not by commercials, or scientific facts, it will be driven into children by predominantly left leaning teachers, who seem to fall in line for these schemes designed to advance totalitarianism via propaganda.
When Tony Blair declared in his 1998 speech to the Labour movement, his prime instrument of change was three pronged…
Education, Education and Education.
Those who imagined he was talking about increasing the population’s level of knowledge, missed what he was saying entirely.
He was making it clear, to change the world you have to get your views into the children.
The education systems have duly rallied to his call. We now have some of the least knowledgeable people coming out of state schools. What they do know, however, is all there is to know, about how to stop open debate and how to advance the ideology pushed into them during their school and university years.
No platforming, settled science, heckling, load hailing, victimisation, vilification, etc, these are what they know about. Leave no minority group untapped, is the mantra. They know how to stop anyone that does not conform with their indoctrinated, preferred paradigm.
Tony Blair represents the totalitarian movement, worldwide. He is supported by huge wealth. If we are to return our world to a sensible state of healthy, honest debate without the rancour, it is people like him we must look to, study and defeat. Science must get its methods and message back into Education, that is where the real battle ground is.
We should listen to Aristotle, “If you give me a child to the age of seven, I will give you the adult”.
NB I have removed the gender reference, in case anyone is sensitive….

Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2019 2:40 am

It’s been a double puzzle to me for a long time. Firstly why if you don’t want to eat animal protein would you convert vegetable/legume/grain protein into something closely resembling meat.

Second just how much more environmentally friendly is growing a soybean using modern agricultural methods, chemically and heat treat it and then convert it into something that looks edible than it is letting an animal/bird convert inedible vegetable material into protein? Particularly when animals are raised on land unsuitable for any sort of arable agriculture.

Graeme M
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
February 2, 2019 3:00 am

Firstly, I guess because many people who choose to drop animal products still prefer to enjoy foods that approximate the ones they left behind. After all, burgers, pies, sausages, and so on aren’t how meat comes from the animal either. We make foods that tickle our palates or that are convenient to cook/eat, so why would vegan foods be any different? It’s all still food. I suspect many vegans would be happy to continue eating meat if it didn’t harm/exploit animals to produce it!

Secondly, it might be true that environmentally speaking it’s better to produce foods through grazed animals under regenerative methods on marginal lands, however it is by no means necessary to produce fake meats from soy and the like. A helluva lot of meat and dairy is produced from intensive CAFO type systems which require a lot of soy. The majority of soy in the world is fed to animals (it’s a great protein), so it’s probably true that in the West (and now China) the worst excesses of environmental harm from grain/cereal monocultures is due to animal farming. The more likely future paths are whole food plant based diets but also grown meat from systems that do not require the actual animal. With the right motivation, there are many ways to exclude the majority of animal farming from our food system.

Reply to  Graeme M
February 2, 2019 4:13 am

I think it’s a bit hypocritical for people that have decided not to eat meat, to then convert everything they eat into something that looks like meat. eg fake hamburgers. And then the out-and-out carping about how delicious it tastes. Methinks he/she doth protest too much.

Reply to  Graeme M
February 2, 2019 11:01 am

Soy is NOT “such a great protein.” It heavily skews the Omega-3/Omega 6 balance heavily to the Omega 6 side in any animal that eats much of it, including humans. Omega 6 loading is strongly associated with systemic inflammation, and much heart disease research lays arterial occlusion at the feet of PUFA (polyunsaturated vegetable) oils being substituted for butter and lard during and after WWII. These are things that do not exist in nature and may be doing our health great harm.

Those omnivores who’ve really done their reading try to find 100% grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and truly free-range chicken for this reason. BTW, I pay $14.99 a pound for hamburger and worth it every bite!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 4:39 pm

Did you mean partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils?

How could polyunsaturated vegetable oils not exist in nature? They are extracted from natural plants.

February 2, 2019 2:58 am

Climate is attracting activists of all colors.


Martin Howard Keith Brumby
February 2, 2019 3:03 am

If David Siegel and a few others on here want to be part of the latest trendy fad, veganism, good luck to them. But to pretend that “the nutritional argument FOR consuming animal source foods is non-existent”, just isn’t correct. And the science is firmly backed by the history of our species and by common sense.
I get tired of reading that the latest silly trendy idea (Antivax, Anti GMO, Ruinable Energy, some women sporting male genitalia – and all the rest – is supported by science.) No, No, No & No.
Just be assured that when the plebs can only afford to eat some disgusting artificial chemical concoction, the big money elite behind this will be still tucking into a nice rare Wagu beef steak washed down with an expensive Burgundy, just as Mao Zedong gorged himself on Wuhan fish and on brown-braised pork whilst the ‘proletariat and peasants’ starved.

Mick Walker
February 2, 2019 3:08 am

Disclaimer – I’ve been a veggie (and a smoker!) for about 50 years, and my health at 68 is excellent.
I never preach, it’s purely a personal taste thing.
Many other veggies are an embarrassment with their attitude!

If they try to get rid of meat, I’m with the carnivores on the barricades!
Animals which taste good (and are owned), will never go extinct. It’s a living! 🙂

I’m fairly sure that the most damaging health factor is the “Nocebo” effect, (opposite of placebo).

People are constantly bombarded with “scientific” health scares.
It would be truly amazing if this did not have a considerable negative effect on general health.

Ban all health scares!

Reply to  Mick Walker
February 2, 2019 8:12 am

I like your take on the matter. A few of the veggies who weighed in had that smug thing going on, especially the fellow who denigrated human need for protein.

Your approach, Mr. Walker, tells me we could live as neighbors.

Reply to  Mick Walker
February 2, 2019 10:14 am

As another 50 year “vegetarian” I agree it should be personal, rather than preached & imposed. I grew up on meat; ate organ meats, bone broths, butter, whole milk, eggs, added back in (our collected) chicken fat & mostly the vegetables being root tubers (potatoes, carots, turnips) with a bit of bread.

My paternal male line all died before teaching the age 60. So I decided on a vegetarian diet (with dairy intake) & I have definitely outlived them. At some point(s), for harmony at family reunions, I would sometimes eat fish; so I guess am not certifiably vegetarian.

I do supplement vitamin B12, for peace of mind about getting enough. Contrary to any suggestion about this being ineffective tactic due to poor absorption a lab test showed B12
my levels were fine.

Reply to  Mick Walker
February 2, 2019 11:05 am

The plural of anecdotes is not data. Duh!

Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 11:42 am

Anecdotally, I just lost 15 pounds; by adding (a bit) of grain(s) back into my diet. The other aspect was cutting total calories & longer regular walking excursions.

February 2, 2019 3:14 am

This is a decent accounting of the political and “follow the money “ side of the frenzy. What all of the anti-meat folks are ignorant of or deliberately ignore is that most agricultural land is doing what it is best suited for. The western grass lands need grass and undulates for its ecological health. Cattle replace the bison we exterminated from this balanced ecosystem. Turning over prairie to grow grains is unsustainable. It requires fertilizer (from ammonia derived from fossil fuels) and massive amounts of water. We are currently tapping the Ogalala aquifer way faster than its refill rate. Modern farmers are an educated and aware bunch. They produce what can be marketed in such a way that the farm will continue to sustain them and itself be sustained. Let’s not invite governments to make this into another Post Office, government run mess.

February 2, 2019 3:36 am

This paragraph:
‘The best hope to control the Native Americans was to: “make them poor by the destruction of their stock, and then settle them on the lands allotted to them” – according to Major-General Phillip Sheridan, the man tasked with this objective.’
Reminds me of the current illegal, in international law (check amongst other books: ‘The Great Tibetan Stonewall of China: The Status of Tibet in International Law and International Policy on Tibet ‘), of the occupation of the 3 countries of Tibet (U-Tsang, Amdo & Kham; what you see on the maps as TAR is only U-Tsang) by the neighbouring Han Chinese Communist Party who after killing or causing death of approximately 1.2million+ Tibetans & 6,000 monasteries from the intitial invasion into Chamdo in Oct-50. CCP are now resettling nomads into concentration camps ‘allowed to them’, in the continued destruction of the Tibetan culture, yet the World can’t do anything but ‘virtue signalling’ complaining, whilst CCP say it’s an internal matter. This is happening now, the torture camps carry on the extermination of a distinct race of Tibetans who culture is actually close to Indian in their belief systems not China; yet India & USA, Britain etc stupidly let this happen; no oil to fight over so destruction continues.
IMO this will progress further as China expand, the building on disputed islands is the second step very similar to the [snip], China is buying land or exchange for debt all over the world, what do we do? – be warned.

February 2, 2019 3:39 am

Go to an ordinary restaurant and vegetarians get upset if there is no vegetarian optin,.
Go to a vegetarian restaurant and they never offer a meat option.
Ditto for vegans.
If we get rid of livestock farming the grasslands will either be ploughed up, releasing vast quantities of CO2 as a result of cultivation, or will be allowed to go ‘wild’ with subsequent reversion to forest.
There would be an increase in the number of herbivores who produce methane as a product of their digestive system. There were an estimated 50 to 60 million bison/buffalo on the American prairies.
How will you deal with the Inuit, Maasai and Mongolian herders who rely on an animal based diet?

Flight Level
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2019 4:43 am

Sarcastic mode: ON
Methane is an easy to solve problem.
Just feed more DDT in our tanks and let the chemtrails take care of termites, the biggest and totally useless to humanity methane producers of the animal world.
Free bonus, DDT is the only known means against malaria propagating mosquitoes.

February 2, 2019 3:39 am

this is all coming to the fore because large numbers of people are learning how much they have been lied to about diet as they effectively lose wight on diets like atkins. to have everyone eat that healthily would raise the costs of protein and animal fats astronomically. This will not be allowed, especially when TPTB want to push people off of the land and into cities. so you’ll eat your evolutionarily discordant plant based diet and like it. You diabetic feet and MIs are a small price to pay.

February 2, 2019 3:52 am

stopping CAFO would be good for the animals and land/water let animals graze free;ly
locally we have 1/4acre per sow sheltered pig runs theyre happy the meats excellent and locals are employed keeping the communitiy going
most farmers here are mixed use so sheep cattle n cropping, which is the best solution to land use fertiliser naturally for a fair part at leas, weeds controlled using less chem than no stock land farms.
excellent article by the young fella;-)
and the supporters of this idiot idea are as stated a lot of big grain and chem agri as well as pharma and other for profit and control types
see this link, similar but more corporate named

Flight Level
February 2, 2019 4:34 am

Ersatz (substitute) is a word of German origin. It took full significance in the postulate that elite race is entitled to high quality nutrients while the polluting majority of plebes should feed on ersatz.

De facto many nazi leaders were vegetarian by fears of contamination until the era of bio-dynamic culture and proper race separation could guarantee their standards of purity.

During the war saccharin was an ersatz for sugar, as were “Schokoladenersats” and other roasted grains based coffee substitutes. The real products being obviously requisitioned for the high-energy food of the army.

Reasons why the word ersatz is related to poor quality or even harmful food.

Those who control food and energy have a solid grip on the population.

How much of a coincidence is that campaigners for energy and food poverty are equally supportive of gun control and strong governance practices ?

February 2, 2019 4:40 am

I am always told that “you are what you eat”.

Thus I am a vegetarian. I eat lots of cows, pigs, chicken, and fish. They eat lots of plants. Thus they are vegetables.

Therefore, I am a vegetarian. My vegetables are just first processed into beef, pork, and chicken.

Reply to  ShanghaiDan
February 2, 2019 5:51 am

The plants digest manure .. don’t think too hard about that 🙂

February 2, 2019 4:53 am

This was an informative write-up. Thank you, Mr. Talbot. As a person with a background steeped in Midwestern agriculture, reading this has had a deep impact on me.

When farmers from other nations speak up with truth and clairvoyance, we should all listen.

R Shearer
Reply to  leowaj
February 2, 2019 8:57 am

How about astrology? At least astrology, like climate change, is in so many newspapers. Clairvoyance is not so much.

Reply to  R Shearer
February 2, 2019 9:19 am

No, not astrology.

Astrology told me there’d be no snow this Winter and 30 C plus temperatures.

February 2, 2019 4:55 am

TheReganGroup.webnode.com. I am the longest living non surgucal no stint conservative survivor of massive heart disease. Given a moment to live. I’m still here. Regrowing my heart. Active. Most physicians look at me and say robust healthy fellow! Boy how the government, food industry, Trump, insurance etc hate me! Celebs are selling a wrong mix to get wealthier off people in need
Plant based is not vegan vegetarian etc. It is a strict plant based veg, fruit, grain, legume lifestyle. Sold suppliments have negative ingredients. No oils nuts dairy meat fish poultry sugars fake food. No Western food. Only food that is proven nit to cause cancer diabetes heart disease.

February 2, 2019 5:17 am

While I was clearing out junk in my desk, I came across a magazine from about 20 years ago with an article about the discovery of a 400,000 year-old site in Germany that contained javelins (double-ended wooden spears) for both adults and children, and the remains of prey animals. Those people led a life that was harsh by its nature, requiring enormous amounts of animal protein to simply exist and be healthy.

The vegan stuff is simply another fake religious movement. You can shift over to that if you like, but a mono-culture source of food is unhealthy. Modern humans are omnivorous just like our distant ancestors, whether the veggie-slaughtering crowd likes it or not. If that is not so, then they will have to explain why, as has been frequently observed, other primates like chimpanzees hunt and eat meat.

I mostly stick to chicken because it’s cheaper and less fatty than beef. Does not mean I have given up beef, or that I never use ham or bacon or salt pork or turkey. It is failure to acknowledge that, as primates, humans are omnivorous and require a (bad words here) variety of food sources to stay healthy.

Rich Davis
February 2, 2019 5:19 am

It’s an interesting article but I’m always skeptical about any claims of puppetmasters. Reality is that many different groups and individuals are pursuing their own interests independently. Sure, the socialists are riding CAGW and creating myths about meat-eating premised on their myths about climate. But the rent-seekers are primarily just opportunistic parasites trying to get rich off of other people’s foolish beliefs. The climate scientists and no doubt the nutrition scientists/technologists are mostly reacting to incentives out of self-interest as well.

There’s no need to assume a global conspiracy to explain what is going on.

Ewin Barnett
February 2, 2019 5:21 am

The anti-meat movement is predicated on the assumption that raising animals for human consumption is a significant determent to the biosphere on net balance. This ignores the positive contribution that animals make to the total biological cycle. It also ignores the carrying capacity of the pre-human land mass.

Great herds of bison used to roam freely throughout what are now the Plains States. Consider this:

“200,000 square miles. The plains and prairies could, on the basis of area, support 15 such herds, or 60 million bison.” [1]

Also consider: “…Typical weight ranges in the species were reported as 460 to 988 kg (1,014 to 2,178 lb) in males and 360 to 544 kg (794 to 1,199 lb) in females,…” [2]

Even at the lower weight of 1,000 pounds, before this area of the US was settled by Europeans and later subdivided to preclude what bison were left from having free range when barbed wire fencing was invented,
60 million animals x 1,000 pounds each = about 6 x 10^10 pounds of bison flesh. That was the “sustainable” carrying capacity of this part of North America apart from the other species of large mammals such as deer that lived there.

Consider this: “…Current inventory statistics from the USDA (as of January 1, 2018) show us that there are currently 94.4 million cattle …” [3]

At an average of 1200 pounds per cow, and with 94.4 million cows = about 1.1×10^11 pounds of cattle flesh. or roughly twice the amount of animal flesh as before the area was settled and repurposed for human benefit. This is well within the margin of improvement in agricultural yield over unmanaged lands that were subjected to large scale fire damage and disease.

It turns out that the current environmental burden of raising cattle for human consumption not substantially greater than the burden of the pre-human indigenous bison herds. In other words, the assertion that we must stop eating meat to save the climate and thus save the planet is totally unfounded.

[1] https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/rangelands/article/viewFile/11258/10531
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison
[3] https://www.quora.com/How-many-cows-are-there-in-the-US

Second City Mom
February 2, 2019 5:26 am

Are you familiar with The China Study by T. Colin Campbell? You might benefit from reading it. There are important reasons apart from global warming to reconsider our meat consumption. You are not being careful in your review of the science when you insist meat and dairy are not harmful to our bodies. Farming practices have changed and the meat you eat today is not the meat our ancestors ate.

Tom Halla
Reply to  Second City Mom
February 2, 2019 7:24 am

I did see The China Study a few years ago. The major problem is self’reporting of diet, and relying on statistics from the PRC. I do not know which is more unreliable.

Reply to  Second City Mom
February 2, 2019 9:00 am

See here for a critical analysis of The China Study: https://deniseminger.com/2010/08/06/final-china-study-response-html/ and here for a less-detailed post on meat and mortality using the China Study data along with others: http://quantitativemedicine.net/2015/11/09/red-meat-is-healthy-says-the-china-study-data/
The critique is worth reading alongside the book. While it is true that meat is different due to farming practices, the same is true about everything else we eat. Modern wheat is problematic for many people and has a higher correlation to mortality than meat (in the China Study data but not reported in the book). Fruits and vegetables bear little resemblance to what they used to be: https://www.sciencealert.com/fruits-vegetables-before-domestication-photos-genetically-modified-food-natural

I read extensively about nutrition and health. What I have come to realize is that the best diet for one person might not be healthy for someone else. Those who do best on vegetarian diets (and some do!) are those who are genetically suited to convert nutrients to bioavailable forms (such as betacarotene to vitamin A, essentail fatty acid conversions and methylation) and who have the right microbiomes. Some do very poorly on vegetarian diets after a while, even if they eat one that would be considered healthy.

There are problems with high meat consumption and how meat is consumed. It is best to eat it with greens and it may depend on the microbiome: http://paleointheuk.com/blog/does-red-meat-cause-cancer/ It is complicated.

Reply to  Kira
February 2, 2019 8:51 pm

“nutritional argument against consuming animal source foods is non-existent. It is quite simply illogical that red meat or dairy products cause modern diseases”

Yes but the argument against red meat, especially for people who have a family history of colon cancer, is very valid. See https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/red-meat-and-colon-cancer

I lost half of my colon to cancer in 1987. I still eat meat but mostly poultry and fish since then.

February 2, 2019 5:59 am

Some of the new protein foods will be derived from sources that haven’t normally been part of the human diet. There may be unintended consequences. This is a post on mycoproteins (derived from fungus), which points out that it is a potential allergen. https://draxe.com/mycoprotein/ (the problem is likely the polysaccharide structures in the membranes)

Nutritional research has the same problems of bias and poor study design that exists in other fields of study (https://reason.com/blog/2018/09/06/most-nutrition-research-is-bunk ). It is hard to untangle the complexity of diet and health.

R Shearer
Reply to  Kira
February 2, 2019 4:13 pm

Very likely some people will develop allergies to artificial meat, at the very least.

February 2, 2019 6:02 am

‘livestock agriculture is becoming increasingly politicised’

The Left intends to politicize EVERYTHING.

Ivor Ward
February 2, 2019 6:11 am

In a country where the vegetation is poor then goats are the best way of converting it into food for humans. You can’t plant your posh crops on the edge of a desert without chemical fertilizers and water transport. The goat thrives and so do the people. You cannot grow your posh crops on a Welsh hillside but sheep thrive and convert the poor land into food for humans.

Horses for courses was I think, the old saying.

February 2, 2019 6:41 am

There’s also a blue latte featuring spirulina algae.”

Yummm. Blue pond scum coffee.

R Shearer
Reply to  F.LEGHORN
February 2, 2019 6:53 am

Take a gander at one of the patents from Impossible Foods. (Their CEO has idiotic ideas.)


Dr Deanster
February 2, 2019 7:23 am

IMO … it depends on your individual metabolic profile. Contrary to the “we r all the same” crowd, separate populations of humans evolved for thousands of years in micro environments. The ability to consume milk products is primarily isolated to populations from northern Eurasia. 75% of the human population is lactose intolerant. OTOH, 65% of the human population is suffering from diabetes and metabolic syndrome, illustrating that the flawed advice of low fat high carb diets was poor advice. In fact a ketogenic diet beats a low fat every time when compared for weight loss and improved health metrics.

I personally am a meat eater. On a ketogenic diet of mostly meat, my blood pressure normalizes, HDL goes up, cholesterol particle size increases, triglycerides practically go away, … and I gravitate towards my ideal weight.

I don’t care about the moralistic arguments, I don’t need any liberal telling me what to eat.

Reply to  Dr Deanster
February 2, 2019 11:14 am

I’ve been carnivore-Keto since the week after Thanksgiving and I’m lovin’ it! My belly fat has been burned in place of hundreds of dollars’ worth of indigestible cellulose matter, and I barely even think about food. Hard to argue with Evolutionary Biology 101 . . . and the weather here pretty well resembles the Ice Age. 😉

Reply to  Goldrider
February 2, 2019 2:21 pm

Correct! Which is why the diet works, you are getting back to how we use to eat prior to the Food Pyramid of 1992 pushing grains over meat, before the obesity epidemic.

As I covered in this piece here, carbohydrate foods keep people fed, but not nourished. In order to alleviate malnutrition, populations throughout the world need access to nutrient dense animal source foods.

People who wish to insinuate that animal source foods have a high carbon or resource footprint (compared to plant source foods), can only do so when privileging calories as the numeraire.

Vegetables and grains are nutrient poor, whereas animal source foods are nutrient rich. Comparing bio available minerals, essential fatty acids, and digestible protein would be a much more appropriate measure, but this would tip the scales in favour of animal source foods.

Reply to  Dr Deanster
February 2, 2019 12:42 pm

Best wishes to all ketogenic diet adherents. I’ve seen a lot of diets touted & the science of human physiology develop in interesting ways.

The focus on “cholesterol particle size” is nuanced. Size “small” denser LDL size particles is considered less desirable (than larger “fluffy/bouyant” size LDL particles). And the inverse is true for HDL desirable particle size (ie: small HDL particle size is ideal & large HDL particle size not ideal); thus the “protective” claim for elevating HDL has not proven to be lineally true.

What should be understood is that having relatively more “small” LDL particles is only detrimental when they are “oxidized” & made more pro-athero-sclerotic before being processed downstream in our bodys. It is the action of copper on “small” LDL which leads to the actually risky “oxidized” LDL. I am not going to say here that meat copper is going to “oxidize” more readily than vegetable (or nut/seed) copper.

I will point out that the same protein ( & calorie content) soy bean (as tofu) trialed against meat resulted in it (bean protein) taking longer (“lag time”) for LDL particles to actually “oxidize”. Which, to me (if we can extrapolate), means that bean let’s the susceptable pro-athero-sclerotic (small) LDL clear away faster before potential “oxidation” (undesirable) than meat.

February 2, 2019 7:46 am

I am not knowledgeable on biological science, but my engineering thermodynamics (graduate level courses) informs me that if the concern is the release of CO2/Methane, then removing the middleman (the animal) that converts plants to a more nutritious product does not significantly decrease the generation of CO2/Methane. In fact, from my experience while on a vegetarian diet, it is probably preferable to have the cow, hog, sheep, digest that plant product first to get the needed proteins. Have read many nutritional guides explaining how many needed proteins and vitamins are missing from an all vegetarian diet. Further, that it takes much more food to get the missing vitamins and proteins. Since people will want and only eat a much higher quality vegetation it will also cost much more. Many poor rarely eat an apple a week because they can not afford to have more. Corn for animals is significantly cheaper than corn for people.

February 2, 2019 8:45 am

How is it OK for a lion to eat a buffalo but it is not OK for a human to eat cattle?

Almost certainly humans took better care of their cattle than the lions did of the buffalo. Almost certainly the humans killed their cattle in a less painful manner than the lions did the buffalo.

It seems very wrong to call the lions noble and see the human actions as somehow wrong.

a right-minded lefty
Reply to  Ferdberple
February 2, 2019 12:06 pm

“…Almost certainly humans took better care of their cattle than the lions did of the buffalo…”

As others have pointed out or alluded to in this thread, this is a crucial point that is not satisfactorily addressed in this otherwise important and thorough article.

Insofar as lions leave their prey alone until they hunt and kill it out of necessity, throughout most of human history your statement may’ve been true on a global scale; today, unfortunately, in the age of industrial animal farming, it’s largely untrue on a global scale.
The rule of profitable mass overproduction is a culprit.

Cruelty to animals is not a superfluous topic. It must be addressed without facilitating a technocratic conspiracy to place control of the global food supply into the hands of a few, compromising the health and relative dietary freedom of the masses.

SLC Dave
February 2, 2019 8:46 am

I love my meat and thank god Atkins and his supporters are pure of heart and have no agenda

February 2, 2019 8:59 am

If meat is so bad, horrible, and gross, why is so much money spent trying to make vegetable matter look and taste just like meat? To me, that is an admission that we evolved to eat meat. If that is what nature intended me to do, then that’s what I’ll do. To do otherwise might upset the balance of nature, right?

February 2, 2019 9:22 am

We have move forward since The China Study. Campbell’s son, focusing on diabetes, published a follow up in 2015. The Hallmark work by Caldwell Esselstyn Preventing and Reversing Heart Dsease is excellent. Simply. Direct. The basis for much of true..nit fake..plant based living. Rob ostfeld has his plan that has loosened a few restraints from Esselstyn. Like Campbell..to help people endure this tough program.
No people on Plant Based are not a cult, stereotyped political beliefs fir diet, unhealthy. I know from experience. My program works. Campbell showed his study directly. A milestone.
But adding foods not in plant based..calling it meat plant based it alcholol plant based..it even vegan vegetarian is nit plant based.
When you add anything not in true plant based to your diet it is no longer plant based…and is reversing the effects.

Reply to  Cody
February 2, 2019 11:53 am

Search “Are Supplements needed for a Plant Based Diet” Use any search engine.
Why are there so many sites extolling the virtue of plant based diets AND that you will also NEED Supplements lacking in that diet? Why is the bulk (mass) amount of plant protein needed many times greater than that from animal protein AND still missing critically NEEDED proteins? What about The 7 Nutrients That You Can’t Get From Plant Foods? Search that phrase.

Reply to  Usurbrain
February 2, 2019 2:57 pm

Beans & grains eaten together create a complementary protein amino acid intake. It isn’t a secret requiring searching that phrase – agricultural societies somehow got that synergy way beforet this internet era.

February 2, 2019 9:26 am

Like anything, if someone is pushing plant based while selling a product or gimmick…walk away!

There are entire cardiology wings and whole hospitals where patients are given plant based diets.

Those that write speak teach practice medicine for plant based see it’s extraordinary results.

Others just trying to make money..the foxes.

Real plant based, works!


February 2, 2019 9:58 am

A major reason for the difference in milk productivity between American and Indian cows is not what the cows are capable of producing, but how the cows are used and kept. In America, a high percentage of cows are producing milk, or slaughtered when they become less productive, or slaughtered at a young age. In India, the land of the sacred cow, cows live until they die of natural causes, including any that people don’t have the time or means to milk.

There is another factor for the agricultural percentage of greenhouse gases being higher worldwide than for America: Worldwide, a smaller percentage of the population has cars or electricity or can afford air conditioning or industrial products than is the case in the US.

February 2, 2019 9:59 am

Another case of correlation does not mean causation and poor sampling. There are so many causal variables between diet and health that trying to pick those foods “best for us”, with possibly a few exceptions, is a fools errand. Genetics, life style and actual food classification in many studies are a big problem.


Those prone to various health problems due probably to genetics and or life style will have weaknesses regarding certain foods, others not so much. Plus there has been proven falsification of some 1960s studies that are still quoted as gospel.

February 2, 2019 10:06 am

Regarding “animals produce more highly valuable nutrients for humans, such as proteins, than they consume.”: Can someone post a link supporting such an incredulous claim? Or one showing a mechanism where animals create proteins from non-proteins? I bet not any credible links for either, except possibly for some unusual or obscure exception. At least generally, photosynthetic plants are net creators of protein, and most other life forms including animals, even herbivorous ones, are net destroyers of protein.

michael hart
Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
February 2, 2019 3:32 pm

The author stated that “86% of livestock feed is not suitable for human consumption”, which certainly appears to support that claim.

The cited source of this claim is “Anne Mottet PhD, Livestock Policy Officer working for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations” in “A 2017 study published by Global Food Security”

He does not provide a link and searching on those terms unfortunately produces a lot more results than I can quickly scan, but they do seem to take themselves seriously, i.e. The author is not imagining his sources, which I sense is what you imply?

Reply to  Donald L. Klipstein
February 2, 2019 7:07 pm

Have a look at a some info about Ruminant Digestion, you will obviously be very suprised to discover that “animals produce more highly valuable nutrients for humans, such as proteins, than they consume.” holds very true for this type of livestock. Check the link below and scroll down to the heading “Protein Digestion” and see how symbiosis helps it all along:

Reply to  JMarkW
February 2, 2019 8:26 pm

JMarkW: Although ruminants eat a lot of cellulose that they can digest with assistance of bacteria in their guts and humans don’t have much ability to digest cellulose, this does not cause protein to be made from materials other than protein & amino acids.

I did read the Protein Digestion, and it mentions UIP which is a kind of protein that requires assistance of bacteria in the ruminant gut to digest, and not all of the usage of that protein is by the ruminant, some is by the bacteria, and the protein in bacteria that die is not all used by the ruminant. Both the ruminant and its bacteria are net destroyers of protein. The argument in favor of ruminants as a source of food is that they can digest vegetable matter that humans can’t. This is usable as an argument that ruminants should only be farmed where plants that are useful for producing human-digestible food can’t be farmed, and plants that ruminants can make use of grow on their own in the wild, or can be farmed.

This does not argue in favor of farming non-ruminant animals for humans to eat, with the exception of oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, although farming of non-ruminants produces less GHGs per kilogram of meat protein than farming of ruminants does. There is the matter that vegetable matter farmed for humans to eat does not require digestion mechanisms specific to ruminants or any other non-humans in order for humans to make good use of such food.

February 2, 2019 10:11 am

Regarding: “Vegetables and grains are nutrient poor, whereas animal source foods are nutrient rich. Comparing bioavailable minerals, essential fatty acids, and digestible protein would be a much more appropriate measure, but this would tip the scales in favour of animal source foods.”:

Vitamins A and C and some other vitamins are found mainly in vegetable matter. The essential fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which are found mainly in vegetable oils.

February 2, 2019 10:23 am

Yes: this ” … Alarmingly, the relationship between a nation’s protein food supply and political ideology is nothing new. In 1929, Benito Mussolini ordered the formation of the Committee for the Study of Soya, and boldly announced a plan to require soy flour as a mandatory ingredient in the Italian staple polenta. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Communist Party in the Soviet Union pushed soy protein and soy margarines as the solution to low-cost feeding of the masses. …” Ceausescu (a 4th grade drop-out) decides Romania’s diet after touring in 1971 North Korea and China: Fried “bologna” of soy and mystery meat (rexvallachorum, on Twitter)

David Blenkinsop
February 2, 2019 10:28 am

One thing that I really appreciate in the above article is the reference to a 2017 Global Food Security study. This study apparently refutes the often repeated narrative that “(there is a ) “burden” livestock agriculture places on the human food supply.” I’ve often seen claims that cattle say, are creating world hunger by eating “X” number of pounds of grain or other plants that could have been fed to humans?

As it happens, I grew up on a mixed livestock/grain farm, and have a basic point to make here, one that I think is sometimes obscured even by certain agriculture industry people. While I could give anecdotes from personal experience, I will instead direct attention to the following link from the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Ontario:

— and I quote as follows from the web page’s Introduction:

” Wheat which is of low quality and thus unsuitable for milling, because of damage by disease, insects, and frost, can be fed to domestic animals. It will obviously be worth less than good quality wheat, with its exact value dependent on the extent of the damage. Such wheat may be less palatable and have less nutritional value than good quality wheat . . . ”

Now this fits perfectly with my on farm experience, which says that lots of the grain grown in the world at any given time is going to be graded as too low a quality to ever be fed to humans! What happens, say, if a farmer growing spring wheat has a bad year in the sense that the winter frost comes early, so the harvested wheat is damaged, and graded as #3 in quality instead of the much desired #1 grade? From what I have ever heard, there is virtually no way that poor #2 or #3 wheat is ever going to find it’s way directly into the human food chain, not even for starving people — there is just no way that modern agribusiness is even going to *try* making bread out of the low quality stuff! So what do suppose happens to the poor quality grains or other plants that are damaged through the unavoidable risks of farming around the world?

Here’s the obvious answer: why of course, the non-human quality plants get fed to “animals”, Riiiiight – !
As suggested by my Ontario Ag Department quote, the entire value or the entire market for the low grade stuff is to be found in using it in animal feed. It is the animals, like cattle, who convert damaged plants into something that’s edible as far as humans are concerned. Besides feed quality grains, of course, there are also things like grass and straw that cattle eat lots of, but are completely inedible to humans.

So the next time someone asks you how much grain are cattle taking away from humans, the correct answer is of course, “zero”.

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
February 2, 2019 11:13 am

In developed world markets the practical usage of less marketable quality grain as animal feed is true. In poor communities of developing countries my experience is that damaged grains (cracked/small & even sometimes larval) has human customers; those market sellers may have even more than 2 versions of graded grain, with their corresponding price difference(s).

Reply to  David Blenkinsop
February 2, 2019 12:09 pm

Grew up on a farm. The corn burnt in the pellet stoves today is of higher quality than we fed our cattle and hogs, bottom of the silo, moldy, damp, larval, Corn the CO-OP refused to take, etc. Some times the stuff was like a chunk of concrete. Less I have even eaten field corn, but only very early in the growing season ans the kernels were much smaller than acceptable sweet corn. Can not believe that agriculture could produce as much people quality corn as field corn.

Reply to  Usurbrain
February 2, 2019 11:42 pm

I am interpreting sweet corn as being of “people quality” & “field corn” is maize. In the context of maize there are certainly varieties many people around the world consume the full kernels of without hesitation when properly (not raw) prepared.

This is in relation to Original Post inference some crops are fine for animals, but not humans, & I write only to clarify that maize need not be classified as only suitable for animal feed. As a farm boy you know this, so I am not trying to step on your toes here.

February 2, 2019 10:35 am

Polemical original post in some respects. For example trying too hard to make a point revealing that from 1909 to 2015 the ” … number of cattle per person decreased in the US by 58% ….” Sure enough, since in 1909 there were ~90,492,000 people in the US & by 2015 the US had ~ 320,091,000 people (plus anywhere around 10,000,000 undocumented inhabitants in the US).

Then gives out the nutritional declaration that “… carbohydrate food … people fed … not nourishment ….” Again sure, if they are super-excessive calories. The Roman Legion rank & file soldier marched along with his personal pouch (ideally) of raw wheat kernels to masticate & eat; while metabolizing that carbohydrate produced water internally.

Kevin kilty
February 2, 2019 10:53 am

“…rigorously calculate the costs of repairing and mitigating all the environmental damage and make the case that if we don’t pay as we go for this, we are just dumping this huge burden on our children….”

There will be nothing rigorous about the whole exercise. The idea is knowing what one wishes to conclude, and then to carefully parse data and invent corrections to arrive there. In 1988 or 1989 there was an article in Drover’s Journal about the impact of the beef industry on global temperatures (yes they’ve been beating the same drum for a long time now). Some pointy-headed professor (I am allowed to use this pejorative because I am a pointy-headed professor) calculated the impact to be 0.004 C since the industrial revolution. I wrote the journal stating that 0.004 was a fatuous figure, not credible as a calculation, and impossible to verify with observations. It is difficult to even organize a laboratory setting to measure 0.004 C with any credibility. Naturally I received no reply.

The problem involved in preventing these people gaining power to run everyone else’s life, is that the voting public are very susceptible to arguments framed just so. Thus, one sees so many independent arguments concocted for this purpose: animal welfare, human diet and health, reducing public expenditure, climate change, environmental degradation, economic efficiency, and one will likely see an argument based on creating new, high-paying jobs. It matters not at all that these arguments are filled with falsehoods.

Robin Flockton
February 2, 2019 11:08 am

A fascinating piece. Thank you Mr. Talbot. I was interested that no mention has been made of the millions of acres/hectares in North America that are devoted to the production of corn for ethanol. On a continent that is virtually energy self-sufficient, this make little sense. Perhaps “big agriculture” recognises that it is more profitable to grow a fuel additive than food, be it grain or grazing cattle.

February 2, 2019 11:56 am

Allan Savory. Look up his videos on Youtube, and TER
A Rhodesian agronomist who argues that proper livestock herding is the only way to preserve dryland ecosystems.

Gary Pearse
February 2, 2019 1:02 pm

A great and (almost) thorough article. You did miss a bigee, though. Cattle sheep goats eat grass, weeds, clover, dandelions (dairy cows love them)… they make their products and waste and methane. However, their forage begins to regrow immediately, taking the ‘carbon’ directly back out of the atmosphere and are therefore essentially neutral and the the most perfect poster creatures for sustainability of that concept has any meaning at all.

All the ‘diversity’ of the ecosphere we lose so much sleep over do the same as the cattle and we are okay with that. Lets do a thought experiment together boys and girls and variants. If we were to stop raising beef, pork, chickens, let this farmland go back to the wild, what would happen? the land would fill up with wild hogs, chickens, cattle, bison, deer, etc. The fertile niches would be filled by nature, with its waste, methane…Probably we would hunt them. Now for bonus marks: how is raising cattle less sustainable than cutting down Carolina hardwoods, chipping them up, trucking to a boat, shipping to UK to be trucked to the Drax power plant to make ‘sustainable’ power that has the imprimatur of the UN, Chartreuse NGOs, EU zealots and Champagne Sishulists.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 2, 2019 3:12 pm

Mmmmm . . . wild hawgs . . .

michael hart
February 2, 2019 2:40 pm

“In 1929, Benito Mussolini ordered the formation of the Committee for the Study of Soya,…”

No wonder he lost, he was a soy-boy.

In “The Trouble with Tribbles” the Tribbles ate Kirk’s chicken sandwich, and were made to regret it later.

February 2, 2019 3:55 pm

True now as then:

Proper logistics are crucial to any successful military campaign. The importance of food supply is highlighted in a well-known aphorism. Here are four versions:
An army marches on its stomach.
An army marches on its belly.
An army travels on its stomach.
An army goes upon its belly.

February 2, 2019 8:13 pm

I have worked in the production animal agriculture industry and they are conservative by a substantial margin. I wonder if that’s what the “beef” is? 🙂

Ken L.
February 2, 2019 8:25 pm

Dietary and political implications aside, the folks who connect eating meat to climate change because cattle fart methane, act as if large herds of grazing animals never existed prior to bovine domestication!

February 2, 2019 8:48 pm

Psychologists have a word for when the real reason for something is subconscious. “Rationalizing means making logical-sounding reasons for what you are doing. All these logical-sounding reasons for avoiding meat–and dairy–are rationalizations. You will never convince anybody by arguing with preposterous excuses–because they aren’t they real reason.

Animal raising today is simply NOT the Borden’s dairy Farm I visited as a schoolchild in the 1960’s. There were large pastures then, and a pleasant field trip for kids. Today’s confinement operations stink, abuse large amounts of antibiotics and other substances that cows did not evolve on. The antibiotics have changed the gut bacteria of the animals, resulting in harmful new strains of E. coli and other germs. This upsets the bodies of those who become vegans. Consciously they don’t know what is wrong– but their CELLS make them avoid nasty animals, meat and dairy.

When I was young, the dairy did the nation’s nutrition education in American schools, as a public service and as advertising when one of “the four food groups” was dairy. Today’s advice is often “milk is the perfect food–if you’re a calf,” and similar advice to avoid dairy.

My father was a dairy farmer for a couple of years in the early 1950’s when I was very small. I attended college at an agriculture school, and when I told Dad how much milk the cows yielded, he was astonished. It was over thrice what a good cow gave when I was a tot.

Dairy cows were and are selected almost entirely on pounds or volume of milk. This rewards watery, low-fat milk. American casein (milk) protein is also different than European dairy. Many Americans have a bad reaction to most cow milk, but are fine with goat milk or “A2” milk.

Milk is a natural human food that we have consumed for thousands of years. Meat for millions of years, probably. But today’s meat and milk are NOT what G-d or evolution made. Believe whatever you like about a Creator, it just makes no difference here– G-d OR Evolution OR both made cattle for grass and spacious pastures. Today’s animal operations are less that a century old.

Vegans do NOT escape the consequences of new-fangled factory farms–lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach have had to be recalled when water from manure lagoons contaminated vegetable fields.

In the 1970’s my ag profs were worried about so much antibiotic use in animal agriculture, fearing it would ruin antibiotics for human health. This has occurred. It is estimated that 30 000 Americans die every year now from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Fortunately, there is a “grass-fed” movement and other efforts to restore a more classic agriculture. This is MUCH better than distorting the diet.

Reply to  ladylifegrows
February 2, 2019 11:12 pm

My brother born after World War II was determined “allergic” to fresh whole cow’s milk in his infancy; he was given fresh goats milk instead. However as a child he had no problem drinking a glass of cow milk, eating their cheese or going to savour the local dairy’s fresh ice cream. We were in the USA, but since he “outgrew” his milk “allergy” I am hesitant to say his case can be ascribed to “A2” milk – anyway he grew 6 feet 5 inches tall.

February 3, 2019 5:53 am

“If you can figure out how to get the cost down and the quality is better, it doesn’t matter if they [consumers] care about animal welfare, if they understand anything about the GFI, or if they believe in the science of climate change, or if they are a Trump voter….that’s when the switch [from conventionally produced meat to cell-based meat] will occur.”

This is true. I eat some of the vegan stuff occasionally – my wife likes it, and it smells and tastes good so I like to try it – but it’s 3-5 dollars for a small bag of fake meat. They do a good job of faking the taste and texture on the better brands, but in bulk it would be several times the price of real meat, so it’s just an occasional treat really, and there’s something still a bit off about it. You know you aen’t eating the real thing.

Now if it were half the price we might be convinced to buy it.

February 3, 2019 7:59 am

Is mothers’ milk considered “dairy”? Surely it isn’t vegan. So, we begin life as a non-vegan. Oh, the horror!

February 3, 2019 1:38 pm

Fantastic article by Mr Talbot, thanks very much for publishing it here. Kiwi farmers can usually be relied upon to cut through the bull, so to speak…

It all ties in with the global corporatist agenda very well, as well as identifying corrupt practices those of us who have studied the AGW agenda in any detail are all too familiar with.

Steve O
February 4, 2019 6:38 am

“For the average consumer……the takeaway message is, change your diet…”

As often as I can, I am accusing any liberal who is concerned about AGW to demonstrate their belief, show some leadership and make insect protein a significant part of their diet. It won’t make any difference to anything. I just want to make them eat bugs.

February 12, 2019 9:51 pm

There is a lot of sense in this article but having spent 30 years working as a dietitian and public health nutritionist, I have to take issue with this statement “Vegetables and grains are nutrient poor, whereas animal source foods are nutrient rich” The second part is indeed true. However nobody (I would have thought) can accuse vegetables of being nutrient-poor. (Except for potatoes, particularly the fried kind) Vegetables are low in energy and rich in minerals, vitamins, fibre and other phytonutrients. Dietary guidelines recommend consumption of 2-1/2 cups of vegetables a day. They are the food group which most people need to eat more of. Meat (including chicken and fish) is rich in minerals, particularly iron, and protein, and vitamins (especially Vit B12, which is not found in plant foods). Milk is rich in protein, minerals (especially calcium) and vitamins. Whole grains are also rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. All of these are ‘core foods and there is strong evidence that consumption of them is associated with good health. A healthy diet contains a balance of all of them. On the other hand, refined grains are not so nutrient dense and are not recommended as part of healthy diet. Please don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!

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