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We Must Reclaim Human Health, Sustainability, Environmental Justice, And Morality From The Birdseed Brigade
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August 12, 2011
4:07 pm
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Ella:

As primordial stated, statistics are different than reality.  Most self-described vegetarians eat meat, but not all do...and in a country with over 300 million people, even small minorities are strongly represented in terms of absolute numbers.

Actually, cows do "just eat grass."  Grain is not a cow's natural diet any more than it is ours.  We feed them grain because the government subsidizes it so heavily, and because it makes them fat very quickly.  Cows cannot eat a wholly grain-based diet for more than a few months or they die.

I actually sympathize with your point about the oceans: we're strip-mining them for fish just like we're strip-mining the Appalachians for coal.

As far as vegetarianism being unhealthy, I've said before that it's totally possible to have a healthy vegetarian diet: eggs and butter are wonderful foods.  It's the vegans that require artificial supplementation.  But it's much easier to eat a healthy omnivorous diet...and since veal calves are an inevitable product of milk production and industrial egg production is even crueler than a slaughterhouse, well...

JS

September 9, 2011
8:04 pm
njs
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I recently discovered your site and I find a lot of insight in your writing. It seems like you've done a great deal of research on these subjects.

From this article, I can't tell if you're against all agriculture or just "industrial" agriculture. Do you feel humans should never have adopted the practice?

September 10, 2011
1:43 am
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njs:

Whether we should or should not have, the fact remains that we did. 

Therefore, the important question is: now what?

JS

September 12, 2011
10:01 pm
njs
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That does lead to my next question. Animals require more resources to raise than plants, correct? Do you feel we could feed our planet (or even our country) if everyone followed your diet?

September 12, 2011
11:29 pm
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njs:

We can't feed our planet right now: as I point out in the article, our current system of industrial agriculture is unsustainable in every respect.

As far as grazing, I wrote above in the comments, "Less than 19% of the USA is arable (suitable for growing row crops) — and much of that only because of gigantic, destructive dams and water projects that irrigate the desert at massive taxpayer cost.  Yet ruminants can graze almost anywhere.  Pasture isn't necessarily taking land away from agriculture."

There will be a painful period of adjustment ahead as we find out that the Earth cannot feed seven billion people no matter what we do.  The important question is "What do we replace the current system with?"

JS

January 25, 2012
9:14 pm
J.M.
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Hello, I know I'm late to the discussion, but seriously what makes you think we can`t feed 7 billion or more people with the adequate methods? So far no scientific explanation has been given about why we think this world is overpopulated. Do we really know the capacity of this world, respect to what we are overpopulated? What standard do you apply in reaching a conclusion there are too many people? Do you apply the criteria of (a) the world’s ability to produce enough food to feed everyone or (b) the ability of each individual country to feed its people? We know conventional agriculture cannot do this, but maybe, just maybe paleo friendly husbandry practices and organic agriculture will be able to do it however a serious overhaul of all major contaminating industries and energy generating sources has to be made. A shift to cleaner energies (not wind or biofuels but hidrogen, efficient solar and thorium along with LENR) could have happened several years ago, were it not for the Powers that be.

The same people behind birdseed brigade is looking for an excuse to wipe out most of humanity, just so they get a planetwide country club (Georgia Guidestones). Please don`t follow their faulty and deceptive logic and statements.

January 29, 2012
8:05 pm
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J.M.:

Because everything we consume is being depleted at a massively unsustainable rate. 

"There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study.  Stocks have collapsed in nearly one-third of sea fisheries, and the rate of decline is accelerating."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6108414.stm

Where do we get high-quality protein from when the fish are gone?  We are already strip-mining our topsoil to grow food:

"The estimate is that we are now losing about 1 percent of our topsoil every year to erosion, most of this caused by agriculture...cropland in the U.S. is being eroded at least 10 times faster than the time it takes for lost soil to be replaced."
http://www.seattlepi.com/national/348200_dirt22.html

This is all despite the Haber process, by which 3-5% of world natural gas production is used to make ammonium nitrate so that we can grow more crops more quickly.  And while grazing is certainly more sustainable than agriculture, it's silly to argue that we can get the meat equivalent of 200 bushels of corn per acre out of turning Iowa farmland into prairie.

"During a remarkably short period of time, we have lost a quarter of the world's topsoil and a fifth of its agricultural land, altered the composition of the atmosphere profoundly, and destroyed a major proportion of our forests and other natural habitats without replacing them. Worst of all, we have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several hundred times beyond its historical levels, and are threatened with the loss of a majority of all species by the end of the 21st century." -AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment

And let's not even talk about basic things like access to fresh water.

Hell, just look out your window.  Or travel to India, China, or Sub-Saharan Africa.  The only reason they exist is because six countries (USA, Canada, Argentina, France, Australia, Thailand) have enough extra land to provide 90% of the world's grain exports.  Sure, the US can probably feed itself sustainably...but we can't feed the rest of the world that way, too.  And we'd need at least three extra Earths if we wanted every one of the seven billion to enjoy the same lifestyle you and I now enjoy.

I don't have a good solution -- but denial isn't part of it.  If we don't solve the problem ourselves, nature will solve it for us via catastrophic suffering on a scale we can't even imagine.

JS

February 4, 2012
7:17 pm
Squirenetic
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First off, I want to thank you for an excellent, inspiring blog! Also, I do want to read the Gnoll Credo, but I'd really appreciate an ebook version, is this available from somewhere?

With regards to the question of sustainability, this lecture by Allan Savory was a great revelation to me, and it has incredibly implications. Watch this lecture, then imagine reclaiming the fertile crescent, acre by acre, using these methods. Turning this arid desert hell into fertile grassland, roamed by millions upon millions of livestock. I believe it's possible.

February 9, 2012
3:04 pm
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Squirenetic:

We'll probably cave eventually and make an ebook version, but there is no release date.  Also, I wouldn't expect it to cost a lot less than the paperback.

Thanks for the vote of support, and the video!  I'm familiar with Savory's work, but that's a good presentation of it.  Do stick around.

JS

February 21, 2012
11:51 pm
J.M.
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My response is not denial Stanton, for me the only way out of this mess is our ingenuity if we have any left. If Malthus predictions had been true, we wouldn`t even be here. By the way Mr. Stanton if you believe the so called Global Warming after all that`s happened (failed models, weather irregular patterns that don't fit the warm earth model as well as e-mails that prove collusion between scientists in order to continue with the script to the public or Climategate), one could say you are the one in denial. If you look at earth history with unbiased eyes you would most likely understand that more severe changes have been experienced before (There is a reason Greenland was called like that at the beginning of the Middle Ages) and the current Global Warming propaganda is no more than a hoax http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va'…..;aid=17769 , http://iceagenow.com/Its_the_Sun_stupid.htm

(link to Youtube video)

By the way I agree with you on this: Under the current model of development we don`t have much time as species. Maybe less than a century before a plague, a war or disruption in our supply chains either at the origin (crop massive failure) or in the middle (natural disasters) kills billions of our species. What I suggested was a change of paradigm not only in agriculture but in how we behave as species, how we conduct our operations (industry, consumption pattern, power consumption and energy resources, urbanization models, exploration, exploitation of resources, even in medicine, right now medications of all sorts from contraceptives to anti-depressants are polluting the seas and the soil) if we are to preserve this planet. Our current situation can be compared with a child that poops in his lunch pack. Both of us know it will lead to no good.

I don`t know what the answer is but I know as a supply chain professional that "the nothing can be done just let it all go to the Hell" approach has never resolved any problem in human history. And that`s the approach the elite that rules this world is taking because they think they can. Don't believe me?

And of course we cannot forget to mention CNN founder and multibillionaire Ted Turner. Turner is a member of the Society of the Pacifica House, the secret society of Brown University which is very similar to the Skull and Bones at Yale University; it is interesting to note that Turner is also a long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Turner is also UN supporter and founder of the United Nations Foundation. He was quoted as saying; "Personally, I think the population should be closer to when we had indigenous populations, back before the advent of farming. Fifteen thousand years ago, there was somewhere between 40 and 100 million people. But [population researchers] Paul and Anne Ehrlich have convinced me that if we're going to have a modern infrastructure, with commercial airlines and interstate highways around the world, we're going to need about two billion people to support it." In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he stated; "We're too many people; that's why we have global warming," and that "everybody in the world's got to pledge to themselves that one or two children is it." It should be noted that Ted Turner has five children. http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/news/stories/2008….._0404.html, Tracey C. Rembert, "Ted Turner: Billionaire, Media Mogul … And Environmentalist" (Interview), E Magazine, January/February 1999, Volume X, number 1, p. 10

For more references look this: http://www.population-growth-migration.info/essays…..ganic.html

Unfortunately I think millions will die before real change can be enacted, but once we have changed we will be more rational and able to sustain a greater population if need be (don't worry we'll have less people at the end of this century than you think).

June 21, 2012
8:20 am
SentWest
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I've been reading through your articles, and haven't seen it mentioned yet in the articles or comments, but of course agribusiness and agripolitics would do their best to mainstream veg*ism!

Veg*ans, with few exceptions for the deeply thinking types, are going to remove meats from their diets and immediately substitute with grain products, soy products, and processed products of the sort that use disproportionate amounts of highly subsidized crops. I hypothesis that veg*ans in fact eat more of these products than your general meat-eating citizen.

It is a fantastic market for all the "healthy" expensive things that live in boxes in the middle of Whole Foods, and everyone can feel good about themselves for financially and bodily consuming them.

June 23, 2012
12:45 pm
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SentWest:

You're absolutely correct: there is a lot of mainstream political power behind the push for veg*anism.

It's not as simple as "they're eating more corn and soy", though...eating factory-farmed meat consumes more corn and soy by proxy than eating the corn and soy directly.  It's a matter of maintaining an economic system predicated on infinite exponential growth by continuing to pack exponentially more people onto the Earth...and the only way to keep it from collapsing for a few more decades is to convince all of us to eat birdseed instead of real food.

JS

June 23, 2012
1:01 pm
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J.M.:

I'm not sure why you bring up global climate change, as none of my points depend on it.  (Though any change will most certainly make the crises worse…and it doesn't matter what causes the change.  A broken window is a broken window.)  

And I'm pretty sure that none of the elite have the solution, either — because the global financial industry is dependent on infinite exponential growth, so what they're going to do is rig the game so they're holding all the real property when it collapses (see: Argentina) and start the whole game up again.  

The problem is that we're hitting some more hard limits.  Malthus was correct for centuries, up until the Haber process was discovered…and now that agricultural productivity is flattening out again and the free protein from the oceans is running out (not to mention the topsoil thing), we've got some new limitation that will be much more difficult, or impossible, to get around.

I think we're mostly in agreement, though, on the sequence of events: there's not one big Mad Max collapse.  What happens is things slowly get more expensive, more crowded, less reliable, and more third-world as the supply chains of heretofore inexhaustible resources become less and less dependable.  And there will be no benevolent entities working to prevent or mitigate the crises: their motivation will be to precipitate them in ways that allow them to profit.  See: the current Eurozone follies.

JS 

December 1, 2012
7:09 am
Katherine
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The issue is uncontrolled population growth and those who, like JM, not only support but encourage it. There really is no way to feed all the people we have in a sustainable way, and the idea of even voluntary population control has been silenced since the time of Reagan and the compromises he made to get the support of the Christian right.

December 3, 2012
7:18 pm
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Katherine:

Unfortunately, both our Social Security system and our entire economic system of fractional reserve banking depend on infinite exponential growth to fund them, because they're both pyramid schemes.  This is why bankers and politicians are unwilling to face the problem.

JS

March 3, 2013
1:17 pm
Margaret
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Well said. What drives me nuts is that 99% of the population thinks a vegetarian diet is the healthiest diet and that "vegan" is the ultimate in health. And they have learned this from the popular media. I follow the Weston A. Price diet of whole foods--raw dairy, pastured meat and eggs from small farmers, seafood, wild-caught fish, vegetables, and a little fruit and soaked nuts. I just eliminated rice (my only grain). I eat no processed foods or sweets. My lunch at work consists of leftovers from my dinners and I never partake of the corporate pizza lunches (which would make me very ill), or the corporate candy. The other day, the receptionist said to a new employee, "Margaret always eats so healthy" and then he said to me, "oh, are you a vegetarian?". I just wanted to scream. I'm so tired of the assumption that vegetarian=healthy. My cousin informed me that she and her husband are now "mostly vegan" to be "proactive" about their health. I suppose it's better than the Standard American Diet, but they won't get the nutrients they need over the long-term.

March 10, 2013
9:36 pm
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Margaret:

Almost any diet is healthier than the Standard American Diet, because the first tenet of any diet is to cut out obvious junk like soda, candy, and Cheetos.  And the low-fat veg*ans eliminate, by necessity, massive amounts of pro-inflammatory omega-6-based "vegetable oils" from their diet, which is also healthy. 

The problem with this scenario is that fasting becomes the ultimate in health, because you're not eating anything toxic!  Of course, you're not eating anything at all, and you starve to death.  I wrote about this here: The New Vegan High.

JS

April 10, 2013
1:25 pm
Vegantic
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The birdseed brigade! I love it - you made me laugh out loud.

April 16, 2013
1:20 am
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Vegantic:

I do my best.  Thanks for the vote of support!

JS

May 4, 2013
4:05 am
T. Williams
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J.S.:

Read the book, follow the site, love it!

A one time vegetarian I've converted myself and a few family, friends and co-workers to follow a "Paleo" approach, all have had astounding improvement in health and happiness.

Recently, relatively affordable grass fed beef has become available here on Oahu providing a sustainable food source and income for local ranchers. This is only possible because the demand has been recognized and demand rose because people are being enlightened by sites like yours.

Keep up the good work!

TW

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