Grass. It covers 2/3 of the world’s arable landmass and wants to be here. 2/3 of the world’s surface can’t grow corn, soybeans, broccoli, oats, avocados or anything else but grass. (there’s no grass emoji!) We disregard the importance of grass so much that we believe in our hubris that we can till it all up and grow plants for our plant-based diets. Where is the fertility going to come from? Do you know that fertilizer uses the exact same technology to make bombs, with the same effect on the land of the living? Pray tell me, where are the nutrients going to come from if we eliminate the only animals (herbivores, particularly ruminants) that can digest the only thing that will grow on 2/3 of the world’s surface? I’ve read my Bible and found no reference to tractors, oil extraction or taking genes from one species and putting them in another for our convenience, but I found quite a few references to shepherds, including one pretty great Shepherd. I’ve also studied the work of Weston A. Price, and his findings of healthy populations all over the world, and all of those healthy cultures, with healthy children and happy people, had some nutritional relationship with the animal kingdom. But all debates about the best diet miss one crucial detail: where does fertility come from? How much war are you willing to wage on the soil for tofu?
Make no mistake, there’s nothing nonviolent about a plant-based diet. Living takes life. The only question is the degree to which we are aware of our own participation. Because this choice isn’t one we get to opt out of: we must eat if we are to live. So the real question is this: does your food create more life or destroy it? How we answer that question will determine not only the future life of our planet but also your own. It’s high time to get closer to that choice, as you are a few hours from making it again, like it or not. The truth isn’t interested in our opinions and has no regard for our avoidance. It’s marching on, with or without us.
I love this post! Just like everything else these days, it seems we as a society are incapable of having a nuanced conversation. When my kids ask people in our social circles why they are vegan or vegetarian, I often have this whole conversation in my head, exactly as you express it here, (tho admittedly not quite so eloquently). This is something most people that don’t farm, just aren’t aware of, and maybe wouldn’t have given much thought to. Not to mention the real effects of what annual planting does to the ecology of the soil, as the mainstream method is till, till, till and then till some more and maybe if you’re organic, throwing some plastic “mulch” down for weed control. There is no moral high ground to contributing to these types of food systems either.