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Vegetarianism’s benefits by the numbers

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Re: “Criticism of food production past its sell-by date”, Have Your Say, February 3.

Noah Zarke – who is only brave enough to write under a fake name – criticises vegans/vegetarians for responding to arguments put forward by letter writers in defence of meat-eating. “Noah”, this is called a discussion. No one is forcing you to read the letters. Nor is anyone forcing you to stop eating animals. Your suggestion that there’s no other way to feed the world’s burgeoning population other than with meat certainly calls for a response because the reverse is true.
If we were to stop feeding crops to farmed animals, 70 per cent more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be enough to feed four billion additional people. 
Cows (and the other animals we eat) are poor converters when it comes to turning food into energy and muscle, which is why it takes anywhere from 13 to 20 pounds of grain fed to a cow to produce just one pound of beef. This means that 13-20 times as many people could be fed if those grains were simply eaten by humans. Likewise, it takes around seven pounds of grain to produce one pound of pork, and 4.5 pounds of grain to produce one pound of chicken.
Jenny Moxham
Victoria, Australia

Published : February 05, 2018