One of the questions that I get asked a lot is how vegans should respond to the claims put out by the MLA and similar groups about farming. One of the MLA’s popular justifications is that 8% of Australia’s land is suitable for crop production.
Whilst this may be true, and I am not going to argue with their figures, they then go on to say that red meat is the most efficient use of the land for producing protein for Australian’s.
Let’s say that they are telling the truth, and their information is reliable. With only 8% of Australia’s land being suitable for crop production, a few other questions need to be asked. Though I doubt very much they will answer them.
- Who says that we have to produce crops on all of our available land in the first place?
How much of Australia’s natural landscape has been destroyed or reformed to make it suitable for the farming of animals? If the land must be used for some sort of commercial gain, and it isn’t suitable for crop production why not invest IN the land and use permaculture type systems to return it to a more suitable state. Mind you the MLA’s propaganda doesn’t specify whether nothing can be grown in the area or it is only unsuitable for the modern mono crop style of farming.
- How much of that 8% of land is used in producing crops for feed for farming animals?
Depending on what source you use, the percentage of grain used for animal production varies between 60% to 70%. Let’s be fairly conservative here and say that 50% of the grain produced in this country is used in the production of animal protein. This means that by the MLA’s own figures, they are selfishly and inefficiently using HALF of the available land for crops that go towards the production of animal protein.
- Is that unsuitable in its current state?
As I mentioned above, permaculture could be used to return the land to a state where it is suitable for growing something. Therefore, we need to ask is the land unsuitable because it has been used for animal farming for that long that the hard foot of sheep and cattle have compacted the soil that much that it there is no chance of growing anything there without a substantial amount of money being spent? Or is it that because the land has been used as a feed lot or some other sort of intensive farming that the land is too ‘toxic’ to use?
Another thing to remember is that the information put out by the MLA and used by those who will justify the killing of animals is all based on the assumption that we MUST have animal protein to survive? We all know that this is not the case, and were the MLA to admit or even acknowledge this, then the rest of their arguments become nothing more than feeble attempts to justify their archaic and barbaric practices.
By their own admission, the meat and livestock industry uses nearly 50% of Australia’s landmass. With meat and livestock production being a $16 Billion a year industry, do you really think they will be 100% honest and transparent about the condition of the land in the first place?