Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arguments for Veganism Are Not New

As society increasingly reevaluates its reliance on meat, a number of individuals have proposed that we should give up meat. One acre of cropland can feed more people when used to produce plant foods than when used to produce animal foods. Of course, some land is only fit for grass production, as this article by Dennis Avery illustrates.

As groups increasingly plea that we can feed the world if only we would stop producing so much meat, this will undoubtedly cause at least a few individuals to go vegan.

What is interesting about this debate is that it is not new. Even in the late 1700's and early 1800's some were arguing likewise. Also existing in the 18th Century were arguments that the slaughtering of meat degraded human character and that vegetarianism was a healthier diet. A historian on the matter has written...

"not only did the slaughter of animals have a brutalizing effect upon the human character, but the consumption of meat was bad for health; ... By the end of the [18th] century these arguments had been supplanted by an economic one: stockbreeding was a wasteful form of agriculture compared with arable farming, which produced far more food per acre."

Source: Colin Spencer, Vegetarianism: A History

As the Bible says...there is nothing new under the sun!