Peter Kaczowka: “With all due respect to Matt, I would rather eat a million birds than a single one of our fellow mammals.”

☞  Aren’t we taken with our own phylum!  (I was going to say genus – and actually, “class” may be the more accurate level of taxonomic distinction – but phylum sounds funnier.)  The solution is fried and/or chocolate-covered insects.  Or eggs and tofu-bacon, but with nicer chicken coops.  Spare both classes of the phylum.

Peter continues:  “Matt is right, the Earth is overpopulated. But vegetarianism is not the solution – it’s the cause! The book Pandora’s Seed explains:  Civilization grew out of a gradual switch 10,000 years ago from hunting and gathering to farming, and, the author says, ‘more food produced more people.’ The result is a planet with 6.8 billion human grazers.”

☞  Don’t look now – 7 billion.  Nearly triple what it was when I was born.  Anyone not alarmed by this – and by the concomitant explosion in consumption per capita – and who doesn’t recognize that we are after 5 billion years of planetary evolution in the critical few decades . . . a split second, really . . . when we’ll either learn as a species to live sustainably on our spaceship or we won’t – is missing, well . . . everything.

(Having inherited the happy gene, and being one of those who thinks we should not abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, family planning, and the like, I have high hopes that we will.)

In any event, now that there are 7 billion of us, it would not help if we all ate more meat. It would help if we ate less. As reader Rick Thompson notes: “The beauty of a plant-based diet is its efficiency: you eliminate the middle man (well, actually animal). Instead of animals pre-eating food for us, we eat it directly ourselves, and in the process help the environment. On average, it takes 10 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein vs. one calorie of plant protein.” And costs us, personally, more money.


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