[Marxism] SOIL ALLIANCE resource hub

Ratbag Media ratbagradio at gmail.com
Thu Aug 18 02:35:07 MDT 2016

Hang on!  'Meat' is a commodity like everything else. You may as well
suggest  that  (I'm suggesting as well) ' with a limited planet that
there is no need to restrict'  grain consumption or soya beans or rice
or corn or yams  or whatever.

Making a fetish of one element in the food chain obscures the
ecological reality.

My argument is that  meat production is related to 'meat's' relevance
to the environment...and THAT relates to its consumption. That's a
basic principle of human evolution: we eat what we can get.
Whether we kill or harvest it isn't the point. In rangelands the norm
has been to grow meat and eat it BECAUSE horticulture is not an easy
fit there. They are brittle landscapes.

Every landscape needs animals. It is a ecological fact. And landscapes
have evolved in tandem with animals -- even our human farms.

As it happens, here in Australia the homo sapiens currently share a
continental space where there are  74 million sheep to 23.5 million
people with a further beef herd  of 13.4 million head.

Is that too much grazing?

As for your confusing comment:

"The only reason why people in the rich countries can eat so much meat
is that they also consume the share of the people in the poor
countries, and that they pump fossil water using fossil fuels etc. "

 I don't have the consumption figures on hand for all the 'rich
countries'  but in the USA  the main meat suppliers of imported beef
into the US are Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

They aren't 'poor countries'.


As well as the US, Australia's primary export market for beef is
China, Korea and Japan...and the rise in meat consumption
internationally is being registered in the 'poor countries' generally.

So I don't get you point at all.

Of note is that most Australian lamb exports go to the Middle East

As for the question of meat consumption per se...indigenous peoples
diets are  various but here in Australia, as much as I can
research,aborigines generally ate more meat -- from various animals --
than the current Australian intake . In the Americas  the Plains
Indians  no doubt ate more meat than their East Coast cousins and the
Inuit of the north  were/are dependent on hunting for meat.

But that varies of course around the planet.Look at legume driven
India, for instance. That proves that meat consumption in large
quantities isn't  nutritionally essential. But no society has existed
without using meat or animal products such as milk or hides.

However I'm suggesting that large herbivores in most environments may
indeed be an ecological necessity.

Just as other animals -- pigs, poultry and the like -- may be
essential recyclers that consume AND STORE in their flesh what would
otherwise be wasted.

Yesterday's rotting fruits become tomorrow's bacon.

dave riley

On Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 3:59 PM,  <ehrbar at marx.economics.utah.edu> wrote:

> you are basically saying: if we do it right, we can produce so much with
> a limited planet that there is no need to restrict meat consumption, even if
> we are 7-9 billion people, and even if climate change drastically
> reduces what can be grown where.

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