Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Veganism contrary to nature

I am very tired of hearing the claims of vegans about the amazing benefits of eating a diet free of meat and animal products. Their claims hold up to reliable science if applied to the corporately-based food production which has come to dominate our lives.

However, it is a fact that, before John Deere invented the steel moldboard plow, the grasslands of the world were second only to the oceans in carbon sequestration. Why? Because, for many millennia, they were grazed by animal species such as ruminants and numerous other animals which benefited that environment. The Great Plains of this continent had 12 feet of very carbon-rich loam until row-cropping caused 3 feet of soil loss during the dust bowl days, followed by decades of further degradation.

Carbon Farmers of America, among many other sources, are aware that properly managed multi-species grazing is likely the most practical and rapid method known for reducing atmospheric CO2. Any well-managed grazing, such as organic, strictly grass-fed, milk production has a significant contribution. The buffalo population of the Great Plains, well managed for millennia by the indigenous people, were especially beneficial to that environment.

As for the health claims, a vegan friend of mine died a few years ago from testicular cancer, which is a common occurrence with male vegans. Women suffer from other reproductive organ maladies. It is common for vegans to consume tofu or other soy products, which are carcinogenic. Undernourishment or malnourishment are common. Doctor Joel Wallach of Critical Health News, has a vast knowledge of all sorts of ailments. He has said that vegans can be healthy, but need to take an expensive array of supplements to be so.

Another fallacy perpetrated by these groups is the assumption that “herbivores” consume strictly vegetation. Some years ago, some biologists investigated the southwestern U.S. villainization of magpies, on the assumption that they were the greatest predators of small birds in the nests. Motion detector cameras revealed that the greatest culprits were, in fact, deer. I recently came upon two deer on a little-traveled road which were so enjoying a recently squashed squirrel they hesitated to let me pass. Decades back, one of my pulling steers sniffed a cowhide hand-pump leather and immediately gobbled it down, demonstrating that “herbivores” are cannibalistic. They clearly also consume insects and various other creatures in the vegetation and in soil that they eat.

There is an old saw, “believe half what you see and nothing you hear.”

Joe Gleason

Bridport

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