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Indybay Feature

Words Not Pie: The Vegan Response to Lierre Keith at the Upcoming

by Vegans for Sustainable Agriculture (VeganSustainability [at]
We don’t need pie to humiliate Lierre Keith. As anarcho-primitivists and Weston A. Price followers condemned all vegans as violent psychopaths after Keith’s recent encounter with a spicy pie this weekend, a handful of animal rights activists were peacefully distributing leaflets that strongly disputed some of The Vegetarian Myth’s many inaccuracies and misleading claims (available below). Her book is a dangerous collection of straw man arguments, poorly-sourced pseudo-science, and outright lies. Discrediting the book will be easy, but it will work best with many people working together. To accomplish this, we have purchased the domain and will soon be launching a closely-moderated wiki (or similar site) to crowd-source the vegan critique of the book.

We don’t need pie to humiliate Lierre Keith. As anarcho-primitivists and Weston A. Price followers condemned all vegans as violent psychopaths after Keith’s recent encounter with a spicy pie this weekend, a handful of animal rights activists were peacefully distributing leaflets that strongly disputed some of The Vegetarian Myth’s many inaccuracies and misleading claims.

Her book is a dangerous collection of straw man arguments, poorly-sourced pseudo-science, and outright lies. Discrediting the book will be easy, but it will work best with many people working together. To accomplish this, we have purchased the domain and will soon be launching a closely-moderated wiki (or similar site) to crowd-source the vegan critique of the book.

If you are interested in helping make this happen in any capacity, please contact  We are in need of web space, design, and writers. Eventually, we hope to include fact-checking and criticism of other animal rights opponents like Elliot Coleman, Michael Pollan, and the Weston A. Price foundation.

The content from the original flier is available below and also in PDF format here. Please spread this message and the flier to anyone who may be interested.

Vegans for Sustainable Agriculture | The Truth About The Vegetarian Myth
A Crowd-Sourced Response to Lierre Keith & Other Opponents to Animal Rights



The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith
Corrections to Some of the Many Errors and Misconceptions


The Claim: Lierre claims that grazed animal farming/polyculture can feed nine people per ten acres. (P. 101)
In Reality:
Lierre lists the food produced on a ten acre perennial polyculture. Her numbers are based on Michael Pollan's exposition of Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in The Omnivore's Dilemma, and are arrived at by dividing the numbers for Salatin's 100 acres of grass by ten. But Pollan explains at great length (P. 222-225) that the 100 acres of grass is actually 550 acres because the adjacent 450 acres of forest are essential to the health and productivity of the farm. Accordingly, ten acres of land actually feeds about two people rather than her estimate of nine. Lierre says that if you live in New England you should eat what grows there. However, with this level of productivity, you couldn't feed all of New England on all the land in New England.


The Claim: "I built my whole identity on the idea that my life did not require death...Did the lives of nematodes and fungi matter? Why not? Because they were too small for me to see?" (P. 18)
In Reality:
This straw man argument permeates throughout the book. These views are not held by most vegans nor any animal advocacy groups. The goal of veganism is to eliminate direct, unnecessary suffering at the hands of humans—not to magically end all death. Why shouldn't the cow with its undeniable ability to feel pain, experience emotions and form relationships take precedence over plants and organisms with limited or non-existent nervous systems such as the nematodes Keith frets about in this book?

The Claim:
Lierre claims that sustainable farming is not possible without domesticated livestock. "I would need domesticated animals—their labor and the products of their bodies—to farm sustainably. I needed their manure and their unspeakable bones, their inconceivable blood." (P. 58)
In Reality:
How then does she explain the success of vegan organic agriculture in the UK and US, where no animal inputs are used? How does she explain that the most successful organic CSA in the country actually uses no animal products on their fields (Honey Brook Farm in New Jersey)?

The Claim: "Understand: agriculture was the beginning of global warming. Ten thousand years of destroying the carbon sinks of perennial polycultures has added almost as much carbon to the atmosphere as industrialization, an indictment that you, vegetarians, need to answer. No one has told you this before, but that is what your food—those oh so eco-peaceful grains and beans—has done." (P. 250)
The Reality: Much of Lierre's book is borrowed from Richard Manning, a well-respected environmentalist and author. Manning understands that human dependence on grain monoculture is not the fault of the small percentage of concerned people who decided to be vegetarian, but is rather a historical mistake of which we all share the burden of repairing. Despite Lierre's insistence, vegans do not need to eat grains nor any sort of annual monocrop. Why did she target vegans when compared to average corn-fed Americans, vegans consume much less grain?
    On the topic of climate change, Lierre fails to address that regardless of type of feed or forage, ruminant animals emit an abundance of methane, a greenhouse gas up to 72-times more potent than carbon-dioxide. She, along with other grass-fed proponents, point out that growing pasture sequesters carbon in the subsoil and claim that farms like Polyface are carbon-neutral. However, she ignores the fact that soil can only retain a limited quantity of carbon—once pasture is healthy, the soil is carbon stable. Meat from pasture-based livestock contributes at least as much to climate change as meat from CAFOs—an indictment that you, Lierre, need to answer.


The Claim: "We’ve been doing what we’ve been endlessly badgered to do since the 1960s. We’ve eaten, according to the USDA, less fat, less meat, fewer eggs. Our dietary fat has fallen 10 percent, hypertension has dropped 40 percent and the number of us with chronically high cholesterol has declined 28 percent." (P. 203)

In Reality: Americans eat more meat now than in the 1960s according to the USDA ( While the average percentage of calories from dietary fat consumption has decreased, dietary fat intake increased from 135 g to 178 g from 1960 to 2006 (

The Claim: "We owe our bodies what we owe the world; we must inhabit both and, in the act of inhabiting, nourish both. This food must also be an apology for what my kind has done, and part of the repair. It must protect this land, and extract from me the promise of more. My food is those things, all of them. It’s based on the forests and grasses that nestle this planet in soil and air." (P. 271)
In Reality: Lierre's own blog posts demonstrate that she can't stick to her own ideals. She has posted entries where she raves about the perfection of grain-fed pork and happily offers a bucket of mass-produced, processed chocolate laden with factory-farmed dairy to trick-or-treaters last Halloween. If this is what she'll post on her own blog, what other unsustainable foods is she eating? (,

The Claim: "...there are no good plant sources of tryptophan. On top of that, all the tryptophan in the world won’t do you any good without saturated fat."  And later Keith blames the lack of tryptophan in vegetarian diets for depression, insomnia, panic, anger, bulimia and chemical dependency. (P. 10)
In Reality: A cup of roasted soybeans contains nearly three times the adult RDA of tryptophan and a cup of pretty much any other bean will get you between 50-60% of the RDA. Two tablespoons of coconut oil more than meet the adult saturated fat RDA. Nuts, dark chocolate and avocado are all rich in saturated fat.

The Claim: 
"Sixty grams of soy protein—that’s one cup of soy milk—contains 45 mg of isoflavones." (P. 215)

In Reality: The soy milks available in supermarkets have about 6 to 11 grams of soy protein per cup. According to Lierre’s often-cited Weston A. Price Foundation, a cup of soy milk contains only 20 mg of isoflavones.

The Claim: "I am of this world, carbon and breath like my parents, my siblings, the creatures great and small, single-celled or green, that create the miracle the rest of us consume. They gave me this body and the air it needs, the food it eats. All they ask is that I take my place, a predator, dependent and beholden, until I am prey." (p. 271)
In Reality: The animals humans consume are quite literally prey, but unless Keith intends to be eaten by a wild animal, her claim of being "prey" is a specious one based on her decomposition. She considers this a repayment to the biosphere for its kindness in feeding her, but that same repayment is unacceptable from edible animals.

The Claim: Lierre claims that "Researchers from Cornell showed that E. Coli 0157:H7 could be stopped by a very simple action: feeding cows hay for the last five days of their lives." (P. 99)
In Reality: In the study Lierre refers to, the researchers showed that overall E. Coli levels (i.e. including strains other than 0157:H7) in three cows were decreased by feeding the cows hay for five days. They conjectured that 0157:H7 levels would be similar. However, subsequent research suggests that grass-fed beef does not have lower levels of 0157:H7 (

The Claim: "The pursuit of a just, sustainable, and local economy will eventually lead us to the grim conclusion that there are simply too many of us. The world population is supposed to reach 8.9 billion by 2050. Meanwhile the oceans will be fished empty by 2050, the aquifers and water tables will be well out of reach, and the last trace of topsoil rendered dust. We are already living on fossil fuel and this—right now—is the historical moment when oil will peak. It will never be this cheap or accessible again. What then?" (P. 120)
Counterpoint: Keith has no answer to "What then?" The only answer one can deduce from the book is that she advocates nothing short of the elimination of agriculture and civilization and a drastic reduction of population to some level that she considers sustainable. Simultaneously, she believes that civilization's doom (and consequently, an enormous loss of human life) will soon be upon us, so maybe it makes sense that her ideas are not solutions.

The only thing worth taking from The Vegetarian Myth is Lierre’s condemnation of the idea that the simple act of going vegan automatically solves all problems with our food production. True, some vegans and organizations do exaggerate the ecological benefits of eating highly processed, conventionally-grown vegan food. That said, it is still the easiest and most substantial immediate action a person can take on the path to a sustainable lifestyle.  Into the future, a balanced plant-based diet of mixed perennial and annual fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes grown in veganic permaculture settings is our only hope for feeding an increasing population.

Further Reading:
Veganic Agriculture Network:

Vegan Organic Network:

Plants for a Future:

The Permavegan:

Animal Rights & Anti-Oppression:

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:


Add Your Comments

Comments (Hide Comments)
Bound Together Books and PM Press continue to try to prop up and foist veg*n antagonist Lierre Keith onto the radical community in the Bay Area. Today, at the 15th Annual San Francisco Anarchist Bookfair, where she was scheduled to be a featured speaker, Keith was served her just deserts for her obnoxious attacks on veg*ns in The Vegetarian Myth. She was pied in the middle of her speech in the main auditorium at the SF County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park.
by Mike Desert
Well done sirs or madams!
by Hugh
I'm a former vegan and admitted fan of Lierre's and yet I think this is wonderful! In the other article on here supporting the pie-throwing brutes, I asked for an actual attempt at debunking Lierre.....and here it is!

Mortimer Adler, in his brilliant book "How to Read a Book", stated that one cannot criticize a book until you've read it twice or more. I see that you will be poring over her book with a fine-tooth comb, and I applaud that. That requires real intellectual effort - good on you!

I should, however, point out that saying "Weston A. Price followers condemned all vegans as violent psychopaths" is unnecessary. First, the term 'follower' is a stretch. There are members of the Weston A. Price foundation, and there are people who admire Weston A. Price's prescient warnings about the dangers of refined foods. Second, most of these people are quite rational human beings who understand that most vegans are nice people and wouldn't lump them all into a single category based upon the actions of a couple nitwits.
by Hugh
I'd be interested to see how you tackle the argument that population growth is driven by food availability. So by switching to a vegetarian diet that allows for more calories for human consumption we would drive population growth, thus further mucking up the Earth.

The whole grass-fed petroleum-free agriculture paradigm does seem to necessitate a reduction in the human population - one hopes gradually over time, if it ever occurs.

Put another way, does India have so many people precisely because of its large vegetarian population?
by Rob

This blogger is an economist, permaculture farmer and vegan. He addresses population growth issue early on in the comments of that post.
by Mike Desert
I've read that the more well nourished and wealthier a population, the less people will reproduce (have no sources for this), but it makes sense that in some countries families need to have more children because some will die due to poor medical facilities, lack of food, pollution, dangerous work conditions. Lack of access to birth control might be another issue.
Education, clean water and healthy food can only help a population crisis.
Or we just say fuck it, and let the scientists work it out.
by Hugh
In regards to the increased fat consumption issue, I was looking at the data you linked to and noticed the increase in total fat is entirely comprised of vegetable oils. Looking at the last 100 years, fat from meat has reduced from 32% to 16% of the polyunsaturated fats in the food supply, from 42% down to 25% of our monounsaturated fats, and is down negligibly in saturated fats too. These are back of a notecard calculations but I think they're good.

The Weston A. Pricers are likely to say that this increase in refined vegetable oil consumption has something to do with our diminishing health outcomes, and other things like heart disease really started showing up around the same time vegetable oils were introduced to the human diet. Thats something you'll want to figure out how to respond to.

by (A)--------->
i feel like this made everyone involved look dumb.
her book sounds dumb.
Planning and executing a pieing at the bookfair seems dumb.
having her speak at the bookfair seems dumb.
not debunking her intelectually seems dumb.
her calling the cops and filling a report is seriously dumb.
me reading a shit load of comments about this was dumb.

there are plenty of better things we could all be doing.......
by but
that same time period corresponds to the rise of hydrogenated plant-based oil and transfats in processed foods. Before their inventions, processed sweets were usually made with coconut oil but everything else was lard or butter. I guess the historical data isn't terribly useful for either side of the debate since transfats are universally opposed.
by what
"not debunking her intelectually seems dumb."

Did you mean to post in the other thread? Because, well, that's exactly what this one is about.
by silly question
Do trans-fats and trans-gendered (people) have any relationship?
by 000
First off, creating a site using the Keith's title is only going to increase sales of her book, you know that right?

Second, as a vegetarian, I find your counterpoints pretty weak overall. Most of the points do not speak to the issues of sustainability for the planet, and seem pretty nit-picky. I also agree that some of her statements seem far fetched (the current consumptions of meat for example). I am left with a feeling that neither the vegan response or Keith's book is well researched, which leaves many of the questions up in the air.

Ultimately for me it is a question of ethics and sustainability. Ethically, I have no problem with indigenous communities living off the land they care for even if they consume animals to live, so long as they ensure the survival of the species they consume. On the issue of sustainability, I agree that factory farming has to go (it's why i am still veg after 24 years), and it is a major cause of greenhouse gases.

Ultimately, all these issues are tied into the deeper arguments of our death culture and capitalism and sustainability and oil. And without oil, both vegans and meat eaters are fucked as it means relying on locally produced foods (sorry, electric trains won't move volumes of food across the continent). Many cities don't have a growing season and can't rely on agriculture alone.

There is no doubt humans have exceeded the carrying capacity of the earth. It is oil that allows so many of us to be here now, so vegan or not, we are living unsustainably. I think a largely plant based diet is the way to go (permaculture, organic sustainable agriculture), but I hope the vegans know that Soy is not the answer. Soy is really bad for humans to consume (but good for the soy industry). There are numerous studies on this, here's a few urls:,, and

Here's a recent article on organic agriculture that sounds promising:

Lastly, the pie-ers were cowardly little shits that should have been rounded up and beat. Calling the cops was a bad idea (I mean really, wtf were they going to do?). I was in the room when Keith was attacked from behind, and it really made me mad. I wanted to hear what she had to say! I can make up my own mind you little cowardly bastards!

by obviously
they posted this asking for volunteers to help complete it...

also I hardly think pointing out that her entire ethical argument against veganism is based on a straw man (or at least a fundamental misunderstanding of the theory) is "nit-picking."
by what
how will using that url increase sales of her book? seems like using the same name is a good idea, that way people will find it high up in a search for the book on google or whatever
by search engine rankings
any time someone searches for "vegetarian myth" the site will show up very near the top

if it can get enough links pointed to it, it will show up as the #1 result for that search and related searches

it's called SEO, search engine optimization, and a key part of the strategy is having a relevant domain name

they could also buy other similar domain names and point those to the veg myth site as well
by primmie
"As anarcho-primitivists and Weston A. Price followers condemned all vegans as violent psychopaths after Keith’s recent encounter with a spicy pie this weekend"

Ok, what is this crap again?!

What has Keith's arguments to do with anarcho-primitivism? Couldn't find anything. Hardly a primitivist thing to defend domestication of animals as preference for less domesticated food production? Primitivist preference for wild meat and fish were not discussed in this little debunking, and seemed not to be the case with Keith's book either.

Yours truly,
a primitivist vegan

PS. by saying i'm a vegan, i don't mean i'm a born again devotee of one and only Church of Veganism, just that my food is over 99% vegan and organic. I like to enjoy wild undomesticated meat or fish occasionally.
by hmm
Very much of the book is dedicated to the merits of hunting and gathering your own food. Lierre believes that we should destroy the electric grid to kill off 8/10ths of humanity, abolish agriculture, and hunt/gather for food. Did you really read the book?
by reader
I'd never have known about it. Don't they have anything better to cover?

It's an interesting discussion though.
by where's the credit??
Demian Bulwa: "The attack, midway through a 30-minute talk, was captured on a video posted to YouTube and prompted blistering debates on radical Web sites."

thanks for not mentioning Indybay, Demian

damned corporate pirates
by ot
Keith wanted the video taken down from indybay, and felt like the whole thing was everyone wallowing in her humiliation. So I wonder how settled she'll be with the Chronicle article. The Chronicle, and the rebuttal above, both don't seem to understand her perspective. I dont' think she was trying to argue, for instance, that we can sustainably feed ourselves meet on X acres/person.
by well
I don't think Keith will be happy with the chron because they were pointing to the video on their front page yesterday and now youtube shows about 7000 views. It had been around 100 until then. the article in the print edition today still mentions youtube so people can easily search to find it at

also, Keith did indeed make those inaccurate claims about animals and acres. as Keith followers love to ask, did you read the book? the writers here cite specific pages when refuting problems in the book, and there are plenty more than the few serious issues listed here. that's why they are going to create a whole website dedicated to debunking her shoddy book. not surprising the book is so bad -- Keith simply doesn't have the credentials and background in research it would require to try to write something like this in a credible manner. instead the book is more about her personality issues, her axe to grind with her former self, all wrapped up in logical fallacies and a sloppy misuse of science
by mmmmmm
no, didn't read the book since by the title i can say that i don't give a flying fuck about some books considering vegetarianism/veganism/eating met -debate, since i have better stuff to read.

but those quotes debunked here points that she doesn't quite condemn all agriculture, and can you please show a quote where she wants to kill 8/10 of humanity?

asking that because usually people touting that "those primmies want to kill us all" are just stupid idiots who want to take cheapest shots ever to avoid any real discussion about real topics.

in this case i feel that the most ardent anti-primmies are just very offended that some people refuse the ideologies of veganism and vegetarianism.

still i want to add that i have no reason to defend lierre keith, since just by those few quotes her book seem to be really fucking stupid waste of dead trees...

but ranting against all anarcho-primmies here seem to point more to some personal issues of the ranter.
by quote endquote

"Globalization is utterly dependent on these same computer and communication networks. The giant corporations that are stripping the earth bare and dispossessing local subsistence economies the world over can't function without two things: computers and electricity. Those two things are like the central nervous system and the blood flow of corporate power. And that's where they're vulnerable. These networks could be disrupted manually or through computer hacking. But anyone who wanted to attempt this would have to approach it like a war, like a serious resistance movement. Hitting Weyerhaeuser's computers once might be fun for a day or two, but it's not going to have any long term effect. But a coordinated effort of attacks against the electric grid, the biggest financial markets, and a list of the worst environmental offenders would. It would require planning, discipline, and tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of activists. But it could be done. It would create social upheaval and possibly civil unrest. The average American city has enough food to last 13 days. Economies would have to go local again, and fast. But this is one of the places where the progressive sustainability folks should be working in tandem with the militants, helping to jump start and coordinate local food production networks while the militants bring down globalization."

Not sure if the 8/10ths thing refers to something specifically found elsewhere, but this quote above is easy enough to find and shows how she is cool with saboteurs taking out the electrical grid, simply making that decision for everybody else because she knows she is so righteous and justified -- whatever civil upheaval, starvation, and death happens so what, it's for the good of the planet. How are 350 million people in the US going to figure out a whole new system to produce and distribute food before the 13 days she says we have stockpiled runs out? We're not, which means millions will die, most through starvation, many violently in fights over food. This is apocalypse nut talk.

And then she has the nerve to cry and belly ache about a couple of pies.
by Bakers with out Boarders
the message to Keath was wonderful , but leave out the pepper!
I hear that Gavin may be on the menue along with others who mock us.

and Just maybe there is a pie in the future of the Great Hope
who has done nothing thus far.

by a vegan against industrial society
being vegan is supposed to be a possitive thing. a lifestyle that does not compromise in harming animals.

to those that threw the pies, you may think that youre militant for assaulting a woman who was defenseless (the four of you presumably being men)but how many of you drove to the bookfair, and ate industrial food that day(and everyday) and bought(or stole) your clothes from the store. IF YOU DID THEN YOURE NOT VEGAN. industrial agriculture is a deadly process. it kills entire ecosystems and causes countless animals to go extinct. from the poisonous chemicals sprayed on the cotton grown to make your clothes, to the coltan in your cell phones mined from the congo(killing millions in civil war including gorrillas and other large mammals) to the gasoline that it takes to ship everything that you consume. to the entire mountains that are blown up and filled into the valleys for coal for your electric NEEDS, this planet is dying and consumerism is whats killing it. we all need to stop consuming before theres nothing left to fight for. theres no excuse to not start growing or harvesting your own food and medicine, and until youve turned around and stopped being a destructive force on this planet you should stop assaulting others for not meeting your standards. you should direct your energy at the real enemies, the ones in charge of destroying everything, and start working on being truely vegan.

youve turned being in solidarity with all life into a fascist regime where everyone must buy industrial tofu products and rootbeer or suffer the wrath of the vegan police

-in support of being truely vegan
in solidarity with all the forgotten lives lost to this machine
in love with everything wild
by no, it's not
Oh, get over yourselves. What colossal egos you have. Get real. You're simply not powerful enough to threaten the planet, or even the biosphere. The planet survived Chicxulub. It'll survive us. The planet's not in danger. We are. The planet will go on without us just fine. It went on without the dinosaurs. It'll go on without us.
by ooo
the planet will be fine, but at what cost? at what level of destruction.

Roughly 50,000 species a year are going extinct a year because of human activity. not to mention the pollution, the loss of 90% of the big fish in the oceans, the plankton, the coral reefs, the destruction of the ecology in many bioregions, the loss of rainforests that support millions of species. The loss of topsoil and clean, fresh water for future generations.

do you really think it's ok for us to destroy the biosphere like this? should we just say fuck it, and consume until it's all gone? do we just say fuck it and let our economic system continue the way it is, a system that demands infinite growth on a finite planet?

by born to die
Less than that caused by Chicxulub

>Roughly 50,000 species a year are going extinct a year because of human activity

You say that like extinction was a bad thing. Extinction is not a bad thing. Extinction is a good thing. It's evolution's way of making way for new species. If the dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct after Chicxulub, humans wouldn't have been able to evolve and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Trust Nature. She'll come up with something better to replace us. All things are impermanent. That includes us.

Life has survived the Precambrian, Vendian, Cambrian, Ordovician, Devonian and Permian mass extinction events. It'll survive us. Mass extinctions are part of the Natural process. If you think anything we do is somehow outside of Nature , get over it. Nothing, repeat NOTHING, is outside of Nature. We're part of Nature the way your thumb is part of your hand. If we cause the next mass extinction, or it's the result of a comet strike, a super-volcano, a mega-pandemic, a gamma ray burst, a nearby supernova, or what-the-fuck-ever, matters not one iota. It's all part of the Natural process. One way or the other, it's gonna happen. Then, somewhat later, our sun will explode and nothing on earth will survive. Nothing lasts forever. Not even you. Get used to it. You don't have any choice in the matter.
by little birdy
Great effort, and I'm glad people are taking the time to deconstruct this shoddy book that has the intention of scaring a lot of would-be vegetarians onto meat. However, I need to correct a myth in your post:

it was NOT a pepper pie that was dumped on her head! Take a look at the photo of her taken right after here:

If you had pepper in your eyes, your eyes would still be red 15 minutes later. You'd likely also be coughing and sneezing etc., and there's no evidence of that either. This is Liar's - err Lierre's - attempt to garner more sympathy and show that vegans are really, really mean. And, if you actually think it WAS a pepper pie, if she's clearly just fine 15 minutes later, then that's some awfully weak pepper, and inconsequential.
by 000
>You say that like extinction was a bad thing. Extinction is not a bad thing. Extinction is a good thing. It's evolution's way of making way
>for new species. If the dinosaurs hadn't gone extinct after Chicxulub, humans wouldn't have been able to evolve and we wouldn't even be
>having this conversation. Trust Nature. She'll come up with something better to replace us. All things are impermanent. That includes us.

so you are a nihilist basically. what you are essentially saying is that there is no ethical basis for acting in this world. damn the consequences of all human activity because it's "natural". Hitler and most genocidal maniacs would approve of this logic and hire you on as a "nature" consultant. The rest of us would make sure people like you were hanging from a rope in the not too distant future.

I mean, right? what's the point in stopping capitalism, war and oppression? it's all natural. we don't behave according to any ethical guidelines, we just follow our instincts to murder, rape and kill. I mean who cares because it's all natural. I am guessing if I killed you or your loved ones, you wouldn't see it as "nature" working in it's mysterious ways.

You are full of shit my friend. We do have a responsibility as acting, conscious human beings capable of ethical thought and action not to exploit and destroy species and ecosystems. And I am sure if you weren't part of a privileged section of humanity that lives in one of the most violent empires humans have ever produced, and the guns were pointing at you, things wouldn't seem so "natural".
The point is that by stopping capitalism, war and oppression, human being like ourselves would lead longer, healthier, happier lives. This is not a moral position. This is a pragmatic position.

Morality is subjective. Opinions as to what is moral vary widely. What doesn't vary are the numbers. Read "Collectives in the Spanish Revolution" by Gaston Leval to see what happens when we stop competing, lynch the bosses and cooperate in the workplace. The quality of life improves. The quality of production improves. The efficiency of production increases. The cost of production goes down. That's what anarchism is really about.

Anarchism is class war. Class war is anarchism. All this animal rights crap is a distraction. It reeks of COINTELPRO psy-war. Who benefits when the best guerrilla warriors we can come up with fight scientists and chefs, instead of bosses, politicians and generals? Hint: It's not the working class
by 000
you write:

>The point is that by stopping capitalism, war and oppression, human being like ourselves would lead longer, healthier, happier lives. This >is not a moral position. This is a pragmatic position. Morality is subjective.

I don't think you read my post clearly, but I am making the argument that it is necessary to act. And you'll notice that I never used the word "morality". I specifically used the word "ethical". There is a difference.

I don't think animal rights are a side track at all. I do think there is a necessity to understand complex ecological systems and how we interact with them. In fact, anarchism has always embraced ecological thinking. To say it doesn't matter negates 100 years of ecological anarchist analysis. Murray Bookchin's work was pivotal in making these connections, and the Institute for Social Ecology continues in that radical tradition.
by pragmatist
>there is a necessity to understand complex ecological systems and how we interact with them.

If you ever did that, you would see that animals don't have rights for the same reason nothing else has rights, you and me included, because there is no such thing as rights. Rights don't exist. The concept of rights is pure bourgeoisie romanticism. It has nothing to do with ecology.

Life, especially is not a right. Don't believe me? Ask Nature. In Nature, everything dies, everyone of them against their wills, and everything that dies, gets even. Everything. This is how Nature works. No, you're not smarter than Nature. Life's not a right. It's a privilege.

The absolute kindest thing you can ever do for an animal is to kill it and eat it, because the vast, overwhelming majority of living creatures die, and have always died, by being eaten alive, not killed first, just eaten, still alive. It's Nature's way. If you actually studied ecology, and acquired your understanding of life from Nature herself, and not from Smiths records and semi-literate 'zines, you would know this.

>In fact, anarchism has always embraced ecological thinking. To say it doesn't matter negates 100 years of ecological anarchist analysis.

I didn't say it didn't matter. To imply that I did is to lie. Why do you people lie so much? Oh, right, now I remember. The truth is not your friend.

For example, the truth of the matter is that "animal rights" and ecological thinking are diametrically opposed. Ecological thinking recognizes that the life of any individual matters to, at most, a handful of individuals, if even that. Ecological thinking recognizes that even species come and go. Ecological thinking recognizes that what really matters is that life goes on. And that requires death. All life lives on death, even plants. Without death, life is impossible. That's just how it is. Get used to it.
by 000
you sound like you tortured animals as a kid, just to see what "life" and "death" was like.

you're a sick puppy my friend.

by pragmatist
Food fascists suck. They're cowardly, authoritarian bullies, as this incident so clearly demonstrates. They're the same kind of people who voted the Nazis into power because the Nazi party platform contained a strong animal rights plank, and because Hitler claimed to be a vegetarian. Don't think for a moment that if these people had state power that they wouldn't send their version of brownshirts to kick in your door, denude your fridge of "incorrect" food, and rip off your beloved animal companions to "free" them. That's the kind of people they are. That's what they believe. They admit it in public, in print and repeatedly. The only reason they aren't doing it already is they haven't the power. So instead they resort to cowardly acts of terrorism like this deplorable assault. There's a reason they throw paint on rich women's furs but not on bikers' leather jackets. They're chicken-shit hypocrites.

The first step to totalitarian society is to sit back and tolerate people with totalitarian mindsets when they act out in public like this. Instead, their cause should be nipped in the bud, ASAP and BAMN. It is the precise opposite of anarchism. Anarchism is about solidarity, mutual aid, feminism and above all, liberty. Liberty, in case you haven't figured it out yet, includes the ability to choose your own diet, without being force fed by roving gangs of masked cultists.
by kill 'em all
Don't think for a moment that if Lierre had state power she wouldn't use it to cut off the electrical grid without notice, killing everyone who needs dialysis or similar medical devices, not to mention causing the deaths of many, many more as civil unrest rises due to food shortages.

Of course, she's cool with that with or without state power or any informed consent of those effected. Just hope no one actually follows her encouragement, or look out for your relatives in hospitals and stock up on dried goods.
by bad science
here's one of her favorite lies about vegetarian mental instability due to a lack of tryptophan in vegetarian and vegan food sources

by Returning to indigenous eco-sanity
Interesting thread of comments, great to see good debate from some about veganism and industrial food production.

Would urge people to check out Lierre's homepage and browse the first fourteen pages of her book "the Vegetarian Myth" on her website;

Why the pie thrown in Lierre's eye??

What is the deal with the extreme ideological positions of some vegan activists that caused Lierre to be the recipient of a thrown pie? Are vegans that insecure in their logic that they need to stifle dialogue by throwing pies at primitivists? Why not throw a pie at the CEO of ADM, Cargill or some other more deserving agribusiness corporate giant that enables the factory farms to exist by supplying them with loads of grain and corn? Always easiest to pick on the primitivists, eh??

Confessions of a former vegan;

Yes, once upon a time i myself was a self-righteous vegan who thumbed his nose at any and all meat eaters, for several years i tried and was mostly successful at preventing any animal products from entering my oral cavity. Veganism remained my lifestyle until i met Mr. and Mrs. Jackrabbit out in the Great Basin deserts of Nevada. One roadkill jackrabbit provided me with high energy protein for weeks after i rescued the nearly frozen bunny corpse from the roadside and skinned it, then cooked it and sun dried the rest. That jackrabbit leg was bigger than any turkey leg i've ever seen and tasted ten times as good. Plenty of energy from that animal, a life of free running made for high protein and low fat content. Wild meat will ALWAYS be nutritionally superior to domesticated meat!!

This and other experiences resulted in me changing my thoughts about why i was initially vegan and what other options were. Similar to Lierre and other primitivists, i also dislike factory farms and will work together with anyone for the shared goals of their eventual destruction. However, instead of going the vegan route, i will follow the path of indigenous hunting of native wild animals following habitat restoration and population recovery.

Some places provide natural plant growth for specific climates that would not support large scale farms of crops for human consumption. Sagebrush and other native Nevadan scrub plants exist in cold and dry conditions that would kill most human grown crops. The sagebrush supports many animals that evolved the ability to digest the plant and gain nutrition from eating it. Though domestic cattle can eat sage, they will NOT gain ANY nutrients from this plant! However, native ungulates like pronghorn antelope have evolved digestive tract cecal microbes that breaks down the terpenoids in the sagebrush leaf and releases the nutrients needed for survival for absorption. This is only one example where hunting of native ungulates in their original habitat would be the most efficient method of humans getting nutrients for consumption.


"Big sagebrush was considered an important medicinal plant by native peoples, and teas made from the leaves were used to cure a great variety of ailments from stomach disorders to eye soreness. The boughs were burned for ceremonial rituals and air purification. The bark was used to make rope and garments such as sandals, and the wood was a common fuel for cooking and roasting nuts of pinyon pine.

Big sagebrush is eaten by deer and pronghorn, but it is avoided by horses and cattle due to chemicals called terpenoids stored in the foliage. These are volatile oils that function as chemical defenses against herbivory. Therefore, early Euro-American settlers and ranchers in the region routinely eradicated sagebrush and replaced it with pasture grasses, such as crested wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum). Elsewhere, heavy grazing over extensive areas favored the less palatable sagebrush over other species, resulting in homogeneous stands of dense sagebrush where there formerly had been diverse mixtures of shrubs, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants."

Pronghorn's major problem was from commercial hunting in recent times, and this combined with habitat loss is why their current populations are too low to allow for any significant hunting. However, for 10,000 years indigenous peoples coexisted with pronghorn for food without driving them to near extinction, so clearly hunting in and of itself is NOT the problem. Only after the last 500 years following Columbus was pronghorn hunting destructive instead of symbiotic. Just because we modern humans have failed to hunt pronghorn properly does not mean that hunting itself is the problem.

Consider all the land containing sagebrush that would be seen as "wasted" by both the cattle ranchers and the farmers who cannot make direct profit from it in it's native condition. However, the sagebrush from an indigenous hunter gatherer view is like a large natural "factory" that makes medicine and also provides food for several native animals like sage grouse and pronghorn that could later be harvested for nutritious food. Unlike our modern industrial factory farms, the naturally native "sagebrush factory" provides even more nutritious final food products without any cruelty, confinement and no petroleum derived fertilizer/pesticide inputs needed either!!

What about insectivores?

Even if you're not into throwing spears or shooting pronghorns with arrows, why not consider the benefits of insect eating as another protein source? This applied to croplands would no longer see insects as pests, that grasshopper chewing a hole in the plant leaf can also be picked by hand(s) and put into buckets for cooking, turning pests into "buggie burgers" (instead of veggie burgers) and make use of the natural cycle without needing pesticides.

If the pest insects become another food source, there is no "collateral damage" to the crops as all nutrients made by the plant are transferred to the pest insect that is then harvested for human consumption, thus no net energy loss as the nutrient cycle remains closed. Just get over the "EWWW" factor and insects will be crucial components of our future diet.

Humans, bears, raccons and other intelligent mammals are "opportunistic omnivores" that evolved to include a diverse range of foods in our diet, from animals to plants to fungi. We would not expect bears to "go vegan" even if they were capable of making such cerebral choices, and over time any vegan bears would become nutritionally deficient, growing weaker than their omnivorous counterparts and lose out in the evolutionary process of natural selection.

Despite the good intent of vegans to change their diet in one generation, evolution does not support these drastic changes in the long term.

Population and human diet

Finally veganism seems like a distraction and side effect from the initial problems caused by overpopulation of humans and demand on land for food sources. We can argue that the decades of industrial agriculture and factory farming based upon petroleum surplus (fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, etc...) enabled our modern society to leap past our carrying capacity under normal conditions.

If and when the petroleum surplus runs out, the ever increasing human population will be squeezed into a bottleneck with uncertain outcomes. The irresponsibilty of our government leaders to address human overpopulation is compounded by our society being unwilling to address this in direct terms. We are more afraid of "offending" some religious groups that deny birth control than we are afraid of the very real risks of large scale famine and human die-off once the petroleum surplus "peaks" and spirals downwards, increasing demand and decreasing supply of food sources, plant and animal.

Expecting the growing human population to all "go vegan" is unreasonable, and distracts from the source problem of overpopulation. What needs to happen is for people to be reasonable and not allow ANY religious groups to prevent ANYONE from having access to safe and effective methods of birth control.

The closer we live to the lifestyle of indigenous North Americans prior to the arrival of Columbus the better off we'll all be when the industrial food system finally collapses. This requires an omnivorous diet of wild native plants, animals and fungi, and the knowledge to harvest within reason to avoid overusing any food resources.

We do not need to wait for collapse to run out into the woods, deserts or swamps and stuffing ourselves with whatever random leaves or critters we come upon. Preparation and study of functional ecosystems for restoration as future "foodbanks" would help ensure that a safety net exists, and habitat is needed more than anything to enable population recovery of potential food animals. Doesn't do any good to advise hunting pronghorn when they hardly have anywhere to go and grow!

Nor does current lack of habitat give support to the potential counter-arguement from militant vegans that we should never hunt pronghorn because right now there are not enough to sustain the human population. Not enough pronghorn now does not imply that there will never be enough, or that the pronghorn populations are not capable of recovery provided they regain their habitat. Again, we go to the initial source of the problem (lack of pronghorn habitat) and fix it so that there will be enough!!
by kervennic
Debate with the authors and the non vegan, not through childish school propaganda.
You say nematode are not cows. Yes indeed. But what about mussels, which are thriving in estuary that flashes all the soil of agro eroded lands ?
Why this very good and efficient source of B12 vitamin (10 times the daily needs per 100 gr) avoided by vegans ? I agree that they probably suffer when you cook them, but they are extremely far from the cow.
It could be that the big weakness of lierre keith is the lack of numbers, whihc makes it a propaganda books, however adding broader considerations.
The only way to discuss seriously the issue on carbon sinks is to put the neumbers. I am convinced that a sustainable permaculture-like including animals is a carbon sinks since it will help to rebuild the meter of soil gone with the rain long ago. But it is not a matter of words but of precise study. This is where all the pretentious philosophical and politic only discussion fails and leads us to nowhere.
I do not understand qualitatively your counter argument on that point. Off course when soil will be rebuilded it will come in equilibrium again, but in the meantime you can calculate the tons of carbons stored from the atmosphere, and that is likely to be a very significant amount... And global warming is not the only issue, biodiversity is as important. Without biodiversity, ecosystem that have been built with complex interactions will slowly collapse and massive agriculture is a threat to biodiversity. There is no such simple fix as veganism, animals have to be reintroduced massively by a way or another, and wether wolves or human have to regulate their impact, is a matter of choice (starving the wolf or the man... but knowing we cannot afford to loose the wolf).
Science without consciousness is ruin of the soul, but a soul without science is just an arrogant tyrannic will.
All of your arguments are built on a house of cards that people on this planet will ever return to pre-industrial numbers.

Simple as that.

You're living on fantasy island to base any philosophical outlook on diet on that giant assumption.
by Teach immigrants to be like Native Americans
fantasy island wrote;

"All of your arguments are built on a house of cards that people on this planet will ever return to pre-industrial numbers."

Yes, and maybe your implied counter-argument that people will remain at current population numbers is built on a house of cards also;

from "Population; The Elephant in the Room";

"The main one that is usually cited is the enormous world wide increase in food production created by the growth of industrial agribusiness. There is no question that it has caused a massive increase in both yields and the absolute quantities of food being grown worldwide. While it has been celebrated with the popular label "The Green Revolution", there is nothing terribly miraculous about the process. When you open up that so-called revolution, you find at its heart our friend petroleum

Here's how it works. Industrial agriculture as practiced in the 20th and 21st centuries is supported by three legs: mechanization, pesticides/fertilizers and genetic engineering. Of those three legs, the first two are directly dependent on petroleum to run the machines and natural gas to act as the chemical feedstock. The genetic engineering component of agribusiness generally pursues four goals: drought resistance, insect resistance, pesticide resistance and yield enhancement. Meeting that last goal invariably requires mechanical irrigation, which again depends on oil.

Even more than other oil-driven sectors of the global economy, food production is showing signs of strain as it struggles to maintain productivity in the face of rising population, flattening oil production and the depletion of essential resources such as soil fertility and fresh water. According to figures compiled by the Earth Policy Institute, world grain consumption has exceeded global production in six of the last seven years, falling over 60 million tonnes below consumption in 2006. Global grain reserves have fallen to 57 days from a high of 130 days in 1986. After keeping pace with population growth from 1960 until the late 1980s, per capita grain production has shown a distinct flattening and declining trend in the last 20 years.

At its heart the "Green Revolution" is yet another example of the enormous usefulness of oil. Without large quantities of cheap oil, this revolution could not have occurred. The simple fact published in a University of Michigan study in 2000 that every calorie of food energy consumed in the United States embodies over seven calories of non-food energy (and other studies that have placed the ratio at 10:1) make the linkage clear. The United States currently uses over 12% of its total oil consumption for the production and distribution of food. As the oil supply begins its inevitable decline, food production will be affected. While it is probable that most nations will preferentially allocate oil and natural gas resources to agriculture by one means or another, it is inevitable that over the next decades the food supply key to maintaining our burgeoning population will come under increasing pressure, and will be subject to its own inescapable decline.

Carrying Capacity: Conclusion

Oil and its companion natural gas together make up about 60% of humanity's primary energy. In addition, the energy of oil has been leveraged through its use in the extraction and transport of coal as well as the construction and maintenance of hydro and nuclear generating facilities. Oil is as the heart of humanity's enormous energy economy as well as at the heart of its food supply. The following conclusion seems reasonable:

Humanity's use of oil has quadrupled the Earth's carrying capacity since 1900.

When a population rises beyond the carrying capacity of its environment, or conversely the carrying capacity of the environment falls, the existing population cannot be supported and must decline to match the carrying capacity. A population cannot stay in overshoot for long. The rapidity, extent and other characteristics of the decline depend on the degree of overshoot and whether the carrying capacity continues to be eroded during the decline, as shown in the figure above. William Catton's book "Overshoot" is recommended for a full treatment of the subject.

There are two ways a population can regain a balance with the carrying capacity of its environment. If the population stays constant or continues to rise, per capita consumption must fall. If per capita consumption stays constant, population numbers must decline. Where the balance is struck between these endpoints depends on how close the population is to a subsistence level of consumption. Those portions of the population that are operating close to subsistence will experience a reduction in numbers, while those portions of the population that have more than they need will experience a reduction in their level of consumption, but without a corresponding reduction in numbers.

Populations in serious overshoot always decline. This is seen in wine vats when the yeast cells die after consuming all the sugar from the grapes and bathing themselves in their own poisonous alcoholic wastes. It's seen in predator-prey relations in the animal world, where the depletion of the prey species results in a die-back of the predators. Actually, it's a bit worse than that. The population may actually fall to a lower level than was sustainable before the overshoot. The reason is that unsustainable consumption while in overshoot allowed the species to use more non-renewable resources and to further poison their environment with excessive wastes. It is a common understanding of ecology that overshoot degrades the carrying capacity of the environment (as illustrated in the declining "Carrying Capacity" curve in the above figure). In the case of humanity, our use of oil has allowed us to perform prodigious feats of resource extraction and waste production that would simply have been inconceivable before the oil age. If our oil supply declined, the lower available energy might be insufficient to let us extract and use the lower grade resources that remain. A similar case can be made for a lessened ability to deal with wastes in our environment

It is important to recognize that humanity is not, overall, in a position of overshoot at the moment. Our numbers are still growing (though the rate of growth is declining). However, we are getting obvious signals from our environment that all is not well. These signals seem to be telling us we are approaching the maximum carrying capacity. If the carrying capacity were to be reduced as our numbers continued to grow we could find ourselves in overshoot rather suddenly. The consequences of that would be quite grave."

entire article found @;

Veganism and vegetarianism is one method of reducing consumption by eating one level lower on the food pyramid. However, living lifestyles like indigenous Native Americans did prior to the arrival of Columbus and later immigrant populations would also help. Instead of grass-fed beef, why not bison restoration (they eat grass more gradually over long migrations) in the Great Plains? There is no need for feeding or sheltering bison, they are 100% compatable with their landspace and need no care other than the hunters catching them on their last day of freedom.

Our education system takes great labor to attempt to teach indigenous Native Americans to live the lifestyle of post-Columbus immigrants, yet nobody bothers to teach the immigrants how to live like Native Americans! When all is said and done, this failure could be one of our modern cultures greatest and most deadly flaws, as we will all be unprepared for survival in this habitat as we're totally clueless, and most modern day Native Americans have forgotten their traditional ways, or had it beaten out of them by post-Columbus immigrants.

Who else gets the blame for human overpopulation?

Since we're talking about human overpopulation, let's further examine the roles of organized religion in stifling access to birth control. we hear lots about how poverty forces people to have large familes since children are seen as labor resources, though organized religion also plays a large part;

"In 1984, the Reagan administration, at the request of the Vatican, announced at the World Conference on Population in Mexico City that it was reversing its many-years’ commitment to international family planning and agreed, in the words of Time, to ban the “use of any U.S. aid funds by either countries or international health organizations for the promotion of birth control or abortion.” The U.S. then withdrew funding from the UN Fund for Population Activities and the International Planned Parenthood Federation."

entire article @;

The Catholic Church approach to families and children is quite disturbing and sickening. On the one hand, they don't want any birth control, claiming that they care about the rights of the unborn. Then on the same page when countless "celibate" priests make choices to rape and molest young altar boys, the Vatican looks the other way? Am really surprised that no "human rights activists" have bothered to take this on, or at least burn down a few churches to send a message? Maybe if we don't want bigots like myself who hate the Catholic Church, people would not allow such pedophile priests to remain active, and leave people's choices about birth control to themselves.

Overall i have true hatred for organized religion, and the Catholic Church is currently the top of my list, tied with Rev. John Hagee and the Christian Zionists. If we ever needed some human population reduction, i wish it were more of these mindless religious sheeple. If anyone from al Queda training camp was skilled enough to take out the current Pope (or Hagee), i would thank them endlessly (Praise Allah!). Seriously. That current Pope is making the Earth a far worse place, putting everyone at risk because of his outdated views on birth control.

Whatever the response to anarcho-primitivist theory, whether taking out the electric grid (as if storms won't be doing that 100x more than any sabatuers!), being vegan or hunter-gatherer, we will be called "anti-human" for supporting human population reduction. What many like Keith and myself want is better quality of life for the humans who remain on Earth post-collapse, and living lifestyles like indigenous peoples is the most effective way to obtain that goal.
by Vanilla Rose
"PS. by saying i'm a vegan, i don't mean i'm a born again devotee of one and only Church of Veganism, just that my food is over 99% vegan and organic. I like to enjoy wild undomesticated meat or fish occasionally."

You are not a vegan, so kindly stop pretending to be.
by Vanilla Rose
"But what about mussels, which are thriving in estuary that flashes all the soil of agro eroded lands ?
"Why this very good and efficient source of B12 vitamin (10 times the daily needs per 100 gr) avoided by vegans ? I agree that they probably suffer when you cook them, but they are extremely far from the cow."

You just said that you think mussels suffer when cooked! So why on Earth would you ask a vegan to eat them when we can get B12 from yeast extract?
by Jared
It doesn't seem like you read the USDA history that you link in one of your myth refutations.

Table 4 shows food energy coming from Meat (apparently everything save fish/poultry) to have halved since the 60s. Calories from meat as a whole going down something like 30%. The same story is true of dairy products.

It is the saturated fat intake that has stayed the same (decreasing as a % of calories), with the polyunsaturated fat intake almost doubling (Table 1).

At the same time, carbohydrate intake increased by 100g a day.
That is a huge change!

All of these changes are entirely consistent with the nutrition chapter in the "Vegetarian Myth," with Lierre Keith telling you to lower grain and sugar intake (carbohydrate), increase animal fat intake (a lot more saturated, a lot less polyunsaturated). This is the exact opposite of how our country has trended as our health has deteriorated.
by kervennic
Well your B12 does not come from the yeast but is obtained from a bioindustrial process and added afterwards. Is this process really environementallu friendly ? Can it be scaled up to feel people ? Is the produced form of kobalamin really the active form in human beings (i think that in biochemistry any resembling molecule obtain as a by product can lower the efficiency of the pure form by blocking the active site). Are there products that are also produced during this artificial synthesis (toxins and so on) that have been seriously screened. Off course any one can produce a 60 % compound in chemistry, but a 100 % without bad products can be hard to reach or impossible... Labeling it B12 does not mean anything concerning what your body will get from it. This is why supplements are regularly fail to give convincing results in long term tests and sometimes even have deleterous effects.

What i know for sure is that s vegan diet not made in a permaculture environement is a sure environemental disaster as any industrial farmed food (vegan rely heavily on shipped products, especially in northern countries). Count the number of animmal, birds that have to be constantly exterminated to maintain our industrial life because nature just does not want to disappear and plants and animals tries to occupy the space that was once theirs. How many billions of rodents both big and small are deliberately poisonned to produce your wheat whereas pasture kills none.

What I know is that in southern europe (france, spain italy) people of the previous generation from the countryside had a diet full of meat inculding goose or duck fat as regular cooking fat and have the longest life expectancy. I have seen some of them in my neighbirhood until they died and i can testify that this natural diet surely works. I really wish anyone to live that long and die as swiftly as they did, being alert till the last moment. There is no proof concerning the vegan diet on the long term and rather and accumulation of proof that it is bad (mounting evidence that saturated fat are not to blame but high carb diet and omega 6). Why trusting industry for your survival when nature has in thousands of years shaped everything, our body and our environement altogether to our needs ? Is n't it a waste of time or some form of masochism ?

And if we have to feed more people, there is little chance that such a simple trick as industrial plant production will do the job.
Just look at the facts. If you have organic wastes, which we have to be transformed in a finite planet, nature have designed protein factories called worms. Then vegans, say: do not eat animal eat plant. So you use chemical nitrogen to make plant protein or wait for worms or decomposing insescts to be in turn transfromed into mineral nitrogen with all the loss that it implies. If you are a reasoning entity who really care about the survival of teh environement and peolple you will rather tap the nitrogen also at the worm and insect level which will give meat, eggs and feed more people with better food while releasing pressure on ecosystems.

This is what organic farming: using the organic cycle of matter with both animal and plan and try to close the cycle in a durable way. For this you need chicken that will eat insects before you plant, will eat worms in yout compost, and all the crap you cant eat yourself, you also need pigs to pasture in forest and fields to prepare the land and eat plant residue that you cannot et yourself and green fertilizing plants, and to get manure. You need cows that can eat grass on field inadequat for agricultre and still get manure. All those animals before domestication have been first designed by nature through a long selection to maximize the efficiency of soil production and organic cycle efficiency. They are living biochemical digester, meachanical grinder, pest regulaters, fertilizing conveyor. You imagine to do without them because you use a non renewable form of energy , oil to very unefficently mimick them, with all the disaster this entails. We need animals and we need to eat them, unless you also want to have tamed wolfes to do the job for you in the field...

Without cows, england would have starved long ago. The cows have been the key to shortening the culture cycle because they eat nitrogen fixing plant and produce manure that is ready for the next culture. Natural rotation would imply more year lost and no milk or meat, so less human and less cows..

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