Eliminating Dairy Saves Water

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Lou

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I think each group likes to differentiate themselves with a different unit of measure. Wasn't it the Meatless Monday people who used "showers" to describe how much water went into a hamburger.
 
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@Lou , have you read up on the detail of how these quantities of water (and for rhat matter carbon) are reached for producing the various commodities of beef, cereals, soy, corn etc?
 
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@Lou , have you read up on the detail of how these quantities of water (and for rhat matter carbon) are reached for producing the various commodities of beef, cereals, soy, corn etc?

A little bit. Have you?

the stuff like converting gallons of gasoline to miles or cars taken off the road, or gallons of water to showers and bathtubs is just arithmetic.

The original estimations or measurements come from a number of sources. And there is a large variation in the numbers. The scientific papers usually include the assumptions they have to make. For instance, some of the variations in calculating water, carbon footprints or petroleum in the production of meat or crop production is based on how far back the researchers go. For instance, when they talk about water that goes into beef, do they stop at the feedlot or do they calculate the water that went into the crops that are fed to the cows. And do they just calculate the amount of water that the animals drink or do they also calculate the amount of water used to operate, maintain, and clean the feedlot? Some Feedlots also have wastewater systems that use a lot of water. But there is a lot of variation on that as well. In some places they allow wastewater to go into rivers and lakes. but some places require some kind of wastewater treatment (which also uses water).

There is the fuel used in the cultivation of a crop, then the transportation of the crop. and some things get processed and transported agian.

I'm pretty sure that gold standard of estimating water usage comes form a scientific paper that was produced in Belgium. It gets referenced a lot so it might be able to be found with just a google. Hold on a second.

Ah. here it is, I'll put a link on the bottom. (1) I have to admit that I have not read the whole thing. but a lot of the things I have read have cited this one.
Here is one that I have read. And it cites the Belgium article and a whole bunch more. (2)

A lot of the other numbers come from the The 2006 report Livestock's Long Shadow, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. (3) Again its not something I have read but it gets cited a lot of times in the things I do read.

As I mentioned earlier there are a ton of variation in the numbers being reported. Sometimes its just the variation in the study themselves. but honestly I know that some reporters cherry pick the numbers they report.

But regardless of which study you want to use, or the numbers being reported, animal agriculture is mostly a very wasteful use of resources. The type of agriculture you practice is probably the least wasteful of all. but you have to admit that it represents a very small fraction of the total.

BTW, did you ever check out the Omnivore's Dilemma? The author describes a "slow food farm". It sounds like your farm.

1. https://ris.utwente.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/5146091/Ercin11water.pdf
2. https://academic.oup.com/af/article/2/2/3/4638610
3. http://www.fao.org/3/a-a0701e.pdf
 

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Any study is good for the prospectus I'm going to be presenting about cattle farms in October for grad school. I'm looking for as much substantial science as I can find to support my "pretend thesis." This isn't my real project, but a first semester mock up related to interests where we learn to research and defend.
 

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A little bit. Have you?

the stuff like converting gallons of gasoline to miles or cars taken off the road, or gallons of water to showers and bathtubs is just arithmetic.

The original estimations or measurements come from a number of sources. And there is a large variation in the numbers. The scientific papers usually include the assumptions they have to make. For instance, some of the variations in calculating water, carbon footprints or petroleum in the production of meat or crop production is based on how far back the researchers go. For instance, when they talk about water that goes into beef, do they stop at the feedlot or do they calculate the water that went into the crops that are fed to the cows. And do they just calculate the amount of water that the animals drink or do they also calculate the amount of water used to operate, maintain, and clean the feedlot? Some Feedlots also have wastewater systems that use a lot of water. But there is a lot of variation on that as well. In some places they allow wastewater to go into rivers and lakes. but some places require some kind of wastewater treatment (which also uses water).

There is the fuel used in the cultivation of a crop, then the transportation of the crop. and some things get processed and transported agian.

I'm pretty sure that gold standard of estimating water usage comes form a scientific paper that was produced in Belgium. It gets referenced a lot so it might be able to be found with just a google. Hold on a second.

Ah. here it is, I'll put a link on the bottom. (1) I have to admit that I have not read the whole thing. but a lot of the things I have read have cited this one.
Here is one that I have read. And it cites the Belgium article and a whole bunch more. (2)

A lot of the other numbers come from the The 2006 report Livestock's Long Shadow, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. (3) Again its not something I have read but it gets cited a lot of times in the things I do read.

As I mentioned earlier there are a ton of variation in the numbers being reported. Sometimes its just the variation in the study themselves. but honestly I know that some reporters cherry pick the numbers they report.

But regardless of which study you want to use, or the numbers being reported, animal agriculture is mostly a very wasteful use of resources. The type of agriculture you practice is probably the least wasteful of all. but you have to admit that it represents a very small fraction of the total.

BTW, did you ever check out the Omnivore's Dilemma? The author describes a "slow food farm". It sounds like your farm.

1. https://ris.utwente.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/5146091/Ercin11water.pdf
2. https://academic.oup.com/af/article/2/2/3/4638610
3. http://www.fao.org/3/a-a0701e.pdf


I think it's so nice and kind of you that you read the Omnivore's Dilemma, even though it's outdated, and vegans tend to find the author a pretentious, self-congratulatory capitalist looking to defend his own middle-aged white male interest in a way that no longer serves our planet. I'm not insulting YOU for reading it or recommending it, in fact, it's probably good for me to have for context in my project, but from what I understand this guy is....yeah. I've seen plant-based reviews that it's basically him being a jerk-cry-baby about why he still gets to eat meat.

Anyway, that was what a decade ago? No one knew we were this close to the tipping point of climate change, back then. Keep that in mind when defending this book.

I see a TON of copies of it in the local used book store. Suggesting that people once loved it and are over it.
 
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Lou

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I think it's so nice and kind of you that you read the Omnivore's Dilemma, even though it's outdated, and vegans tend to find the author a pretentious, self-congratulatory capitalist looking to defend his own middle-aged white male interest in a way that no longer serves our planet. I'm not insulting YOU for reading it or recommending it, in fact, it's probably good for me to have for context in my project, but from what I understand this guy is....yeah. I've seen plant-based reviews that it's basically him being a jerk-cry-baby about why he still gets to eat meat.

Anyway, that was what a decade ago? No one knew we were this close to the tipping point of climate change, back then. Keep that in mind when defending this book.

I see a TON of copies of it in the local used book store. Suggesting that people once loved it and are over it.


I was planning on writing a review of The Omnivore's Dilemma but never got around to it. I think maybe I will try a little harder. I will have to get it out of the library again.

The copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma I read was reprinted ten years after the book was first published and included a .... not sure what the right word is.... an epilogue? Anyway in that added chapter Pollan speaks about the ten years that have gone by. He thought and was hoping the book would become out-of-date in those ten years and expressed sorrow that so little had changed, keeping the book relevant.

The book also includes a lot of history, background, and science that does not go out-of-date.

As far as Pollan goes I've seen him interviewed a few times, he even has a small role in Cowspiracy. I never thought he was a cry baby. I thought he was a smart thoughtful person.

The Omnivore's Dilemma doesn't have a chapter on veganism. But it's not like he ignored the concept. Twice he brings it up and discusses it as a counterpoint to the system he is describing. He is always respectful of veganism as a philosophy. He also seems to be very well educated. In defense of veganism, he quotes 19th-century philosophers that I hadn't even know about.

In one chapter he is quite taken by Joel Salatin's farm, where he kills a chicken. After he finishes his research on that farm he wants Pete Singer's opinion on the farm. He even wants to bring Singer to the farm. Alas, Singer is not available but they do have an email conversation about the farm and that conversation is in the book.
 

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I was planning on writing a review of The Omnivore's Dilemma but never got around to it. I think maybe I will try a little harder. I will have to get it out of the library again.

The copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma I read was reprinted ten years after the book was first published and included a .... not sure what the right word is.... an epilogue? Anyway in that added chapter Pollan speaks about the ten years that have gone by. He thought and was hoping the book would become out-of-date in those ten years and expressed sorrow that so little had changed, keeping the book relevant.

The book also includes a lot of history, background, and science that does not go out-of-date.

As far as Pollan goes I've seen him interviewed a few times, he even has a small role in Cowspiracy. I never thought he was a cry baby. I thought he was a smart thoughtful person.

The Omnivore's Dilemma doesn't have a chapter on veganism. But it's not like he ignored the concept. Twice he brings it up and discusses it as a counterpoint to the system he is describing. He is always respectful of veganism as a philosophy. He also seems to be very well educated. In defense of veganism, he quotes 19th-century philosophers that I hadn't even know about.

In one chapter he is quite taken by Joel Salatin's farm, where he kills a chicken. After he finishes his research on that farm he wants Pete Singer's opinion on the farm. He even wants to bring Singer to the farm. Alas, Singer is not available but they do have an email conversation about the farm and that conversation is in the book.

I have nothing good to say about a rich white man who defends his choice to eat meat as "natural" - the best thing about him is non-GMO. Yeah, sadly a lot hasn't changed, because people keep compromising on their values so they can continue to eat meat and pretend it's great for the environment. I honestly find your insistence on defending the sort of person who is basically the enemy of veganism a bit strange. The enemy of veganism isn't low-income, poorly educated people eating GMOs or Jack in the Box, it's wealthy, educated white men (and women) still pushing the ideology of compassionate omnivore diets EXACTLY because he frames it as being somehow enlightened and academic. Michael Pollan symbolizes all the hypocritical professors I hate in the enviro sci department eating grass fed beef and refusing to talk about animal agriculture impacts climate change.

Even feminists have a problem with him: https://www.salon.com/2013/04/28/is_michael_pollan_a_sexist_pig/

This here seems filled with a lot of "lions tho" and "mah ancestors": https://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/an-animals-place/
 
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Couldn't read the first article. my computer choked on all the ads. But I read the second article and I enjoyed it very much. thanks for sharing.
 

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Couldn't read the first article. my computer choked on all the ads. But I read the second article and I enjoyed it very much. thanks for sharing.

What did you "enjoy" about it? Honestly I found it to be an intellectually pretentious version of every refutation of veganism I've seen on the Internet. Granted it was written over 15 years ago and may seemed more "original" at the time. it's basically saying "animals aren't people, they kill each other, and my ancestors ate animals" ...he even exaggerates the human tendency to eat animals, seeing as that peasants in many cultures for centuries were borderline vegetarian or vegetarian due to the scarcity and expense of meat. He says that Singers arguments are only good because of how they're worded. I'm guessing Peter Singer was "unavailable" to go to the farm because he wanted very little to do with Pollan's dogged welfarism.

I really want to know why you support this. As far I'm concerned, people like Michael Pollan do more harm than good.

As for the Salon article, there's another coverage of it in Mother Jones in the same time frame. Essentially, Pollan romanticizes women staying home and cooking, and blames feminism for the degradation of the quality of food. Never mind that in his childhood in the 50s and 60s, there were already lots of processed and canned foods, even before the second wave of feminism. He tries to make it into a gender problem instead of the capitalism market problem.

EDIT: @Lou I was also able to locate one of the most hilarious articles a vegetarian on-line wrote criticizing Michael Pollan's pretentious self-congratulations and obnoxious upper-middle class foodie mentality. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/09/hard-to-swallow/306123/

I personally had more of a hazy collective memory of Pollan being an *******, as a welfarist Pied Pieper misleading environmentalists in my immediate sphere. Now I am actually putting together the pieces from over the years, and where that picture came from. Well, besides hypocritical environmentalists owning his book or carrying it around.


This is how much Michael Pollan "respects" vegans/veganism: "Pollan says he sides with the French in regarding “any personal dietary prohibition as bad manners.” ....he's right up there with Anthony Bourdain, framing dietary ethos of any kind as rudeness. If anything, after tonight's brief research, I'm more determined than ever that Michael Pollan is actually an extremely harmful figure to both animals and environmental sustainability. While what he said about "grass finished" animals must have seemed wonderful a decade ago, it's trash now. Trash.

EDIT: Of course, Mic the Vegan had something to say about Michael Pollan over three years ago. Did you know that Pollan had a television show called Cooked that features people killing and barbecuing dead animals?

 
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