What is going on everyone? Hope you are all doing well. Today we’re going to talk about two lies – what I think are two of some of the largest misconceptions when it comes to people who are against the carnivore diet or just eating animal foods in general. So let’s jump right into it.
The first one is eating animal foods destroys the planet. And the second one that we’re going to cover later on is that eating animal foods is just plain cruel and evil to the animals.
So the first one, and I want to preface this, by saying that I don’t think anyone who understands factory farming -would support it. For the most part, everyone in the community around the carnivore diet, or those eating healthy grass fed/finished animal foods is already going to support sustainable ruminant agriculture. We’re not looking to support mass production, factory farming, grain fed animals. We know that the quality of nutrients in those foods as well as just the whole overall experience and the impact on the environment – all that is a negative.
So I want to preface it with that. And obviously I think for a lot of people that are proponents of eating more of a plant based diet because of how damaging the environment animal foods can be…. I get that, if you’re coming from that perspective. But if you open up the whole perspective there and you look at it from ruminant agriculture? Then the picture becomes a lot more gray. And I think that animal foods are actually probably really, really great for the environment. And you’re going to see here in these points that I go through that the science is showing that that can be the case.
So for one, greenhouse gases, we look at carbon dioxide being released in the atmosphere. Yes, agriculture for animal foods is accounting, according to the EPA, to be about 4% of the greenhouse gases, but if you take that same agency and you look at what they account for, for plant foods, it’s actually 5% with plant agriculture. So plant agriculture actually produces more greenhouse gases than animal agriculture from the EPA studies.
Second thing is NASA did a study and they looked at the methane gas, which is arguably even more toxic and unstable in the environment and is often attributed to cow’s and their flatulence.
But in a sense what NASA did was they looked at the studies and they found that the top two contributors of methane gas in the atmosphere were fossil fuel burning. And believe it or not, almost as much was rice paddies, rice farming!! So when we look at this and we look at ruminant agriculture, not factory farming, we see that there’s actually a cycle going on where the plants that are eaten by the animals, in our case grass fed cows (or goats, pigs, etc), who are grazing in the soil and eating sort of the insects in the environment.
The carbon that is getting released in the atmosphere is actually captured by the plants. So the plants are capturing the carbon through sunlight and through their exposure in the actual environment. The animals are eating that and then releasing it through methane and carbon dioxide. Just like when we expel carbon dioxide when we’re breathing as humans!
The methane in the atmosphere is converted back to CO2 after about 12 years in the atmosphere. This cycle is repeated and you can kind of see how this works with fossil fuel burning. For example, we see that we’re drilling into the earth and pulling out carbon from the deposits of oil and hydrocarbons we find in the earth that were created over millions or tens of thousands of years, often hundreds of thousands of years, and so we’re actually not really doing a natural cycle here at the same rate I should say, because the hydrocarbons we’re pulling out and then burning and then releasing the atmosphere are much less a part of a cycle that’s being captured by these plants that are getting eaten compared to the other cycle we talked about.
There have been some recent studies that have shown that big pharma pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceutical drug production actually accounts for more greenhouse gas than carbon and the automotive industry.
And that’s kind of crazy to think about it, but it brings us back to the point that there are a lot of people reversing chronic disease, autoimmune inflammation through eating high quality nose to tail animal foods. And pharmaceuticals are one of the biggest contributors to these greenhouse gases in destroying the planet that we know. So one industry produces highly nutrient rich foods. Another one produces chemicals that treat symptoms of people who are probably missing out on high nutrient foods. On top of that, ruminant agriculture can actually produce a net negative impact on the actual cycle and the environment one study produced by White Oak Pastures that you can see here showed that their ruminant farming practices actually had the animals sequestering more carbon in the soil.
Then when it was left alone, this showed that the animals actually had a net negative impact on the actual environment in the carbon emissions. So it kind of begs the question, are we really looking at this picture in the whole context and looking at how we can create the most nutritionally dense, high quality animals in a natural process or we comparing apples to oranges and looking at factory farming and just these massive methods of unsustainable unhealthy practices.
I went through a lot of studies. I tried to find other arguments in and really try to look at them from an unbiased perspective, which is difficult for me, but what I found was a lot of the papers out there were citing that animal foods first off aren’t nutritious for us that they actually can be damaging to our health, which we know now is very much misled in, in very inaccurate in terms of what we’re seeing. On top of that, they were saying in referring to these farming methods in terms of how they were mass producing and comparing how the environment was getting damaged. So all in all, I think it’s really safe to assume that if you are buying and supporting sustainable ruminant agriculture, grass fed food animals in a humanely raised way, then you are doing your part to help the planet. And on top of that you’re probably doing your part as a human being to give yourself the best option of being the most healthy person you can be to avoid supplying the pharmaceutical industry and some of these larger industries that are polluting the earth with a supply of of customers, if you will, who can buy their products.
This brings us to our second argument, which is all about the cruelty aspect of eating animals. And it’s really been a challenge for me to sort of absorb both sides of this argument because all animals die…and for thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years we have had predation and we’ve had a cycle of hunting and eating animals to survive. In fact, we will die as humans and I don’t think it’s cruel to expect death. I think the methods and the way that you could kill an animal could be cruel. And in that respect, I also think that there are some, some real big concerns around that with factory farming. Again, where I’m not a proponent, I think it’s very much something we should tackle from the ground up as a grassroots effort to support farms that don’t do that. To go out there to our local farmer’s markets and buy direct from our farmers, go see their farms, go meet with the farmers, pay the premium for the foods that are higher quality, more nutrient dense that are going to support your health and really support their methods.
But coming back to this idea that eating animals is cruel. There is this concept that sentiment beings, meaning beings on the earth, that experience a level of consciousness where they can experience suffering. Is, is sort of the line that has been drawn in the sand for the vegan community. And again, I have nothing against vegans. I, I don’t agree with their methods in terms of eating. I think it’s not the most healthy lifestyle but as far as it being a more healthy approach to living, then say the standard American diet. I think they’ve done tremendous work for that. And I think their intentions are really, really well, well geared. I think ultimately for most of us, we don’t want to create more pain in the world. We don’t want to destroy the planet. We want to create a better life for people and we want the quality of life for everyone to go up.
And so I think we have the same goals, but there’s so much misinformation and so much misunderstanding that has been filtered into this community around diet and nutrition and how animals are raised that there’s a really valid perspective when you look at the community in the vegan space. But I look at plants more as a pet. I have plants all throughout my, my apartment. I have about a dozen plants right now. I have named some of them, some are a dragon ferns peace lilies. I’ve tried to keep English Ivy. I even don’t necessarily oppose the idea of eating some plants. But overall, I think, again, this comes down to the idea, what were we really designed to eat and what’s biochemically been the best for our bodies? And in my perspective, I think if WE’RE the healthiest we can be, we’re the most cognitively prepared in the most vital….
We’re going to get the best message out there for other people. We’re going to help the communities the most. We’re gonna basically help people become the best version of themselves. And if we can do that in a sustainable way. Great. So back to this idea that it’s cruel to be a carnivore or to eat animal foods and it’s not cruel to, to eat plant based diet. Well, for one, I don’t think this argument is fair. Even if you hold the arguments perspective of protecting sentiment beings. If you look at farming agriculture versus a ruminant sort of animal-based farming method, you’re going to till the soil and when you, till the soil, you basically destroy everything in that soil. You’re literally rotor tilling the soil, you’re running grinders through it, destroying all the insects, all the animals that would have been in that environment to, to basically break up the soil and prepare it for planting.
You’re then going to plant in mass bulk and you’re going to spray pesticides because there’s just no way, or you’re gonna use very genetically modified crops to actually grow your produce. And so when you look at that and you’re spraying these pesticides, you’re killing off dozens, if not hundreds of, of, of more animals than you would when you’re talking about ruminant agriculture. On top of that, a lot of these farms are shooting onsite rodents. Other animals that would have consciousness would feel emotions when they’re being shot or killed if they decide to go try to eat these plants. So one environment is not natural. Your completely engineering, the soil, your spraying chemicals that are killing everything. And then you’re shooting off predators and the other environment. You’re allowing an animal to live in a completely natural environment, roam around, live a life and then you’re, you’re basically killing it too to provide the most nutrient dense food you possibly can for what arguably is the best thing we could possibly eat.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like the argument isn’t really valid to say that plant agriculture is less cruel than ruminant agriculture. Again, with this, this side of the equation with with eating animals being more cruel, I tried to look at arguments that supported the plant based community and their thoughts around why animals why this will be the case. And a lot of them hinged on the idea that we were factory farming only… In that we’re eating 50- 55 billion animals a year, not counting fish. And that this was just a gruesome act of pure violence. They weren’t taking into account all the death that goes into plant agriculture. And on top of that, there is a huge amount of understanding now around how much healthier and how much more better for the environment animal foods can be.
I want to wrap this up and I want to say that I think when you look at the environmental impact in terms of animal foods versus plant foods, and you look at ruminant agriculture versus factory farming, you’re going to see that when you look at that whole picture, there is some real evidence to support that ruminant, which is really kind of how things were going for tens of thousands of years until we sort of became these factory crazy farmers is a sustainable, very healthy way for the planet and arguably better way for the planet in the longterm. It’s also much better for human beings to eat animal foods. We know that there are certain nutritional vitamins and nutrients that you just will not get from plants that you can absolutely get and will get from a nose to tail approach to an animal diet.
From a cruelty perspective, again, we’re not destroying nearly as much of the environment. We’re not tilling the soil. We’re not spraying pesticides, we’re not killing off predators. We’re just focusing on providing an environment for an animal that we would have naturally been a predator for. And we’re doing it in a way where it’s more sustainable and we don’t have to go off and hunt every season to basically sustain that cycle.
So that was a lot of information. I as always tried to break it down and keep it as concise as possible if you’re near the channel. I really appreciate you. Thank. Thank you so much. I’d love to hear your comments on arguments post articles here in the comment section. If you have specific arguments to sort of counter these, I would love to get that information or just send them to me. You can send me a message on YouTube. You can follow me on Instagram @karnivorekurt….as well as sign up for the newsletter here on the site and check out the upcoming book at karnivorekurt.com/upcoming !