There’s a great quote from George Monbiot in the Guardian this week.
Part of the reason [why a plant-based diet is better for the environment] is the extreme inefficiency of feeding livestock on grain: most of its nutritional value is lost in conversion from plant protein to animal protein. This reinforces my contention that if you want to eat less soya, then you should eat soya: 93% of the soya we consume, which drives the destruction of forest, savannah and marshland, is embedded in meat, dairy, eggs and fish, and most of it is lost in conversion. When we eat it directly, much less of the crop is required to deliver the same amount of protein.
Most of the crops we grow on the planet today are fed to livestock. Growing crops for animals is not a very efficient way to get protein because we get less protein out of them than we put in. It would be much better for us and the planet if we just ate the crops ourselves. According to a study from the University of Oxford which was published on 1st June 2018, “animal farming takes up 83% of the world’s agricultural land, but delivers only 18% of our calories”.
Some people like to talk about population control as the answer to our environmental problems but they’re typically only referring to humans and usually humans in other countries. But what about the 10 billion animals we raise and slaughter annually? These animals need to be fed. It’s not sustainable for us to continue doing this.
What are we having for dinner tonight? French lentil soup with tarragon and thyme. It costs very little to make, probably about £2 in total and can feed a family of four. It’s very easy too: just put it all in a pot and leave it for an hour or so.