Funnily enough, on the same subject as yesterday, I had my first interrogation yesterday about my reasons for deciding to be vegetarian. From one of my fellow-volunteer friends. I think I did ok, although it is not really an argument I had presented before, certainly not to other people. Obviously I’ve mulled these things over myself, and come to my conclusion.
This volunteer is the wife of a beef farmer, which probably gives a clue what view she has. “I just don’t think a lot of vegetarians think it through”, she said, “they become vegetarian in order to see lambs gambolling around the fields, where in fact these lambs are only there in the first place as part of somebody’s commercial venture”. And, “a lot of land that is grazed by sheep or cattle is unsuitable for farming crops instead”. Both of which, I can imagine, are perfectly true. Certainly, a lot of this woman’s land is the water meadows surrounding our village. i.e, they flood in winter. I have no idea whether this also makes summer crops unviable although I don’t really see it as important.
My response was simply to say that I didn’t expect to see *more* animals, but fewer. Let’s have some rewilding instead. The only reason there are so many animals in the first place is because there is a market for them, so if I can help to reduce that market, so be it.
And, even if we *are* already farming crops wherever we can (I doubt that but there’s certainly something in what she said), then fewer animals would mean less animal feed, meaning that instead of growing crops for animals to consume, people could grow things for humans to consume instead. So it is kind-of recognising that we have force-bred animals for years, and simply doing less of it.
And, I already mentioned rewilding. I’m struggling to see a downside to this, if I’m honest, other than affecting somebody’s commercial interests.
It is funny debating with someone, because your feelings will inevitably reflect your overall opinion, but unless you actually discuss things with someone, those opinions are often not very articulate. It doesn’t at all surprise me that a veteran politician will have rehearsed and developed an argument for months or years, probably. They might well start off with a gut feel, but it takes them time to come up with something articulate, where they could maybe take the argument, run with it, and convince other people that they are right. I’m fortunate that the only person I need to convince is myself.