We all know that we don’t live in a black-and-white world, yet we often present certain issues in an over-simplified way. However, if we don’t take a holistic stance on topics, we risk creating misguided paradigms that do more harm than good. One such example is the vegan diet, which we generally deem both morally superior and more sustainable compared to a diet with meat.
But are we necessarily doing the environment a favor by switching to a vegan diet? What if these plant foods come from monoculture crops that destroy biodiversity and cause excessive soil erosion? Would a better option be to switch to grass-fed beef in that case?
Here’s a thought-provoking article, which brings a nuanced perspective to the whole debate:
Sadly, in the practice of agriculture it is impossible to not cause endless suffering to many living creatures. One could argue that the most suffering of all is caused by annual agriculture, the cultivation of vegetables, including grains, beans, and rice, that only take one year to grow from seed to food. We displace countless wild animals from their homes and lands when we cultivate annual crops. Not only that, we also kill thousands of creatures when we till the soil.
A perennial agriculture, on the other hand, based on trees, shrubs, and livestock, allows nature to thrive.