Student Update: Should we listen to the Vegans?


If Veganism was ever going to work, it would have been a phenomenon centuries ago. Yet, here we are, the human population has evolved on the consumption of meat and it has done no harm, writes Emma McCormack.

Student Update: Should we listen to the Vegans?

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If Veganism was ever going to work, it would have been a phenomenon centuries ago. Yet, here we are, the human population has evolved on the consumption of meat and it has done no harm, writes Emma McCormack.

Emma McCormark – a final-year Agriculture student shares her thoughts on veganism and a new study which has warned that meat consumption must drop by 90% to avoid a climate crisis.

Temperatures have begun to drop as Spring lambs begin to hit the ground across Ireland. Seeing daffodils and even cherry blossom trees in bloom over the past number of weeks has been somewhat frightening. It definitely isn’t the norm for January in Ireland, and makes me wonder, what lies ahead?

Plenty of farmers have been out-wintering cattle, without seeing excessive damage. I fear the worst is yet to come, although it’s not something I want to think about.

The last five years has been a rollercoaster of weather extremes, and farmers are really being tested. From huge snow drifts and five-month winters, to extreme droughts where water and feed have almost run out - it has been a tough road for everyone.

Strange weather patterns make me ponder on climate change and global warming, wondering what is really going on up there, and is there anything we can do to help reduce these drastic changes?

Vegans

Vegans and ‘Veganuary’ fanatics alike will claim that it is farmer’s faults and meat-eaters doing. A new report demands us reduce our intake of red meat by 90% in order to make the world a better place. This is ridiculous.

As most of us are aware, all food can be consumed in moderation for optimum human health. Life expectancy is longer now than ever before, and yet we produce and consume more dairy and meat than we ever have.

Videos on social media

If Veganism was ever going to work, it would have been a phenomenon centuries ago. Yet, here we are, the human population has evolved on the consumption of meat and it has done no harm. Hunter-gatherers couldn’t source milk-knockoffs made from rice or almonds, nor could they hunt down a packet of Quorn “wannabe chicken”.

They ate meat, and that’s why we are here today. Evolution and education have taught us that a balance of food from the entire food pyramid will gives us the nutrients we need to survive and be healthy. This way we can support quality Irish produce and live from a balanced, affordable diet.

I can see a little where Vegans are coming from, in that, they don’t want to consume animals that are being abused or mistreated on farms; however, they are gullible and accusing all at once. These extremely graphic videos shared across social media, especially Facebook, are generally not even in Ireland and only a tiny minority are involved.

Vegans need to be informed on real facts, and not believe everything they hear. Realistically, most are going vegan because it’s “cool”.

Gordon Ramsey was the last to jump on the trendy bandwagon, having never been bothered by raw meat, meat producers or eating meat throughout his life. He’s a good example though, crazy, extreme and just looking for attention - sums it up really.

Most vegans will share extreme footage online of terrible animal husbandry ongoing on a tiny percentage of global farms. Then most vegans tend to collect their outrage and attack the rest of the population. They’ve painted us all with one brush and it’s terribly unfair.

Lack of education on the subject matter

The biggest problem I have with vegans is their lack of education on the subject matter. They honestly have no idea what they are talking about. They use scare-tactics, and extreme words like “murder” in an attempt to brainwash anyone who is mutual on the topic.

Take the average middle-aged farmer in Ireland. He or she probably has a family to look after, maybe 2 or 3 children and potentially a pet dog that rides as co-pilot in the jeep, out on the farm. They sure don’t sound like a murderer to me.

The reality of the situation is, the food chain had been around for much longer than any of these Vegans have and it’s all for good reason. I have no problem with the promotion of eating more fruit and vegetables because we definitely don’t eat enough as it stands. However, the total elimination of meat and dairy products from our diets is totally unnecessary and unsustainable.

A teacher told a story of a box of grapes he had purchased from a well-known supermarket locally. The item was among the rest of his family’s groceries that he offloaded from the trolley to the boot of the car. When he got home, he must have missed the box or just couldn’t see it, and never took it out of the car.

Some number of weeks later, he rediscovered the punnet, and noted with disbelief that they still looked picture-perfect despite being well beyond their sell-by date.

He revelled at how long they’d been there, exposed to air yet hadn’t perished at all. It goes to show the level of chemicals used to preserve the food we think is best for our bodies. Can that be good for us? Surely not.

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