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With a lot of media devoted to climate change strategies now becoming prevalent, some of this media this has been linked to human's as a species changing to a plant based diet, diverting away from the traditional agriculture that has been a part of our society for millennia. From a nutritional, physiology and environmental viewpoint this initiative, from my extensive training in agriculture science really does not make much sense. The information coming through a section of the media seems to be to be backed by a well funded body pushing this agenda which is now becoming quite popular which is frightening that something so incorrect can be become so prevalent.
The underlying problem with humans eating a solely plant based diet is that humans are really inefficient at processing vegetable matter. Traditional agriculture consists of closed loops with minimal energy inputs. If herbivores and ruminants are taken out of the cycle then humans would need to process large amounts of vegetable matter, which is not done efficiently producing large amounts of methane and substantially increasing the land required to support the human population.
There seems to be endless articles on the impact of ruminant agriculture on climate change. Ruminants are highly efficient at processing vegetable matter. If this role is transferred to humans, they are really inefficient at taking over this role in the food cycle. This altered agriculture system also requires significant energy inputs into the system to collect and prepare the vegetable matter for human consumption. The impact of moving humans to a plant based diet in terms of the world's carrying capacity would be catastrophic. Vegetable matter needs to digested which can include fermentation at some stage in the food cycle and if that is left to humans then there would be a lot of smelly humans.
There are a lot of isolated statistics quoted on methane production and water usage of ruminant agriculture which seems to be cherry picking data to support an agenda. Looking at the big picture traditional agriculture has been how humans have survived for millennia. The plant based diet agenda that has currently becoming prevalent in the media would be catastrophic for the environment and would be working against all the principles of climate change strategies.
Traditional Agriculture vs Plant based Diet