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There is something seriously wrong with a world in which half of the population is severely underfed while the other half overfeeds itself into a state of illness and even death. You might think the most sensible thing for people to do would be for those with excess resources to share their bounty with those who are starving. If those enjoying the excess were to make the change to a starch based diet, this would free up sufficient rice, corn, wheat, and potatoes (now going to animal feed) to allow the entire world population adequate or even bountiful food supplies.
In fact, reallocating land from animal to crop production would increase our food resources at least seventeenfold: crops like potatoes can produce 17 times the calories as animals on the same piece of land. There would be additional positive consequences of replacing animal foods in our diet with plants. Fossil fuels used in the production of food could be reduced fortyfold. Consider that about 2 calories of fossil-fuel energy are required to cultivate 1 calorie of starchy vegetable food energy; with beef, the ratio can be as high as 80 to 1. We would also reduce the needless suffering from the health consequences of our lives of excess, including obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and breast, prostate ad colon cancer, to name a few. We would reduce our national debt by vastly reducing the health care costs associated with these unnecessary illnesses. And we would free a great portion of the world from starvation.

John McDougall (via vegan-veins)
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