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Comment author: lsparrish 03 September 2011 02:47:22PM 5 points [-]

A cow provides fertilizer(manure) and the farming equipment(it eats the grass there) .

That's for free range grass fed cattle. I doubt that is >10% of the beef market.

Comment author: Catprog 04 September 2011 02:42:40AM 2 points [-]

true.

I am from Australia though.

http://www.anra.gov.au/topics/agriculture/beef/index.html

20 million total cows vs half a million in feedlots.

http://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/04/08/world-top-15-country-on-highest-number-of-cattle/

Brazil is one of the countries with the most cows

http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_brazilian_beef/

One “missing picture” in the Brazilian cattle industry though, is that of a North American-style feedlot. Only 4% of the cattle killed each year are “fattened” in feedlots. With Europe being Brazil's main beef export market, the majority is grown to finish under a hormone-free regime on grass pastures.

In response to comment by ericn on Scope Insensitivity
Comment author: Vaniver 28 December 2010 02:32:58PM *  21 points [-]

Vegetarianism is similar. I know many vegetarians who only think about the poor cow who now is served as dinner instead of the thousands of animals who are killed by pesticides, fertilizers, and mechanized farming equipment needed to grow a bowl of soy beans.

If they did, would their opinion change?

I think mining is nasty, dirty, and dangerous. But I love uranium mining, even though the ore is radioactive. Why? Because each kilogram of uranium ore you pull out of the ground replaces at least ten* kilograms of coal. Uranium mining represents a net reduction to the total amount of mining that happens (with a constant energy load).

Likewise, when you go from growing plants to feed a cow to feed a human to growing plants to feed a human, you reduce the amount of plants necessary at least tenfold,* which similarly sounds like a tenfold reduction in the animals killed by farming processes.

So the thing that vegetarians aren't thinking about strengthens their argument. Are you sure you're thinking clearly about this issue, instead of trying to score points?

* I don't have the time/energy to look up the actual numbers at the moment- I'm >98% confident they're over 10 times, and strongly suspect they're less than 100.

Comment author: Catprog 03 September 2011 02:03:16PM 2 points [-]

Yes 10 times as many plants need to be grown but the harvest methods are quite different.

A cow provides fertilizer(manure) and the farming equipment(it eats the grass there) .

I suspect based on my recollections sun->plants is 1% and plants->animals is 10% and animal->animal is also 10%.

Also per kg meat is more dense so you are shipping less of it.