Myth Number Six
By eating animals, we are controlling the their population.
The oldest known lifeforms discovered thus far were about 3.5 billion years old. Humans have existed for approximately 200,000 years. This means that humans have existed for 0.0057% of the total time that complex lifeforms have been know to exist. A tiny sliver of time yet, we believe that we are the ones who need to control the populations of the world’s species. We are the self-appointed population police.
If everyone in the world just stopped eating meat tomorrow then yes, there could be some problems.
As of 2010, there were 4.3 billion cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep. There would be no place for them to go. If they were released into the wild, it would create too large of an impact on the ecosystem. It would also be too expensive to maintain all of them as domestic animals. Add to this the fact that, not only would these animals not be killed, they would actually live much longer. A cow for example is usually slaughtered at 2 or 3 years of age but its natural life expectancy is around 20. Yes, this would be a problem. Fortunately, this is a hypothetical dilemma and, like us, these animals live in the real world.
In reality, the transformation would happen over a long period of time. The reduced demand would cause farmers to slow or stop their current breeding and artificial insemination practices. The incredible amount of land used to grow cattle feed would shrink and open up space for wildlife. The insane amount of antibiotics used on cattle would decrease and, in turn, increase its effectiveness on humans. The enormous amount of fresh water used to raise farm animals would begin to dwindle. The amount of untreated waste would decline as would its negative impact on the surrounding water and soil.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 26% of the earth’s terrestrial surface is used for livestock grazing. 33% of the planet’s arable land is occupied by livestock feed crop cultivation. 70% of Brazil’s deforested land is used as pasture, with feed crop cultivation occupying much of the remainder.
I won’t even bring up the massive impact that animal farming has on global warming. Why? because if you are foolish enough to believe that we are controlling animal populations by killing them for food then you undoubtedly deny that global warming exists.
Humans raise these animals for humans, plain and simple. Unfortunately, humans are not capable of controlling themselves.