Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 8, 2013

Shedding light on ‘Shades’ column

— If Miranda Davis leads by example, I hope the readers of Shades of Green (The Goshen News Feb. 3) will reconsider the promotion of her “enlivened” diet. It sounds like the raising of animals is one of the worst things that has ever happened to this planet.

Perhaps some truth and reality needs to be exposed. That it takes 20 times more energy to produce flesh food than animal food is terribly inaccurate when you see livestock raised on land unsuitable for crops with almost zero energy input. And according to the latest agricultural statistics, way less than 50 percent of grain produced goes to animal feed, not 70 percent as she claims.

If it were not for animal manure recycling valuable nutrients into the soil, huge amounts of inputs would be required, potentially increasing pollution and deficits. To equate the Sandy Hook violence with the treatment of animals and farm workers is absurd. Most farm animals today are treated in the most humane way possible and modern practices are for the safety and proper management of the animals and farm workers.

To eliminate animals would require much more land, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and water. It would put highly erodible land at risk and it would have a huge negative impact on Indiana’s economy to the tune of $6 billion. And it would put 35,000 people out of work. Animals economically provide much-needed protein, vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients for our diets and fiber for our clothing.

— Ernest Miller