Quest for the Moral Meal Part 2
Updated: May 22, 2020
Since the Dustin's View article was published a few years ago, many folks have contacted us to share their thoughts and pose questions. Below is a recent response to a person who is struggling to find their own ethics around diet choices.
"Thanks for reaching out and asking questions and thanks for even considering what you put in your body and the implications it has for others in this world...most don't do that at all.
I wish I could take the time to address all of your questions but 1. I am building a community commercial kitchen and community space on our farm here in Minnesota and we plan to shelter in it for the cold winter coming soon and I am not done. 2. I do not have all of the answers you seek.
I do however have a question for you. Are you sure about some of the assumptions you make in the forming of your questions? You are looking for THE answer to what is the most sustainable diet for people. As in most things permaculture, the answer is...it depends upon bioregions, climate, culture, etc. Nobody asked these food questions before there were 8 billion of us mostly living in cities, people just ate what was appropriate to them.
Another is, are you sure there IS a diet that could be sustainable for 8 billion humans to be eating. If there were, would it be a good idea in the long run to feed all those humans? You know what happens when humans, like any other animal, has lots of food? They breed. I also noticed you focused on death when posing these questions on meat consumption. I focus on overall cumulative suffering. I can and do shoot cows in the head and eat them. I love cows, grew up with them and some I get very fond of. They can digest cellulose/grass, I cannot. Grass is what wants to grow where I live and many other places in the world. It is a perennial, requires no fertilizer or pesticides, stops erosion, builds topsoil and sequesters carbon and every native species in my ecosystem evolved to be in and around it. No annual plant I could grow can come close to that many benefits and most of the annuals have unintended consequences, causing primary suffering of habitat loss, but also erosion, carbon oxidation, etc.
I'd invite you to step back another step and re-frame your questions with a wider view. No biological being can live on this earth without actively or passively killing another being. If your desire is to sustain YOUR life with as little cumulative suffering as possible in the world, your strategies will be specific to your circumstances, environment and ecology.
I wish you luck in your search for your truth."