[LMB] OT: Vegans, was Religion question

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 29 10:06:47 BST 2021

From: Joel Polowin <jpolowin at hotmail.com>

FFS, Gwynne, I debunked that bit of nonsense, *twice*, the *last* time
you were on a tear about the stoopid eeevil vegans, just a few months
As demand decreases, the farms scale back production.  Everyone wouldn't
switch to being vegan all at once.  Almost nobody is talking about
releasing herds into the wilderness, just a tiny number of nutjobs.

Gwynne: And I debunked your debunking.

I agree, this is probably a small percentage of the group, but they are the
highest-profile, making very public demands, attacking people who eat
differently, grabbing media attention, making ridiculous demands. But they
are the public face of veganism, for most of the public.

And they do make those demands. A blind man was told to turn his guide
dog back into the wild. Farms have been attacked, animals stolen. Fake
blood thrown around restaurants (one vegan spokesclown has been banned
from every pub and restaurant in her state.)

As for 'farms scale back production' - they can't. It takes a lot of money to
keep farms going, to maintain herds in prime condition. A dairy farmer with
a herd of a hundred can't manage economically with a herd of fifty. If people
did convert to veganism wholesale, then as demand falls, and prices fall,
farmers will do the maths. At a certain point it's far better to send the whole
herd to the abattoir and get whatever he can for them, before prices fall
below a viable level. So you won't get a hundred farms slowly dropping herd
numbers, you'll get a hundred farms killing off their whole herds, one by one.
The same goes for other farms, too. If you need a thousand head to make the
property viable, you don't run it down slowly to a few hundred. You sell up
the lot and switch to other forms of farming, or get out of the game entirely.

Farms often run on fine margins; one good year has to pay for two or three
bad ones. They often carry huge loans to pay for increasingly expensive
equipment. It's brutally hard for most farmers, clinging to a very thin profit
line, and often doing other jobs to make up the difference when needed.
There's no way farms can or would all gradually let old stock stay, and die off,
let the numbers run down and become unproductive, tie up land to support
aging and uneconomic stock. It's easy to say 'Oh they can do this...' just like
the militant high-profile vegans do, but the reality is so very different.

The economics of farming is brutal at the best of times. A fire, a flood, a bad
season, can be catastrophic.

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