Originally Posted by Elfin
Hi David.. and this is an issue that can and will go on for eternity. It's true to say that in "effect" we are all killers to some degree. The natural food chain that we are all aware of ... As an example will never cease. As Altair says... Even if one is vegan , we still feed our pets with food which comes from that chain. I would even go as far as to say even picking and eating nuts is "killing " something . It's all a fine line. Otherwise we would eat nothing and all perish. On the other scale, there is a difference between killing something and keeping something that is alive , in captivity to live in abject misery.
The pet bit is important. Our dogs and cats need meat. Cats are obligate carnivores. Cats could of course go and hunt mice and birds, but would you want to see all songbirds disappear? Because there are many cats! A dog can live on a vegetarian diet but it doesn't seem optimal at all. They can get very fat on a low protein diet. One can say ''but there's plant protein in beans'', however beans are high carb too!
It's an 'inconvenient' truth that we need the farm animals to keep our pets (and people) around, just as we need the manure. All things considered... I would argue that local chickens (such as from gardens) and organic animal farming are sustainable. You can have a grassland with not just cows but also flowers, insects, birds. OTOH, if you have a field for one crop you want to exterminate all 'pests' for maximum yield. There are a lot of farm animals though, which is also an issue..
It's a very complex picture but if you support local/regional *good practices* you're on the right track.