Originally Posted by Serpentine
This isn't a discussion I'm particularly interested in getting involved in (for all it's interesting to watch), but I'd like to point out one almost-always-missed flaw in the "we feed crops to food animals we could be eating ourselves" argument: Animals can eat stuff we don't, and also not all meat is fed on food crops. In Australia, for starters, our sheep and cattle aren't, or are rarely, grain-fed. They're grass-fed. We can't eat grass, and much of the land here can support grass but not much else. Basically, a lot of the time, animals are raised for food in areas that are just no good for raising crops.
There's a reason the pastoral peoples of the ancient world were pastoral rather than clustering together into farming communities and eventually cities, after all, and it wasn't just
because people hadn't worked out how to farm places other than river valleys.