Dr. Neal Barnard has branded anti-vegan claims that a vegan diet kills more animals as 'ridiculous'.
The acclaimed plant-based doctor was asked to shared his view during an interview with London Real's Brian Rose.
Vegan diets kill more animals
During the interview, Rose said former vegan Tim Shieff, told him that 'eating red meat kills one cow and I can survive for six months on that one cow', contrasting that to vegetables, the production of which he says kills many rodents, insects, and birds.
"That is ridiculous," said Dr. Barnard. "The cow isn't ordering room service. The cow is on a feedlot, and the pigs, and the chickens. They are eating soybeans and corn...you go outside a town, and as far as the eye can see are fields of corn. Beautiful. Identical. Genetically engineered.
"And on the other side of the high way - soybeans. Beautiful. Identical. GMO. No human is eating any of that. So if you're thinking there are mice in the fields and they are all being killed, maybe so. To feed chickens, and to feed pigs, and to feed cows. So when the cow is killed, that cow represents enormous amounts of agriculture that had to go in to get this miserly amount of meat."
And according to Dr. Barnard, the problems don't stop there. "To make that cornfield grow, you need fertilizer, you need irrigation, you need pesticides, and all of that washes into the rivers and streams.
"The Missouri River that runs right through the heart of North Dakota picks up all that junk and the fertilizer causes algae to grow, and it ends up in the Mississippi. And as it flushes out below Louisiana and Texas, there is now a dead zone as big as the state of New Jersey from all of the fertilizer and growing algae bloom that died off and killed everything in the water thanks to growing feed crops for animals."
He said it 'may be' that some animals are killed in the process of harvesting crops, but said it's 'nothing remotely like raising all of these crops to then feed to animals to get the tiny little bit of meat out of it'.