What of the lessened environmental disaster and cheap protein?
Don't take this personally, Miss Cunning Coney, because it is not intended that way.
**** like this drives me round the bend, and makes me want to go out, hunt down some tofu-eatin' vegans and choke the bastards to death with my bare hands. Soy beans are an ecological disaster on a scale that makes feed lots look positively benign. Large scale soy bean production leads to incredible wind and water erosion, on a scale that almost no other commercial crop matches. The Illinois River, which drains all the land lying between Chicago and St. Louis, has been killed by soy bean farming. The river is wide, deep and has a very slow current. The silt which has accumulated has killed the river's living ecosystem. Because of its peculiar circumstance of being a very large river with a slow current, it is just more noticeably affected. But this happens to rivers and streams all over the world where soy beans are produced.
Even more tragic is the example of Brazil. Beginning about 40 years ago, agri-business in Brazil got into soy bean production in a big way, because of the high demand for tofu in the far east. They've been cutting down rain forest with gleeful abandon ever since they exhausted the soil of the farm lands where they began, which doesn't take long. In a rain forest, the great majority of the nutrients are in the biomass above the ground, and since they just cut the forest down and burn it, that means the soil is exhausted even more quickly than is the case with ordinarily developed farm land. Five to seven years is normal for the complete depletion of the soil of former rain forest lands. Thereafter, of course, the corporate farmers just move on, run off any Amerindians in the way, cut down more rain forest, and plant more soy beans.
It is a gross propaganda campaign to suggest that the production of livestock is somehow an environmental disaster without taking into account both the short- and long-term effects of intensive, technological agriculture.