Ms. Ashley's assumption ("Eeeeuuu, Meat," Aug. 9) that vegetarianism is more sustainable or environmentally conscious is ridiculous considering the significant resources used in propping up today's agriculture system. Journal readers might seek out The Vegetarian Myth by Arcata's own Lierre Keith. In it she dispels the most commonly held beliefs about vegetarianism.
Of course the modern industrial agriculture approach to animal raising is no better. But the closed-cycle system of animal farming practiced by Joel Salatin of the Polyface Farm and others, whereby animals are pastured and can contribute to the whole system, is sustainable. In fact, without the natural fertilizers from animal waste, vital nutrients for plants would have to be supplied by synthetic fertilizers (or some kind of permaculture system).
Which is why we should support the local pastured-meat producers such as Humboldt Grassfed Beef and the local restaurants that use their products. And we should encourage all of our local restaurants to use the local pastured meats. Not only are they better for the environment, but they're also more nutritious than their grain-fed counterparts (I'm looking at you Omega-6s).
Finally, I would also encourage Journal readers to check out the most current research regarding human evolution and protein vs. plant-based diets. (Spoiler: The plant-eaters didn't last long.)
Bodie Pfost, Redcrest