Cows cool off in County Cavan in the summer of 2017
Máire Geary is of course correct to point out that those who adopt a vegan diet “should be mindful of where food is sourced and grown when adopting this type of diet” because of the contribution of the relevant “food miles” to environmental harm.
It is indeed the case that vegans consume foods “not grown in Ireland and imported from long distances”.
However, the implication that vegans are significantly different in this respect from their fellow citizens is difficult to accept. Ireland is a country where more than 90 per cent of the agricultural land is used for grazing livestock.
Predictably, in order to give citizens even a moderately balanced diet, we have to import large amounts of nearly everything that is not meat and dairy. Indeed much of the crops we do produce are grown as feed for animals.
Those trying to reduce or eliminate their intake of animal products may not have emission-free diets, but at least they can hope that their behaviour will begin to change the pattern of demand, and that more than a tiny fraction of that glorious Irish soil will be used to grow some vegetables.
Pic: Lorraine Teevan
This is the cuddliest, cutest, most determined little calf in the world 😍 pic.twitter.com/eDVF9sgSlh
— The Dodo (@dodo) May 30, 2019