Reducing suffering through mindful consumption: One Million Calories in Eight Food Categories

From Number of Animals Killed to Produce One Million Calories in Eight Food Categories

One conclusion of the Cornell study was that meat generally increases land requirements of a diet, but diets including a small amount of meat could result in less land required per capita than some high-fat vegetarian diets (that include milk and eggs) because of cattle converting forage on land unsuitable for crops into human-edible calories. It is probably true that raising ruminant animals on pasture unsuitable for crops would increase the total amount of human-edible calories in the food supply, but it is critical to point out that chicken, pork, and at least 85 percent of beef is fattened in a feedlot on corn grown on land that could be divided between growing food for direct human consumption and wildlife habitats. The gain of human edible calories achieved by grazing cattle is not much of a benefit considering that there is enough suitable cropland to grow enough calories to feed everyone without the additional calories gained from raising cattle on pasture, and that cattle grazing has an environmental cost. Cattle are a non-native species to the United States, and cattle grazing is destructive to the environment in numerous ways, including soil loss to erosion, reduced survival of seedling trees, and loss of species diversity.

The results of this estimation show that a diet that includes animal products will result in more animal deaths than a plant-based diet with the same number of calories. The production of chicken meat results in vastly more animal deaths than any other category of food. Based on this estimation, someone wanting to modify their eating habits in order to reduce animal suffering and death should start by removing chicken from their diet, then eggs. Although beef may cause more animal deaths than pork, pork probably causes more suffering, because most of the beef-related deaths are wild animals, and in comparison, a greater number of the pork-related deaths are factory farmed animals. The most animal suffering and death can be prevented by following a vegan diet.

Please have a look at the interactive data at for further information.

On Ahimsa

Ahimsa may be realized by future beings in different ways as human beings experience new circumstances. There is no fixed reality.

If all sutra texts were destroyed in a great cataclysm, the awakened ones would still realize the vegan way of life and know it as the Buddha’s compassionate teaching. It would be reborn with every breath and in every generation.

May all beings be happy and well.

From Ahimsayana Buddhism – The Way of Vegan Buddhists

Writers on veganism + Buddhism

The most popular, well written, and dealing with compassion regarding all animal industry products, ie. veganism – covering issues within all schools of thought: Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, and westernised Buddhism:

The Great Compassion: Buddhism and Animal Rights
by Norm Phelps

Also available from Lantern Books and the Book Depository (free postage around the world!), if you’re not a fan of Amazon for whatever reasons…


Food of Bodhisattvas: Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat
by Shabkar

Vegetarianism: Living a Buddhist Life series
by Bodhipaksa

To Cherish All Life: A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian
by Philip Kapleau, Roshi Philip Kapleau

Ahimsa: Buddhism and the Vegetarian Ideal
by Bodo Balsys

Scripture Quotes

“One is not a great one because one defeats or harms other living beings. One is so called because one refrains from defeating or harming other living beings.”
– Buddha, Dhammapada, Ch. 19

“If a man can control his body and mind and thereby refrains from eating animal flesh and wearing animal products, I say he will really be liberated.”
– Buddha, Surangama Sutra

An old user “profile”

A wave may say “I am not as big as other waves” or “I am oppressed” or “I am not as beautiful as other waves” or “I have been born and I have to die.” But if the wave bends down and examines her nature she will realise that she is water: she is free from birth and death, she is free from highs and lows, she is free from beginnings and endings. Realising all this, her fears and complexes, and her attachments and ignorance, will begin to evaporate.
[- adapted from No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh]


i don’t think much about the priorities of our society
all our actions seem to lead us to war & violence & suffering
& if you’re crying for peace & reason you’re a hippy or a radical
but tell me what’s so radical about love?
what’s radical about loving the earth?
what’s radical about knowing your worth?
what’s radical about wanting a better day
– a better way – happiness?
jesus was a radical
buddha was a radical
martin luther king was a revolutionary
bob marley was a radical
john lennon, the dalai lama, & gandhi, too…

i don’t recall – do you – giving my vote to the few
who think it’s okay to put children in jail
march off to war not knowing what for
who put the power in the hands of a man
that doesn’t understand the shit you do comes back to you?
because it sure as hell wasn’t me
i will not follow because you tell me to
i will not agree with things i don’t believe
i demand the right to raise my voice
so i can tell you what i see…

you can close your eyes & fool yourself that certain things aren’t happening
but that doesn’t make them go away
& you can sit defeated in the shadow of all the work that needs to be done
or you can stand up & make a change
problem or solution, what will it be?
action, indifference, or apathy?
if we’re not helping, we’re helping to cause it all
one people one planet one earth one world to call our own
there’s not one problem here that isn’t yours to share
from blindness comes only more blindness & nothing is served by your silence
when you turn from the pain of another you turn from us all…

i’m wondering what it’s gonna take for us to wake up to the lie
& pull our heads out of the sand
the lie that we must take & eat & buy
more than we really need just to satisfy our greed
and all the while the planet’s groaning underneath our weight
as we casually wipe out 200 species everyday
do you blink and eye – do you think to cry?
or are you still living blind to what must surely be our demise…
[- extracts from the album Peace By Peace by Rachael Brady]


Some of my otherwise brilliant and productive friends
(like scoundrels and their flags)
take final refuge in character assassinations
they ignore the issue and deny the relation between our consumption and brutality
So you can go ahead and roll your eyes and marginalise me
socially penalise me: play on my insecurities
And you can feign ignorance, but you’re not stupid, you’re just selfish
And you’re a slave to your impulse
And I kinda thought we all shared common threads in that we gravitated
here to challenge the conventions we’ve been fed by a culture that treats creatures like machines
If you buy that shit then how long ’til it’s me who serves as your commodity?
Through institutionalised violence and oppression of workers and women raped by sexism…

Consider someone else: stop consuming animals…

I know as well as anyone that it does less good
than harm to be this honest with a conscience eased by lies
But you cannot deny that meat is still murder, dairy is still rape
And I’m still as stupid as anyone, but I know my mistakes
I have recognised one form of oppression, now I recognise the rest
And life’s too short to make another’s shorter – animal liberation now.
[- Propagandhi lyrics]