Letter: Of lions, foxes and men

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The Independent Online
Sir: Glen Newey asks (30 May) why we should "worry more about the morality of eating meat than lions do". The simple answer is: because there are nearly six billion of us, increasing by a quarter of a million a day, whereas there are only a few tens of thousands of lions.

Already we have destroyed half the world's forests to make room for grazing and crops (more than half of which are fed to domestic animals) and we have reduced the oceans' fish stocks to levels that may not be sustainable.

If the population nearly doubles in the next 50 years, as forecast, there simply are not the resources to enable most of us to go on eating large quantities of meat. People can be healthy and active consuming little or no animal protein, and we have neither the metabolism nor the physiology of carnivores, so we had better learn to live differently from lions.

P J STEWART

Oxford

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