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Animals are an integral part of agriculture throughout the developing world. Animals provide labor, transport, clothing, fertilizer and a number of other services around the globe. Animal agriculture can be very beneficial to smallholders, but problems stockpile once global demand intensifies animal agriculture. This intensification drives developing countries to produce livestock at levels that consume a disproportionate amount of grain, cause widespread environmental harm and are wholly nonsustainable. The global food shortage is a Malthusian catastrophe of our own making and it can be corrected.
The American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada both support vegetarian diets as a healthy alternative to omnivorous diets. The following official position statement was published in a 2003 report: Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention of certain diseases. In this same report, they further state that vegan and vegetarian diets are, “appropriate for all ages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence.” A reduction in the consumption of animal products in developed and undeveloped countries would result in a healthier global populace and a healthier environment.