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You are correct. I can instead go to the local grocery store and buy tofu that was processed in a factory using large ammount of energy, packaged in plastic, and then shipped in a refrigerated truck across the country. Or maybe some TVP that was also processed in a plant and shipped across the country. Cleary, the long term environmental damage is better then one dead animal. Or I could buy locally raised free-range meat or go hunt my own meat.
Now, I don't thing veganism is a bad thing. I myself eat no meat b/c of both ethical and health reasons , but I take offense at the general vegan attitude that _any_ meat is bad. I would rather people ate locally, whether that be locally grown vegetables and locally raised/hunted meat then eat processed foods that require large ammounts of energy input. Drastically reducing meat consumption is an important step towards sustainable, environmentally friendly food production practices; but I have yet to see data that shows how completely cutting meat out of our diets is required. Moving to more sustainable and more humane practices seems like a much better solution than an attempt to "convert" meat eaters into non-meat eaters.