As for your claim that “raising of all animals on open pastures (as opposed to feedlots and CAFOs) would almost invariably require the cutting down of all forests as to accommodate countless billions of these unnecessary, purpose-bred animals,” aren’t you aware that about 90% of these “billions” of animals (I assume you are talking about the US, which is where these figures apply) are CHICKENS, which would certainly not require so much land to pasture that deforestation would be required. Aren’t you aware that the number of grazing ruminants is really not that different now than it was when 60 million bison were grazing the land, and that all beef cattle, even those that are “grain finished” in feed lots already spend most of their lives grazing on pasture and range land? We wouldn’t need MORE land to “finish” them on grass. Are you also not aware that most of the agricultural land in the US is suitable ONLY for grazing not for growing crops of any kind (and this is ever more true in many other parts of the world)?
The reason factory farms and CAFOs are used has nothing to do with there being insufficient land to raise animals on pasture. It has to do with the convenience and profit of the meat packing industry, coupled with the demand of the American consumer for cheap food - even though we spend the lowest percentage of our disposable income on food than any other country in the world.”
“Farmers routinely kill far more wildlife, including small animals, in order to raise crops for direct human consumption than they do in order to raise farmed animals. And how is pasturing grazing ruminants any more “devastating to the indigenous animals as well as the earth” than the 60 million bison were that grazed those same lands not all that long ago? Pastures and range land are actually intact ecosystems when well-managed. Certainly in California, the biggest agricultural state in the nation, the policy has been to promote rotational grazing as a way to RESTORE native habitate and native plant and wildlife diversity. But I see why you are misinformed on these points, however, since your “authority” is Mike Hudak, who is actually a crackpot, with no actual credentials or real expertise in the areas he writes about.