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The anonymous woman at the Dupont Circle People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals elephant statue who yelled at people, telling them to save the lives of vegetables (Party Animals Watch, “Protest Elephant Draws Counterprotest,” 9/20) might want to research her “cause” a little.

Hello? What do you think cows, pigs, and chickens are fed? Yes, vegetables (along with sawdust, paper, concrete powder, and the remains of other dead animals). You have to put 20 calories of food into an animal to get just one measly calorie back in the form of flesh. Imagine how many people could be fed by the amount of grain a cow is fed in her lifetime. Far more than the number of people who would be fed by her flesh. The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people.

The environmental think tank Worldwatch Institute says that the best way to reduce grain consumption is to lower intake of meat and milk—grain-intensive foods. Also, each vegetarian saves one acre of trees every year. More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to grow crops to feed animals raised for meat. And yes, the tropical rain forests are still being destroyed to create grazing land for cattle.

If you really want to save vegetables, along with forests of North and South America, go vegan.

Silver Spring, Md.