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That's a terribly simplistic analysis. First, humans don't digest plants in the same way and won't get the same calories/nutrition out of the plants as a chicken/whatever. Second, feed for animals is significantly cheaper than the plants humans like to eat and what the stores sell them for.

Sure, if you could live eating chicken feed then it would certainly be cheaper to eat that instead of chicken for caloric intake. But to optimize for dollar nutritional value in food humans actually eat, it's pretty hard to beat the $5 chicken.

Animal agriculture has a lot of externalized costs, so that is one thing to think about when considering what type of diet would be optimal for society.

As for the present time, I agree that the retail price of meat and the nutrients offered makes it a pretty good deal.

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