Misunderstanding Veganism

Many people misunderstand my goals and intentions when I advocate for veganism, and much of the resistance seems to stem from a poor grasp of veganism itself–some view it as a “cult” or a “religion,” though is true. So I offer the following eloquent article in the hopes that it will promote more understanding and less hostility to the idea.


“The word “veganism” denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practical – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

"If, as a meat-eater, being exposed to this reality bothers you, it is not the fault of the vegan. Lashing out or making up endless excuses doesn’t change the stark scientific fact that animals are suffering because of our taste buds. Your neatly packaged chicken breast, all wrapped in pristine plastic, was once part of an animal that felt fear and pain. It’s called responsibility and culpability, and we’re all to blame.

Now, you may try to argue that eating animals is a matter of personal opinion or choice, but again I’d have to disagree – this is not about your opinion versus my opinion, this is about animal suffering. You can’t discuss your “personal choice” of eating animals while leaving animals completely out of the conversation.

Think of it this way, if you were walking down the street and saw someone beating their dog, would you try to do something to stop it? The same principle applies here. Since eating animal foods is a question of want and like versus need, killing a sentient being, when there is absolutely no need – except for someone’s pleasure – becomes simply unnecessary and merciless."

No, the same principle does not apply to seeing someone beating their dog, as has been explained to you in every one of these threads multiple times.

Why not? If you say it’s because farm animals aren’t as sentient as dogs, then you’d be wrong.

No, it’s because killing an animal for food and torturing one aren’t even close to being the same thing.

Farm animals are tortured, and in worse ways than the mistreatment of dogs.

Have you ever been on a farm?

edit: Serious question, not an attack on you.

No, I have not. But I looked at numerous independent sources that say the same thing about factory-farming conditions. Is it really plausible that those sources – often in peer-reviewed journals – are flat our lies and misinformation?

And there are the numerous videos. Here’s one: meat.org/

Should I believe that all those videos have been faked?

I worked at a large poultry farm. Many of those sources are indeed either lies or misinformation. Usually they find a few examples and portray the entire industry as being just as bad. Keeping animals in poor conditions, giving them low quality feed, etc., all contributes to disease and low quality meat. When you have that, animals die prematurely and you lose money. And if the meat is poor, customers won’t buy from you for very long.

I don’ t know what kind of torture you think they go through, but it makes no business sense and that is why it is rare.

I agree that animals should not be treated cruelly.

That’s why I am pro-hunting, and would love to (but alas cannot, since I live in town) like to raise my own livestock for my family’s consumption.

There are wonderful heritage breeds like that I would like to raise: chickens, sheep, pigs and cattle.

One of the things I dislike about huge farms is that the old breeds are dying out.

If I had a Jersey cow for the milk and calves, a few heritage pigs, some sheep and an assortment of heritage chicken breeds I would keep a very well stocked larder. The animals would live a happy life. And my children would benefit in a thousand different ways.

A couple of my favourite British TV shows are Gordon Ramseys’ “Kill your meat before you eat.” (eg., youtube.com/watch?v=v9KfPqnnmE0&feature=list_other&playnext=1&list=SP1F34D312FA00DE76) and anything by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Fearnley-Whittingstall

One example: battery cages. humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/battery_cages.html

“American egg factory farms cram more than 90 percent of the country’s 280 million egg-laying hens into barren cages so small the birds can’t even spread their wings.”

Did your farm have battery cages? If not, perhaps it was one of the 10%, but even then, I would contended that chickens are still tortured.

This is doubtful.


"In order to maintain uninterrupted milk production, cows are forced year after year to go through an endless cycle of pregnancy and birth, only to have their calves immediately taken from them. Cows and calves cry out for each other as they are separated.

All forms of dairy farming involve forcibly impregnating cows. This involves a person inserting his arm far into the cow’s rectum in order to position the uterus, and then forcing an instrument into her vagina. The restraining apparatus used is commonly called a “rape rack.”


Not mine :slight_smile: Mine are spoiled rotten and show it. Though mine is not the typical farm. Food factory farms are difficult to manage that’s true. Small family farms can afford the time and effort to love on their animals. Unfortunately, people are very far removed from their food. While I’m sure most people don’t think God said, “and let there be half-rotten containers of milk line the dairy section of Dominick’s”, they certainly don’t know what farm fresh looks like, smells like or tastes. But unfortunately, it would have to take a big consumer movement to change the way factory food farms are operated, and as long as they can run to the nearest grocery store for a cellophane packaged chunk of meat, it may not happen. A lot of people think the obesity problem in the US is due to gluttony. I don’t. I think it’s because we’re being poisoned by processed food. But that’s another story…

Good post!

I think the Real Food movement is catching on.

I’m just waiting for a City ordinance to change (soon hopefully) and I’m going to keep chickens. The coop is built already.

BTW what is your position on abortion? I hear that can be pretty traumatic too - not least for the baby.

Even still, I believe raising happy animals to be slaughtered for food is still wrong, the main reason being that killing them deprives them of future pleasant experiences that they would have had. Those future pleasant experiences aren’t more important than the pleasant experiences of a few tasty meals. Moreover, I could never kill a dog or a cat unless doing so was absolutely necessary, and I apply that standard to farm animals.

Actually, that’s not true at all. Most cows in which there is a bull on the premises will get pregnant every year. If goats are left with a buck, they will get pregnant twice a year. One of my does managed to get bred through a cattle panel (through a fence that separates the bucks from the does). My cows don’t get pregnant every year. My cows don’'t get separated from their calf until he/she starts using her as a pacifier and leaves big gashes in her teats. My goats don’t get separated from their kids until they’re weaned. And if you do more research you will find that many dairy cows, if not bred back within a year after they freshen, will have a harder time being bred back.

And my cow eats her grain when she’s being artificially inseminated, and that’s hardly an indication she is taking issue with it :wink:

And I had a cow in milk for four years without being bred back.

That’s okay, you don’t have to believe in raising happy animals to be slaughtered. You can shop at Krogers.

Irrelevant topic, so I won’t address it here.

I think you should visit a nice family farm. Factory farming is not the same as the family farm. And different operations operate differently. There are dairies I wouldn’t want to step foot in. And there are some that are cleaner than my kitchen.

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