Saturday, July 02, 2011

I am afraid I am repeating myself.

In response to a posting about vegan friends that are unhealthy:
I don’t know about your vegan friends, but as my family and I have been vegan for many years and have very normal health (regular blood tests confirm normalcy), I suspect they are doing it wrong. We don’t take extra supplements, and the fortified foods that are available are quite satisfactory. I don’t see the need for vat-grown meat as vegetable-based protein is already just fine, but knock yourself out when they make it ;) BTW, vat grown protein does not need to be fed and watered for up to three years, and probably excretes far less than your average bovine, so yes, I would argue that it takes less resources.

I find the argument of being on a desert island unsatisfactory, as the arguer is typically very far from those sort of places, or in those starving situations. Of course, as a sentient being we want to have survival, and if you are on a desert island, or trapped in the arctic, knock yourself out again. But as a quite large percentage of people are not in those situations, it really doesn’t apply.

Meat substitutes are available, and require fewer grains, water and other foods to produce than do livestock (not to mention the production of greenhouse gasses), so I cannot see that there is a valid excuse that can be made, except the stubborn ones such as “I like the taste”. And if the mistreatment and wholesale slaughter of animals that can think and feel just so you can enjoy the taste is what you want to do, then I dunno what to say to that. What I can say is that as every living thing will only experience life once in this universe, who are we to say that life should not be given as much opportunity to live as we can. Of course we as humans also have a need to eat, but we are smart enough to be able to do it without causing excessive pain and suffering, or the destruction of the biosphere that we rely on.

Peter Singer writes on this much more eloquently than I can, such as here , and there is a good Conversation article here.

In addition, the idea that an animal should have a full, enjoyable life on the farm before killing it is not that much of a step up;  Essentially it is allowing that an animal should have what we would consider a good life.  But then, one day when the owner decides that they would like the taste of real flesh, or the economic value of the animal is sufficient for slaughter, they are effectivly saying to the animal, "Well, you have had a fun time long enough, but now you cannot have any more days of experiencing this univserse because I am hungry/want the money."

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