And you’re still paying for thousands of animals to be ground up, crushed, poisoned, and eradicated from fields to ensure your vegetables and fruits and bread can be bought for a cheap price at the supermarket. That sounds just as cruel (if not more) as getting a bullet to the brain.
Once again, I can be for animal welfare and be against animal cruelty and still eat meat. This shouldn’t be difficult to grasp. I can be against lighting creatures on fire for fun, hacking off their limbs, boiling them alive, making them fight for profit etc and still eat meat. Because one doesn’t cause pain (if done correctly, I can’t say that all slaughterhouses follow proper procedure) and serves a purpose, the other causes extreme pain for the sake of pleasure.
Just because I support taking a life in a humane way for the purpose of food and clothing as a by product, doesn’t mean I support killing every single animal in a horrendously painful way for no reason other than fun.
I always find it interesting when vegetarians/vegans claim that their food is cruelty free. I totally support the general cause that the way we raise our food is less than ideal… but that doesn’t just apply to livestock.
Big ag is just as (if not more) cruel to animals (animal suffering as the result of man producing food), and I will explain why below the cut.
So unless you’re growing a totally organic garden in your yard (from local seeds… not seed companies) and you are just eating that (side note: this is totally possible, “The Quarter Acre Farm" is a great book about this, I was able to listen to the author speak in a class, and she inspired me to start gardening to grow my own food)…
Your animal-free food its not cruelty free.
A quick search of news articles and scientific peer-reviewed publications:
1)This is a peer-reviewed scientific publication about what research is needed by Wildlife Services: (open access paper, PDF file). This paper shows that wildlife is viewed as a problem for agriculture (and other fields), and note that the research needs aren’t all non-lethal options. It serves as a general snapshot of what this agency is doing. For those who don’t know, Wildlife Services recently got into some trouble for their lethal control methods, they’re in the business to kill (usually) wildlife for ranchers AND farmers:   , if there’s one thing they should be commended for is their ability to swiftly take care of an invasive vertebrate pest without anyone knowing they were there.
2) This is a study about using dogs as a non-lethal means to control deer damage on ag land (open access paper; PDF file): does allowing dogs to freely chase deer constitute cruelty? Well according to this page on using dogs to hunt deer it is, same concept- dog freely chasing deer, if the deer isn’t fast enough the dog will catch it. Farmers have to control deer. This is one of a few non-lethal options, but it meets the commonly used definition of cruelty.
3) This study (open access, PDF) found that blackbirds (Icteridae) alone cost rice farmers TWENTY ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS in 2001. They reported the most common way to address this problem was to either SHOOT the birds (blackbirds are not consumed by people so the carcasses aren’t used for anything), or use a propane cannon to scare the birds, as this youtube video shows it is extremely loud if you’re in close proximity, and could easily injure birds in the path of the released air or keep birds off of much needed food supply or already established nests.
Then there’s this news article which outlines what farmers do whenever there’s an E.coli outbreak… or fear that your farm might have it/could maybe have it one day which would damage your reputation if not just flat out bankrupt you and possibly kill people (ie poison/trap/shoot everything that moves… legal or not).
So in sum, this is just a very small sampling of why veggies/crops are just as damaging to animals as keeping livestock…. and if you think that the sacrifice of many millions (billions if you include inverts) of “pest” species each year is humane or cruelty-free, you need to re-evaluate your position on animal welfare/animal rights/animals in general.
I have nothing against vegans in general, and I’ve met a lot of chill vegans that don’t go around trying to cram their world views down everyone’s throats and I totally respect those people.
But as someone who’s passionate about environmental ethics and studied under an accomplished animal ethicist, I find it extremely annoying when people try to pin their personal value systems on others.
I don’t value people and animals equally. MOST people don’t. I don’t value cats and cows equally. (Pet animals v. typical food animals) I just don’t. Other people do and I think that’s fine. I do value the relative comfort and humane killing of animals for food and clothing. Even as a pretty poor college kid, I choose cruelty-free/organic animal products whenever they are available.
I am an omnivore. But of course I care about animals. I am an environmental studies major for chrissakes. (Mostly because I detested veterinary work.)
I’ve spent over 200 hours of my life just on rehabilitating and contributing to injured birds of prey.
to experience radical vegans on the internet accusing me and every other omnivore of being some kind of evil animal torturer isn’t even offensive.
It’s just absolutely ridiculous. It makes vegans look bad. I have secondhand embarrassment about it.
pokemon: “we put a Great Ball in a trash can on the SS Anne once and players are now compelled to check literally every single trash can in every single game”