Wednesday, 9 September 2009

So again, why?

That's the big question... The first one anyone really asks. Along with 'so what do you eat?', but we'll cover that later.

In particular for all those people who think I'm jumping on the bandwagon - yes, all the cool kids are vegan, and of course that has had an effect on my decision (I'd never have considered it as a rational thing to do before), but the reasons are endless and, in my view, totally incontestable.

  1. We are in a global food crisis. Eating meat, the least efficient form of food, when most of the world is starving, is greedy and selfish.
  2. The world is warming up at an alarming rate, in direct correlation with our industrial advancement. The production of excess food (and I'm including the meat and dairy industries here, as wasteful of resources), and the gases released by said food (ie. farting animals), is a massively contributing factor. Livestock farming contributes more to greenhouse gases than transportation. Info here amongst other places. Add in the packaging, the transport, the waste... you get the picture.
  3. Commercial farming methods treat animals in ways you can't even imagine.
  4. Commercial farming is ruining local economies and ecologies.
  5. Companies who use animals in experiments are totally reprehensible, even without the grotesque things they do to rats, dogs, monkeys - anything they can feasibly test on - are slimy corporate fuckers who control us all in subtle ways we can't even comprehend. Think advertising, pharmaceuticals, beauty products, endless cleaning products causing who knows what damage to the environment and to people.
  6. IT IS CRUEL. This should be the only reason anyone needs. Sadly it is low on the list because people are sick of hearing it and don't want to know. Other new and more logically rational arguments seem to have more impact. Plus people seem to think that we have evolved to a point where our benefit and pleasure is far more important than that of any other species, hence it doesn't matter. I'd argue that in 2000 years of (un)civilisation we ought to have evolved to a point where we don't need to cause destruction and pain to the other inhabitants of this planet, but anyhoo. Never mind the terrible conditions cows/pigs/sheep/chickens are kept in, the suffering inflicted on them by the farming process. Chickens seem to me to have a particularly rough deal - having their beaks and wings clipped, being packed into a truck, and if they're lucky (or unlucky) enough to survive the trip, left to sit in their own squalor along with hundreds of others in a dark, cramped room for the grace period of a year until they have reached the end of their useful life and are killed. And that's without the live-chick-mincing operation.
  7. It's not healthy! Humans do not need to eat meat. It increases your risk of cancer, heart disease and other classic nasties (see here). And why we consume vast quantities of products derived from a lactating non-human animal is beyond me. You wouldn't drink another woman's breast milk, would you? Or make cheese out of it? We are not supposed to drink cow's milk. Baby cows are supposed to drink cow's milk. We don't even have the enzymes to digest it - and why the hell should we.
  8. Humans animals are not more important than non-human animals. I used this justification for years (that people were more important than animals), but frankly it just isn't true. We are animals too, and we forget that. We're all here and we're all here by accident. More intelligence doesn't equal more validity, more right to life. We've done unspeakable things to this planet - what other animal is so guilty?
So, the bottom line is, I do not require things to suffer for me to live. It's not necessary.

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