Philosophically Ideal Vegan World

by Ashley
(paisley)

I have been a vegetarian on and off for years but I got into veganism at the start of this year after I watched an online documentary called EARTHLINGS. It made me cry for days due to the torturous treatment of the animals.


I've been debating veganism in my head ever since. My question would be....

If we treated animals better, like.. kept them in farms that were their natural environment, treated them with respect, would we ethically be allowed to eat hens, eggs, and drink cows milk??

Do you think that if humans didn't use animals for all these years, that the cow, sheep or chicken would still be around? I mean, they would have no protection from their animal predators and perhaps even be extinct!! I mean, why would anyone care about a sheep when species like the panda and polar bear are an endangered species??

If we looked after the animals, and in return we allowed ourselves to use their milk and eggs, would that be so wrong?? I don't know if I have been ill informed but hens lay eggs regardlessly and as long as they aren't fertilized, would go to waste anyways.

Also, as long as we didn't pump the cows with unnatural hormones to keep milk productions high, cows would still need to be milked. so as long as they didn't have any young.. is there any harm in using their milk??

Society is made up of people that share the same environment. and everyone in that society is brought up to and encouraged to give to society. For example... taxes, national insurance etc. also everyone in society must work together to survive and thrive as individuals as well as groups. I know the world isn't ours to use as we see fit but morally we have the advantage, we do make decisions to provide for endangered animals because we see that morally just.

So why can't we protect animals like cows and sheep in natural farms and use their products?? I'm an organ door and when I die I don't care what happens to me. Maybe when an animal dies (naturally of course) we could use their bodies for whatever reason??? I give blood to help my fellow human, how do we not know that a hen or a cow wouldn't want us to use their products in return for a safe friendly environment?

I just have to say that I am all for animal rights and I think its wrong to eat the flesh of an animal (just as it is to eat the flesh of a human) and I also think it wrong to manufacture animals the way we do and treat them with such violation, torture and disrespect.

But, in an ideal world… would my thoughts work??

Answer:

I applaud you for taking the time to think through your eating decisions, regardless of which way you decide to go. Most people in the world never take the time to think about the consequences of their eating habits, let alone watch important videos. You are coming to a question that many aspiring vegans face, and one that most vegans have come over the hump with. There's a section on Vegan Nutritionista for FAQs, and I think you might really like to read some of those questions and answers.

Ultimately, while thoughts of an ideal world are philosophically interesting, they just aren't pertinent right now. We don't live in an ideal world. We live in this world. A similar, though contrary, question many people ask is whether vegans would eat animals if stuck on a deserted island and faced with no other choice.

Those people asking the question are generally trying to tease the vegan into answering with a, "Well, to save my life, I'd eat a fish." Then they feel they've won the argument. Or, they want to find the vegan saying, "Under no circumstances would I eat a fish," so they can feel the vegan is a liar and then still feel they've won the argument. But how many people do you know who have ever been stuck on an island in the middle of the ocean?

So, we need to make our decisions in the here and now, based on what we know to be fact in this world. I personally feel that no matter how ideally an animal would be treated, I am a human and I'm not made to eat animals, nor do I philosophically believe I should consider my human self as above any other being. Peter Singer coined the term speciesism, which is similar to sexism or racism, many years ago. Because you seem to enjoy the philosophical side of issues, you might enjoy reading some of his books. Also, recently, Jonathan Safran Foer took on the issue of speciesism in Eating Animals, which is an excellent read and highly recommended.

And, lastly, unfortunately the ideas many of us were engrained with as children about farming and how cows need to be milked and whatnot are sadly wrong. You can read more about the real stories of farming and animals on our page about factory farms.

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Be Vegan Be Healthier
by: Denise

Hopefully you cyber vegan friends will not hold this against me: Be vegan because it's healthier, not to save the animals. If you think of it that way, it doesn't matter if we should or could eat animals if they were being treated humanely. Look up books/videos fromDr. Neal Barnard. Veganism is good for you. I'm vegan due to health and spiritual reasons primarily. It is nice, however, to know that in some small way I'm honoring our animals. That is a very good consequence.

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