I blogged not too long ago about the concept of vegan purity and how some people seem to think that veganism is ridiculous because while vegans are against killing animals, many animals are harmed in growing plants for us to eat. My point was that in just being here, we are going to cause some harm to animals, but that doesn’t mean we should not do the best we can to NOT harm them. And the “best we can” is NOT slaughtering billions of them each year to eat and enslaving them in zoos, aquariums and the like, and wearing them, and doing useless “scientific” experimentation on them. Just because we can’t always avoid hurting or killing some animals does not mean that we should just wantonly kill as many as we want for no reason at all.
I’m not sure why this is such a difficult concept for some people to grasp, as it seems pretty darn clear to me. It must be all that meat they are eating. Someone claiming to be a “professor” wrote an “article” called “Mice: the biggest losers with vegetarianism”. You can read it here http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/mice-the-biggest-losers-w-vegetarianism/4660498 if you really want to waste a few minutes of your life–you’ll never get those minutes back, so think carefully.
“Professor” Mike Archer is under the mistaken impression that not eating animals causes more harm to animals than eating them. How’s that for a mind-bending bit of stupidity? How does he justify this claim? He starts by blathering on about how monocultures have destroyed biodiversity. In this, he could well be right, although how vegans are responsible for monocultures, I have no idea. Being vegan involves eating a wide variety of plant foods, not just those derived from monocultures; we don’t just eat corn, soy, and wheat–no, those crops are grown to feed LIVESTOCK, not vegans, so I’m afraid I miss his point there. The stupid thing is, he actually acknowledges that “some” (although it’s actually the MAJORITY) of the plants grown go to feed livestock for meat-eaters. But then he goes on to blame vegans, too, as though our whole less-than-one-percent of the world population (vegans) is somehow responsible for more environmental damage than the other over-99-percent of the population (meat-eaters). What an interesting quirk in cognition.
Then, all of a sudden, the dear prof shows an intriguing interest in the well-being of mice. He goes on to describe them as charming little creatures–who sing love songs to each other, imagine that!– who we nasty vegans kill in untold numbers to satiate our gluttony for plant food.
He then goes on to accuse vegans of being hypocritical and reminds us that our existence means some animals will die. He begs us to just accept that in order for humans to survive, some animals die. “We can’t change that” he says. “We can’t stop death out there.” He reminds us, apologetically, that the Garden of Eden is a myth.
How insightul. Except that he conveniently forgets that raising animals for slaughter is a deliberate and brutal act that is completely unnecessary for human survival. While the Garden of Eden is, indeed, a myth, that does not justify what humans do to animals for no other reason than palate pleasure, entertainment, or convenience.
Vegans have never claimed purity as a goal. What we actually say is that we want to do the least harm possible. No vegan has ever claimed that ongoing human existence will not result in animal casualties. It’s unavoidable, but the fact that some animals will die does not excuse wilfully and intentionally harming animals for no good reason at all.
Sorry, “Professor” Archer, but your arrow went quite wide of the mark with that argument. Try again. This time, put some actual thought into it.