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Festered
Dec 1st, 2009, 11:02 AM
This seems to be the latest one I have come across more often recently.

'a purely vegetarian diet involves killing far, far more animals than a carnivore one. It's just that the animals that die of agriculture aren't cute and furry and therefore don't, apparently, count.'

Example on another forum I go on.
What do you reckon? Anybody know any facts?

harpy
Dec 1st, 2009, 11:10 AM
This seems to be the latest one I have come across more often recently.

'a purely vegetarian diet involves killing far, far more animals than a carnivore one. It's just that the animals that die of agriculture aren't cute and furry and therefore don't, apparently, count.'

Example on another forum I go on.
What do you reckon? Anybody know any facts?

Have you had a look at this Wikipedia page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics_of_eating_meat

Scroll down to the bit headed "Argument that plant consumption also kills animals".

I think it has been discussed here as well but I can't find the thread(s) at the moment.

Anyway if the argument depends on eating only pasture-grazed animals it seems to beg a number of questions, since that's not what most omnivores eat - and the food fed to the animals they do eat is probably grown in much the same way as the food that vegetarians eat.

fiamma
Dec 1st, 2009, 11:25 AM
So what do animals bred for meat eat, then?

It takes 16kg of vegetable matter (i.e. grain, normally) to fatten a beef cow by 1kg. That's a heck of a lot of insect deaths even before you even get to the vegetarians... ;)

matt35mm
Dec 1st, 2009, 11:48 AM
I also think that whoever wrote that failed to consider how animals bred for consumption are fed.

I can't see the logic in how MORE animals would be killed for a purely vegetarian diet. This person is arguing, in other words, that meat production saves lives. I can accept the argument that animals "die of agriculture," which is obviously against the wishes of a vegan, but it seems like proving that a vegan lifestyle isn't perfect (almost nobody claims it is) is being used as a diversion.

Meat-eaters eat what we eat, contributing as much as we do toward whatever death he or she is talking about, and then added onto that is the death that comes from procuring animal products. The latter deaths number in the billions. If the person is referring to insects that are killed in crop production, then there still remains a giant difference between animals/insects killed incidentally, and those that are bred for killing.

This person also falsely assumes that vegans only care about animals that are cute and furry. The fundamental ideas of veganism seem to be lost on this person.

I honestly don't think this is an argument worth taking seriously! It sounds like the most complete BS.

BlackCats
Dec 1st, 2009, 11:58 AM
I honestly don't think this is an argument worth taking seriously! It sounds like the most complete BS.

+1.

Johnstuff
Dec 1st, 2009, 02:41 PM
I wonder though if you compare vegan, vegetarian and omni.

Sure Vegan means much less animal death but vegetarian...I'm not so sure.
Maybe vegetarians consume so much extra dairy and (battery) eggs that the actual amout of death isn't that different?

Sarabi
Dec 1st, 2009, 02:59 PM
"This person also falsely assumes that vegans only care about animals that are cute and furry."

Yeah. It's meat-eaters who only care about animals that are cute and furry. "OMG, a puppy! So cute! Let's play!.......a cow? Do I get to milk it?... why would I want to see a cow? Only if I can ride it!" -various meat-eaters I have had the displeasure of meeting

Korn
Dec 1st, 2009, 03:15 PM
I think it has been discussed here as well but I can't find the thread(s) at the moment.

Animals killed in plant fields (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11647)
Bugs are killed when ploughing a field... (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7411)

Festered
Dec 2nd, 2009, 09:47 PM
I am quite determined to win this argument, and thank you for all your replies. However more has been said now. I am going to post what has been said, here and if anybody has any good replies, they will be included, hope that's ok?:)

Alot of people read the forum, as such I think it is important I influence best I can and that my answers are right.
Here.:)

My reply:
If we take US figure, for example, an anti-vegetarian movement will advocate that 5 million animals are killed annually, by combine harvesters.
This could be an exaggeration, given the nature of the movement but I take it as fact.

Theres>
5 *billion* animals are killed in US slaughterhouses. This is fact.(In fact, this is dated now from an article I wrote a few years ago, so the figure is likely higher) Well, again there's the vegan movement's bias in favour of the fluffy end of the animal spectrum. You're only considering the animals big enough to be killed by combine harvesters.

Considering *only* macrofauna and mesofauna there are on the order of 200,000 animals per square metre of arable soil (130,000 mites alone, for example). Even if only 1% of them are directly killed or exposed to predation by ploughing (which is why birds follow ploughing tractors) that's 8 million animal deaths per acre every year.

Basically every tonne of wheat - which is the average productivity of an acre of arable land - kills, at an optimistic estimate, 8 million animals in ploughing deaths alone. It's even more for the lower yield crops that need more area per tonne to grow.

But, of course, only the fluffy ones that die under the combine harvesters actually count, right?

What I am saying is that if you want to reduce the number of animals that die to feed you, a vegetarian diet is very much the wrong way to go about it. Meat farming creates and maintains a biome and kills one animal per acre per year, uses virtually no pesticide and absolutely no herbicide. Arable farming recreates and destroys a biome every year and kills millions per acre, every year, and requires the mass spraying of some frankly scary biocides to work.

It just looks like less death because the fluffy-bunny brigade don't give a shit about anything that doesn't have a spine and, for preference, fur and cute little pawsy-wawsys.

Me, I'm happy with my place in the great circle of life, Simba, and while I draw all manner of arbitrary lines around my personal diet (no bugs, for example, no brussels sprouts and DEFINITELY no mint choc chip icecream or cheese and onion crisps) I don't try and tell people they're rational or based on any kind of realistic morality. And I reserve the right to point out the facts of the matter to people who are selling that particular line of bullshit.

( I already mentioned pesticides in my previous post so I don't know why he is placing so much emphasis on the 'fluffy' thing. If no one replies in say, an hour I will just take what info is here:) thank you xx

Festered
Dec 2nd, 2009, 10:07 PM
He is actually saying that veganism results in more, animal deaths. Not the same, not slightly less, not a bit of animal death. But MORE!

harpy
Dec 2nd, 2009, 10:40 PM
Does he eat exclusively animals that get all their food from grazing? If so he's unusual. If OTOH he eats animals that are fed at least partly on soya, grain etc then I'd suggest he has the same problem as vegans with animals dying as an effect of farming and harvesting crops, except worse because as we know it takes more vegetable matter to feed a person if it has to be turned into meat etc first.

Also the environmental effect of meat production will harm animals (as well as people) - the UN has issued a report on that as mentioned here http://www.bbc.co.uk/bloom/actions/eatinglessbeef.shtml

matt35mm
Dec 2nd, 2009, 11:09 PM
I was confused because I thought I was reading your reply to him, but that's his reply to you...?

Anyway, it's over 10 billion animals slaughtered annually in the U.S., not 5 billion. And he still seems not to have considered how the animals are fed. "Meat farming creates and maintains a biome..." That doesn't make any sense to me. Is he suggesting that animal farms are self-sustaining, requiring no imported food for the animals? That each animal is given an acre (there are only 2.3 billion acres of land in the U.S.) to munch around on?

Festered
Dec 3rd, 2009, 02:11 AM
He reckons that the grains they are fed on do not matter because the control and pesticides are not used as they would be as for human consumption , so those deaths are ommited. Sorry for confusing you:( xx

harpy
Dec 3rd, 2009, 03:59 AM
What are his sources for this claim? I think you'll find it's nonsense - why wouldn't farmers use agrichemicals in growing fodder? If you look on line I'm sure you'll find articles about the use of agrichemicals in soy growing in S. America, and much of the soy is used for animal feed. http://assets.panda.org/downloads/factsheet_soy_eng.pdf


What does he have to say about the UN position on the envirnonmental impact of meat-eating and the deaths that will cause?

Kirsty
Dec 3rd, 2009, 05:52 AM
It seems you are referring to factory farming which is a way of life in our industrialized world. Factory farming is killing and destroying planet earth in the fields and the slaughterhouses. Smithfield foods in La Guardia Mexico created swine flu in their big warehouses of suffering and despair. I read an article that talked about Monsanto forcing farmers to destroy all of the heirloom seeds and use only Monsanto's. What's the diff it's factory farming. I guess the only way to go is follow live the Vegan lifestyle, and aspire to use organically grown grains and other veggies obtained from your local farm. "It's progress not perfection."

harpy
Dec 3rd, 2009, 11:35 AM
Hi Kirsty, I don't think it's just factory farming. Any form of animal husbandry involving feeding the animals fodder, as well as letting them graze, would have similar implications in terms of "collateral damage" during the production of the fodder.