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View Full Version : "Where would all the animals go?"



fievos
Jan 28th, 2011, 07:45 AM
I'm writing a post for a Skeptical website about why you should go vegan, and one of the questions I'll address (because someone brought it up last time) is what would happen to all the farm animals if everyone went vegan. As a vegan, I think it's a pretty stupid question that could easily be answered with a little bit of research and reflection, but I thought I'd get some ideas from other people.

The sort of problems I've heard people raise are:

-farm animals couldn't survive if they weren't living on farms.
-if you released all the animals they'd destroy the environment.

I have my own answers to these problems, but interested to hear everyone else's :)

fiver
Jan 28th, 2011, 09:41 AM
Animal agriculture will not be phased out overnight. This is one of those hypothetical questions that doesn't remotely accord with how things work in the real world. We would stop BREEDING animals, of course. 56 billion are killed each year! :( Do the people asking these questions think of such things? No, they're too busy whacking off over the thought of a steak. We would have a duty to look after some of the animals brought into existence by farmers until the end of their days, perhaps in sanctuaries.

Johnstuff
Jan 28th, 2011, 10:04 AM
IMO the Farm animals already here could be cared for till the end of their days in some kind of santuaries, perhaps converted farms. With no more breeding they would die out soon enough.

They have been selectivley bred so they are strange creatures that should never have existed IMO.

Maybe off topic but am I correct that the current farm animals suffer from genetic diseases that have been deliberatley bred into them? ie. am I correct to descibe a bred in genetic trait (eg. cow's producing way more milk than they need) as a genetic disease?

Clueless Git
Jan 28th, 2011, 11:17 AM
'Lo Feivos :)

To the best of my knowledge no animal bred for meat is allowed to live for more than two years before being slaughtered.

So, one good answer would be "Stop the breeding two years before we all go vegetarian and there won't be a single bred-for-meat animal left"

harpy
Jan 28th, 2011, 11:23 AM
To add to what's already been said, sometimes people who ask this are also worried about the idea that there wouldn't be any cows, sheep etc around if we didn't breed them, but of course there were cows and sheep before people started breeding them and could be after we stopped, living in a more natural way than we allow them to at present. (I believe there are some wild-type cows and sheep around still, though the domestic forms could probably manage fine on their own - except for the ones that have had defects bred into them to make them more "productive" :mad: )

Clueless Git
Jan 28th, 2011, 11:35 AM
Maybe off topic but am I correct that the current farm animals suffer from genetic diseases that have been deliberatley bred into them? ie. am I correct to descibe a bred in genetic trait (eg. cow's producing way more milk than they need) as a genetic disease?
'Lo John :)

I posted elsewhere that I had a dairy farmer round my house a while back?

Having established that dairy cows (a Holsten-Freisian hybrid) las five years when milked I asked him this:

"If left unmilked and just allowed to live its life optimaly how long would a dairy cow live?"

He was reluctant to tell, at first. Then he got very angry and started banging his fist on the table shouting "IT'S WRONG! IT'S WRONG!"

When he calmed down he told me of how the industry he was born into (he was in his 60's and had inherited the family farm') had changed in his lifetime ..

Apparently a combination of selective breeding and constant inbreeding (they artificialy inseminate the entire dairy herd with 'donations' from only two or three indiviudal bulls, apparently) had reduced the maximum lifespan of a dairy cow from what used to be 15 to only 6-7 years.

harpy
Jan 28th, 2011, 11:46 AM
They also breed animals to grow much faster than is natural, as noted here http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080206090505.htm

I don't know whether it's technically a disease or not but it probably does mean that these poor animals couldn't fend for themselves very well.