Veganism and Animal Welfare: Reasons to Go Plant-based

If there was a miracle cure that could help mitigate climate changeend animal suffers, and prevent millions of human deaths caused by health diseases, would you want to know about it? This urgently needed solution for today’s main challenges is a PLANT-BASED DIET.

We could stop here. That’s it.
But of course, we also want to explain to you, why and how a plant-based diet is the solution for so many problems at one time!

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In this article, we explain why veganism and animal welfare are two inseparable concepts.
For more benefits of a plant-based diet check out these articles:

To whom we address this blog post:
In the following, we speak especially to people from nations that boast an abundance of dietary options. We do also address middle-income countries, which are unfortunately largely affected by the standard western diet, including fast food. However, NOT included are people who suffer severe food shortages and are forced to eat whatever is available.

Speciesism

Compared to all other diets, a plant-based (and vegan) diet does not put the human species above all other species. Therefore it respects animals in the same way and does not support “speciesism”.

For decades humans have been taught that different animal species belong to a different position in the hierarchy of animate beings. Some are to protect, and some are to exploit and slaughter.

Food for thought:

Why do you feel sympathy with a cat and a turtle but not with a chicken and a squid?

Speciesism is only possible because people don’t (want to) accept the cruel reality and sad truth behind their favorite products.

Meat

Animals like cattle, pigs, and chicken are kept in mass stocks for food production. Every burger, every piece of fried chicken, every strip of bacon is directly linked to suffering and slaughter.

But what about grass-fed or free-range products?

In our opinion, these are clever tricks of the marketing industry to give us consumers a good conscience. In the end, all animals (even grass-fed or free-range) are brutally slaughtered.

Terms like “all-natural“, “farm-fresh” and so on are even more misguiding. The reality of a farm-fresh pig steak does not really differ to a conventionally farmed pig, as monitoring and controls are not reliable.

Sure, a free-range pig that was able to live a “good life” might still be better than a cage-kept pig, but in the end, both have to die because we want to eat their bodies.

How about concerning businesses that obligate themselves to very high standards and hold certificates?

In our opinion, even those can not guarantee a “happy life” for the animals, and fact is they have no “humane” killing methods neither.

We are still wondering how one can label killing as “humane” at all.

Food for thought: 

Is it okay for you to let animals suffer and be slaughtered for a 10-20 minute “enjoyment” of your meal? Is it really worth it?
And could you slaughter an animal yourself?
If not, why?

Eggs

No matter of argument, the conventional egg industry with mass production in “battery” cages uses horrible methods to maximize the profit.

For those who still want to read more about it:

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Let’s talk about eggs which are labeled… get a coffee and hold strong… organic, pasture-raised, free-range, cage-free, vegetarian-fed, humanely-raised (or Certified Humane), natural, hormone-free, fertile, antibiotic-free, animal welfare approved, cruelty-free or farm-fresh, etc. god damn, the industry invented countless marketing terms to sell their eggs.

So now that we have listed apparent “positive” arguments of the industry, here is why we still shouldn’t buy eggs (in the supermarket): male chicks.

Male chicks are worthless to the egg industry! Therefore every year, millions of them are suffocated and thrown into high-speed grinders, called “macerators,” while they are still alive or alternatively gassed.

If you don’t want to cut out eggs from your diet completely, please make sure you support someone who makes an effort for all newborn chickens, not only the female.

Dairy

The dairy industry is comparable to the egg industry.
Again, there is no debate about the conventional industry (please do NOT support that!).

And again, there is the apparently “good” fraction of the dairy industry (you already know all the marketing terms now).

Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. While the dairy cattle used to produce only 8 liters per day, today it is up to 50 liters! This is due to the supplementary feeding of corn silage, soy, grain, and also the breeding.
The unnatural increase in milk production often leads to inflammation of the udder, reduced fertility and earlier death. Dairy cows today are usually only 5-6 years old, although the animals would actually become about 20 years or more.
The calves are separated from the mother cow after a few hours up to 2 days. The animals often cry after their mother/ calf after the separation for days. The male calves are worthless for the dairy industry and are therefore partially fattened for slaughter (after 2-3 years). Due to the different breeding for either milk production or meat production, it is often not worthwhile to fatten a male calf from a dairy cow. The bred calves of the meat industry simply get more fat and faster ready for slaughter. This means that the male calves of the dairy cows are often killed shortly after birth because rearing them would be far too expensive compared to the subsequent profit. The female calves are inseminated for the first time after approximately 2 years (from then once a year) and then produce milk for 3-4 years before they are slaughtered due to deteriorating performance.

For more information: PETA The Dairy Industry

Why should we take the calves away from their mothers within hours or days after their birth to steal their milk? Humans are not meant to drink breast milk after the age of ~2 years. More than ever not the mother’s milk from another species!

Fish

It’s still questioned if fish can feel pain or not. Researchers have now found that fish do have the capacity for pain perception and suffering. (47)

Sports fishing and catch and release fishing are ridiculously gross murder. Researchers at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation found that as many as 43% of fish released after being caught died within six days.

And it’s not only the suffering of fish and accidentally caught animals, but it’s also a problem of fishing gear.

Lost fishing nets, so-called “Ghost nets“, float int the ocean for decades if they are not found and pulled out. Sadly they keep killing marine life for no reason. Fish, whales, sharks, dolphins, turtles, seals, and more get tangled up. Consequently, these animals either slowly drown or suffer from cuts and strangulation for the rest of their lives.

World Animal Protection estimates that entanglement in ghost gear kills at least 136,000 seals, sea lions, and large whales every year. (World Animal Protection 2014)

Summary

In short, we list the most relevant animal welfare reasons to go plant-based:

  • protecting all animals and stop speciesism
  • fighting wildlife extinction (on land and sea)
  • indirect harm and killing through milk and egg consumption

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.
He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Continue reading with:

  • Veganism and health: science-based reasons to go plant-based
  • Veganism and climate change: environmental reasons to go plant-based

Not to forget is the exploitation and abuse of animals in the fashion and cosmetics industries.

Further helpful information

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