Wendy left this comment yesterday on the post Candy-Coated Veganism Is Giving Me A Bellyache. Instead of responding to it in the comments, I thought I’d post it here to start a conversation.
Here is her comment:
“I agree that vegans should call themselves vegans and vegetarians are not the same. I can understand people not eating animals, but I really need a vegan to explain the statement:
“For the animals, veganism is life or death. That’s it. Your choices in life either spares an animal or it doesn’t.”
How can not drinking milk spare a cow’s life?
When people saw those horrendous images on TV of baby fur seals being clubbed to death, furs became non-U overnight. People who owned farmed mink jackets never wore them again. You can’t sell a second-hand fur coat on ebay now. I understand that minks are wild animals and should be free.
If farmers can no longer milk cows and sell milk, what will happen to the cows? No one will pay to keep them. They would have to become extinct.
If no one wears wool anymore, what will happen to the millions of sheep? They aren’t wild animals that can survive in the bush. Would they all have to be killed to make room for vegetable crops? They too would become extinct.
If no one eats even organic eggs from free-range chickens any more, who will pay to look after all the chickens? They might not be able to survive by themselves, especially in Australia where foxes are killing off native animals and rabbits are destroying habitats.
I am not anti-vegan. One very good friend of mine is a vegan. But he respects vegetarians. And he doesn’t consider vegetarians to be cruel because of their choice. Millions more people are against cruelty to animals than just vegans. Should we not be accepting of one another and join forces in the fight against cruelty?
Having spent long periods of time on farms in Australia, I would hate to see those gentle, doe-eyed cows become extinct. But no farmer has the money to hand feed them every day in a 9 year drought if he can’t even sell the milk.”
So, let’s talk about it. Is using eggs, milk, and wool the only way to ensure the existence of the animals that produce them? Will animals become extinct if we stop exploiting them? Thoughts?