By Published On: 23 May 2011406 words2.1 min read

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?

By Published On: 23 May 2011406 words2.1 min read

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?

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  1. Iceielle July 13, 2016 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    typo, sorry. Sway ‘assistance’ for ‘existence’.

  2. Iceielle July 13, 2016 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    I’m a vegetarian because I don’t like the idea of eating dead animals. It seems rather perverse to me, actually. But farm animals, like humans, have got a job to do, and while dying isn’t one of them, forcing them out of a job that they have had genetically coded into them over centuries seems to be just as wrong as farming them for meat. Either way, it’s bringing an end to their assistance, and although it’s being done in a painless way, by not eating the food they produce, we are robbing them of their purpose. I know you may say, “They do have a purpose, and it’s not to be slaves of humans!” -Yet doesn’t it seem that these animals were designed to help us, if we help them. Killing them is another story, but mutual benefit? I can’t see what’s wrong with that. We just need to care for them with respect, and not treat them as mindless, soulless beasts. They are not.

  3. Anonymous April 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Farm animals have never been wild, no matter what diet you follow (meat-eater, vegetarian, vegan) it is a basic fact that farm animals would never survive in the wild and that they would go extinct if everyone went vegan as farmers wouldn’t breed them.

  4. Yud2006 May 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    You’re kidding right? Saying Cows were wild before is simply not true …. man created the cow by breading buffalos (and similar animals ). Farm animals are the creation of men.

    I think you’re missing the point. There are billions of farm animals… zoo’s??? :)

    The day the human race become vegan is the death sentence for all farm animals. That day, farmers will stop feeding the animals, will stop giving them medicine …. this can result in the following 2 options:

    1) Mass murder of the farm animals
    2) Farmers will set them free…. plagues will spread …. fight between man and ex farm
    animal on the food they now both eat: lettuce

    Pray to your god that we decide not to join your trend :)

  5. irene December 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Loved your observations…. very insightful. Found some of the responses about animals being better off dead very cruel. All animals, especially mammals want to live and they fight desperately hard against death. Anyone who has no insight into that and decides they know what is best, is not an animal lover or lover of life. Spend some time caring for sick animals as they fight to live, regardless of what you might decide is too deplorable forthem, and then tell me they would rather be dead and extinct.
    And on the wild, if it were so great to live in the wild, we would still be doing it. Why do we glorify nature? The animals are hungry, thirsty, hot, freezing, flea and tick infested and in fear of their lives constantly. How grand

  6. Veronica August 14, 2011 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Cattle and sheep were all once wild. Man still is. They can be wild again and survive. Chickens also. Actually all animals were once wild. Man has interfered with nature and domesticated these animals. Nature controls the poplulation in its own way by taking food when needed. If you really watch nature in action it is truly amazing. If is so sad when an animal or baby animal is taken by another, however it is the chaos of nature and keeps the population under control. Animals are not greedy by nature and only take what they need to survive. They do not overeat, unlike humans who gorge on far too much. I am not a vegetarina or vegan, however I will not eat veal, lamb or suckling pigs as they are babies and should be nurtured by their mothers. I haven’t eaten any red meat or pork for over two months now, and I’m not missing it, however it is in the cause of stopping the live export of animals for slaughter. I mainly mainly have fish or chicken and the chicken must be free/open range and have been allowed to have a happy life. The eggs I eat must be from the same source. If I’m in doubt I won’t touch it.

    I am cutting out dairy because of the fate of bobby calves. Actually soy milk is fine. The hardest is the soft cheeses, but I’m sure I’ll wean off this soon.

    Personally I think the diary industry is more cruel than the cattle industry. The sheep industry is not far behind.

    Everyone shoulld remember that man has caused all the problems and the chaos theory is very relevant. “Chaos is the order of nature, and order is the nature of man”.
    Don’t blame the feral cats and the imported animals to countries where they don’t belong to the destruction of native wildlife. Blame man for introducing them in the first place and being irresponsible.
    Thank you for listening.

    Regards
    Veronica

    • Lucy Saw September 3, 2015 at 2:11 am - Reply

      In what environment will domesticated animals be able to be wild? Wild animals are losing habitat, domesticated animals live near towns and cities, land is owned. If we were all vegan we would not allow cows, chickens or any other animals near their cash crops. So where will they go to be ‘wild’? Humans dominate the earth. Before we ourselves became domesticated we were nomadic hunters and gatherers, farming isn’t natural but man made. If we respect animals we have to accept that the cow as well as the lap dog was bred by man for specific purposes and cannot survive without mans help. Veganism would lead to domestic animal extinction and never addresses the reality of habitat extinction. I have no problem with people choosing to be vegan but if everyone did so we would be causing extermination. It’s why I scoff at the notion of spaying and neutering every dog and cat instead of promoting ethical breeders who naturally places limits on animal availability.

  7. Brooke July 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Thinking about the conditions in which most of these animals live I think it would be better for their species if they were to go extinct then continue suffering in the manner they have been. Even animals cared for under the most humane conditions are violently slaughtered after short lives. Also consider that veganism doesn’t refer to just a diet change that does not include animal products, but also abolition of animals used for entertainment and medical research. Many of these animals are wild undomesticated species that have been taken from their natural environments. The production of animal products also has a negative impact to the environment through pollution devastating many of the environments that millions of species rely on for survival. I don’t think it is anti-vegan to say that a massive reduction in the amount of livestock animals, maybe even their extinction would be a great benefit to all of the other animals we share this planet with.

    • Lucy Saw September 3, 2015 at 2:13 am - Reply

      Spoken like a real vegan! I always figured you would prefer extinction to life while touting about the love of animal life and welfare. It’s a sick philosophy.

  8. Moon June 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I’m sure there will be zoo’s and farm sanctuaries, or even crop farms can take them, for preservation sake. Once the farming exploitation is over for those animals, the population will drastically reduce since the demand for supply just wont be there. However I’m sure there will be many who will want to keep a small population alive, or even try to integrate them back to the wild (even though they haven’t been wild animals for probably tens of thousands of years). It would be a long arduous task to find and give the cows and other farm animals, a new home, but I don’t think it would be impossible.

    • Lucy Saw September 3, 2015 at 2:18 am - Reply

      You.cannot re-introduce domestic animals into the world! Animal experts cannot even take zoo animals and reintroduce them successfully into the wild, most of the time they just die and again you have yet to address loss of habitat. This idea of yours is a pipe dream.

  9. Ann LaGoy May 24, 2011 at 9:25 am - Reply

    I don’t think I’m being overly sensitive, or a bleeding heart to find the common plight of dairy cows unconscionable.
    I have felt for a long time that vegetarians, who don’t eat meat for ethical reasons, need to take a deeper look at the crux of the issue. Dairy cows often suffer more, and for longer, only to be slaughtered in the end anyway.
    People choose to have an animal-product-free diet for their own reasons: health, ethics, sustainability. Others do not feel there is reason enough – or deny atrocities on dairy farms are more the norm, than the isolated case. The vegetarian is a very puzzling person to me, however. Why not go all the way???
    Whatever you choose, own it. Don’t do it because it’s PC, or deny that abuse is common on farms.
    My mother grew up on a dairy farm in upstate NY, and agrees it was not at all a bed of roses. She remembers the abuse inflicted by her eldest brother and father on the animals. In fact, one of her siblings used to hide the wooden stool used to sit on when milking the cows so it would not be used as a tool to beat the animals with.
    She traveled “back home” with her sister recently, and they passed by a small independently own farm. Both were disturbed to see the cows’ teats so engorged they could barely walk. This condition is painful, and will likely lead to health issues – both for the cow, and the individuals drinking the milk.
    There is no excuse for allowing a cow to endure that. What drives this? Our demand for milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and so on. I must add here that neither my mother or her sister are vegan (quite the opposite).
    I am certainly not naive to think the world is suddenly going to stop eating animals, but I’d at least feel better if it didn’t turn a blind eye.

  10. Charlotte May 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    I just wanted to say that extinction of a domesticated species would probably not be nearly so bad as extinction of a wild species (which we’ve all heard about as a terrible thing). We’ve effectively removed domesticated livestock from natural food chains, so if (for example) chickens were to go extinct, it wouldn’t really affect other species. If a wild bird were to go extinct, it would have an impact beyond the extinction of the species itself in that other species that eat or are eaten by the wild bird would be affected and a whole ecosystem would be negatively impacted, which is much worse.

    And really, the non-existence of a species of domesticated livestock is probably better than for them to stay alive but in terrible conditions, no?

    • Lucy Saw September 3, 2015 at 2:20 am - Reply

      No.

  11. Mirkat May 23, 2011 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Dairy industry directly supports meat industry. The cows are forcibly impregnated every year in order to maintain continuous milk production. Their baby cows are taken from them without ever being given the opportunity to suckle. The cows bellow for days over their stolen babies, while the male calves are either sold as “bob” veal immediately or confined to a veal crate and malnourished to produce the preferred taste and texture. Female calves get to look forward to the same life of forced pregnancies and lost babies as their mothers. And eventually these dairy cows also end up in the slaughterhouse, once they can no longer continue to produce the calves and milk. How is that NOT a matter of life and death?

    Chickens are bred to produce many more eggs than any wild bird ever would, and that rate of production takes a tremendous toll on their bodies, causing them to develop maladies such as osteoporosis and ovarian cancer. Sanctuaries that rescue chickens actually feed their eggs back to them, which helps replenish their depleted nutrients that result from the overproduction. The hens that come from hatcheries have their beaks painfully clipped at birth, and as a result they cannot peck their own eggs (all the better for humans to steal them). Therefore, the caretakers at sanctuaries will break open the eggs for the chickens, who will happily devour them when given the chance.

    Also, egg production typically drops off or stops altother inside of 18 months. These “spent” hens end up in the slaughterhouse.

    Male chicks from the hatcheries are ground up alive or left to suffocate.

  12. Colinski May 23, 2011 at 9:12 am - Reply

    An extinct animal doesn’t suffer. Veganism is an attempt to reduce the suffering in the world. Species have no intrinsic value. Species do not suffer. Individuals do. That’s all the reason I need to be vegan. If the world embraced animal rights, and closed all the slaughterhouses, I’m sure it would also allow the remaining farm animals to live out their days in relative comfort. Even if not, the suffering of the remaining farm animals would be finite, as opposed to the machine of indefinite, ongoing pain that’s currently in place.

  13. Charleen May 23, 2011 at 9:12 am - Reply

    The Irony of Ironies.

    Humans have genetically created modern livestock over thousands of years, through millions generations, producing billions of animals. Perhaps only insects have exceeded domesticated livestock in number. And we would be worried about them becoming extinct? Further, use this as an excuse to continue our selfish exploitation of them? We created modern cow, sheep, pig, chicken,…. and we continue to exploit them on a massive scale in a most unnatural way. The continuation of this to “keep the line going,” especially for own devices, is absurd and frankly, very fucking ironic.

  14. Billy May 23, 2011 at 8:52 am - Reply

    You need a foundation to answer this question. I was confused by mixed messages and marketing of “cruelty-free” animal products all of my life until recently. As most vegans know, there are ongoing heated philosophical debates over protection/welfare and abolishing the use of animals altogether. To be able to decide for yourself, I’d say a good place to start is http://www.amazon.com/Animal-Rights-Debate-Regulation-Perspectives/dp/0231149557/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1306158422&sr=8-3