I have been vegan for 8 months now, and as I continually try to educate myself by reading and seeking more information about veganism I come across many different arguments for and against veganism. On my blog I will from time to time try to give my perspective on these arguments. I make no apologies for what I believe in and what I stand for, but I’m not here to force my opinion onto anyone, feel free to scroll past, or click off of my blog, unless this is something that interests you.
As a vegan a question that I see, in various forums / social media is this
Isn’t it better for an animal to have a good life, then be slaughtered for meat, than to never have a life at all?
This is a genuine question that people ask, and while it seems to be one that shows concern for animals, I personally don’t believe it is.
I’m by no means an expert on veganism, I’ve been vegan for just 8 months and am continually learning, but this, for what it’s worth, is what I think.
I’ll start with this, people who ask this question seemingly suggest that up until the point of slaughter, animals have a good quality of life.
I am absolutely convinced that this isn’t true. Whether meat purportedly comes from a free range, organic, pasture fed fed or a regular farm the fact is that approximately 27 million sheep, pigs, and cattle are slaughtered for meat in the U.K. every year. That’s a lot of animals.
It doesn’t seem to me that it’s likely that this number of animals are freely roaming around grazing in fields because a) that’s a lot of animals and a lot of fields b) the turnover is huge and time must be short when meeting huge demands, are farmers running around fields every day cajoling these animals kindly onto trucks? C) it just wouldn’t be efficient. d) it seems to me that farmers, likely wouldn’t have the time or money to care for each animal individually e) evidence ie footage of factory farms, suggests that this is not the case.
My next point is, is it ever humane to kill a living creature that doesn’t want to die?
Evidence shows that cows have feelings and even personalities. If they have feelings they can surely experience fear.
I cannot even begin to imagine the terror at being loaded into a jam packed truck, full of other cows, for often long journeys, in sometimes very hot, and sometimes very cold weather, where they are often not provided with food or water. It doesn’t seem very humane to me.
My overall feeling, my main argument with regards to the question of whether having a good life, before slaughter, is better than having no life at all is this, there is no harm in a life that has never existed, you cannot, in my opinion, hypothesise on a life that simply never was, and is never to be.
A cow that never was, is not a cow, neither harm, nor good, can be done to a cow that will simply never and so it’s actually an entirely irrelevant question.
That said , I don’t believe it’s right to wilfully inflict any suffering, be it suffering throughout life, or suffering a frightening death, on an animal that does exist.
These are entirely my own thoughts and I absolutely respect your right to have your own thoughts on this matter.