We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism and tackle them head on


“Animals wouldn’t exist if we didn’t eat them.”


This is always a popular argument on the ‘defensive omnivore’ bingo board-the idea these animals are lucky to be alive, because if we didn’t rear and slaughter them, they would simply never have been born at all, which would be much crueller than eating them For Gary Francione, American scholar and distinguished theorist on animal rights, the question is one of basic ethics. He says: The fact that we are in some sense responsible for the existence of a being does not give us the right to treat that being as our resource. Were that so, then we could treat our children as resources.


So many of these animals who are bred for food suffer terribly along the way and are slaughtered violently: does that really make the life they are given a gift?


“After all, they would not exist were it not for our actions–from decisions to conceive to decisions not to abort. And although we are granted a certain amount of discretion as to how we treat our children, there are limits: we cannot treat them as we do animals. We cannot enslave them, sell them into prostitution, or sell their organs. We cannot kill them. Indeed, it is a cultural norm that bringing a child into existence creates moral obligations on the part of the parents to care for the child and not exploit her.”


To continue living is the most basic right of all: even when animals are reared in ways considered more ‘humane’ than others, they are always killed, and denied this right. In addition, when we look at modern agriculture and factory farming it’s clear a number of other rights are being violated. The right to behave naturally, for example. Many farmed animals are denied access to natural sunlight, movement and even care of their own young.


So many of these animals who are bred for food suffer terribly along the way and are slaughtered violently: does that really make the life they are given a gift?


What would happen to these animals in a vegan world?


Clea Grady, marketing manager for Veganuary, which encourages people to try veganism for January, says: “In today’s world, animals are effectively mass-produced; forcibly impregnated, force fed, and then killed in their billions after living only a few short months.


“This intensive and invasive breeding would be forced to slow if more and more people stopped eating animals. The lack of demand would make it less profitable and, if we could take animals off the menu for good, the industry would eventually cease.


“During this time, the number of animals would have dramatically reduced, and those still kept for meat, dairy and eggs could be rehomed or allowed to live out their lives in sanctuaries. The very
nature of farming would change, and animals currently eaten or used by humans would be allowed to live naturally, or as companions.”


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  1. Sarah May Buchan on July 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Terrific article! I love the quote “So many of these animals who are bred for food suffer terribly along the way and are slaughtered violently: does that really make the life they are given a gift?”

    • Robert on May 31, 2018 at 9:17 am

      I have a tough life to but would prefer it to never have existed

      • Aaron on August 25, 2018 at 10:04 pm

        Wow!I am in awe! What an exceptional baby you must be Robert; to have read, and understood this article at only a couple of months of age! I mean, you must only be that age right? And how brave you are: that persistent lack of daylight and space you experience on the daily definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What a trooper! Shame it’s so dark though- you’ve developed such an awesome physique thanks to all those growth hormones! Who would’ve thought you could grow so big? They must be putting some great stuff in there! I’m sure you are the picture of health! And don’t worry about your mum. I’m totally sure she’s just fine. Chin up, not long to wait now. You’re invited to a barbecue! Well…parts of you at least. How exciting! The end goal is in sight! Any day now! When you get there, just think happy thoughts- you’ll hear a lot of loud noises, but nothing to concern yourself with. I know it’s been tough at times, but just think of it as character-building. You wouldn’t change anything, would you? I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever wished you hadn’t existed?

        Robert, since you are drawing similarities between the harshness of your own life and that of a factory-farmed animal, whose time on this planet typically only spans a few months, but a year or so if they’re ‘lucky’, I can only assume that: you must be a baby (or a female, undergoing perpetual impregnation); you barely see daylight; you can’t sit up (or lay down-depending on the decision you made when you were initially introduced into what passes for a ‘living’ space; you are force-fed antibiotic medications and hormones; you never met, or were prematurely removed from your mother; you were denied the basic freedom to interact with your species, natural environment and exhibit behaviours inherent in your species, and that your murder is impending and inevitable at a very young age.

        I’m correct yes?

  2. Mark S on May 7, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    You can’t be serious lol. Yes we do get to use them as a resource, no they wouldnt be alive if we didnt eat them, and stop supporting the mistreatment by buying from shitty farms. Do your research vegans, yah bunch of naive, self-righteous, do-badders. Eat meat. Its great, natural, and the right way to go.

  3. Timmy on February 9, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Niether man nor pet gets to interact, with like, in a natural way. Humans are guilty of ruining the harmony and balance of life on our planet. Farming and breeding led us to over populate and we reap what we have sown .. our own demise. Animials do not act for there rights like we do in court. They do not use electricity or buy cars . It is survival of the fittest. It is a noble act to do your part to change our course thu diet. However the ability to use fire ,make tools, and communicate put us too far up the food chain. If man never ate meat is the question to be entertained . Can a vegan diet reverse our destiny? It would take a long time. Realistically we just don’t have that much time.

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