Vegetarianism: It Makes No Sense

Vegetarianism: It Makes No Sense


Hi everybody. Gary Francione for the Abolitionist Approach. Many animal advocates promote vegetarianism as well as veganism. Is that a good idea? The answer is: absolutely not. Vegetarianism as a moral position makes *no* sense whatsoever. If it’s wrong to eat meat because it involves imposing suffering and death on nonhuman animals, it’s equally wrong to be eating dairy and eggs and other animal products that also involve imposing suffering and death on animals. Animals used for “other than meat” are oftentimes kept alive longer; they are treated every bit as badly, if not worse; and they end up in the same slaughterhouse anyway. The bottom line is: all animal products –all of them; not just meat– all of them involve suffering; all of them involve death; all of them involve injustice. All of them are wrong. I mean, look. If I said to you: “You know, I eat the meat of… you know, I won’t eat the meat of medium-sized cows but I’ll eat the meat of larger cows.” Or: “I won’t eat meat from spotted cows but I’ll eat the meat from brown cows”. You would find that very peculiar. You would say: “Well, that it doesn’t make any sense. How can you draw a line? How can you draw a coherent moral line between large cows and medium-sized cows or between…” Which is one of the reasons why, by the way, the veal campaign makes no sense: I mean, the fact that they are baby animals. I mean, what difference does that make? Why does that make it worse whether they are baby animals or adolescent animals or adult animals. All involve suffering; all involve death. But if I were to say to you, you know, that I draw a line; the way I draw my line is between brown cows and spotted cows, you would say that makes no sense; that’s an incoherent place to draw the line. And my response is that that’s absolutely right! It *is* an incoherent place to draw the line. But it’s also an incoherent place to draw the line between meat and other animal products. It makes no sense whatsoever. They are involve suffering, they are involve death, they all involve injustice, they are all wrong. You know, I was having a conversation the other day with someone who said: “You know, I don’t eat meat anymore but I still have some dairy and I have eggs”. And I asked her how many eggs she was consuming and I said “You know, the number of deaths per thousand calories of eggs is higher than just about anything, any other animal products you can eat, with the exception of chicken and fish. So, if you’re eating eggs, you are actually responsible for *more* animal deaths than you are if you are consuming other animals. Now I’m not saying that the numbers should matter to you or should be governing in the situation. What I’m saying is that: What sense does it make to say “I’m not eating beef anymore, I’m not eating pork anymore, but I’m eating a lot of eggs, and I’m responsible actually for more animal deaths.” What sense does that make? It makes no sense whatsoever. What sense does it make if you’re saying: “I’m not eating meat, but I’m consuming dairy, so I’m responsible for the repeated forced impregnation of cows, the continual milking process through using machines that causes the cows a great deal of distress, taking away the baby calves from their mothers, sending the males off to be veal calves, and using the females, recycling the females, in the dairy industry, and after the mother cows had five or six calves that have been taken from her, she is then shipped off to the slaughterhouse and ends up in the same place as her meat counterparts.” What sense does it make to say: “I don’t eat meat but I eat dairy, I eat eggs, I eat other animal products. Makes no sense whatsoever. Vegetarianism is a morally incoherent position. It is no better than saying “I eat the meat from spotted cows but I won’t eat the meat from brown cows.” Makes no sense. Neither does vegetarianism. If you care about justice, you go vegan. For information about veganism, go to our website (HowDoIGoVegan.com) Thank you very much for listening.