Saturday, March 31, 2007
The charade of veganism part 1: Veganism's inconvenient truth
There are many in the AR/vegan movement that like to label their lifestyle as "cruelty-free". It's a term that seems to get thrown around quite a bit. Indeed, one need only Google "cruelty-free living" and links to several guides to "cruelty-free living" will be provided. But just how "cruelty-free" is the allegedly "cruelty-free" AR/vegan lifestyle? Is it really all it's cracked up to be , or are ARAs only doing lip service to the term? I think that closer analysis reveals that the "cruelty-free" lifestyle is rather hollow indeed. Consider this. Most grains, fruits and vegetables are grown in large-scale agriculture. These large farms use machinery to cultivate, harvest and process the crops. The fields on farms are often home to small animals such as field mice and birds, for example. These animals are often run over by, or get sucked up into the machinery during harvesting, cultivation, etc. Not only does this cause animal death, can you imagine the suffering involved in being chopped up alive in the bowels of a combine? Additionally, the use of land for agriculture also deprives some wildlife of valuable habitat, particularly wetland species such as waterfowl. Furthermore, grain elevators, where harvested grains are stored, employ poisons, traps, and other such methods for controlling mice, rats, and other pests. Yet more suffering and death. Finally there is the pesticide issue. Unless one is only consuming organically or veganically grown produce and grains, something I doubt most vegans do, the foods they are eating come from crops that have been sprayed with pesticides to control insects, which are, of course animals. Yet more massive animal death. The fact of the matter is, large scale destruction of animals IS involved in production of most so-called "vegan" foods. No matter how hard the AR community tries to spin it, this fact cannot be denied. In the next post, we'll look at some of the excuses and rationalizations offered by ARAs when they attempt to dismiss what is their own hypocritical "inconvenient truth".