There are many reasons people go vegan–their health, the environment, the social impact–but one reason most people stay vegan: morality and ethics. Veganism challenges the socially ingrained concept that animals are here for our use and questions the ethical validity of this belief system.
Vegan ethics: seeing the damage
Over 150 billion land animals are slaughtered every year for our consumption. If we add in the 2.8 trillion fish, the marine animals, and even bees and silkworms, we’re into the multiple trillions. Thats not even a number we can fathom.
This is the largest, longest, most bloody holocaust our planet has every seen. There is no question that these animals are sentient–they feel pain, fear and grief, are capable of joy, love and excitement. There is a reason that we separate ourselves from the source of our food–we don’t want to see the terror in the eyes of our “dinner.”
Vegan morality: feeling the disconnect
Most people are self-proclaimed animal-lovers. What most don’t proclaim is that they only love certain animals. We humans, on the whole, place certain species above others and our own species above everyone. This is called speciesism. We love dogs but eat cows. We care for our cats but kill and consume pigs. We may grown up with a pet chicken whom we name and love and care for, yet simultaneously continue to eat other chickens. Why is one being more deserving of life than another? These are the moral and ethical disconnects that veganism resolves.
The extent of vegan ethics and vegan morality
You may be saying “well, that’s just with meat–what about diary and eggs? Animals don’t die so they’re okay, right?” When we’re considering cruelty, dairy and eggs are, in many ways, even more cruel than meat. Dairy cattle are forcefully impregnated and have their babies taken from them moment after birth and sent to the veal industry for slaughter. Male chicks in the egg industry are ground up alive and layer hens spend their short lives cramped on top of one another in cages no larger than a sheet of paper. You can find out more about these industries and about “cage-free,” “free-range,” and “humane” labels in my free ebook–just fill out the form on this page!