• Anthony Puharich

Crop Cultivation and Animals

I could say a lot of things about some vegans, but in the spirit of what grandma taught me, “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”, I will refrain. But here are a couple of statements of fact:

· Most vegans don't realise how many animals are killed to produce fruits and vegetables.

· There is nothing that we eat that doesn't have an impact on animals.

· 84% of people who have adopted vegetarianism or veganism at some point in their lives have gone back to eating meat.

Plant agriculture leaves one of humanity's biggest ecological footprints and hence has major implications for wild-animal suffering. Crop cultivation plausibly reduces populations of large animals, although the sign of impact is less clear for insects, and overall there's extremely high uncertainty in this analysis.

Make no bones about it, crop farming entails painfully killing many animals. And while there's a whole cottage industry of meat eaters who insist that "vegetarianism is unethical" because growing plants means killing animals in the field, it absolutely remains true that vegans do not avoid killing animals for their food.

I will be the first to admit, that like most things, the literature on killing of wild animals via crop cultivation is often ideologically motivated, it provides useful data when interpreted objectively. There are many discussions of this topic, which I won't recapitulate here. A few references:

· Eat cows to save mice? Hold your horses!

· The Collateral Damage of Vegan Foods

· Veganism is Not the Lifestyle of Least Harm, and 'Intent' Does Nothing for Animals

Do vegetarians cause greater bloodshed? – A reply

· The Least Harm Principle May Require that Humans Consume a Diet Containing Large Herbivores, Not a Vegan Diet

I started this blog having a dig at the vegans, I do it for reaction more than anything. But I will close in saying, everyone needs to be more objective and cautious in better understanding the basis of their beliefs and decisions. Less emotion, more facts!

Until next week, stay healthy


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