Being vegan: simple, right? No animal or animal by-products consumed or used, pretty clear.
But is it really?
This one really blew my mind, peeps, burst the perfect bubble of veganism in which I lived. How could I not realize this? How could I be so ignorant? Well it’s no consolation, but none of us is exempt, so I’m in good company.
The facts are: plant-based farming also kills animals!
What the ACTUAL FUCK??
Well, you know me, I had to get to the bottom of this! So I put my pencil behind my ear, slapped my glasses on, picked up my mouse (computer mouse, peeps, !) and began surfing. (Also not real ocean surfing, web surfing – if you know me at all, you know I would never, EVER go deeper into the ocean than my ankles. I was traumatized enough by having to step on mussels on the PEI beach, never mind facing up to bigger sea creatures – but I digress)
Apparently, the methods used to grow and harvest plant agriculture can be deadly to wild animals, specifically field mice, but it may also include other animals who venture into the fields for food. Snakes, voles, moles, rabbits, birds, none are excluded as possible victims of the harvest. Some have argued there are more wild animals killed in plant-based agriculture than factory farming kills domestic animals, which is patently ridiculous, as the numbers published do NOT take into account the number of wild animal deaths which occur naturally per acre, such as predators, old age, disease and environmental factors. The published numbers only reflect the TOTAL per acre. And seeing as much of our plant-based farming is used to feed said agricultural animals, it’s rather a moot point, anyway.
Unfortunately, meat supporters are using these figures to undermine the ethics of plant-based/ vegan diets. These reports are being thrown in our faces left and right, with a yodel of “nanner nanner boo boo” just for good measure, and vegans are left to stammer out weak sounding justifications whilst fighting confusion at the thought that their beliefs and lifestyle are not what they thought it was.
Two words, peeps: collateral damage.
Sounds harsh, I know, but it’s something we actually deal with daily and not just in our diets.
I mean, think about it: you wake up, brush your teeth, have a coffee, drive to work, hit an old lady at the crosswalk,….wait, what? Yes peeps, in the course of you living, breathing, working, doing everything normally in your best life, shit still happens. And it can happen to anyone. You didn’t intend to hit the old lady, it wasn’t planned, premeditated, it wasn’t a life goal, but it happened anyway.
Ever drive over a squirrel in your car? It’s heartbreaking! I have done it, I was traumatized for days! But that squirrel, like the little old lady, was collateral damage.
Typically, it’s a military term. Wikipedia states, “Collateral damage is any death, injury, or other damage inflicted that is an unintended result of military operations…”
Did you know Buddhist monks are so concerned about hurting or killing even insects, they they pray as they walk in case they step on any living creatures unknowingly. Even just walking down the street you might be killing something!
As much as these associated deaths are painful to face and accept, they were unintentional. In fact, they occurred as a result of trying to do the right thing, and end animal abuse and slaughter completely.
Two more words, peeps: bigger picture.
We have to keep the bigger picture in mind. As vegans, our goal is to put an end to society thinking of animals as lesser beings; to encourage cessation of utilizing animals for our own gain, including food. We want to see a world in which no animals are harmed in order for humans to live. We want to see society respecting our earth and everything on it. It’s a tall order, and it’s going to take a very long time.
After all, it didn’t take us only two weeks to get to this place of pollution, climate change, species extinction, and domination. Sadly, people and animals will die or be hurt in the process – not intentionally – but just the same, it will happen.
What we must do is work towards a process where our farming methods will improve, and fewer and fewer casualties are experienced. This is more likely to occur if animals are respected as equal beings in this world, rather than inanimate commodities. I hate that living creatures are hurt in plant-based farming, but I hate that living creatures are hurt, killed and eaten even more. I hate that people can’t see it for what it is: murder.
So as far as I’m concerned, peeps, veganism is still the right path. The end goal is compassionate treatment of all living beings. Once that concept is universal, things will start to fall into place like confetti on wet pavement.
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