Because of mass exploitation of animals, not because eating them is wrong

Because of mass exploitation of animals, not because eating them is wrong

With veganism on the rise and entire supermarket aisles now dedicated to veggie and vegan food ranges, it’s a good time to consider what motivates people to go vegan.

There are many reasons why people decide to cut animal products from their diet, but the negative health effects of excessive meat and dairy consumption and the enormous environmental impacts of industrial agriculture are popular ones.

However, the suffering of billions of animals each year in factory farming, referred to in a 2015 Guardian article as one of the “worst crimes in history”, is the most powerful motivation for many, including myself.

Refraining from something that causes so much harm and suffering is laudable, but there’s one argument occasionally used in vegan and animal rights campaigns that warrants closer attention – the idea that consuming other creatures is morally wrong in its own right.

Such views are often bolstered by powerful moral arguments framing animals as subjects of a life, able to experience pain, and as leaders of complex emotional lives.

CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION

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