A letter* from Edmund Dunstan brought clarity on a recurrent question, where formerly the heart and the brain could not reach agreement. He wrote:
Correspondence in the Friend has reminded me of two vegan posters, showing a calf and a chick. In fact, most calves and chicks would not exist without humans’ wish to use them, and might well live less long without humans feeding and protecting them.
“This raises the philosophical question of whether it is better for individual animals to exist for human use, or not to exist at all. It is not unreasonable to think that if they are treated decently, the former might be the case.
In the past, when debating the question of eating meat, I have heard the proposition that food plants are killed when we gather them . . . Orthodox Jains wear face masks to avoid inhaling insects . . . and sweep the ground free of living creatures before stepping out. They are vegetarian not vegan but avoid vegetarian food that is thought to harm living beings such as roots, bulbs and multi seeded vegetables.
Because, as a human animal, I would prefer to have a quick departure, rather than linger on in weakness, confusion or pain, I think the same option a desirable one for well-reared animals.
Tracy Worcester has devoted her time and energy to exposing the cruelty of factory farming and advises: “By using our power as consumers, we can choose pork that carries the RSPCA Assured label, is free range, outdoor bred or organic – and change the system. The power is in our purse. Two sausages from a factory-farmed pig costs the same as one and half sausages from a farm where they are raised humanely. Surely avoiding animal cruelty and saving antibiotics is worth half a sausage?” AndiIn mixed farming there is a ‘virtuous circle’, the crops grown feed the animals, and the animals supply fertilizer to the crop.
In the news recently: Jeremy Corbyn became vegetarian 50 years ago after becoming attached to the pigs when working on a farm – he is now eating more vegan food.
* the Friend: 8th September 2017