Why Moral Arguments for Vegetarianism/Veganism fail Part II
LEAST HARM PRINCIPLE
So let’s say that you aren’t convinced by my previous note and you have some other method of deriving rights that somehow apply to animals. Thus, it is wrong to kill other living beings or creatures that can feel pain or creatures with a face, etc. So you’re a vegetarian or vegan, then…Where does your food come from and have you considered the incredible amount of animal death involved in the mass-agriculture required to produce your vegetarian diet? In the cruellest twist of irony, when you do the research you will find that vegetarian/vegan diets actually result in MORE animal death than omnivorous diets…
Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands
How is that possible? In agricultural production of vegetarian diet staples like grains, corn, and soybeans, field animals including mice, moles, gophers, pheasants, etc are killed in many exciting ways including:
- Tractors and farm implements run over them.
- Plows and cultivators destroy underground burrows and kill animals.
- Removal of the crops (harvest) removes ground cover allowing animals on the surface to be killed by predators.
- Application of pesticides.
Indeed, the following well-researched articles give hard-figures for estimating both animal death due to agricultural farming and far-less devastating animal death figures for free-range or free-grazing animals slaughtered for meat: http://theconversation.edu.au/ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659/
Looking at reality, vegetarians/vegans must immediately forfeit the illusion that their diet is a bloodless diet, which then relegates them to the “Least Harm Principle” – i.e. “we should seek to kill as few animals as possible”… And as the articles above explain, several alternative omnivorous food production models exist that kill far fewer animals than the vegan model (and certainly fewer than the vegetarian model).
In closing, Plant farming (Agriculture) of any kind is destructive to the “natural” ecosystem and animal life therein. Mass-production of plants for human consumption requires the whole range of modern agricultural techniques listed above, that results in the massive destruction of animal life. To quote Lierre Keith in “The Vegetarian Myth” http://lierrekeith.com/vegmyth.htm,
The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.
Classic Maddox explanation of why LHP fails
P.S. There is a third argument left to address, and that is that instead of mass agriculture, we should get our vegetarian/vegan diet staples from small/subsistence farms or foraging. This indeed would be the most noble course of action, except that in order to work the human population would have to be reduced to a tiny fraction of its current size. This is why I believe envionrmentalism, including vegetarianism and veganism ultimately and necessarily is reduced to an anti-man and anti-civiliation philosophy that calls for the mass destruction or perishing of the human species for the benefit of animal life – which is nothing short of pure evil.