Originally Posted by mlp
That would only be true if an individual's consumption of dairy and eggs rose as they stopped eating meat, at a rate which negated and exceeded the number of animals no longer being eaten. I don't think that is the case generally.
That varies with each individual. Some people shift to a more plant-based diet, others increase their consumption of other, vegetarian animal products. I went from being an omni who ate meat everyday, eggs every now and then, and dairy almost never, to a vegetarian that grew to love cheese and eat a lot of dairy, eggs every now and then. So my animal product consumption didn't really change all that much, not until I went vegan a year ago.
I suppose you could say that it's a good thing that the vegetarian is more in tune, likely, with the fact that AR is something that should be taken seriously (despite the fact that they themselves are exploiting animals), and therefore it's better to have this kind of vegetarian around than an omnivore who doesn't give a [email protected]
and is morally consistent in that. On the other hand, you can say that the movement might be better off with all its proponents being morally consistent: all the better to highlight the contrast with meat-eaters who don't care. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice more on par with meat-eating than with veganism, yet somehow it masquerades as a moral choice: this just confuses people and makes them think that their lifestyle is making a difference when it might not be, and it might be doing harm.
That said, I don't want to negate the good done if a vegetarian ends up consuming less animal products as a result of switching to that lifestyle. I just think it's important for people to know that that still involves supporting exploitation.