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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You eat milk or eggs and the cows go to the slaughterhouses. When I was a vegetarian for 11 years before, I ate a lot of byproducts that made up for me not eating meat. I'm a vegan now, but I think some people with the right intentions will get the wrong idea that being a vegetarian actually saves any animals. I may be wrong about this, and I am hoping that I am.
 

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This is a good question. I often wonder if 1 or 1,000 vegans even makes a difference or if they will simply produce what they decide to produce. We have a LOT of waste.
 

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Well, I think you're overlooking a few points - a vegetarian can choose where their milk and eggs come from. We can get them free-range, from local farms, etc.
Also, by buying eggs and milk, we may be supporting the industry in one way, but the fact that we're not in another does make a difference. By going to a restaurant and NOT ordering the burger or a supermarket and NOT buying meat, I'm seeing that less money (as indirectly as veganism) goes towards the industry, and by buying meat replacements, I'm putting more money towards those companies.
Supply and demand - less demand for meat, eventually less supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by imdead-goaway View Post

Well, I think you're overlooking a few points - a vegetarian can choose where their milk and eggs come from. We can get them free-range, from local farms, etc.
Also, by buying eggs and milk, we may be supporting the industry in one way, but the fact that we're not in another does make a difference. By going to a restaurant and NOT ordering the burger or a supermarket and NOT buying meat, I'm seeing that less money (as indirectly as veganism) goes towards the industry, and by buying meat replacements, I'm putting more money towards those companies.
Supply and demand - less demand for meat, eventually less supply.
I see your point, but in the end it all goes in the same place. The industry gets the meat money moved to the byproduct industry. Even free range animals are killed. Local animals I am fine with as long as they aren't killed. Hell, my vegan aunt will buy milk and eggs from this one farmer she knows, because the animals aren't killed (I still consider her vegan because she doesn't support the industry)
 

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Being a vegetarian doesnt necessarily mean that you are stuffing yourself with eggs and dairy left right and centre. Some vegetarians cook lots of vegan food. I do.
 

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Yes, being lacto-ovo vegetarian saves animals. Lacto-ovo vegetarians don't eat meat, and meat requires killing animals. Why would you think it doesn't make a difference?

What do you mean "byproduct industry"? Proportionally few animals are killed each year for the production of dairy and eggs in comparison to meat.
 

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You'd have to weight the number of servings per slaughtered animal. I'd conclude that you'd have to eat an awful lot of eggs and cheese to make the amount of animals saved (however you're defining that) by abstaining specifically from those products equal the amount 'saved' by abstaining from meat. And don't ignore that many meat dishes contain plenty of dairy and cheese too.

(That being said I still feel eggs are a good first thing to remove from an ethically motivated diet.)
 

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I'm sure L-O veggies 'save' plenty of animals from death, even if some people here are a little myopic and seem to think that everyone can afford to always buy free range organic cuddle milk. However, I think judging it purely on animal deaths prevented misses the huge ethical point raised by the dairy industry's torture. There's no point preventing deaths if suffering is what replaces it, and I would regard being saved from torture just as important as being saved from death.
Also you can't count your aunt as a vegan if she consumes animal products. You can assume she's ethically sound if you like, but that's not the definition of veganism.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLayish View Post

I see your point, but in the end it all goes in the same place. The industry gets the meat money moved to the byproduct industry. Even free range animals are killed. Local animals I am fine with as long as they aren't killed. Hell, my vegan aunt will buy milk and eggs from this one farmer she knows, because the animals aren't killed (I still consider her vegan because she doesn't support the industry)
You may consider her vegan, but she isn't. The definition of vegan is someone who avoids animal products, and that's because the vegan movement is about ending the exploitation of animals for human pleasure. Even if they are not killed (and is she sure the male calves and male chicks aren't killed? Otherwise the farmer would eventually become overrun) they are still being used for human gain and they have been bred in a way that is exhausting and damaging for their bodies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imdead-goaway View Post

Well, I think you're overlooking a few points - a vegetarian can choose where their milk and eggs come from. We can get them free-range, from local farms, etc.
Also, by buying eggs and milk, we may be supporting the industry in one way, but the fact that we're not in another does make a difference. By going to a restaurant and NOT ordering the burger or a supermarket and NOT buying meat, I'm seeing that less money (as indirectly as veganism) goes towards the industry, and by buying meat replacements, I'm putting more money towards those companies.
Supply and demand - less demand for meat, eventually less supply.
Free range means nothing really. The standards in the US are very lax, and for chickens it just means they have to have some access to the outdoors, but they can still be de-beaked and many birds can still be in tight spaces.

In the UK and EU free range is more regulated, however there is still an animal death toll involved. Farmers will generally purchase female chicks from hatcheries, and the baby girls are shipped out in a cardboard box or a crate like they are produce. The baby boys are thrown in a heap to die or minced alive. The spent hens will be sent to slaughter long before the end of their natural lifespan, as the less eggs they produce, it becomes more economic for the farmer to buy some new stock and get rid of the old.

As for dairy, except in a few, rare, instances, this necessarily involves death no matter the conditions. A cow must be pregnant to produce milk. The milk she produces is generally wanted by the farmer so that he can sell it, and the calf drinking some is considered a waste, especially if the calf is male as he is a waste, a by product. In the US he probably goes to the veal crate, in the UK where veal is looked upon with a slight distaste he more likely is slaughtered off the bat. Helpfully, the enzymes in his stomach can be used to make cheese. As for the mother, she mourns her baby (I was once told by a meat eating cheese manufacturer (who didn't know I was veggie at the time) that the noise a mother cow makes when separated from her calf is primal agony, and that he thought all vegetarians were hypocrites as that was the ultimate harm inflicted in animal production) and she is over milked, likely to suffer mastitis and then even before her lactation ends she is impregnated again, to go through it all once more. She too will be slaughtered far earlier than she would live naturally, and the constant milk production in her life may exhaust her so much that she falls as she goes to her death and is unable to get back up again.

These were the facts that led me to veganism.

In answer to the OPs question, I think that yes, vegetarians do reduce the animal death toll, but on the other hand I think that is not the only thing to be concerned about.
 

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I tend to think that vegans have more influence as a lobby versus a consumer. It might make a difference... I hope it does. But if even if it doesn't, I want not to benefit from animal exploitation. I have a question... perhaps this belongs in anther thread... I'm reluctant to call myself vegan even though I think I abide by that ethic. I don't have any moral reservation against the consumption of meat, dairy, or eggs provided that the animals are properly cared for and raised humanely. I guess it comes down to the meaning of "exploitation". I don't think its exploitation to eat them... though I am sympathetic to those that think otherwise. There are lots of small farms around here that are very hospitable to the animals. I have seen first hand that they are cared for very well. But I am against the conditions most animals suffer through and I can't go back to that.

My diet is really a threefold decision: the condescending heckles that are meant to suggest that I am something less than a man for eating a diet devoid of animals and animal products piss me off and make me want to dig in harder. i want to benefit from a strictly vegetarian diet. i cannot benefit from an industry that is responsible for cruelty to animals on such a great scale, or any scale.

What do you think, vegan or no? I mean, I am satisfied with my decision, but I am curious as to what others might think. (whoops, I just saw the "not vegan" in the original post)
 

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I think vegetarianism certainly saves animals! My impact as a vegan might be greater, but does that mean vegetarians don't have an impact at all? I think not. I'm personally grateful for every meatless dish that is eaten and even more so for every cruelty-free meal. I'm happy everytime I'm asked for recipes because I know that once in a while, it'll result in friends of mine eating a cruelty-free dish
It's not much, but it's more than nothing.

There's still a lot of cruelty going on in egg and dairy production. Consuming milk directly supports the veal industry and one mustn't forget about the billions of male chicks that are killed carelessly every year because they're useless for the egg production. These things make me sad. But if I have the choice between supporting this AND the meat industry, or at least doing something to reduce my impact, then I know what I like better. (Of course I prefer not supporting either, but every bit helps.)
 

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Yes, of course even l/o vegetarians lessen the number of animals killed compared to those who eat animals. It's certainly far from the most ethical diet vis a vis animals and animal suffering but if you're just counting corpses, the numbers don't lie.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post

Yes, of course even l/o vegetarians lessen the number of animals killed compared to those who eat animals. It's certainly far from the most ethical diet vis a vis animals and animal suffering but if you're just counting corpses, the numbers don't lie.
This.

Also, just a reminder to tread carefully, as vegetarian bashing isn't allowed. (not pointing any fingers, just noting that these threads don't have a positive history here at VB)
 

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If all the vegetarians and vegans in my city started eating meat everyday like an omnivore, and drinking milk everyday, it would cause a bump in the supply/demand ratio at the local grocery stores.

Also, veg*n friendly products would no longer be carried, making it more unlikely that regular people will decide to convert to veg*nism.

Does ONE veg*n save any animals? Maybe not...but s/he contributes to a bigger picture..

Just like that one hooker, that one drug user, that one gang member, that one preacher, that one nun, that one nurse, and that one person who picks up trash on the side of the road.

Stop thinking of yourself as an individual, and think of yourself as a member of a larger community.
 

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I don't think the supply and demand issue really makes an impact on those companies.

I know that I wish I could make a difference as a single person, but the fact of the matter is there are so few vegetarians or vegans in comparison with omnivores. I don't think anyone anywhere is killing fewer cattle or chickens because I chose to stop eating meat or consuming dairy.

Sadly, I think supporting vegan food choices makes more of an impact. But for every person becoming vegan there are thousands of omnivores being born.

What I am trying to get at is that I don't really believe any of us 'save' animals. Vegetarian or vegan. I think our decisions do not make any impact... now. But I think through compassionate education, through raising vegan children, through showing more and morr people how easy the lifestyle is... I think our future may be positively impacted.

But we certainly wont see any news reports saying there has been a gradual reduction in animal product purchases. Anybody here plan on having a dozen kids to offset the number of omnivores born?

Animals are going to die regardless. Its not fair or kind to put guilt on a vegetarian that has moved in a compassionate direction when I the reality is something they have no control over.
 

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Ahem. Excuse typos plz. Typed on phone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLayish View Post

You eat milk or eggs and the cows go to the slaughterhouses. When I was a vegetarian for 11 years before, I ate a lot of byproducts that made up for me not eating meat. I'm a vegan now, but I think some people with the right intentions will get the wrong idea that being a vegetarian actually saves any animals. I may be wrong about this, and I am hoping that I am.
I think that is the situation.

Vegetarians I have met aren't aware of how modern dairy/egg farming works( I got one of these people to go vegan with no arguing - just information ), rationalize that it doesn't have to involve killing in principal or they simply avoid talking about it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLayish View Post

You eat milk or eggs and the cows go to the slaughterhouses. When I was a vegetarian for 11 years before, I ate a lot of byproducts that made up for me not eating meat. I'm a vegan now, but I think some people with the right intentions will get the wrong idea that being a vegetarian actually saves any animals. I may be wrong about this, and I am hoping that I am.
There are chicken eggs in your avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

Yes, being lacto-ovo vegetarian saves animals.
Not really. When dairy cows have male calves, those calves are nothing but an expense without a return to the business - males don't make milk. So, they sell them cheaply to veal farmers. Drinking milk subsidizes and encourages veal consumption. Dairy cows can live 30 years, but only survive 5 years in factory farming due to the strain of being kept pregnant and giving milk. When they are worn out they are sent to be killed, just the same as cows raised for beef. If anything the life of a dairy cow is worse. They are kept alive in harsh conditions longer before experiencing the same kind of slaughter.

A similar situation exists for egg laying chickens.

Male chicks don't make eggs. From a business perspective keeping them alive is an expense without a return. Male chicks are typically ground alive or thrown away in huge plastic bags to suffocate. Buying eggs contributes to killing animals -- cute baby chicks -- right there.

Chickens bred for their meat don't stay alive for long before being slaughtered. Chickens bred for eggs are kept alive longer, to get more eggs out of them. They live in cages so tight they can't move. Imagine spending your entire life in a crowded elevator. These chickens are also periodically starved to get them to lay more eggs. Once they are worn out, they are sent to slaughter. They are killed just the same, but kept alive in horrible conditions longer.

The ability to be an ethical vegetarian has been made obsolete by modern farming practices that have been in place since WWII.

It may be possible to find a small dairy farmer somewhere who does not kill his cows and chickens once they stop producing, but the only way to know that for sure is to drive out and visit that farm on a regular basis. How many people do that? How many people pay the significantly higher price that pays for it? If you buy milk or eggs from regular stores or restaurants your money is going to kill animals the same as a meat eaters money is.
 
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