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"Vegetarians" and animal rights

seanf399
Posted by seanf399 at 07/07/2009

I wondering if Vegetarians actually decided to go vegetarian for animal rights, because dairy and eggs still contribute to the enslavement and exploitation of animals. Before I went Vegan I was vegetarian more for the environments reasons than any other, but I have recently come across some REALLY obnoxious vegetarians at my high school who feel exceptionally morally superior because THEY have discovered meat is murder. I want to tell them that dairy is rape but whenever I do that it's never ended well.....

So have any vegetarians made the switch for animal rights and felt that it was enough?

Responses

Veggie_noob
Veggie_noob at 07/14/2009 15:17:13
i am a newly made vegetarian for animal rights. at this stage i feel its enough for me, i couldn't quite comprehend cutting dairy out of my diet as well YET. It may not be as big of a step as going Vegan but its still a step never the less which is helping with the fight for animal rights. Its like say one person Donates $1000 and the other person donates $500 to a cause. the 500 is not as great as the 1000 but it STILL MAKES A DIFFERENCE. So therefore, vegetarians have just as much of a right to say they stand for animal rights as vegans do. to answer your question yes. :)
Kittie
Kittie at 07/27/2009 05:12:51
I don't understand when people become veggie and think that enough for animals. They need to do research. Eggs and dairy are more cruel. It's VERY easy to do research.
shearwater
shearwater at 07/31/2009 14:38:32
I am a vegan. But first I was a vegetarian. And it was for the sake of animals. But as I got more involved in the issues I began to understand the inherent cruelty of dairy and eggs as well. I felt it would be hypocritical not to go vegan. I saw it as a natural evolution. Because of the harsh life egg layers lead it might be more compassionate to eat chickens than it is to eat eggs. Even most free range isn't cruelty free. Of course since we don't have to eat either this is an easy choice. I applaud vegetarians for taking a big step to help end animal suffering and to improve the health of themselves and the environment (it's more than most people are doing). But there's always more we can do. If you care enough about a chicken to not include it in your diet please also consider the chicken that lays your eggs.
happykat27
happykat27 at 08/17/2009 13:12:42
i'm a vegetarian right now and i get what you're saying; i don't feel like it's enough. i'd like to become vegan when i leave home for college next year, for i'll be able to control my own food then.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/01/2009 02:32:56
I'm vegetarian. I love eggs. I get them fresh from the farmers. The chickens are not treated cruelly at all.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/01/2009 02:33:56
Kittie it sounds like you are the one who needs to do your research.
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/01/2009 15:33:52
I am a vegan, but started off as a vegetarian. As I learned more, I could not justify saying I was doing it for ethics when clearly I was continuing unethical behavior by consuming dairy and eggs. I didn't want to be a hypocrite anymore, so I went cold "tofurky". After several years as a vegan now, I can't imagine how I ever ate dairy and eggs. Absolutely disgusting. While it's a process for most of us as we learn more, I don't understand the people who stop learning. It's one thing to be in transition and another to say you are finished. If you know better, do better. While vegans can seem condescending, I think it's really about wanting to encourage vegetarians to follow our lead. Sort of like, I've already been down this road, let me help you do it faster than I did. I've been on both sides and feel much better as a vegan, physically and emotionally, knowing that I am not contributing to the problem.

In regards to other posts, people like to justify that it's not as bad since it's not flesh, but it's worse as the animals not only end up slaughtered anyways, but they suffered even longer along the way. For the person above who gets eggs from the farmer, let's assume that the chickens are treated humanely (doubtful, but let's go with it), what does the farmer do with the unwanted male chicks? Perhaps you are the one who should do some research. Here's some places to start:

www.hsus.org/farm/camp/nbe/compare.html

www.farmsanctuary.org/issues/factoryfarming/humane_labeling/truth_behind_labeling.html

www.idausa.org/siteinfo/faq.html
shearwater
shearwater at 09/01/2009 16:03:26
The legal definition of free range is not much better than factory farmed. Even when you see them on the farm you may not see the whole picture. Most are still painfully debeaked as chicks. Their access to fresh air and sunshine may only be a few hours a day, and even then there are loopholes that allow farmers to deny any access. And when their prime egg laying (meaning most profitable) days are over it's still off to the slaughterhouse where as birds they are treated even less humanely than mammals. Besides which, animals exist for their own purposes. They have their own lives to live. Who are we to make them serve our own selfish desires.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/01/2009 21:12:18
I'm assuming the vegans here live in cities.

It seems like you guys are the ones who have stopped learning.

All chickens are not treated cruelly.

We have local coups owned by people who love fresh eggs. The chickens don't end up being slaughtered! they are kept more as pets.

Eggs are great and healthy. Good source of b12s and it doesn't hurt the chicken IF they are well taken care of.

To say eating eggs is always cruel is ignorant and makes no sense.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/01/2009 23:26:44
ROFL Sonja and Dirk you know you don't have Roosters when you have a coop right?!?! if you want just eggs that is. :P

I invite you to come out to the midwest sometime and see some coops and learn about the chickens! Lol!

It isn't uncommon here for corn/soybean farmers to have their own coops. A lot of locals have coops just outside their house. Those with apple orchards have coops and birds as well. Along with pygmy goats, etc.

It's like having a pet parakeet and it lays and egg except you eat it. It doesn't hurt the bird.

No doubt factory eggs are cruel but come out to people who own coops. Get your own primary research... field research.

and not only are local chickens not treated cruelly the eggs taste sooo much better.

Now if you are against owning pets that is a whole different story and I understand where you are coming from... but to say it is cruel and *crueler* than slaughtering an animal? Laughable!
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/02/2009 10:24:46
Starrynight - yes, I live in a city, but that doesn't change the fact that 98% of eggs come from factory farms. While you may have some "humane" places near you, that could never supply the majority of people. That's why factory farms exist to begin with - to supply the demand. In regards to the male chicks, those egg layers must be replaced at some point, even if they died naturally after a happy life. If you fertilize eggs to produce more chickens, some of them will be male. What are you doing with them? You just pointed out that you didn't need roosters to get eggs. That's the exact problem! They aren't needed, so they are ground up alive or suffocated by hatcheries. Even most "humane free range" places buy their hens from these hatcheries. You may think eggs are healthly, but many vegans would disagree with you. Eggs are high in cholesterol and you can get your nutrients elsewhere. Here's Dr. McDougall's take:

www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2005nl/march/050300pueastereggs.htm

I don't want to fight since this is supposed to be a website where vegans can share and feel safe, but you cannot project your little part of the world on the rest. Just because a few chickens you know are fine does not change the fact that most are not. Encouraging demand for eggs will only lead to the abuses that currently exist. Egg laying hens in factory farms live much worse lives than broiler chickens. Please read some information on factory farms before saying it's "laughable". I don't think it's laughable at all.
Steffi Giraffe
Steffi Giraffe at 09/02/2009 12:28:59
People who make money out of animals don't usually care very much about them.

Before I became vegan I tried going vegetarian but only eating eggs I knew were free range (I never liked eating actual eggs but liked cakes etc. - which I now know can be vegan and just as delicious). Then it finally dawned on me that farmers aren't interested in keeping chickens until they die naturally of old age, or keeping roosters (which are a nightmare - unfortunately there is no use for the majority of them and no one wants them as pets so they are killed).

I personally don't feel comfortable with supporting exploitation and killing of animals, so I felt I had to go vegan. It's not as extreme or difficult as I thought it would be. It doesn't make sense to me why people are vegetarian because of the cruelty, but won't go vegan when the facts are laid out in front of them. I understand it if they are vegetarian because they don't want to eat flesh.
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/02/2009 12:51:16
It's actually all over the mainstream news today.

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090902/ap_on_go_ot/us_egg_hatchery_investigation_14
starrynight
starrynight at 09/02/2009 14:28:58
Sonja and Dirk - the people only originally buy female chickens. Not male roosters so there are no unwanted male chickens. Ever. (this whole post isn't aimed at just you by the way)

Now, it looks like people missed the point, so here it is in simplistic terms.

1. A label is not determinate of the extent of cruelty someone supports: You can have your own cow and drink milk, you can be a 4-h shower and eat your own hen's eggs, you could have your own coop - even with roosters if you want! (if you separate them), you can be a meat eater and eat road kill or things that are already dead from natural cause. (creepy yes, cruel no.)

2. Vegans are not superior to any group because they still engage in cruelty towards animals: This post was complaining about vegetarians who think they are better than meat eaters when supposedly they weren't doing anything overly spectacular for animal rights. Vegans were thought to be the only ones who are against all animal cruelty. However, vegans may think they are "right" and more "ethical" because they are less cruel towards animals... except... unfortunately, vegans still aren't cruelty free either.

Why?

First of all I'm assuming most vegans don't brush the ground to check for insects before they walk. They probably would use flea treatments on their dog or cat, kill ants, lice, fleas, or cockroaches in an infestation... and they probably drive cars or use transportation at some point of their life that kills hundreds of insects. Eating processed food also contributes to insect death.

Sonja and dirk mentioned that the farmers might get the chickens from a cruel place. (Which isn't necessarily always true - but assuming it was) Vegans at some point, will probably shop at a place that sells some sort of animal product that people were cruel to - thereby supporting a store that buys animal product. Gas station, grocery store, etc

3. Be helpful, not arrogant: Saying vegetarians need to do their research is inaccurate and divisive. Instead of picking on a group of people (which vegans have no right to because they aren't cruelty free nor do they know if the vegetarian gets their resources from cruel sources - both discussed above.) why not bring up the *issues* of animal rights in egg laying and milk producing instead of chastising a group and saying they aren't doing enough ethically for animals.

Also - I understand the original post. It was a high school kid ranting. It wasn't really meant seriously or to be taken as a logical argument.

The other posters are the ones who should have thought first.

We should ALL be trying to help animals not dividing the community.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/02/2009 14:32:46
Sonja and Dirk - in addition when I said chickens aren't treated cruelly and it is laughable I was *not* referring to factory farms I was referring to local and at home coops.

I specifically said in an above post: "No doubt factory eggs are cruel."
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/02/2009 15:47:03
Even as I'm writing this, I'm wondering whether or not to even continue this discussion as I certainly never intended to go beyond my initial comments. I completely understand your point about not being able to be 100% cruelty free as even our tap water could be filtered through bone char. The point is to be as much as you can be in our modern society. For instance, bone char can be a big deal to many vegans, but in the scheme of things, it's very miniscule compared to factory farming. Getting more people to go veggie is more helpful than quibbling about how the wine was processed. I get that. But at the same time, not pointing things out only leads the average mainstream person to think that the "humane" stuff they bought at the store is good. It's not. Those animals suffer enormously too as there are no consistent guidelines for what that means. You are in a very tiny tiny percentage that sees the farm. Nearly all people in the country are going to go to the supermarket and not think twice about what they buy. Vegetarians who buy dairy and eggs from stores are still contributing to factory farming. Bottom line, farms on the scale you are talking about cannot support the demand if people continue eating as they do. While your farmer may not kill any roosters, someone did on his behalf. I get your point about that too, but personally, I couldn't eat an egg knowing a rooster was killed for it. I couldn't drink milk either knowing what happens to male calves. I hate even going to Whole Foods and smelling the awful butcher area they put next to the produce. I try to shop at local health stores that carry little meat or places that have no butcher counter, like Trader Joe's. It breaks my heart to go shopping, but I try not to contribute if I can. I don't wear any animal fabrics, don't use products tested on animals (or have by-products), or don't go to circuses or zoos. While I can't be 100% vegan, I can be the most I can be. For the average vegetarian, dropping dairy and eggs is a big improvement. It's not bone char level. I never wanted to come off as attacking anyone and I think we probably both felt we were accused, but most of us vegans are going to post with the big picture in mind, not the 1% that are treated somewhat humanely. To vegans, if an animal is used in any way, there's exploitation in there somewhere. Can you stop all of it? No. Can you personally do more? Probably. Also, please remember, we get more ridicule from the mainstream population who attacks us and then doesn't want to hear a thing we say. There's no "discussion" element to it at all. I suppose we react the way we do from years of this. We are also very passionate about not causing harm if you can easily not do so, so I guess we are easy to rile up. I certainly was a vegetarian who thought vegans were a bit arrogant as you say, but once I became vegan myself, it just seems so simple, so why not do it?

BTW, this is Sonja. Dirk, while vegan as well, doesn't know I'm even posting! And I've never been on Happy Cow as often as I have been now!
starrynight
starrynight at 09/02/2009 16:18:24
you said :
"But at the same time, not pointing things out only leads the average mainstream person to think that the "humane" stuff they bought at the store is good."

"While I can't be 100% vegan, I can be the most I can be. For the average vegetarian, dropping dairy and eggs is a big improvement. It's not bone char level. I never wanted to come off as attacking anyone and I think we probably both felt we were accused, but most of us vegans are going to post with the big picture in mind, not the 1% that are treated somewhat humanely."

Sonja,
I agree we should try to be as vegan as we can be in the sense we shouldn't be hurting any animals and avoiding purchasing from those who torture animals and support it. But telling vegetarians to "do their research" (kitties post) and they aren't very ethical when it comes to animals is what I had the problem with.

No none of us animal rights activist(including vegans) are 100% but I'm sure everyone is trying to get better each day. For me to make a post that vegans are hypocrites and still kill animals isn't constructive.

To make a post vegetarians are hypocrites isn't constructive either.

What is constructive is maybe posting articles about factory farming an better sources to find food at as opposed to chastising a group... however I do understand because the person is apparently in highschool and "ranting."

I think all veggies should be uniting in support of animal rights and try the best we can. Posts like this can be divisive - although not intended to be.
shearwater
shearwater at 09/02/2009 16:47:01
Modern chickens were selectively bred to lay more eggs. Like with dairy cows this unnatural production robs them of needed nutrients.

For this reason people who truly care about hens, like sanctuary workers, feed any eggs laid back to the hens to help restore these nutrients and to help keep them happy, healthy, and living long.

Most small "humane" egg farms buy their hens from hatcheries where half of all the chicks (males) are killed. Buying the hens supports this killing. As egg production declines, usually around 1 to 2 years old, most free range farmers slaughter the hens rather than continuing to care for and feed unproductive chickens till they die of old age. (A normal lifespan is 15 years.)

Since we are now resorting to stereotypes I am not from a city. I live in a very agricultural area. There are cows across the street from me right now. I find country people to be mostly accepting of practices many of us consider animal cruelty. This is of course a generality. But I don't like my opinions dismissed by saying I must be from a city. I also continue to learn, which is why long ago I evolved from vegetarian to vegan.
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/02/2009 17:46:58
I think we all in our hearts want to do the right thing by animals. Communicating via email or forums leaves out a big part that includes tone and non-verbal cues. Most of us probably don't have face-to-face veggie people in our lives, so we turn to websites and such. Misunderstandings are bound to rise and honestly, sometimes I feel like no matter what a vegan says, it will come off as arrogant or condescending to others as we are further down the path (yes, that in itself probably sounds arrogant I know). I'm sure it would be more helpful to be supportive since it's still a step in the right direction for animals. I used to be vegetarian, so I know the things you tell yourself as you eat cheese and just the general ignorance about some cruelties. That leads me to now want to share information I have learned. I posted the links as I personally like to read about the topics myself. I am no writer, so someone else can say it better than I can. I moved from just not eating flesh to vegan as I further learned about the issues. I wish there had been an internet when I first started going veggie. It would have quickened the pace, but I still continue to learn more horrifying things even today. It's everywhere and in almost everything. It just makes me cry. But these things are not presented in the mass media. I belong to Animal Acres (a farm sanctuary) and it's both sad and uplifting to see the animals there (and yes, they feed the eggs back to the hens). And even more saddening to me are the people in my life who clearly know why I'm vegan, but don't want to know anything about it as that means they would have to examine what they are doing. Ignorance is bliss to them (but not the animals). Many people also feel it is fair game to bag on vegans, not respecting our views at all while I'm supposed to respect their religion or whatever they believe. At this point, I think I am just babbling about personal stuff, not issues, but we all probably need a place to do that, like here. I just didn't want there to be a bad ending to it all.....
starrynight
starrynight at 09/03/2009 02:07:45
Sonja, the people who were being ignorant was the poster and Kittie. Saying someone needs to do research really can't be misconstrued.

Vegans aren't "further" down the path because we all can't take a checklist and describe what we do for animals everyday.

Labels are not indicative of the level of cruelty as I stated before.

shearwater - read back on the posts because you are coming late to what has been posted.
shearwater
shearwater at 09/03/2009 09:48:00
Late? I was one of the first to post. I read everything everyone had to say and added more. This is a forum for discussion, even disagreements. It can be a lot of fun. State your case but leave out the insults and name calling please. There is no one "ignorant" here.
Sonja and Dirk
Sonja and Dirk at 09/03/2009 12:41:12
As shearwater notes, forums have disagreements, so let's simply agree to disagree. However, I do believe vegans are further down the path and that's not meant as a slur against anyone, just how I feel based on personal experience. I think most vegans would agree with that as they have made the journey as well. Looking back at it gives a different perspective. I am not trying to offend or insult you. Please remember that I was a vegetarian first too and thought vegans were extreme. Also, no need for a checklist as being vegan already implies certain things (no meat, dairy, eggs or honey, no leather, wool or silk, no cosmetic or cleaning products tested on animals or with by-products, etc, etc). If someone tells me they are vegan, I have a very good idea of how they live and talking to them bears that out. While a vegan can't be 100%, it's easy enough to avoid some things, like dairy and eggs, so why not do it to be sure you aren't contributing to at least that part? There isn't a complete cruelty free way to obtain these since somewhere up or down the line, the male chicks and male calves were killed by someone. Even "humane" dairies send their male calves to veal slaughter as they can't keep them all. And comparing that to shopping at a store is not the same as I use my "dollar" vote to buy only vegan items. There are lots more products with vegan labels on them now, so clearly stores and suppliers are noticing it. Buying dairy and eggs from anywhere is using the "dollar" vote for killing male chicks and calves since it supports its further production. This is just my opinion. You may believe as you wish as you have every right to do so, but you have to remember the big picture and where practically everyone gets their food, so going vegan makes a big difference. As condescending as we vegans may seem, we just think that reading about the issues will enlighten people. I continue to learn more about the extent that cruelty goes. The point is to avoid that if you can after you learn about it. Honestly, at this point, nothing either of us says will influence the other, so as I noted at the beginning, let's just agree to disagree as that's no implication on your good intentions which I'm sure you have as we all do. I'm just stating my "case" as shearwater put it. In the end, it's nice to have a place where we can all share our ideas.
starrynight
starrynight at 09/03/2009 20:01:41
Shearwater - I didn't say anyone is ignorant... I said they were being or acting ignorant. Which they were. Which is factual, not name calling. I referred you to the new posts because you did not seem to catch the main idea behind what I was talking about.

Sonja -
Vegans are not further down the path. (As a label)

Do you drive a car? Take public transportation? Kill thousands of bugs everyday?

Do you travel for your own pleasure at the costs of thousands of insects lives?

Is the place you are living in and your furniture from the wood of cleared forests that wreak havoc upon animals habitats?

Do you help out with shelters?

How do you know you aren't killing thousands of more insects than vegetarians?

And this again comes back to my point.

Veganism is just a label and not determinate to the extent of cruelty.


It does not mean you are less cruel to animals. Especially if you own a car and drive it and take public transportation for selfish needs.



kindlizard
kindlizard at 09/04/2009 08:43:29
are you eating insect eggs or bird eggs?

by saying forest devastation and that no one lives w/o environmental impact is a poor excuse for torturing blatantly and on purpose the animals you can have a positive impact. Bc the forest suffer it means you should also burden animals closer in proximity to you? why let the spotted owl suffer alone, let's torture some chickens too? your reasoning is lame and selfish. so far your contributions to this site is to eat eggs and energy bars... I hope you can do better... or are you trying to tell others to be as lazy in their efforts as you are? most people on this site are dedicated and it seems in your arguments you are trying to persuade others to your brand of thinking, a thinking that tends to rationalize poorly in order to not give up the things you feel badly about doing... not cool....
starrynight
starrynight at 09/05/2009 04:38:40
kindlizard -

I'm not saying we should engage in more abuse. I'm saying to say vegans are inherently less cruel than vegetarians is inaccurate. Read the above post.

My suggestion was instead of chastising someone based upon a label bring the issues to light and don't criticize someone with a certain label.


kindlizard
kindlizard at 09/06/2009 23:32:43
You are encouraging reckless and inappropriate behavior w false logic and very poor reasoning. I am saying that you are wrong. Very very wrong. Read the above post.

You are only trying to somehow justify your own cruelty w bad analogies that go nowhere and misinformed rationalizations. Yet you come to a vegan website to argue about eating eggs. In both the concept itself and your motivations I think this could well sum up my advice: Think about your own actions!!!
starrynight
starrynight at 09/07/2009 01:43:25
This is a vegetarian website too.

I did not use false logic or poor reasoning. I am correct in my reasoning and statements.

My point was not about eating eggs, rather pointing out a label does not determine the extent of cruelty waged against animals.

I did not say go out and be cruel to people/animals or eat factory farmed eggs. ;)

My advice to you?: Listen.
shearwater
shearwater at 09/07/2009 08:22:13
Labels can be misleading yes, but when talking specifically about eggs, which this started out as, eating factory farmed is the worst. Eating free range can be a bit less cruel. But vegans by not eating any eggs care the most about chickens. It's not the label that determines that but the action. How many bugs a vegan accidentally kills while driving is another issue. Viva the ants!
starrynight
starrynight at 09/08/2009 00:47:58
Yes, shearwater. I agree.
camilla99
camilla99 at 11/24/2009 07:31:08
I am a vegetarian, and so far I don't think I could make the switch to be completely vegan. I am vegetarian partly because of animal rights, and partly because the thought and idea of eating a dead animal grosses me out and I don't find pleasure in the taste. For some reason on a daily basis I don't consider dairy products as being to harmful to the animals that produce them, but I know that actually there is still a lot of abuse towards these animals. Maybe one day I will become vegan, it will just be a big adjustment

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