A Meat and Dairy Article from All-Creatures.org

Tell the Mother

From Gary Francione, Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach
May 2022

Mother Cow

We kill 70 billion land animals and an estimated one trillion sea animals annually for food. And the only justification for that is that they taste good. We get pleasure from eating animals and animal products.

There is no necessity.

Although, in the not-too-distant past, we thought that we needed animal foods to be healthy, there was never any medical support for that position and, in any event, no one any longer maintains that it is necessary to consume animal products to be optimally healthy. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that vegan diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” The UK National Health Service says that a sensible vegan diet can be “very healthy.” Mainstream health care professionals all over the world are increasingly taking the position that animal products are detrimental to human health.

We don’t have to settle the debate about whether it is more healthy to live on a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds (although the empirical evidence certainly points in that direction). The point is that a vegan diet is certainly no less healthy than a diet of decomposing flesh, cow secretions, and chicken ova. And that’s the only point relevant to the issue of whether suffering and death are necessary or not.

Moreover, animal agriculture constitutes an ecological disaster. It is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the burning of fossil fuel for transportation, and results in deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. The grain fed to animals in the United States alone could feed 800 million people. Against this background, what is the best justification we have for inflicting suffering and death on animals?

The answer is simple: we think they taste good. We derive pleasure from eating them. Eating animals and animal products is a tradition, and we have been following it for a very long time.

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