Articles From The Writings of Vasu Murti

I agree with you

You argued: "As you know, many vegetable farms kill small rodents and other mammals in order to obtain vegetables. Funny, I haven't heard you complain about that. Consistent ethics?" You're incorrect, I've stated elsewhere:
"Raising animals for food, even raising animals for animal by-products like milk and eggs, means wasting valuable acreage, because the animals themselves are raised on plant food! If we eat lower on the food chain, fewer resources are required to feed everyone, which means less agricultural acreage, etc., which means fewer rodents and insects are killed when fields are ploughed for farming, etc. Fewer plants are killed, too. If you carry this argument to its logical conclusion, a vegan diet is the least violent, because it requires one-third less acreage than a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet, and twenty times less acreage than a meat-centered diet."

I've also said elsewhere that a return to organic farming is a direct response to the moral issue of unnecessarily killing insects. You also argued: "Of course, if we buy clothing or appliances and we find they mistreat their employees, then we should not buy their products either... You would have more credibility if you also called for the ethical treatment of human beings when obtaining clothing and other articles."
I agree with you. You're taking note of what past president of Feminists For Life and vegan psychology professor Rachel MacNair refers to as "movement connections" -- animal activists finding common ground or forging an alliance with related causes or related movements. As early as 1975, Peter Singer wrote in Animal Liberation: "The environmental movement...has led people to think about our relations with other animals that seemed impossible only a decade ago. To date, environmentalists have been more concerned with wildlife and endangered species than with animals in general, but it is not too big a jump from the thought that it is wrong to treat whales as giant vessels filled with oil and blubber to the thought that it is wrong to treat (animals) as machines for converting grains to flesh."
In the late 1980s, Vegetarian Times reported animal activists were linking the animal rights movement to the civil rights movement and the women's movement. In 1994, my friend Ruth Enero, a Catholic peace activist whom I very much respect, attended an animal rights festival in Los Gatos, California. Ruth told me she attended some of the lectures and heard animal activists discussing forging an alliance with activists involved with the plight of migrant farm workers. Lauren Ornelas of the Food Empowerment Project, based here in the San Francisco Bay Area, campaigns on behalf of children of migrant farm workers and is involved with the animal rights movement forging an alliance with the fair trade movement, which opposes child labor, sweatshops, etc. Animals are like children. It isn't too big a jump from the thought that it's wrong to purchase products involving child labor and sweatshops to the thought that it is wrong to purchase products which involve the suffering and death of animals. Recently, Lauren Ornelas and her organization the Food Empowerment Project have been siding with striking employees at Amy's vegetarian fast food restaurant as well.

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