A carnist’s view debunked

Carnist statement:

You do realise that without the use of animals in agriculture we wouldn’t be here right now. Without them our ancestors would not have survived. Cows, sheep, pigs…they have been domesticated over hundreds of years. They can’t just be released into the wild to ‘live free’. I get where you’re coming from, you see the videos produced by animal rights activists and think that what you see is common practice. When in actual fact it probably took hundreds of under cover operations to find the material that was needed to produce one video. Animal agriculture employs hundreds of thousands if not millions of people across the world, and they feed billions of people. What happens to them without access to these animals. You (okay I’m not targeting you personally I mean people of your thinking in general, okay even that didn’t sound right) think that we live in a perfect world where fruits and vegetables and nuts will grow in abundance wherever they are planted and they don’t need water. But the reality is that people around the world rely on cows and goats for example to sustain their family. Land in some parts of the world might be able to sustain animals but it won’t grow food for people. I’m not making excuses for sustaining animal agriculture, I’m trying to give you the facts. And i am sorry if you think otherwise.

Vegan response:
let me address each of your points.

– Although in the past, humans ate some meat due to calorie scarcity, in the developed world today, we have more than enough calories at our disposal, so animals are no longer necessary in our diet. The offic
ial dietetic associations on three continents endorse a vegan diet, and in comparative population studies such as Adventist 2, vegans outlive meat-eaters – so some of us are *not* here because of animal agriculture.

– Unfortunately, every time undercover investigators point a camera at a slaughterhouse, factory farm, auction, or transport operation, they find horrid abuse. There are now thousands of videos showing horrid cruelty all over the world. Moreover, there are many ex-employee accounts and mainstream media investigations that support this. In “Slaughterhouse” by Gail Eisnitz, workers talk about how they beat pigs and watched them writhe in pain in scalding tanks. The Washington Post found that some cows were still alive as they bellies were ripped open and limbs sawed off. The USDA’s own inspection reports reveal that rabbits screamed as blades cut into them. The very nature of some common animal ag practices causes suffering: Chickens are bred to be so top-heavy that some collapse and die before they’re killed at seven weeks old. In turkey breeding facilities, one man holds the struggling turkey down while another forces semen into her. Nose rings that hurt the calf every time she tries to nurse are common in so-called “humane” farms. Pigs’ testicles are cut off without painkillers. Veal calves are stuck in small dark pens. Animals are legally transported in sweltering weather for over 24 hours with no water, rest, or food. I could go on and on. Even on small farms investigators find injured animals receiving no care, sometimes starving to death – the sanctuary where I volunteer has rescued some of them. It is horrid an a hundred ways and I dearly hope some of this causes you to rethink your diet.

– There will be no loss of employment if everyone goes vegan. We’ll still need farmers to create food. There may be a drop in heart surgeon job openings, I admit.

– In some areas of the world, they still need animal products. But not here. Also, animal agriculture sometimes greatly disrupts local populations and worsens huger problems. In Ethiopia, much of their staple teff crop has been taken over by feedcrops fed to animals that are killed and exported to the West. 70 percent of the destroyed Amazon – home to indigenous human populations as well as thousands of species – are being used for cattle ranching and feedcrops. The UN, the Worldwatch Institute, and a growing number of public health agencies urge us to reduce our meat consumption in order to feed a growing human population, because plant foods are more efficient. The biggest user of water in drought-stricken California is alfalfa that is fed to cattle.

Virtually all animals raise for their flesh, milk, or eggs are bred to grossly overproduce – which causes chronic and acute health problems – and are killed very young. Most are denied a mother or pulled from her very early – causing pain and distress for both mother and child. I’ve gotten to know many rescued farmed animals at the sanctuary – they are beautiful beings who want to live.

There are many compelling reasons to replace animal products in one’s diet (and wardrobe). I hope this is food for thought.

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