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To ask what vegetarianism achieves?

(138 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 11-Jul-18 19:54:58

Lots of threads about being veggie/vegan at the moment.

It's got me thinking - does being veggie or vegan have a direct positive influence on animal welfare? I can totally understand people's reasons for not eating meat or animal products, but are fewer animals killed as a result?

I understand that there is already huge wastage in meat production. Will meat production go down if there are enough vegetarians?

ICanOnlyLaugh Wed 11-Jul-18 19:56:28

Will meat production go down if there are enough vegetarians?

Is that a serious question? You’ve heard of supply and demand, right?

That sounds snarky but I don’t mean to be horrible.

busybarbara Wed 11-Jul-18 19:57:15

Of course it does unless meat eaters deliberately buy more to compensate which they don't. If demand for meat goes down 10% the supply eventually does too. It happened with beef in the 90s with the scare but lamb and chicken went up.

starzig Wed 11-Jul-18 20:00:36

I wonder if the cost will just go down to encourage more sales to non-veggies to make up. In turn this cost cutting may actually be negative to animal welfare

Dancergirl Wed 11-Jul-18 20:01:20

Yes of course I understand supply and demand but as I said there is already huge wastage. Much more meat is produced than is needed.

Has the number of vegetarians increased in recent years?

VioletCharlotte Wed 11-Jul-18 20:03:23

Being vegetarian makes me feel better about myself. I love animals so don't want to eat them. And I can't bear the way they're factory farmed and slaughtered. I also believe my gut is healthier for not having rotting meat inside it.

My preference would be to be vegan, but I haven't been able to give up dairy without feeling awful. I'm trying to do it very gradually.

littlepeas Wed 11-Jul-18 20:05:14

I think the number of vegans has certainly increased, not sure about vegetarians/pescatarians. Meat production is also one of the worst things for the environment, so many vegans and vegetarians hope to have a positive affect on that too.

henpeckedinchief Wed 11-Jul-18 20:07:01

Vegetarianism and veganism have both increased significantly in the last 20 years.

Something to remember is that it's not just about the animals actually killed for their meat. It's animals killed through loss of habitat to make space to grow grain used to feed farm animals as well. Acres and acres of virgin Amazon rainforest are cut down daily to make room for fields growing cereal crops fed to beef cattle. Which means huge numbers of rainforest dwellers killed as a result of the meat industry.

The meat industry is also hugely detrimental to the environment, and a warming planet and rising sea levels are already having devastating consequences for polar bears, many species of whale, and many species of dolphin.

KirstenRaymonde Wed 11-Jul-18 20:09:01

Yes vegetarianism is on the increase, and meat consumption is going down in the UK. Unfortunately it’s going up in other parts of the world as developing countries get wealthier, so globally there isn’t a drop. But even in the simplest terms, the more people choosing the vegetarian option, the less meat being sold, fewer animals are suffering and the environment is hopefully suffering less damage.

As a pescatarian (mostly vegan day to day but technically pescatarian) even if it doesn’t make a huge difference, I know I’m not participating in that cruelty. In the same way as I think it’s wrong to hit people, so I don’t hit people, I think the meat industry is wrong so I don’t want to be involved in it.

KarmaStar Wed 11-Jul-18 20:11:15

What do you think it is achieving @dancergirl?
It is a world wide problem eating meat.it is completely draining the world food resources.
Factory farming is extremely cruel.As is live transport of animals.
May i,with all due courtesy,direct you to Compassion In World Farming.have a look at their information pages,this should answer all your questions.smile

kayakingmum Wed 11-Jul-18 20:11:17

I think there has to be wastage by the nature of the business. I'm not very good at putting things into words but say 70kg of animal is wasted for every 100kg of animal produced, more vegetarians wouldn't mean there is more wasted (as they wouldn't be eating the 70kg of trotters and brain and anything else we don't want to eat that is currently wasted). I don't know if that makes sense.

EustaciaPieface Wed 11-Jul-18 20:15:03

For me, it’s a clear conscience and the ability to sleep well at night. If it has a wider impact - and I believe that it does - then all the better.

Dancergirl Wed 11-Jul-18 20:16:16

Factory farming is extremely cruel.As is live transport of animals

Is there any change afoot with farming methods? What will it take for cruel farming methods to be gone?

Dancergirl Wed 11-Jul-18 20:17:50

For me, it’s a clear conscience and the ability to sleep well at night

You see this is what I don't understand. Whilst so much animal cruelty goes on, how can anyone who cares about animals sleep at night regardless of what they eat or don't eat?

StormcloakNord Wed 11-Jul-18 20:22:22

I've never understood people who are vegetarians for animal welfare/conscience reasons but not vegan.

The dairy industry is a lot worse on the environment/animal welfare than the meat industry is.

Just makes no sense to me. I'm neither, I eat meat because I like it.

nomoremrsniceguy Wed 11-Jul-18 20:27:04

I don't understand meat eaters. I've never looked at a piece of meat and been in any way enticed. I just don't get why anyone would eat it. I've had a lifetime of people challenging my motive to be veggie. At least these days it's not unusual but in the 80s and 90s it was very isolating.

StormcloakNord Wed 11-Jul-18 20:29:13

@nomoremrsniceguy do you not feel the same about milk? Or cheese? Or chocolate?

Windmyonlyfriend Wed 11-Jul-18 20:30:49

Whilst so much animal cruelty goes on, how can anyone who cares about animals sleep at night regardless of what they eat or don't eat?

Yes, there’s still a great deal of cruelty and it makes me sad, but I feel better in myself knowing that that cruelty is not perpetrated because of any demand of mine.

treeinthedistance Wed 11-Jul-18 20:45:47

Whilst so much animal cruelty goes on, how can anyone who cares about animals sleep at night regardless of what they eat or don't eat?

Agree that the world is full of cruelty that needs to be addressed, but it doesn't mean that vegetarianism isn't a valid choice.

If I give as much money as I can afford to the NSPCC each month, there'll still be plenty of children in the world who need help, but it doesn't mean that the donations don't count or that nobody benefits.

You can't always help everyone but you might be able to help someone.

Dancergirl Wed 11-Jul-18 20:52:52

That's very true tree and yes of course vegetarianism is a valid choice. But is it enough to stop animal cruelty?

MissMarplesKnitting Wed 11-Jul-18 20:54:53

Possibly not.

For example, soy plantations are responsible for much rainforest destruction too. Ditto palm oil.

henpeckedinchief Wed 11-Jul-18 20:59:02

It isn't a choice between stopping all animal cruelty forever or actively participating in cruelty.

I know animal cruelty will never be wiped out completely. But I can choose to control how much of that cruelty is perpetrated on my behalf. And it does make me feel better to know that animals aren't dying on my account and that I'm hugely reducing my carbon footprint.

treeinthedistance Wed 11-Jul-18 21:00:59

No of course it isn't enough to stop animal cruelty in its entirety? But that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing or that it doesn't make any difference at all. Rome wasn't built in a day...

Nixee2231 Wed 11-Jul-18 21:04:50

I look at a piece of chicken and i see the dead animal not an anonymous piece of meat. I can’t imagine eating it any more than I can imagine eating my dog.

StormcloakNord Wed 11-Jul-18 21:10:01

But do you drink milk Nixee?

I don't know why I ever ask this question. Every single thread about vegetarianism I ask this question on it gets ignored.

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