In this series, I am providing answers to some of those incredibly annoying vegan questions we all get asked, sometimes on a daily basis! Stay tuned for more.
“I like to see animals roam,” one of my focus group participants, a meat reducer, explained. This was one reason she didn’t agree with vegetarianism or veganism; she liked seeing animals in the fields.
Another person recently told a friend at a Plant-Based Milk Day event: “You hate cows! You want them all to die!” This was particularly relevant as she was dressed in a cow suit at the time.
Many people falsely believe that if we weren’t using animals for their food and excretions, they would either take over the planet or go extinct.
So, will animals take over the planet if we stop farming them? No. Farmed animals are artificially inseminated at rapid rates that lead to immense suffering and health problems. This is how we are able to raise over 75 billion land animals a year to kill for food. If left to reproduce at their own, natural rates, these numbers would be exponentially smaller. Don’t believe me? Here’s just one of the many handy guides available on the internet for how to artificially inseminate a cow.
Ok, so if animals won’t take over, won’t they go extinct? No! Animals have survived and thrived for billions of years without human assistance. In fact, humans are the number one cause of species extinction. And, as animal agriculture is the number one user of land and a leading contributor to biodiversity loss, we would actually have FEWER species going extinct if we stopped using so much land to raise animals for human food.
The majority of “native” species have gone extinct as breeders favour the same few genetic lines, bred to grow rapidly and in ways that cause huge amounts of suffering. These animals are imprisoned within their own bodies and we need to focus on allowing the many native species rapidly going extinct to thrive by reducing the amount of land used for animal agriculture and reducing the huge toll the industry is placing on the environment.
Stay tuned for more answers to those Annoying Vegan Questions.