I love meat. I love sausage. I love butter, and ice cream and pancakes.
Now, I’m vegan, but I still eat food I love—and I eat great butter and gelato and, yeah, pancakes. I love eating, and I love food.
I went vegan not because I wanted to guilt trip you or anyone, or I think I’m better than anyone, but because I don’t think I’m so much better than animals that they ought to suffer and die for me. But we’ve all heard all that.
I went vegan because vegetarianism is the same thing, just less so, as meat eating—if we eat dairy, we create veal. If we eat eggs, we kill chicks.
The blog that finally turned me vegan, 2.5 years ago? After 9 years of being vegetarian.
“Virtually all hens in commercial egg operations—whether cage or cage-free—come from hatcheries that kill all male chicks shortly after hatching. The males are of no use to the egg industry because they don’t lay eggs and aren’t bred to grow as large or as rapidly as chickens used in the meat industry. Common methods of killing male chicks include suffocation, gassing and grinding. Hundreds of millions of male chicks are killed at hatcheries each year in the United States.”
I don’t think vegan is the one and only right way.
Vegans eat palm oil, often, or conventional food with poison on it and poisons our rivers and farmers (and selves), and vegans drive cars and are jerks sometimes.
No one’s perfect.
But that doesn’t mean we should give up. Nihilism, the other extreme from perfectionism, doesn’t do anyone any good.
But let’s not make perfect the enemy of the good.
Some vegans say, if you’re feminist, you gotta be vegan. That sounds like Portlandia-level silliness, but it’s interesting: dairy moms have their children ripped away from them, and are hooked by their raw, bleeding, puss-ful nipples to machines their whole short lives (then they’re killed), and they’re forcibly impregnated all along the way.
So if you aren’t vegan, your understanding of consent is…problematic.
This is the blog that turned me from Vegetarian to Vegan.
When we drink milk, we’re killing cows. When we eat eggs, we’re killing chicks.
If you eat eggs, watch the Video. If you don’t, spare yourself.
Wherever eggs come from, this is what happens to all the male chicks (since they can’t lay eggs).
This is why I became vegan: Greg and others impressed upon me that eating dairy is the same thing, though better (less impact in terms of factory farming, killing) than eating meat.
“Male chicks are of no use to the egg industry,so they are either suffocated in garbage bags with waste, or shoveled together by the hundreds and conveyed into a grinder to be torn apart while still alive.”
Same with cows: thus, the veal industry. If you drink milk, your supply is demanding the killing cows.
“There is, unfortunately, no way to breed eggs that only produce female hens,” said spokesman Head. “If someone has a need for 200 million male chicks, we’re happy to provide them to anyone who wants them. But we can find no market, no need.”
[Different breeds of chickens that are used for eggs and meat. ~ ed.]
They’re also put in carbon dioxide chambers. Saw that on a Jamie Oliver special.
Text from the video at top:
“Thrown, dropped, mutilated, and ground-up alive. This is the disturbing reality faced by hundreds of thousands of chicks each day at the world’s largest egg-laying breed hatchery Hy-Line International in Spencer, Iowa.
New hidden camera footage obtained at this facility during a http://www.MercyForAnimals.org undercover investigation gives a disturbing glimpse into the cruel and industrialized reality of modern hatcheries.
The warm, comforting, and protective wings of these newly hatched chicks’ mothers have been replaced with massive machines, quickly moving conveyor belts, harsh handling, and distressing noise. These young animals are sorted, discarded, and handled like mere cogs in a machine.
For the nearly 150,000 male chicks who hatch every 24 hours at this Hy-Line facility, their lives begin and end the same day. Grabbed by their fragile wings by workers known as “sexers,” who separate males from females, these young animals are callously thrown into chutes and hauled away to their deaths. They are destined to die on day one because they cannot produce eggs and do not grow large or fast enough to be raised profitably for meat. Their lives are cut short when they are dropped into a grinding machine tossed around by a spinning auger before being torn to pieces by a high-pressure macerator.
Over 21 million male chicks meet their fate this way each year at this facility.
For the surviving females, this is the beginning of a life of cruelty and confinement at the hands of the egg industry. Before even leaving the hatchery they will be snapped by their heads into a spinning debeaker a portion of their sensitive beaks removed by a laser. Workers toss and rummage through them before they are placed 100 per crowded box and shipped across the country.
The callous disregard for animal welfare at this facility is not isolated. In fact, the conditions documented during this investigation are completely standard and acceptable within the commercial egg industry. Referred to by Hy-Line corporate leaders as mere “genetic products,” these chicks are treated just as they are viewed as inanimate objects, rather than the sentient creatures they are.
Driven by consumer demand, the egg industry will continue to exploit, abuse, and kill day-old animals as long as doing so remains profitable. Empowered consumers can put their ethics on the table by choosing kindness over cruelty at each meal by adopting an animal-friendly vegan diet.”
Some comments via Facebook:
Kristi Glaze word.
Timothy Hanley Vegans are pretentious and bad for our farmlands.
Ben Harper alarming video. but, if you are a meat eater, the fact that animals die in the process of producing food, is not really a deal breaker, ya know?
Scott Ely It’s time to render your own meat. Easier said than done, I know.
Vicky Allen Gomez Great- Thanks for sharing such important info! I encourage EVERYONE to watch: “FROM FARM TO FRIDGE” (12 mins “glimpse” into animal agriculture & why a plant-based diet is the most compassionate way to go). “EARTHLINGS” (90 mins) is a step further & fantastic documentary. BOTH are on You Tube. BOTH are serious game changers.
Kathy Wnuk You don’t have to be vegan (and vegans are not pretentious, btw) is to get a few backyard chickens and purchase meat locally if you must eat meat. Most meat eaters don’t want to know how their factory farmed chicken/eggs/beef is processed. And most don’t care, as long as the price doesn’t go up. So, sadly, they won’t purchase from a local, organic, humane farm, but from Walmart. I have a few chickens – I purchased them for $2 each, and raised them carefully making sure that they remained healthy. Right now they’re in my yard jumping up and picking blueberries off the bushes. The eggs are amazing, the chickens are happy.
Kathy Wnuk Thanks, Vicky – and don’t forget Food Inc., and excellent documentary with a companion book. http://www.facebook.com/Foodinc
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food indus…See More
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Tom Frascone I love that self-labeled vegans think they’re not harming animals because of their selective lifestyle. Those who preach about their own righteousness while also shunning others for their personal choices are nothing but hypocrites.
The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to live any sort of modern lifestyle without using animal products in some way shape or form, even if you don’t know you’re using them. e.g. Ride in a car? Cars aren’t vegan. Live in a house? Houses aren’t vegan. Use a computer? Computers aren’t vegan. All of these things use natural and synthetic polymers and materials, many of which come from animals in some way (or were treated/processed using animal products). e.g. http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/9-everyday-products-you-didnt-know-had-animal-ingredients.html
Please keep your “vegan” lifestyle choices to yourself – the same way you probably expect religious people to keep their religious choices to themselves – and we’ll keep our non-vegan lifestyle choice to ourselves. No one is forcing you to eat hamburgers, please stop telling me how to live my life. lol
9 Everyday Products You Didn’t Know Had Animal Ingredients
If you thought that by quitting meat or at least going weekday vegetarian you were doing your part to avoid the horrors of factory farming,
Vicky Allen Gomez PLS WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzrRmB40l00
From Farm To Fridge
c’est pour ça on mange que du Halal…
Matt Jisa Veganism REDUCES animal suffering and that is the goal: LESS animal suffering. Vegans are used to heartless, defensive, and irrational comments made by people like Ben Harper and Tom Frascone on this comment thread. We are undeterred. The truth is there is NO down side to being vegan. Every single person on this comment thread would love being vegan.
Vicky Allen Gomez Exactly, Matt. Thank you. Precisely. The GOAL is to lessen global suffering for ALL sentient beings. It’s about bridging the connection & interdependence of all sentient beings. Going Vegan & becoming more aware of what I purchase in regards to ALL products, not just food, has made me happier as well as more compassionate & mindful in my daily choices. And in these very dark times that we all live in, there’s nothing wrong with being a bit more kind to one another & to ALL inhabitants on Earth.
Kristin Otten I think saying that “every single person on this comment thread would love being vegan” is a sweeping overgeneralization. I believe in vegan/vegetarian/omnivore unity! And I was vegan for a year – a well-researched vegan who did all the “right” things. I ended up with many health problems and had to start eating meat (local! organic! humanely raised!). It was difficult but my body thanks me for it. I made the switch after the recommendation of several alternative health care providers encouraged me to do so. I care so deeply about animals still and I had to decide that I am the most important animal in my life, which was a very important realization. I am still aware, compassionate, and mindful about my choices. Isn’t there room for all of us? I don’t “knock” vegans and I don’t appreciate being criticized for my way of eating. I call for unity on all fronts! We are all working hard to do our best.
Helen Stutchbury I agree with Kristin – awareness is the answer, not more boxes to put people in or judge them for. I also agree with LESS animal products, but that is the inevitable result of raising awareness. There is not a one size fits all answer to anything, except this: loving kindness to ALL beings, regardless of what they eat.
Vicky Allen Gomez @ Kristin Otten- Yes, we are all trying to do our best with what we are individually given. But there is nothing “humane” about killing an animal. Period. Free-Range chickens aren’t in battery cages but they are still jammed packed in windowless, dirty & huge sheds, living with broken limbs & infections, etc. The same goes for meat of all kinds that are “organic”. They may be feed organic feed, not feed with GMO’s (70% of ALL American food is genetically modified to suit industry NOT health [except “certified organic”] ) but they are ALL processed by the same slaughterhouses & produces the same amount of CO2 gases, etc. It goes a step further by WATCHING: “MEAT THE TRUTH” on You Tube (environmental effects of meat eating & production) AND “FORKS OVER KNIVES” (health repercussions of eating meat). Yes, we will all choose our own path. Just offering more info & options in order to make critical decisions on how we want to live.
Laira Fonner i love compassionate people!!! yeah!
Kristin Otten Yup! @Vicky – I have watched them. 🙂 I was a very informed vegan and very passionate too. Take good care!
Lisa Lentil ”I don’t feel superior because I’m vegan… the truth is, I’m vegan because I don’t feel superior to anyone”! (Michelle McOwen) Vegan For Life!!! (((♥)))
elephantjournal.com Matt, I’m Vegan—my point is sharing this essential info is precisely what inspired me to change from a 9 year vegetarian to vegan. And perfection isn’t the goal, and vegans aren’t all pretentious, that’s silly generalization!
Now read the blog, commenters!
Veal. If you drink milk, eat cheese…this is what we get. A baby taken from his mother, separated from other calves and isolated without warmth or movement, then killed.
“A calf that will never see his mother again, a calf that cries for her at night. A calf who would love and trust us like any other dog we love so much.
A calf that, if lucky will only live to be 6 months* old in a small pen with little protection from the weather.
A calf who wants to live but instead will have its throat slit within days just so we can drink baby calf fluid from another species. So unnecessary and cruel.
We are all against animal cruelty.
Consider cutting animal products from your lifestyle, it’s much healthier, cheaper, and benefits the earth in more ways than 100.
Go Vegan “
Note, via Alex: “Both dairy and veal calves are kept in these types of crates, the veal calves are kept restrained so that they remain weak and their meat remains tender, and dairy use them to separate mother from baby so that the calf does not drink the milk that is intended for human consumption. From there, when they are old enough to become impregnated, they will follow their mother’s footsteps and in the most likely case, be kept indoors for the rest of they lives chained to machinery, and delivering numerous babies to produce the flow of milk.”