Shouldn’t we focus on solving human problems before worrying about animals?
There is a train of thought that caring about animals will help solve human problems. When society values life, and children are taught that killing is wrong, this has a great social impact.
Soldiers who have killed or committed genocide, for example SS guards at Nazi concentration camps, often reported thinking of their victims as “just animals.” Historically, “black” people were thought to be a different species to “white” people, and therefore no better than animals - hence they were enslaved.
It is thought amoung the macrobiotic community (and I have to confess that I don’t know of any hard scientific evidence for this) that eating meat makes people more aggressive and violent.
Social problems have been linked to increased consumption of hydrogenated fats in underpriviledges areas, and there is an established link between certain preservatives and behavioural disorders in children. Whilst these are not a direct result of eating meat and dairy, they are a result of eating processed food, which tends to be non-vegan.
Of course, we should remember that Hitler was vegetarian…
In any case, eating vegan/vegetarian is a relatively easy, small step to take on the path to solving the rest of the world’s problems
Becky, I’ve read about some experiments on pigeons. A group was feed with vegan stuff and another group with boiled meat.
The second group was very aggressive in the end. But I don’t know how true is this, can’t find any proof at the moment. And it doesn’t imply that humans would react the same way.
I believe that there is a psychological factor to it though… I don’t have butcher friends, but I have seen people from villages that grow and in the end kill their animals, they develop a kind of cruelty, that if put in specific circumstances can be easily applied toward humans.
Veganism rise the moral standards for the entire humanity. It’s not only for animals, we humans need it even more. Our science advances much faster then our ethics does, which may lead to our auto destruction in the future…
There are indeed many dire human problems which need immediate attention. However, becoming a vegetarian does not in any way take away from our ability to address these problems. On the contrary, since a vegetarian diet is less expensive than one which includes meat, this leaves people with more money to spend on the issues which they believe are the most important.
Also, eating a vegetarian diet directly helps reduce world hunger. Only a small fraction of the food which is consumed by an animal is converted into meat for human consumption. If the land which grows food for livestock was instead used to grow crops consumed directly by humans, then far more food would be available for the world’s poor.
Aside from the issue of vegetarianism, there is also the issue of the money people spend on animals. I believe that it is indeed appropriate to criticize the way in which the citizens of affluent countries choose to spend their money. However, criticism of money spent on the alleviation of animal suffering is not what should be coming to mind.
People routinely spend money on items such as expensive cars and jewelry, when this money can instead be given to organizations such as UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund). Instead of criticizing money spent on animals, we should try to remember our concern for global human poverty when deciding if to purchase a new TV or go on an expensive vacation.
This reminds me of something I saw in a booklet by vegan outreach.
“Those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests… When non-vegetarians say that “human problems come first” I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.” – Peter Singer Animal Liberation, 1990.
Sorry if it sounds a bit harsh…
We are animals, too!
In fact if we had such a good body intellect as animals, we would be ill very few times in our lifetime. Animals in the wild, even pets taken good care of providing them essential greens, omega 3 oils get sick very rarely. They know what to eat and how to live to savor their life and being.
Animal and human welfare goes hand in hand. In fact, we should not even solve any animal problems. We should liberate them, do not keep in zoos, circus, do not use them in any way (skin, work…), do not eat them more importantly, and not take away or pollute their homes-oceans, seas, rivers, forests, jungles, meadows! And they would live their life in wild in harmony with nature.
Of course, no more farms and livestock!
Animals do not have problems, people do!