Category "Reasons to go vegan"

Category "Veg Information and Resources"

May 28, 2005

Concerned about the environment?

There are many great reasons to go vegetarian: health reasons, ethical reasons, and environmental reasons for example.

For some quick facts about vegetarianism and the environment visit Ch-ch-changes.

While you're there explore some of the other things you can do to make this world a better place :)

Posted by john6550 at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | Reasons to go vegan | Veg Information and Resources

Category "Reasons to go vegan"

May 24, 2005

When "Meet Your Meat" met Singer

So putting these two experiences together lead me to the conclusion that I ought to go vegan. By eliminating the use of animal products as much as I possibly could and working to spread the word about animal cruelty, I would be taking steps to reduce animal suffering.

Here's the basic argument that lead me to this conclusion:

1) Most of the animal products that I use come from factory farms
2) Animals suffer in factory farms
3) This suffering matters when I make decisions about what it is right and wrong
4) The suffering experienced by animals in factory farms outweighs the benefit that I get from consuming animal products
5) By refusing to consume animal products, I will be making an effort to reduce animal suffering

When I learned all of this a year and a half ago, I decided to start off by going vegetarian. I stopped eating meat, and pretty soon after that, I reduced my consumption of dairy products and eggs. Now I've decided to be a bit more conscious of what I'm eating, wearing, and buying :)

Posted by john6550 at 11:14 PM | Comments (4) | Reasons to go vegan

Category "Reasons to go vegan"

Meeting my meat

In addition to looking at some of the philosophical arguments having to do with going vegetarian, we also watched a video in class called Meet Your Meat. It's a very graphic video that shows some of the cruelties involved in factory farming. The majority of the footage is of standard industry practices (I'm not sure exactly which clips are not standard; this is something to ask about/investigate).

People might criticize the movie because it is obviously trying to get an emotional reaction out of people (it sure got one out of me!), but there is a lot more to the argument against factory farming than an emotional appeal. This movie is just one piece from a large body of evidence showing that these practices are cruel and unnecessary.

What is important about this video is that it shows people what factory farming looks like and how billions of farm animals suffer every year. By watching this video it became obvious to me that farm animals do indeed suffer!

Posted by john6550 at 10:58 PM | Comments (5) | Reasons to go vegan

Category "Reasons to go vegan"

A philosophical approach

Since I've made the decision to cut all animal products out of my diet, I would like to revisit some of the reasons why I want to do this. I first decided to go vegetarian after taking my first philosophy course, Introduction to Ethics. In this course we looked at some of the arguments that philosophers make about animal rights. I hadn't ever heard arguments for animal rights that were presented in such a rational way. I had only met a couple of vegetarians in my life, and figured that they were just overly sympathetic towards animals, but the readings and class discussions completely changed my opinion.

One of the philosophers we read was Peter Singer. He is a very well-known as a scholar on Utilitarianism. In an excerpt from Practical Ethics called "Equality for Animals?" Singer presents an argument for why we should take the interests of animals into consideration when deciding which actions are right and which are wrong.

Although the philosophical debate about the reasons for and against taking all animals into consideration when making moral decisions seems like it could go on forever, I think Singer brings up some really great points. I really like reading his work. For one thing, it's pretty easy to follow (which is somewhat rare for a philosopher). He also gets his readers to question assumptions that they take for granted.

When is that last time that you thought about why you do or do not eat meat? I, like many people, had never really considered that this was something that could or should be questioned. When confronted with this issue, I could not come up with a satisfying argument to support my meat-eating ways. Saying 'I eat meat because it's natural, or we evolved to eat meat, or it's what we do in our society' isn't enough. Being natural does not necessarily make it morally right. Evolution does not necessarily make it morally right. Society does not necessarily make it morally right.

Singer's philosophical views require people to take the interests of all beings that can experience happiness or suffering into consideration when making moral decisions. Whether or not this is the correct view to have, it challenges us to look at assumptions we often take for granted.

Posted by john6550 at 02:45 PM | Comments (3) | Reasons to go vegan

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