I am not a troll. I assure you. I am a vegan. My user name is my real name, and I've been posting my thoughts about various forums hoping to make some radical discourse.
With that being said, I really do believe that our dietary choices do not help animals, and they aren't helping this planet.
Here's the crux of my argument in two parts: Part 1:
There are a few reasons (which I can source) why vegans aren't making any real change or helping animals:
1) >75% of government subsidies go to meat and dairy. I'm not sure how much you know about subsidies, but they also include quotas, which means whether the demand is there or not, the producers must produce. Wheat farmers burn silos, fruit farmers burn piles, and meat factory farmers discard the meat into landfills or other feed. In short, whether you buy it or not, it's coming into existence. The meat you don't buy ends up in the trash.
2) If you've ever worked for a supermarket, ask the meat department how much meat they throw out. The employees go through the store every morning and toss anything that isn't selling or looks "bad". I don't have exact figures, but that's a huge amount of meat. This point ties in directly with point 1). Yes, perhaps the store doesn't profit if you don't buy it, but the meat still exists, and it is now in the trash.
3) Have you ever taken a look at the birth clock? 9,000+ people per hour are born, which far exceeds the death rate. (This is worldwide.) How many of them do you think will actually be vegans? The sheer numbers of omnivores make my personal contribution to abstain matter less and less every single hour.
4) Monocrop culture--whether it's soy that feeds you (or livestock), carrots, apples--whatever--destroys the earth. Agriculture is the problem. In places where crops are now used to be forests and balanced ecosystems. People moved in, clear cut the land, killed or displaced all of the animals, and now are growing one crop. The topsoil is destroyed, so they spray fossil fuels (non-vegan, re: "fossil") on them.
Think about a veggie burger. Clear cut some land to grow the soy and wheat (see point 4). Grow it using fossil fuel machines that spread pollution (not to mention all of the harm made in producing those machines). Harvest, package it, ship it, sell it. All steps involve toxifying the water and air.
Taking these into account--especially points 1 and 2--it really seems like my personal choice to not eat animals is akin to spitting into a forest fire.
In my view, the problem is not factory farming, damaging the environment via agriculture, etc. It's civilization. The ENTIRE system is the problem. Humans moving into an area, building cities, destroying eco systems...
This is why I admire the ALF and ELF so much. They make real change. You and I can not eat meat and hold signs all day, but until somebody gets in there and grabs big companies by the balls will it actually make a difference.
Will not eating cows make more of a difference than burning down slaughterhouses?
Will not eating fish make more of a difference than disabling trawlers?
Will not eating dairy make more of a difference than destroying factory farms and freeing the chickens?
Destroy the institutions, destroy the factories, remove the threats--this is the only way to help the animals. Being vegan
is trying to work within a broken system.
I know; this is the real world. I believe my personal contribution is one of the most effective: I didn't breed. I would never bring a child into this planet, and if you watch National Geographic's The Human Footprint, you'll understand why.
I think the abstinence angle is great to try to make people feel good, but it brings about no real change. Actual, radical action changes things. Part 2:
I have some questions for you.
1) Do you use paper? Do you read papers, send greeting cards, use wrapping paper, read magazines, work in an office...?
Think about the old growth trees that the timber industry clear cut to get paper, or to plant tree farms to harvest it. Do you know what a tree is? It's a little ecosystem with many animals, plants, etc. on, in, and around it. Trees and plants are literally the sustainers of life on earth right behind water and the sun.
I ask you--what are you doing to stop the murder of the trees and all things associated with them?
This goes double for all the wood in your life--furniture, houses, decks, etc.
2) Do you use plastic? Styrofoam? Do you drive a car? What about metals?
Extracting fossil fuels from the earth does so much damage that it's hard to fathom. And that's before BP murders part of the Gulf of Mexico.
Blowing up mountains for your soda cans and aluminum foil, or the cell phones that you upgrade and throw out, or the TV you watch, or the computer that you're on now...
Those things all do TREMENDOUS damage to the earth, yet you are not abstaining from them, nor are you alerting people about the incredible destructiveness of the corporations that make them. For details on this, please see here:
[This forum won't let me post this link.]
3) Do you have any idea how catastrophically one human hurts the world? Do you have children? Why do you not rally against them?
Those three points are just the tip of the iceberg, and every step in all of them involves displacing, exploiting, and murdering humans and animals. All of it. Every scintilla of civilization.
What are you doing to stop it?
Not eating animals is not the answer. Indigenous peoples ate animals, and were easily the most efficient people in history with the smallest carbon footprint.
Vegans have too narrow a focus. You need to broaden your perspective and realize that the entire system in place right now is rotten to the core. Factory farming, vivisection, etc. are all symptoms of this problem. By simply abstaining from animals, you may as well try to kick water uphill.
The thing most vegans fail to realize (see my point on indigenous people) is that we are mammals. We consume. Use toilet paper instead of leaves? Heat your house? Drive your car? Of course. Life today is not possible without these things. Our responsibility is to protect the landbase and the environment from which we take what we need. All of our diets--omni, veg, or vegan--are all unsustainable as they stand. They all murder and torture animals. As vegans, we may be doing less harm, but we still have oceans of blood on our hands.
I ask one more time, as I've yet to get a satisfactory answer: what are you going to do about it? What's happening today can only be described as ecocide. If it doesn't stop soon, there won't be any animals left not to eat.
I am looking for some satisfactory answers from veteran vegans but have yet to receive them.