Over their dead bodiesMind, the matter here is not about the fact that a large number of "vegetarians" are in fact pseudo-vegetarians. Nor is it about the non-alimentary aspects – i.e. those not relating to nutrition (there are certainly vegetarians who avoid leather, for example). And those that are so speciesist as to mistreat and kill cattle and chickens for their food, of course care even less about what happens to bees in order to obtain their honey (more on this can be found under "Bee vomit – facts about honey, wax, and other bee products", http://maqi.de). This text therefore deals exclusively with the deadly consequences of egg and milk consumption.
The excuses that the vegetarians try to use to justify themselves when confronted, exceptionally, with the consequences of their actions, are as unacceptable as they are diverse. These excuses are also used alarmingly often by vegans, to cover for vegetarians. Many of these are similar to those used by corpse-eaters. Some are listed here:
- "I'm on the way to becoming vegan." Those that use this bogus argument (many say this for years, and there is no end in sight for them) are shying away from their responsibilities, and must remind themselves that every step on this path leads over dead bodies. Anyone who claims to reject the killing and mistreatment of animals must refrain from this. They – either knowingly or recklessly – kill and mistreat animals, and in fact, with immediate effect, those "on the way to becoming vegan" – for ethical reasons – cannot continue to gradually torture those animals a little nicer, kill a little less, but should instead cease trampling down animals as they continue along this path, and take a leap instead.
- "The road to veganism is almost always through vegetarianism." See above. Any vegetarian, who initially consumed animal products out of ignorance, must desist as soon as the results of his actions become clear to him – one reason why vegetarians must be told as clearly as it is possible.
- "Vegetarians and vegans must pull together for the sake of animal welfare." It is counterproductive to fight the mistreatment of animals alongside people who inevitably cause animal cruelty and murder as a result of their (non-vegan) actions. No one would have come up with the idea that, to fight racism, they should "pull together" with racists that "only" have a problem with Africans, for example, and not members of European ethnic groups. The problem is precisely that vegetarians do pull together with another group, however not with the vegans, but against them – with the other animal exploiters.
- "You can't live 100% vegan." That depends on how you define "vegan". If this is taken to mean the "free of animal products" (recursive, including the lives of those that are involved in the production process, including accidents in transportation, etc.), then this – especially in a non-vegan society – is not actually practical. However, a meaningful definition is used – the avoidance of that which is avoidable, and scrambled eggs, leather jackets, and cheesy pizzas are simply to be avoided – it is more than possible to live 100% vegan, just by avoiding all that is avoidable, not contrary to better knowledge or negligence and without the presentation of an ethical dilemma surrounding the consumption of milk-based soya yoghurts, cookies containing egg, or pizza margherita, or wearing clothes manufactured from skin, etc. However, even if it were not possible to live completely vegan, would be just as poor a justification for consuming avoidable non-vegan products as it would be to say that, because it is impossible to save everyone caught in a flood area, it would be justifiable to not help a single person, or help even more to drown.
- "We should not discourage others by making too radical demands." Yes, let us discourage others. Let us discourage them from that which they do to torture and kill animals. We must make everyone realise what they are responsible for. To accept their ethically irresponsible actions would be to leave them with the false sense of security that they are not doing anything wrong. We must show and continue to show them the corpses for which they are responsible. Attacking them with buds of cotton wool (or, as is often stipulated, simply "show by example") is proving futile, they will only wake up – if ever – when they are hit in the face with a wet towel. After the Second World War, it was not without reason that the inhabitants of the villages surrounding the concentration camps were forced to gaze upon the piles of corpses within.
- "But a lot less animals are killed for vegetarians." Apart from the fact that this statement has no universal validity – a vegetarian who eats (for an abstract example) spinach and a single egg every day, kills twice as many chickens as a non-vegetarian, who aside from that spinach, devours one dead chicken every year – it is of course absurd. Who would let off a murderer that only kills on Sundays, because they have improved, and now, rather than murdering one child every day, as before, they only kill one child per week? Every single animal that suffers and dies for a vegetarian’s consumption of egg or milk is an individual, a being whose birth, life (or vegetation) and death cannot be accounted for by ticking things off on any kind of tally sheets.
- "Then I might just as well eat meat again." This apparent resignation when faced with their own inadequate and inconsistent actions is a variant of the bogus argument illustrated above. "Then," the child murderer would argue, "I can just kill someone every day again."
- "I could not live without cheese." This only applies, if ever, when said by someone that is stranded on a desolate island with no hope of salvation, and nothing else at their disposal. Otherwise it means nothing more than to place something as ridiculous as a supposedly irreplaceable pleasure (and even if there were no vegan alternatives, this would be unacceptable) above something as fundamental as the life of another individual.
- "I only drink milk from the farmers that I know personally..." – if a cynical objection is permitted here, then would it not be the farmer's wife’s milk? But of course, human milk is not what is meant by this, but rather the milk of the non-human mammals exploited on the behalf of the vegetarians – "...where the animals are not tortured and spend all summer long in the pasture." Aside from the fact that even this necessitates the mistreatment of animals through intensive breeding (the quantity of milk produced by a normal cow to feed her calf is negligible) and killing (of the cow – long before the natural end of her life – just like the calves) for the sake of profit, exactly as it is with eggs, it is usually, and it must be said plainly, an outright lie: there are very few vegetarians, which are only ovo-lacto-vegetarian within their own homes, but vegan outside it (on the contrary, many do it the other way around, out of convenience). This means that in canteens, refectories restaurants, trains, airplanes, etc., they consume egg products which most likely do not originate from a "free range" environment (which would also not be free of animal suffering), and instead would originate from battery hens, and the same applies to dairy products (as well as for processed dairy and egg products which they consume at home, if they do not come from their fictitious, fairytale farmers). For the record, vegetarians generally tend to "compensate" for the supposedly "missing meat" in their diet through eggs, cheese, etc., and consume these in quantities that are larger than average. If they still insist that these kind farmers in particular would never think of killing an animal, then it becomes completely absurd. None of these vegetarians will be able to present this idyllic farm, on which a group of hens, many of them so old that they hardly produce eggs anymore, living together with just as many cocks as there are hens, not murdered immediately upon hatching, their male siblings, and there they enjoy this "charity". This is because the facts of their behavioural biology make this fundamentally impossible. A farmer who neither kills calves nor cows, if starting from a single cow, would end up with 5,000 cattle twenty years later, when this original cow dies of old age. Of the 5,000, a large number will be producing declining amounts of milk, whilst half will provide him with no profit at all on account of their gender. Back to the real world.
- "I do not tell vegans that they should eat cheese, so they should not tell me what to do." Here, they suggest a non-existent symmetry. Rather than the matter of whether someone likes broccoli or not, wears a shirt or jumper, or indeed whether one carries out a sex change or stays with their original gender (putting sheep wool and non-vegan medication aside, for the sake of argument), this is simply not a private matter, but a life-or-death decision for the victims concerned. This would be similar to the reasoning of a human murderer defending his continued desire to kill humans on the grounds that he does not tell those that do not murder humans that they must commit murder.
- And so now there only remains the final confession of argumentative failure, the supposedly ethical reason for vegetarianism unmasked: "It just tastes good."
July 19, 2010