Wesley Smith poses an ethical dilemma for those who shun meat for moral purposes. He points out that more animals are killed harvesting the food supply for vegetarians than are killed providing the food supply for carnivores.
I love such ironies. But then irony is one of those things listed in Stuff That White People Like.
from National Review Online
Veganism Is Murder
If God didn’t want us to eat cows, he wouldn’t have made them out of steak.
By Wesley J. Smith
But life is never that simple: Plant agriculture results each year in the mass slaughter of countless animals, including rabbits, gophers, mice, birds, snakes, and other field creatures. These animals are killed during harvesting, and in the various mechanized farming processes that produce wheat, corn, rice, soybeans, and other staples of vegan diets. And that doesn’t include the countless rats and mice poisoned in grain elevators, or the animals that die from loss of habitat cleared for agricultural use.
Moreover, even if the relative number of animals killed were the morally decisive issue, veganism might not be the most ethical solution. In 2001, S. L. Davis of the Department of Animal Sciences at Oregon State University, Corvallis, wrote a paper claiming that the diet most likely to result in the deaths of the fewest animals would be beef, lamb, and dairy — not vegan. Davis found a study that measured mouse population density per hectare in grain fields both before and after harvest and estimated a harvest casualty rate of ten mice per hectare. Then, he multiplied that figure by 120 million hectares of farmland in the U.S.; meaning that 1.2 billion mice would die each year in food production if America became a wholly vegan country. Next, he estimated the number of animals that would be killed if half of our fields were dedicated to raising grass eating forage animals (cows, calves, sheep, lambs, etc.) from which to obtain meat. He found that there would Be 300,000 fewer animal deaths (.9 billion) annually from such an omnivorous diet than the number of deaths (1.2 billion mice) that would be caused from a universal vegan diet.
hko comments- I have always noticed that consuming meat assures their existence, particularly if the meat source is raised for consumption. There is no cow or chicken on the endangered species list.