Welcome to week three of our myth-bustin’ series on veganism. Today we’ve got some goodies!
OK. I’ll admit. I was guilty of believing this one for years. I had excuse after excuse on why I didn’t need to go vegan—I mean, it didn’t hurt the cow, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here’s the truth: female cows produce milk for the same reason women do—for their babies. Cows must be recently pregnant to produce milk, and on dairy factory farms, they’re forcibly impregnated on devices called “rape racks” … yep, sounds pleasant. Babies born into the dairy industry are ripped from their mothers soon after birth, and the mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. Using genetic manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, factory farmers force cows to produce about 10 times as much milk as they would naturally. If you’re against rape or violence, you shouldn’t drink milk. Period.
Yeah—OK. Lions, tigers, bears, and other animals are true carnivores, and they kill to survive. They don’t systematically farm humans, mutilate us, take their frustrations out on us, and kill us in the most awful, horrific ways possible simply because they like the way we taste. Humans don’t need meat to survive—in fact, humans are healthier when we don’t eat animals. We lack the teeth, intestines, and stomach acidity (in addition to other differences) that true carnivores have. We eat animals out of convenience, ignorance, and apathy—not necessity.
People who don’t want to give up their bad habit of eating dead flesh love to throw this one out. They desperately want to look past the statistic that 97-99% of all animal products come from factory farmed animals and think about this one, hypothetical, imaginary small farm somewhere where all of the animals are skipping happily through huge fields and dying “humanely.” The simple fact is that small farms are very few and far between, and factory farming standards (where male chicks are ground up alive, mother pigs are kept in crates so small they can never lie down, and where male piglets are castrated without any painkillers) are the cold reality for animals killed for food.
I don’t know where this comes from, but a lot of non-vegans seem to think that vegans were born that way. I know I wasn’t—and I don’t know anyone who was (aside from a few kids of PETA staffers!). I ate meat for 16 years and the whole time considered myself an “animal lover.” I loved the taste of meat, ate steak once a week, and downed chickens and turkeys like nobody’s business. But then I learned that there are things that are more important than my taste buds—especially now when going vegan doesn’t even mean giving up any of your fave foods, just eating vegan versions of them. It’s OK that we used to eat meat (we didn’t know any better), but once you know, you either become a part of the problem of part of the solution. Which are you?
Comment below with a myth you’ve heard and we’ll pick some to feature next week on the peta2 blog!