Are Animals As Innocent As Vehement Vegans Vow?

Another week, another argument with vegans. Reading this blog you could suppose that I spend all my time arguing with the no-meat brigade. Thankfully it’s not that common – it’s just that it always seems to inspire another blog post.

Why arguing is pointlessThis time it was a particularly vehement vegan (VV?) who insisted that I was a rapist and murderer because I work in the animal science industry. It’s not the first time I’ve heard those claims – indeed, I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a vegan argument flow chart out there (see below, click to enlarge), as all the conversations seem to follow the same pattern and use similar (if not identical) phrases.

Vegan flow chartDon’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that the power of my mighty tweets will help these hapless vegans see the light and immediately go out for a steak. I have absolutely no problem with anybody being vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, fruitarian, or whatever their dietary and ethical choices are. I respect those choices, even more so because I used to be a vegan myself (As a side-note, I was told by VV that it’s not possible to be an ex-vegan, so I obviously wasn’t a “real” vegan in the first place.) However, I do have an issue with being called a rapist* and murderer, particularly a murderer of “innocent animals”. So please, let’s stop the cute, fluffy, anthropomorphic nonsense. If somebody really thinks they know what it feels like to be a cow, maybe they need professional help, rather than arguments on twitter.

Yes, animals are killed to produce meat. If you have a problem with that then perhaps you should indeed consider being vegetarian or vegan. But are animals innocent? Not in the pure, clean-living, non-malicious sense of the word. Consider the billions of predatory animals who murder other (innocent?) animals every single day for food. Consider the penguin. Or more specifically, the penguin prostitute, who will offer sex to single male penguins in exchange for stones with which to build her nest. Consider the male mouse, lion, or hanuman langur (Old World monkey) who practice infanticide – killing entire litters of their mate’s offspring if they suspect that they are not the father. Consider homosexual necrophiliac ducks, who will repeatedly rape a dead male mallard. Even on the farm it’s not all peace and love – the top-ranking cow in the hierarchy gets first pick of the feed and the best mattress to lie on. Why? Because animals aren’t innocent. It’s a good marketing trick to show cute little baby animals that tug at our heartstrings and make us think twice about eating the cheeseburger, but animals are no more innocent than we are.

CarnistThe ultimate vegan insult is one of “carnism” – literally the opposite of veganism (as in carn- or carne-, latin for meat), which includes the theory that that meat-eaters practice speciesism in considering themselves to be superior to animals. Yet by decrying the murder practiced by so many animal species, aren’t vegans the epitome of speciesism? On a higher plane by virtue of a cruelty-free life? Let’s get real. To quote Alfred, Lord Tennyson: “Tho Nature, red in tooth and claw…” – a world where every life is sacred and cruelty does not exist is not a description of planet earth, and if it was, there’s every chance that we humans would have been wiped out eons ago.

*Cows are not raped. The definition of rape is “Unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.” and, as any dairy farmer will tell you, a cow will not stand to be served unless she is in heat (estrus). Trying to rape a dairy cow would be an exercise in futility.

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22 thoughts on “Are Animals As Innocent As Vehement Vegans Vow?

  1. Great post. One of my answers to the questions of why I eat meat from animals I raised is that “We feed them, they feed us.” Whole circle of life thing. I also ran into some arguments from VVs during the beginning of the #farm365 campaign. I was called a rapist and a murderer and told I should be ashamed. I also was asked, “Who put you in charge of Mother Nature?” I blogged about the entire conversation and then wrote another post about the communication lessons learned from it. For the second post, I found a Carnism Bingo graphic and checked several of the boxes off throughout the conversation without even trying. Guess that shows we’re being partly consistent?

    My logic about speciesism was similar to yours, I think: “What about lions and wolves and such? I really don’t understand why there’s a difference. If everyone is equal, and nothing should be dying, why let the lions kill the gazelles? Wolves kill cattle? Coyotes kill sheep? Why are we not defending the livestock against the wolves if we are defending them against humans, who, according to the belief on which speciesism is founded, are equal to the wolves?” (https://indfarmsoul.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/comm-lessons-from-twitter-bingo-cows/)

    All this attacking kinda boggles my mind.

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  2. The vegan “argument’ that dairy is rape is so incredibly dehumanizing to women. Literally reducing them to livestock which is something feminists have always fought against. I find veganism classist as well. It is challenging to be a low income vegan in developed countries and be able to get all the nutrients you need. I don’t believe lifestyle activism is a very meaningful thing.

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  3. I am afraid that many of the militant vegans are folks that know about animals from Disney movies. I used to show, train and breed Irish Setters. I say my dogs do wonderful things, and I also learned that they would try to kill an elderly dog. Luckliy for Gypsy, she survived and I had to really enforce MY rules to keep her safe.

    We are a part of nature, we are not herbivores, we are omnivores and such meat is and should be a part of our diet.

    I don’t mind folks being vegan, just don’t insult me because I have not joined your ‘religion’.

    I would rather be a cow on an American farm, even one being raised for slaughter than a wildebeest or a zebra in Africa. I will eat well, have care if I am injured, shelter and a quick and painless death.

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  4. Fantastic post I am from Australia and have worked in the dairy industry and loved it but have gone back home to help my family with racing greyhounds the whole industry in Australia is under attack at the moment by Animals Australia etc as a minority in our industry have been caught using live animals to encourage their dogs to kill, this is a disgusting act and these people deserve to be thrown in prison. But as a whole the industry is being branded but now we are being attacked to stop our cruel exploit of greyhounds and that we force them to run and that they really are only couch potatoes that prefer to sleep their life away, yes they do like to sleep but they also LOVE to run and fast. Just an aside I know from your post but just bought home how unfounded their arguments and so called FACTS are.

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    • Are you then suggesting that we should not help a cow (or sheep) to give birth when she has a calf that’s backwards or lying awkwardly? Presumably better to leave both cow and calf to die a painful death than to “rape” the cow by inserting a hand? You missed the sexual component (I’ve yet to find an AI technician who finds AI-ing a cow sexually alluring) and the fact that the cow can neither consent nor object, thus it cannot be rape.

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  6. On our ranch, we sometimes have cattle drives of pairs. It is ideal if all cows and calves know where each other are at all times. A little distance or any corner will result in an excessive number of calves and a few cows at the back of the herd. Eventually, a cow will come back looking for her calf. It is common for her to push between pairs causing other caves to get lost. After listening to predator-prey opinions on livestock handling, I have decided that cows think that it is quite okay to throw somebody else’s calf to the wolf simply because they have no idea where there own baby is.

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  7. Rape is exactly what it is … what else do you call sticking a fist up a cows vagina? Of-course it is euphemistically called forced “artificial insemination”, much like how “bacon” is used instead of pig flesh, “eggs” for hen periods and “honey” for bee vomit. Anyhow, even if one were to accept the spurious claim that the cow doesn’t mind, or even wants it, inevitably the baby will soon be stolen so if it ain’t rape, it’s certainly kidnapping – [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYJPbrxdn8w ] Oh and let’s not forget about that exploitation of their secretions and killing to eat their flesh part. Apart from these and other blunders -such as the Naturalistic fallacy you are appealing to, great article!

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