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An excellent booklet from the Boston Vegan Association which presents the arguments in favour of a vegan diet. It details why vegetarianism isn’t good enough if you really want to protect animals from suffering.
The booklet draws primarily on ideas presented in Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog, written by professor Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law-Newark.
Here are some quotes from the booklet:
There is no morally significant difference between dogs and cats and other animals, e.g. cows, pigs, birds and fish, all of whom also have an interest in not being harmed.
Within about 24 hours of being born, calves
are separated from their mothers, a traumatizing experience for both the cows and their offspring.
“Pigs down on the kill floor have come up and nuzzled me like a puppy. Two minutes later, I had to kill them — beat them to death with a pipe. I can’t care.” Ed Van Winkle, slaughterhouse worker (Gail A. Eisnitz, Slaughterhouse)
To this day, the Humane Slaughter Act, despite extensive activist lobbying, exempts Kosher and Halal slaughter and offers no regulation whatsoever on the slaughter of chickens, turkeys, fish, and rabbits, which means that over 99% of all animals used for food in this country are not even covered.
The value of a sentient life is not measured in its utility to others, but in its immense, irreplaceable value to the being whose life it is. Joanna Lucas (Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary)
What happens to male chicks in the egg industry? Because they are not bred for meat and are unable to lay eggs, over 250 million male chicks are ground up alive, gassed, electrocuted, or suffocated each year.
While vegetarianism may seem like an adequate solution, it is not. As we have seen, both milk and egg production are directly harmful to animals. And as has been established, the only reasons to use dairy and egg products are based in convenience and pleasure.
Becoming vegan will bring your beliefs and your actions into alignment—you will be living in accordance with your belief that it is wrong to harm a sentient being without justification. Most importantly, by becoming vegan you will play a direct role in abolishing animal exploitation and working toward the goal of ensuring that no sentient being is ever harmed merely to satisfy our trivial interests.