Posts Tagged ‘factory farming’

A philosophical discussion of vegan food production

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

I posted this video yesterday in my group, Negotiation is Over — a group I created based on zero tolerance for animal abuse and exploitation — with a caption that read in part “I fully support this.” I expected to have my colleagues jump on me for advocating degrees of animal slavery (and they rightfully did), but I was looking for something else. I was looking for a deeper understanding and discussion of how we get our vegan food, an acknowledgement that none of us is pure. And I’m afraid that putting personal purity above practicality is antithetical to everything for which I stand.

I saw someone say that they would not rescue a cat because a cat is an obligate carnivore. Having such a responsibility for a cat – an animal that humans chose to domesticate and who is now dependent on us! – would interfere with his veganism. Well, if vegan purity takes precedence over saving an animal’s life, this is not a form of veganism that I acknowledge or would even waste my energy trying to understand.

In 2012, I spent just under 2 weeks handcuffed, shackled, and sealed inside a dark claustrophobic tomb (i.e., extradition). I thought I was going to die. Having survived, I am grateful for having had the privilege of glimpsing the world from the vantage point of a factory-farmed animal who spends his or her life in intensive confinement. My experiences have disabused me of any sanctimony. I no longer have the luxury of operating on any other level that one of absolute honesty — no matter how inconvenient.

I have the word “vegan” tattooed on my back. I am proud of who I am and what I believe. But that word only means I try to do the least harm. The mass produced vegan food I buy is fertilized with factory farm waste. If I buy from local farmers’ markets, I know that they are also imprisoning and murdering sentient beings, their waste most likely having gone to fertilize my produce.  I would never suggest that it’s okay to keep a slave as long as they’re treated well, which is essentially what I was doing in advocating this video. So which of our options is most vegan? The truth is that I don’t know. And I saw no solutions offered. I am offended by the use of the oxen, but buying vegan food that is dependent on factory farming disturbs me even more. I think I am a philosophical primitivist; I would starve if I were an actual one.

Would I risk my life or freedom to liberate the oxen from Sivarami Swami? Hell no. Would I risk my life or freedom to liberate a victim from a vivisection lab or factory farm? Any day of the week. I guess that’s where my purity lies.