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Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Vegetarianism: Consumer Activism and Economics

Many people are abhorred by some of the modern and inhumane methods by which animals are farmed and the conditions that they're subject to. It is honourable to wish to reduce the suffering of animals. It is good to insist that animals are farmed in ethical and compassionate ways. However, I think it is far better to support humane animal farming by buying meat produced by humane methods, rather than avoiding meat altogether. The massive meat industry is not affected by such passive vegetarian non-consumption protests. But if market forces dictate that ethical production methods sell better, the meat industry does listen. If you are morally concerned about the welfare of animals, as you should be, it is better to buy meat farmed ethically than it is to shun meat altogether, because that makes the entire market swing towards ethical methods and has a bigger impact than resorting to (self-harming) vegetarian protest.

The Economist magazine's special report (2006) explained that buying meat from those conforming to ethical standards is more effective at changing the industry than simply abstaining from meat altogether - "consumption, rather than non-consumption" is "far more likely to produce results" according to Ian Bretman of Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) International, the Fairtrade umbrella group.

Added to: "Vegetarianism: Consumer Activism and Economics" by Vexen Crabtree.

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I was a vegetarian for a while. My health suffered, and I discovered that I need a minimal amount of meat to remain healthy. I don't eat huge amounts of it, but I do feel better. I have to avoid most dairy because I am allergic to casein and lactose.

I garden, and get fresh veggies that way- especially tomatoes. And I get a lot of my meat from my sister's shop, which is a meat market. I joke that I get to eat her 'misteaks'.

I suppose that I look at the impact of vegetarianism and veganism in a different way than most: where do the veggies and specialty foods come from? Are they locally produced, or are they shipped in from afar? Often, that is where the price of vegetariansim/veganism exceeds that of omnivores. I am not saying that being an omni is superior, but if the critters come from a farm nearby, are fed and cared for in a humane way, my purchasing them and consuming them completes a circle of economy that is beneficial.

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