Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reflections: Why I love animals but am not a vegan.

I am an animal lover. As you know if you are following this blog, I have one cat. I also hope to get another cat soon, in part for the wellbeing of my existing cat; when I get my second cat it will be a shelter kitty. I don't eat pork since I found out that pigs, a favourite animal of mine, are often factory farmed in small crates, despite their intelligence and social nature. A couple of years ago I gave up eating any red meat for health reasons, and I will never go back to it, even if I can. I buy free range eggs, and (where available) poultry, and I eat at least three vegetarian main meals a week.

Nonetheless, there are people who would tell you that because I eat eggs, honey, dairy, poultry and fish I am inhumane. Maybe they are right, maybe I can't justify my position, but here is the argument I will use to try:

I need more protein and less fibre than the average bear because of my health situation. I try to eat beans and nuts as much as possible, but they are risky kinds of fibre for me; dairy, eggs, lean poultry and fish are much safer in terms of retaining my health. If my health goes downhill, I am almost certain to require medical treatment that has been tested on animals, and in some cases made out of animals. Peta would probably argue that I should be a vegan and refuse this treatment, but if I were to do so I would die of malnutrition and bowel perforation almost for sure. Is it unethical to eat humanely treated animals and their products to I continue to live?

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