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final report max roth (1)

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Max Roth
Miss Propst
English 12, 8th Period
5 April 2017
Why Vegans Kill More Animals Than Omnivores
A vegan lifestyle is more detrimental than that of an omnivore because it actually kills
more animals, it is worse for the environment, it is not sanctimonious, and it has health
implications. What could it be that makes it acceptable to murder creatures on the field and take
their habitat from them so we can use vegetables or fruits for sustenance yet not tolerable to
consume farm animals? In an effort to change the way of thinking, one could hope that more
individuals were enlightened on the harm vegans cause. Also people should be informed about
their hypocritical and misguided philosophies. If the entire world went vegan, it would be worse
for animals and for the environment. The key is calories; a kilogram of beef is the equivalent of
seven kilograms of broccoli, so in order to feed this world of seven and a half billion people, we
would have to destroy more animal ecosystems and habitats to reserve land for farming. It should
also be mentioned that abundant crops like wheat, rice, and soybeans require heavy farm
equipment that plow through the fields killing countless rodents and rabbits. The tools they use
to harvest crops are not necessarily environmentally friendly, and the production of vegetables is
responsible for more greenhouse emissions than any living thing a carnivore consumes.
One must concede that there needs to be reform in the meat industry since many animals
in the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) are sick or malnourished. However, the
most exasperating part of this dilemma is that a vegan’s lifestyle does nothing to undermine
those cruel practices. A better solution to going vegan would be to buy meat from small scale
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local farmers who treat their animals kindly and allow them to free roam and indulge in happy
lives. If people would buy from them, animal cruelty could be minimized. Instead a vegan’s
rhetoric about how meat-eaters are murderers and that vegans are morally superior seem vitriolic
and polarizing since they do not know the harm they have caused to animals.
In order to find systemic animal cruelty, look no further than the wild; wolves will
consume a deer while it is still alive and fifty percent of giraffe calves do not survive due to
predation from hyenas, leopards, and wild dogs. (Halfnill) It is nothing misanthrope; it is their
nature. Unfortunately, the world is not like a Disney movie. In order for one organism to survive,
another has to die. It is not a pretty scenario, but animals could never live peacefully together.
One should also mention that the choice of an animal, would be a death by gunshot over being
eaten alive by predators.
Australia does not have much arable land and in order to make wheat or rice it requires
“clear-felling vegetation,”(Archer) which destroys animal ecosystems and habitats. More than
half of Australia’s unique vegetation has been lost due to farming crops. “25 times more sentient
animals killed per kilogram of protein and it causes environmental damage.”(Archer)
“Deforestation is used to make more room for crops, and poisoning and shooting animals to keep
them away.”(Brown) According to Dr. Christian Dunn, “If you want any particular crop to grow
effectively, then yes – you’re going to have to kill or remove certain pests: both animals and
plants. So it could be argued that vegans are causing the death of animals by requiring
monocultures of wheat or other grains to be grown.” (Brown)
Those who incorporate only vegetables and fruits in their diet are doing the environment
a disservice. More energy use is required to farm, and the tools cause greenhouse emissions.
Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are all bad for the environment but have become a staple in
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agriculture. (Dockrill) Millions of animals are killed each year to prepare land for farming.
Maize, soybeans, and wheat all kill animals in order to be made. “Any disruption of the land,
whether it be to farm or to build subdivisions, reduces the amount of land left for other animals,
resulting in the deaths of many.”(Lee) Other than environmental implications, the lack of vitamin
B-12 can decrease cognitive skills and often vegans suffer from depression. Many analysts make
a valid point on how people should buy from grass fed, pastured animals from local farmers who
treat animals with kindness. In fact, all people should buy from farmers instead of the
corporations who could not care less such as CAFO. (Paleoleap)
PETA ranks 30 million dollars annually in donations, yet they euthanize thousands of
animals in an indecent fashion. This hypocrisy needs to be exposed since they have killed several
small animals entrusted in their adoption center. Without a doubt this is by far one of the cruelest
practices since they claim to be champions of animal rights, but they euthanize perfectly healthy
animals within minutes. This is analogous to someone who poisons a well but pretends to be the
water commission. Those who support PETA do not know that they spent much donation money
on a freezer to store the bodies of dead animals that PETA kills at their adoption center.
Horrendous atrocities like these need to be brought to the public’s attention. “The vast majority
— 96 percent in 2011 — exit the facility out the back door after they have been killed, when Pet
Cremation Services of Tidewater stops by on their regular visits to pick up their remains.
Between these visits, the bodies are stored in the giant walk-in freezer PETA installed for this
very purpose.” (Winograd) Peta has killed over 30,000 dogs, cats, and rabbits. (PETA kills
In addition, farming can be extremely detrimental. Lettuce is “over three times worse in
greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon”. This source helps reinforce the environmental
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hazards of fruits and vegetables. The truth is that "lettuce can be incredibly water intensive and
energy intensive to produce," and this source wants people to be cognizant of this though they do
concede we should cut back on consuming meat, though healthy foods can be just as
environmentally detrimental. (Withnall)
It should also be mentioned that a poll conducted showed that 84% of vegetarians return
and around 70% of vegans return to consuming animal products. While science contributes a
great deal of social factors as to why this is, my belief is that the main reason people choose this
lifestyle is to be different from everyone else. Multiple ex-vegans stated this is why they chose
this lifestyle in the first place and they complained that they were always hungry. The reason I
state this is because I have no issue with how people live their lives, but if they truly believe that
the world should only consume plants, they certainly do not have strength in numbers because
only approximately two percent of people identify themselves as vegan or vegetarian and most
will return. (Herzog)
One could also argue that eating plants is not particularly humane although the jury is out
as to whether plants feel pain. A leaf responds when someone shreds it. In fact, does not
consuming resources only benefit the human and not the animals who also need it. The whole
vegan argument falls apart when the food chain is discussed. We are all linked in the food chain,
and like it or not, humans and other animals benefit from dead organisms. When a fox dies of old
age, it is absorbed by the soil and begins to decompose, and then the soil gives the nutrients to
plants which if edible will be consumed by humans or herbivores. Same thing happens if a fox
eats a rabbit and later defecates on the ground. It is later taken by the soil, and it will be
indirectly at some point, consumed.
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Hunters have a bad reputation from movies like Bambi that personify animals as people.
However, hunting is a good thing because it controls population of animals. If a deer had human
capacity of thought, would it rather die quickly and painlessly or starve to death because of
overpopulation? I would most certainly pick the bullet over being consumed by wolves. I feel
this way, and I urge some people to watch the brutal videos of wolves ganging up on a buck and
tearing its insides open while it is still alive.
To conclude, the whole idea behind veganism is full of logical fallacies and a hypocritical
philosophy. I sincerely challenge vegans to stop using electricity because coal and natural gases
make up over two-thirds of the energy we use, and the pollution they cause kills millions of
flying animals a year; the number is difficult to document because countless are killed. Some
might suggest the use of alternative energy sources like windmills and solar power for energy,
but these also kill animals, and they fill vast amounts of land. When pondering one would hope
that a vegan’s car is not powered by petroleum because oil spills happen quite a bit in the Middle
East and elsewhere damaging the oceans and killing numerous populations of fish. The bottom
line is that a vegan lifestyle can potentially kill more animals than carnivores because the amount
of land we reserved for farming can destroy countless animal ecosystems, and while a vegan may
not eat an animal, he or she still benefits from dead organisms in many ways.
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Work Cited
Archer, Mike. Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands. The
Conversation 11 December 2011. <http://theconversation.com/ordering-the-vegetarian-mealtheres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659>. 7 February 2017.
Brown, Jessica. Vegans are actually killing lots of animals, naturalist claims. Indy100 December 2016.
<https://www.indy100.com/article/naturalist-says-vegans-are-responsible-for-killing-animals7422566>. 12 February 2017.
Dockrill, Peter. Vegetarian and 'Healthy' Diets May Actually Be Worse for the Environment, Study Finds.
Science Alert 15 December 2015. <http://www.sciencealert.com/vegetarian-and-healthy-dietsmay-actually-be-worse-for-the-environment-study-finds>. 30 January 2017.
Halfnill, Kevin. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT GIRAFFE. Giraffe Conservation Foundation, 2017.
<http://giraffeconservation.org/faqs/>.04 Apr. 2017.
Herzog, Hal. 84% of Vegetarians and Vegans Return to Meat. Why?. Psychology Today. 2 Dec. 2014.
<https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201412/84-vegetarians-and-vegansreturn-meat-why>.03 Apr. 2017.
Lee, Dye. Researcher: Vegetarian Diet Kills Animals Too. ABC News.
<http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97836>. 10 February 2017.
Paleoleap. How Vegetarianism is Bad for You and the Environment. Paleoleap 2017.
<https://paleoleap.com/vegetarianism-bad-environment/>. 19 January 2017.
Peta Kills Animals. Proof PETA kills. 2015. <https://www.petakillsanimals.com/proof-peta-kills/>. 18
January 2017.
Winograd, Nathan. Shocking Photos: PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens, Puppies. Huffington Post 2 June
2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-j-winograd/peta-kills-puppieskittens_b_2979220.html>. 11 January 2017.
Withnall, Adam. Lettuce is ‘three times worse than bacon' for emissions and vegetarian diets could be
bad for environment. Independent 15 December 2015.
<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vegetarian-diet-bad-for-environment-meatstudy-lettuce-three-times-worse-emissions-bacon-a6773671.html>. 27 January 2017.
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