Not one to jump into something without just a little research, I'm beginning to realize just how difficult a week of vegan living sounds. I already knew the basics: no animal products or by-products, which means no milk, no cheese, no eggs. ("No eggs" is a hard one for me, I eat the little wonders nearly every day.) But the more I read, the more I became somewhat disheartened. No honey??!! Are we really that concerned about how hard the bees are working? Are we worried that the living conditions of bees are unfair?! Seriously. They're bees. Their sole job in life is to pollinate flowers and make honey. It's not like if we stop eating honey they are going to find a new job changing oil at the local Uncle Ed's. They'll probably die out.
I guess what I'm getting at is that I find veganism to be somewhat pointless, if not actually detrimental to animals in the longer run. Yes, we can find alternate sources of protein from ancient grains and other plant-based foods. But what happens when we all suddenly stop eating animals and their by-products? For example. Let's say the year is 2080. Humans have become intolerant of an carnivore's diet, and thusly America is a completely vegan society. Now, I'm no farmer, but a cow has to be milked. I'd imagine that for all the cows that are now over-populated to be milked, everyone, including city-dwellers, would have to own several cows. They would have to be able to afford to own and milk those cows. And then, after paying to own, house, and feed that cow, they have to milk the cow and throw the milk out. Which makes so little sense to me; a cow has to be milked. It's not like we're doing it to be mean.
And that's just the cows. Imagine how many chickens we'd have to own, how many eggs we'd have to discard... good luck working. There's a reason moms stayed home in 1880; they had to take care of the kids and take care of the farms. Perhaps this simpler way of life worked then, but capitalism and consumerism have taken over this country in the last 100 years, and I have a feeling not too many people are willing to give up their iPhone so that they can take care of a roost full of chickens they can't eat.
I understand and support that the living conditions of many stockyard animals are far from ideal. I would like to see more farms raising animals in an ethical way, which is better for them and healthier for the people who consume the products they produce. I imagine if organic continues to catch speed, more farms will make the switch to better practices. So, if you're going to buy meat and dairy, keep buying organic meat and dairy! And in the meantime, I think I'll continue to eat a balanced diet of mostly organic plants, with meat, fish and grain as my side dishes.
Which is, most probably, the best way to support this eco-system and yourself. In my own opinion.
If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat? ~Author Unknown