melbourne vegan

Jaclyn McCosker

The utopian world of meat eaters

The utopian world of meat eaters

There is one thing that strikes me every single time somebody asks me about eating meat. Whenever someone brings up the conversation (usually in an unwarranted attack), I notice that they love to avoid facts and revert the conversation to abstract philosophy.

Instead of having an open conversation about what happens in animal agriculture and whether they agree with the practices, almost everybody dismisses the information presented and directs the conversation to whether we could theoretically kill and eat animals humanely.

Facts? Pssshhhh. Let’s talk about my utopian dreamland where animals live freely until they suddenly drop dead so I can eat them.

Since I’m vegan, people love to tell me that they’re against animal cruelty. They want animal abusers jailed, and they want the animals they eat killed painlessly.

But of course, the same people have no problem continuing to support the industries that torture and kill animals inhumanely, with no intention of matching their actions to their values.

If all animals were free-range it would be fiiiiine they say, without thinking twice about where their mouthful of factory farmed pig came from.

I’m sure those things don’t happen in Australia they say, but no, I don’t want to watch that exposé that proves it does.

There’s nothing a meat eater loves more than to defend animal agriculture because they’re sure there must be laws to protect animals from what I say happens. But when I offer to provide legislative evidence that proves cruelty is legal towards commercially bred animals, I’m just being extreme so the conversation is over.

“In theory, if we all had our own free-range cows dairy would be fine.”
“OK, but you don’t have your own cow, so why do you still support it?”

“I only eat free-range eggs.”
“OK, but you know free-range has been found to be a scam?”

“Lions kill to eat every day. Are you saying you believe lions are immoral?”
“No, I’m saying I don’t believe you’re a lion and the diet of a carnivore is irrelevant to you.”

“If they die so quickly they didn’t know it was happening, it wouldn’t be a problem.”
“OK, but slaughter has never happened that way and probably never will. Plus most of the problems are in how the animals are raised in confinement, mutilated through protocols like tail docking, branding and pulling teeth. And transport conditions are horrendous. So even if they were killed swiftly in the slaughterhouse, they still suffer.”

“Whatever, I don’t want to talk about it because you’re putting me off my meal.”

Going vegan is an act of maturity. Veganism is putting aside your feelings on a topic to impartially consider the evidence.

What matters is what really happens, and objectively deciding whether it aligns with your values. There are industries that kill animals and serve their dead bodies to us.

They breed animals for the sole purpose of torturing and killing them. Inarguable.

They kill male chicks and calves as by-products of “vegetarian” foods dairy and eggs. Inarguable.

All animals want to live before their throat is slit. Inarguable.

What I want to talk about is what actually goes on in the slaughterhouses. How the animals are raised, how they’re transported, what the environmental impact is, what the dangers to slaughterhouse staff are. I want to talk facts, statistics, photojournalist evidence.

I don’t care what you feel we should do about meat. And I don’t care about how we theoretically could kill animals in the future. I’m here today, right now. And my decisions are based on the existing reality.

Eating meat is not an abstract concept. It’s not a philosophical debate. It is deliberately taking the life of an individual animal, over and over again. And almost exclusively, it’s taking that life in a pretty violent way.

Let’s talk about that for once. Don’t try to divert the conversation. For once, can you actually listen?

The personhood of non-humans

The personhood of non-humans

Aboriginal elders oppose kangaroo meat, saying “We are not into mass slaughter.”

Aboriginal elders oppose kangaroo meat, saying “We are not into mass slaughter.”