I’m already a vegetarian, and I avoid products that involve extreme cruelty, such as veal and foie gras. Isn’t that enough?

No. Many vegetarians still wear leather, wool and silk along with eating dairy, eggs, honey, and other items from the same industry that produces meat. All of these animal products cause unnecessary harm, which we are obligated to avoid if we are to live consistently with our values.

Milk and other Dairy Products: Production of dairy requires female cows to be repeatedly impregnated, so that lactation will occur. But mothers and babies cannot be allowed to stay together, or there will be no milk to take. Female calves born of this breeding cycle become the next generation of dairy slaves, following their mothers into a lifetime of repeated forced insemination, resulting in annual mourning for their stolen infants. While these girls are milked dry by mechanized systems, their male sons and brothers are sold for their tender flesh (known as veal), with a small few kept aside to be used for the same artificial insemination endured by their sisters and mothers. To learn more.

Eggs: As only female chicks are capable of laying eggs, those identified as male are considered a ‘waste product’ that must be disposed of using the most cost-effective methods available. What this often means is that 50% of all chicks born in hatcheries are ground alive or thrown into trashcans and smothered. Many chicks end up incorrectly sexed, meaning that males are sold as females and end up filling farm sanctuaries when their owners discover that they are actually roosters. Hens raised for meat and egg laying generally come from the same hatcheries. The hens that make it out alive are de-beaked; an extremely painful process.

Honey: Many bees are killed during the extraction of honey. But even prior to this, they are forced to live in unnatural and unhealthy hive structures so that we can take their winter reserve of food (honey) and be shipped around the country to pollinate crops (edging out the natural species that would normally do so).

No matter their “quality of life,” unnecessary harm is always involved when we exploit another animal’s reproductive system, flesh (meat), skin (leather), or regurgitated food (honey). Thankfully, there are good vegan alternatives to all of these.

(Shared with kind permission of Angel Flinn)

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