by Tanja Jurgec

Vegans still kill animals, didn’t you know that?

vegans still kill animals

How often do you hear that just because you are vegan, you still support the death of other animals just by buying food for your cats? Or how you could not possibly live a completely cruelty-free life because somewhere along the line, a couple of animals died?

Oh dear, I hear this quite often, and by people who are intelligent.

It seems like any excuse is a good excuse for not looking at your plate. Even preaching about how vegans still kill other animals without looking at facts and statistics.

Let’s get three things out of our way:

  • Not one vegan claims that it is possible to live a completely cruelty-free lifestyle.
  • We must take care of an obligatory carnivore as parents. Most of us had cats before we went vegan and are very conscious of the fact that we support slaughterhouses just by buying food for other animals that we share our home with.
  • There is a difference between doing something and doing nothing. Veganism means doing something, while not being vegan means doing absolutely nothing to lessen the cruelty to other animals.

I have three cats and a dog. Most of you are familiar with Chuck, and most of you know that I feed him a mostly plant-based diet. He is not fully plant-based yet, but we are slowly going there.

Our cats, on the other hand, are carnivores. Every cat is. I buy meat for them. I am aware of what I am paying for every time I give money for their damn food. But I do it because that’s what responsible cat parents do.

Cats have been domesticated by humans. They have been made pets by humans. Letting them live outside is not only impossible in this day and age, but also dangerous for other animals that live in nature.

They are not wild animals anymore; they could not possibly survive outside of our home. So I rescued them and gave them home, which meant buying meat for them.

Does that make me a bad vegan? No, it just makes me human. I never claim that no one dies for me. Heck, when I buy at New Yorker there are probably a few people who died making the cheap shirt or committed suicide because sweatshops suck. When I buy rice and potatoes and apples, a few animals definitely died in the process.

But as a vegan, I have lessened the amount of human and non-human animals to be killed and exploited.

Non-vegans not only support the murder of animals they eat and wear but also support the exploitation of slaughterhouse workers who have PTSD and take drugs to diminish the effect taking lives away has on them.

We, vegans, choose not to pay for someone to kill other animals. We choose not to have someone skin a chinchilla or a mink. We choose not to pay for gorillas and lions to be caged. We choose not to pay for elephants to be ridden and for whales to be kept in pools.

Yes, vegans still kill animals. We are not perfect, but we choose less suffering.

So when you tell me that I can’t possibly not be responsible for killing a few animals in the process and that why do I even try to do something when I will never live a cruelty-free life, I ask you:

  • If you could choose to save 10 people by killing one person, would you do it?

Because that’s what I’m doing. I’m responsible for that one person. I take the blame and I wish this wouldn’t be the case, but I am also saving 10 other people.

By sacrificing a few hundred animals that die in the process of getting my potatoes on the table, I am saving the lives of a few thousand animals that would be brutally slaughtered.

You are not saving the lives of anyone by judging me. The world is not changed by those who don’t do anything but by those who do something. So while some are pretending that one person cannot possibly make a difference, I am being the difference.

While you are proudly writing posts about vegans being hypocrites, I am making conscious decisions every minute, asking myself: How can I be better right now? How can I harm the least animals?

It doesn’t matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you are above everyone else and that you don’t think you are doing anything wrong by eating a steak, you cannot deny your humanity and your morals the second someone slaps your partner in the face. At that moment, everyone has basic morals and everyone knows right from wrong.

To quote my favourite animal rights advocate, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau:

Don’t do nothing because you can‘t do everythingDo something. Anything.

But I understand. I really do, believe it or not. I have been there. I refused to do anything because I couldn’t do everything. I thought everything in balance was good, until, of course, I wanted to kill myself and realized that there is no balance when it comes to death and suffering.

So I acknowledge you. I see you. I was you.

And I know you can change if you want to. Because I know it’s not really that you don’t believe there is nothing wrong with killing other animals, it’s just that you are afraid of change. You don’t want vegans to be right, or to be the ones who could change you. Let’s face it; no one wants to be told to change.

But the silly thing is that I don’t want to change you. I don’t.

I know you can change you. And when the time is right, you will.

Until then you can find me on Instagram. Or Pinterest.

Tanja

vegans still kill animals

22 Comments

  1. The problem with vegans is that not everything that uses animals is abuse. Riding a horse does not cause it to suffer. A draft horse, bred to pull 6 times its own weight, is not suffering by pulling a carriage a mere 3 times its own weight. As long as the owners feed and care for them, and they often do, they are not abused or suffering. Taking that away from them would be abusive. They enjoy the work. It’s good for them mentally and physically. Vegans never bother to research things like that. The second they choose veganism, and good for them, they deem everything that uses animals in the slightest, abusive. Putting those horses in a field would actually be worse. Ending carriages could send many to meat factories because the companies would have hard time finding homes for the large number of horses. I support the carriage industry because I actually looked into it. Farmers deal with vegans to, and those farmers could be doing everything right for their animals and be drinking milk and eating eggs. But in the eye of uneducated vegans that have clearly never farmed, it’s abuse. We are tired of putting up with uneducated vegans and their crap. Not everything is abuse!

  2. I really enjoyed your articlebecsuse it gave me a new insight n vegan families. I never considered the quadriped members of the family who have different needs which might include meat. I’ve enjoyed some of the replies that have shared information on where to find vegan options for cats so that it can be possible to bring every family member into the vegan lifestyle. I have to confess that I am a carnivore, although not as enthusiastic as I once was, and if I weren’t burdened with food allergies, I could at least become vegetarian. I know, though, that I can reduce the amount of mest that I consume and not miss it. To be honest, in my view, our current society has been conditioned to conditioned to eat animal flesh in exorbitant amounts, well beyond what is a healthy amount. A McDonald’s Happy Meal used to be a regular burger. Our fast food industry is a mnument to greed both in consumption of food and to the amount of money that goes into the coffers of these food chains. In addition to doing one small thing for animals, let’s consider including doing one small thing to stop the suffering of the morbidly obese human animal. Chain reaction: human breaks free of the seductive wiles of chocolate frostee and gigantor burger and cows arenot as necessary in the economic chain…..or is it only ishful thinking?

    1. Hi, Bernadette.

      I like your idea. If we focus on teaching humans how to be mindful eaters, we can definitely reduce the amount of meat and dairy we eat.

      Perhaps I will focus on that in my next post.

      I appreciate your comment, take care,

      Tanja

  3. Hi there! I really appreciate this article. I recently adopted two kittens and I want to make the most vegan-friendly decision possible on what to feed them! I’m realizing that some meat will undoubtedly be part of their diet. However, I want to make an informed decision on what exactly to feed them in order to have the least negative impact! I’d so appreciate your specific recommendations. Thank you!

  4. Absolutely beautifully written!
    Thank you for sharing.

    I also have three cats, and I buy organic non GMO food that claims to have zero carbon footprint. I also feed them raw ground turkey that comes from a farm that raises their own animals, and I can see them outside grazing. It still bothers me that the animals die, but I’m trying to buy from people that don’t keep animals locked up and treated poorly.

    1. I love that. Yes, we need to take responsibility for the animals that now depend on us. Maybe one day cats will return to the wild and they will survive on their own but for now, in 2018, we must take care of them. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story, Liz. Love your name, btw.

  5. I love your article. I completely agree with you. Myself, My husband and our 5 children have been vegan for 8 months now. We have a cat and 2 dogs. Our dogs are plant based eaters but we obviously have to buy meat for our cat. We do however, try to lesser the impact on the planet by not buying him food containing beef.
    We do not condemn any non vegans and most people we know are very accepting of our choices. If someone approaches me about veganism and shows an interest, Then I give them encouragement and advise them to do their research and educate themselves about nutrition. I don’t believe guilt tripping and aggression is the right way to go about changing people’s thinking. I also don’t believe I am better than all non vegans. I just want to know that I am doing everything I can to limit the suffering of other beings, animal and human. To know that I am trying to do what’s best for the planet and those I share it with.

  6. This is just what I needed to hear. I have two cats and am a vegetarian going on vegan myself and hate buying them the food they need because it’s meat or fish.
    Thank you for putting it into perspective and making me realize I am not the only one thinking this!

    1. Thank you for reading it. 🙂 Humans domesticated animals and now we have to live with it. It’s not my favourite thing to do but they are my responsibility.

  7. My pets eat vegan food . You dont know that kind of food exist?

    1. I think someone didn’t read the post carefully. Cats cannot be plant-based but many other companion animals can. Sweetie, you came on my website where I talk about veganism, I surely do know that vegan food for animals exists.

      1. There are a couple of vegan food options for both cats and dogs. My dogs are both vegan, and my cats eat almost all vegan. Their breakfast and dinner is Ami cat food mkxed with water (which they love), and then they get a small dish of whatever meat option before bed. I didn’t make them vegan overnight and I have been keeping my eye on them, and they are both thriving on a mostly vegan diet.
        Obviously do your own research (I recommend “the Obligated carnivore” for one), and then do what works for your cat. It isnt for every cat, but yes, some cats can be completely healthy on a all or mostly vegan (appropriate and approved) diet.

  8. I love this. It is well written. And spoken from your heart. I just feel the need to chime in though as a vegan myself. I applaud anyone who has made such a commitment to reduce their impact on animals and the environment, which you and countless other vegans/vegetarians/people cutting back on animal products have already done. I just want to offer some “food for thought” regarding the impact of domesticated animals.

    I read your statement: that “By sacrificing one cow every few weeks to feed my three cats and one dog, I am saving 4 lives instead of one.” I question the validity of this statement. If you look at the number of cows sacrificed over the cats’ and dog’ s lifespans, wouldn’t you be saving just 4 lives instead of several? If “every few weeks” means about 17 cows per year and if each of your pets lives 10 years, this number would be 680 cows [(17 cows per year)x(10 years)x(4 pets)]. Then, I also consider all the diverse range of wild animals (including those endangered) that the domesticated cows replaced through the extensive land and other resources they require. I do not know exact numbers, but my inclination is that by raising one cow, you are displacing multiple wild animals, so the number of animals killed may be even higher than the previously stated 680.

    As a cat and dog lover since a child, I had trouble coming to terms with this myself. But I have realized that my personal values aligned with a healthy, biodiverse ecosystem for all outweigh most other values. Again, this is just me and although I know that others may align with my thought processes, I understand that many do not. Thank you for writing this and for taking the time to read my comment. And thank you for all that you do to help make this world a better place <3

    1. Thank you for this article. I also have a cat and feel guilty when I have to contribute to the torture of factory farmed animals by buying cat food. It helps (a little) to put it in perspective.
      Hopefully one day soon people will stop being selfish and stop irresponsibly breeding cats and dogs.

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