It’s 2018, and being a vegan seems to be more and more common. People have different reasons for why they become vegan. Some do it for dietary purposes, some do it because they want to lose some pounds…others do it because, well, it’s the cool thing to do.
Meat lovers have their reasons for eating meat, Vegans have their reasons for NOT eating meat. The two tend to butt heads, as any two opposite sides of an argument tend to do. But recently, the debate has been around something else when it comes to being vegan. The topic of discussion is the idea of being “cruelty-free”.
So what exactly is the argument? Well, meat-eaters are arguing that being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean “cruelty-free”. These people are arguing that just because certified products are considered “cruelty-free” by organizations like Cruelty-Free International, they aren’t entirely innocent. They note that you can see this by looking at the food industry as a whole.
An article written in the New York Times called “Good Vegan, Bad Vegan” noted that vegans have a way of making meat eaters look pretty rough. The article brought in the Netflix documentary “What The Health”, saying that it brought some misstatements such as eating an egg a day is as bad as smoking five cigarettes. But Meat-lovers have a problem with vegans passing as being cruelty-free.
Meat-lovers have noted that things like forced labour, exploitation of workers, and hazardous and extreme working conditions among other things are pretty common issues in the food supply chains. They added that Agriculture is even responsible for 70% of child labour.
According to ecorazzi.com: “sometimes it’s easy to compartmentalize ethical issues and to forget that abstaining from one moral wrong doesn’t eradicate all others”. The article argues that most vegans are proud that they are eating food that’s cruelty-free. But they forget about other issues of social justice and injustice. Specifically humans.
Regardless this topic got pretty heated once some vegans joined it…both sides bringing valid points. A blog called “Cheezburger” posted a heated Tumblr thread between vegans and non-vegans on the topic of discussion-cruelty free. More and more articles are being written about veganism not being cruelty-free. But the vegans stand strong and aren’t backing down without a fight.
Tumblr user Rosasdesal decided to spell it out pretty clearly. They wrote, “Repeat after me, Veganism is not affordable, Veganism is not cruelty-free, Veganism is not the best choice for everyone”. However, there were those who had a counter-argument to that.
One individual wrote that there are ways to be vegan in an affordable way and that it is in fact cruelty-free. However, this individual didn’t necessarily present concrete facts. It may be cruelty-free for animals, but facts show that it is not for other humans. Another meat-eater noted, “Exploiting undocumented immigrants, and other workers are cruelty-free? Nearly 50,000 children as young as six harvest 25% of US crops.”
Another individual decided to bring in not only the cruelty of animals but as well as the cruelty of animals that is happening in order to help vegans out there. One individual noted, “There are vegan articles floating around decrying the use of honey, even though the production and harvest of honey by responsible beekeepers don’t hurt the bees at all and is not exploitative, and that misinformation hurts the honey industry, which is TRYING TO SAVE BEES FROM EXTINCTION”.
Both sides have their arguments, and there are various reasons, as mentioned earlier, why people go vegan. For many, it is a healthier way for them to live, cutting out meat and processed foods. However, the whole “cruelty-free” aspect seems to be bugging the meat-lovers out there. Which side are you on? Do you agree or disagree with the other side?
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