Vegan 'Warriors' really do worry me

Bob Burnett
Bob Burnett

ON THE Sunshine Coast we have a relatively new pressure group, Vegan Warriors. They came to our attention recently using highly emotive language to attack the practice of dairy farming.

Now I happen to appreciate milk on my breakfast table and have always carried a sentimental spot for dairy farming.

The Coast is fortunate to have several boutique dairy processors who bring milk and other dairy products the short distance to our doors.

Vegans are strict vegetarians, usually not consuming any animal products, and some vegans get into "environmental veganism", which is a philosophy of living without exploiting animals.

I'm disturbed to see a pressure group attacking the culture of dairy farming, in fact, I'm troubled by the term "Vegan Warriors".

During my flirtations with alternative lifestyles, I read often the claim that non-meat-eaters were "more peace-loving, less violent" than meat eaters. So what's with the "warrior"?

Of course, we're all entitled to eat pretty much what we choose. That's one of the benefits of living in a free society where choice abounds - tofu, tempeh, fish or steak: you choose.

Those who raise animals have a responsibility to see that they live as contentedly and die as compassionately as possible.

But we have a problem when, on moral grounds, one group pillories another for, in this case, consuming milk, meat, cheese, yoghurt, custard, cream, etc.

My question for the Vegan Warriors is: Upon what foundation, what absolute do you base your moral stance? Why is it wrong to kill and eat animals, and not wrong to kill and eat plants?

Who's to say that plants don't have feelings too? Who's to say that they don't cry, inwardly, when their babies are snatched away and thrown alive into a salad or stir-fry?

If your moral base is "your opinion" then we have fallen into a whirlpool of subjectivism with seven billion different sets of morals on the planet.

Unless we accept the obvious, that there is a creator and it is he who determines the absolutes, then all we have is morals nonsense, like "soybeans are people too".

According to the creator, humans may farm animals, for food and fibre, but in a manner that can rightly be described as "tending and caring". We're not to exploit or abuse animals, and cruelty and ruthlessness should have no place in the farmer's animal husbandry repertoire.

I recently had email contact with a boutique organic dairy, which does not practise artificial insemination, and I say "good for them".

Animals, while they are given to be farmed by us, need to be allowed to have an existence as natural as possible.

Topics:  bob burnett diet food opinion vegan vegan warriors

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