How eating meat is currently more ethical than eating vegetables.
No question meat eating has been the way of humans for thousands of years, but is it time to stop eating meat because vegetables are a more humane and ethical consideration?
We’ve all seen video of slaughter houses and the “inhumane” processes that raise everything from eggs to thanksgiving turkeys, but do you know where your vegetables come from? People of color. Migrant farm workers—working full speed everyday in grueling conditions to meet quotas.
Here in the US it’s the Latin American migrant worker, in South Africa (pick any first world country) it’s the Zimbabwean (mostly) selected particularly because he doesn’t know the law, or his or her legal rights. The are routinely abused and grossly underpaid.
Now, because of the sheer volume of people we turn to farm raised everything, and because of the farm raising of everything we can support more people. This will eventually have to tap out, but for now breeding livestock is not nearly as concerning as breeding people. But the two are inseparably linked.
For grain growers only, Americans farm about 61.8million acres of the 2.4 billion acres of land mass. Again, machines do most of the planting and harvesting. 80% of South Africa’s farmland is grazing cattle. Hardly a fair comparison to the slave labor farm owners extract from the vulnerable. At least the cow gets a breath of decency before he dies—not so much for the farm worker.
Fruit and vegetable workers and their advocates tell a story of vulnerable, low-wage employment operating in fear without proper protections. Let alone information about the risks involved in their essential labor, and without hope of any share in expanded unemployment benefits should they fall ill or lose work. Impossibly long hours and bull pizzle for wages, eating meat causes less suffering than eating greens.
From South Africa we read the line, “WHITE AGRICULTURE AND BLACK LABOUR”—from the book, “We Cry For Our Land”. At a $200 (USD) a month, while in the USA it’s easily replaced with “WHITE AGRICULTURE AND BROWN LABOUR”. How many white people have you seen in the orchards or lettuce fields?
So really, eating fruits and vegetables is supporting oppression. A much more personal and grievous, generational situation than eating a cow or a rabbit.