What about the jobs of farmers?
Would you advocate for everyone to smoke cigarettes because if nobody smoked all the tobacco farmers and people employed within the cigarette industries would lose their jobs and their livelihoods? Why do you think the job of an animal farmer is more important than the job of a tobacco farmer?
There are a couple of things that can be done to safeguard farmers’ livelihoods, firstly and most simply farmers can switch to arable farming and produce only plants. This is an entirely plausible solution, and The Vegan Society already offers help and financial support to any farmer who wants to make the transition to a fully vegan farm. Another way of supplying the funds to farmers looking to make the transition is through tax subsidies.
Currently, a proportion of our tax money is given to farmers to help financially support what they do. However, the majority of the subsidies go straight to dairy and animal farms, which is one of the reasons why animal products remain affordable. If the subsidies were removed it would cause huge problems to those industries. What needs to happen, is the subsidies that are given to animal farming need to instead be put into plant farming, making plants more affordable and accessible, while also helping farmers.
What is most important here is a sense of perspective, a job or a livelihood does not provide moral justification for enslaving, mutilating and profiting off the death of animals and in this situation the hardships of a farmer finding a new job is nothing compared to the life of suffering and fear that animals have to endure in the farming industries.
Also, when it comes to livelihoods and jobs, it’s only ever farmers that are mentioned, nobody ever expresses a concern for the jobs of slaughterhouse workers. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants or working class people who have little to no other options. They suffer from some of the highest rates of PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse in any profession and suffer huge psychological issues as a result of killing animals. Abolishing animal agriculture would be a liberation for these people as well as for the animals.
Content copy adapted from "30 Non-Vegan Excuses & How To Respond To Them" by Earthling Ed
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