Sure let’s state the obvious, “Vegans dislike hunters.”
That is not ground breaking; like tell me something I don’t know. Guess what? Water is wet, the Pope is Catholic, and bears poop in the woods.
While this statement is not surprising, what is surprising is why. On the surface it seems cut and dry – hunters kill animals, so vegans dislike hunters. But when you dig a little deeper you start to see that not only do they dislike them, but in my opinion they fear them. They fear them because they show that meat can be harvested ethically and cause less harm than a vegan diet.
The biggest reason people become vegan is because of the inhumane treatment of animals. They see all the terrible things that happen to them on factory farms and want to stop them. They believe that the best way to prevent the abuses is to abstain from the system. Meat acquired from hunting is also absent from the factory farm system. In the great outdoors there are no cages, no tail docking, or any other abuses that have been reported on factory farms. The animals are free to live their life. So in other words, whether you abstain from animal products or eat meat that was hunted you are on equal footing when it comes to factory farms.
Now I know what you they say, “An animal still dies, so vegans still cause the least harm.” Not so fast, let us look a little deeper. When I kill a deer I get approximately 40-60 pounds of protein rich meat. To get a vegan meat substitute we have to cultivate land. How many animals get chopped up during plowing? Or caught in the combine during harvest? A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Ethics estimated it to be anywhere from 7 to 14 small mammals are killed per hectare during a planting cycle. Not to mention the insecticides that kill 1,000’s of bugs and are harmful to humans and the environment. So who is doing the least harm? One sentient being killed is less than dozens. And all of this does not take into account the habitat lost from clearing fields which displaces many animals. So clearly meat from hunting causes less harm than a comparable meat substitute.
And if you want to dig even deeper….. Just to hunt I am required to have a license and tags. Proceeds for those go to fund state wildlife management agencies. The Pittman-Robertson Act, a self- imposed excise tax on hunting equipment, requires that a portion of the price is earmarked to help wildlife. Loss of habitat is the biggest threat that faces wildlife in North America and money raised by hunters goes to combat it. So by taking one life I am facilitating the growth of wildlife populations. This shows that just by hunting, we have a positive effect.
If you want to be a vegan, I have no issues with that. I assume that your heart is in the right place and you want the best for animals. I respect that, I wish more people would consider where their food comes from and seek to improve how animals are treated. But when you preach that Veganism does the least harm, that is simply not true. There is a right way to acquire meat and hunters have been doing it for years. This scares vegans because it undermines the foundation of their argument.