The List: A Work in Progress
March 25, 2012 5 Comments
Everyone likes lists. So here’s my general list of why I think all alternative agricultural systems producing animal products are ultimately unsustainable. Consider it a kind of crib sheet.
1) Although often better than industrial systems, they aren’t as environmentally sustainable as plant-based systems.
2) As in industrial agriculture, they commodify animals and, in turn, objectify them, thereby denying their intrinsic value–something enlightened consumers claim to care about.
3) By supporting the consumption of animal products, they indirectly (but powerfully) support the most essential prerequisite for factory farming: the idea that it’s okay to eat animals.
4) Sustainable animal agriculture relies on a set of ideas and slogans that not only obscure objections 1-3, but lend themselves to being co-opted by industry (which, of course, has bigger advertising budgets).
5) Killing animals unnecessarily is not only ethically problematic, but it’s psychologically unhealthy for those who do the slaughtering. Doesn’t it make sense to think that the less that intentional suffering is present, the healthier a community will be?
Feel free to add on.