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Friday, September 24, 2021

Opinion

Eating vegan isn’t necessarily guilt free


Veganism isn't necessarily guilt free

Juana Garcia/ The Cougar

While being vegan can be beneficial for those who love animals, vegans still support a corrupt immoral industry. 

Veganism is often advertised as a way to eat your food and live life more guilt free. This makes sense as not consuming animal products keeps you from supporting factory farming, an industry that heavily exploits and harms animals.

It’s understandable to not want to support such an industry, but some people think that veganism is inherently more moral. However, all food production is complicated and far from moral. So any form of eating has blood on its hand, including eating vegan. 

Many people are aware that animal agriculture can hurt the habitats of animals as much wildlife has to be cleared for grazing space. But many people don’t realize that crop farming can cause issues for animals too.

Avocado farmers have to deal with gophers a lot. Gophers can tunnel to and eat roots so they can be harmful to avocado production, a food featured in many vegan dishes. Farmers will often set traps to get rid of gophers. Some farmers may set up wire to keep gophers from getting to their plants which can keep them from their natural habitat. 

To farm you need to clear a lot of land which damages the natural habitat of many species. You often have to keep clearing land because soil loses its fertility due to erosion, water logging, and pollution. So farmers will have to keep clearing land to grow their crops. It’s clear that even non animal agriculture can be and often is harmful to animals.

However, plant agriculture isn’t just harmful to animals but to its workers too. Workers are often paid low wages to work in harsh and dangerous environments. The median income is only $28,900 a year. A large percentage of agriculture workers are undocumented, which allows their employers to exploit them even more. 

The work involves being bent over for long periods of time which can lead to injuries. They often have to work in extreme heat without good shade or water. Workers are often paid per piece which discourages them from taking breaks which can lead to over exhaustion and heat stroke. These are just a few examples of the harm the agriculture industry does to its workers.

It’s clear that even eating vegan foods like fruits and vegetables still is not harm free. Veganism is great for those who don’t want to eat animal products or support factory animal farming. However, it’s not necessarily a moral high ground. You still are forced to support industries that do harm to both people and animals. 

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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