I've been a vegan for 29 years and love your well written responses to some of the most common questions vegans face when discussing hunting, etc… I've been in an online discussion with a relative for over a week now and would appreciate any links you can point me towards to respond to her most recent email. My natural response is to throw my hands up and tell her that her concerns make no sense and are hypocritical in nature to suggest that eating slaughtering billions of animals is more compassionate than "allowing them to die naturally." However, I'm sure there are some wonderful links somewhere that can explain it in a more patient and loving way that I have the emotional and mental capacity to. I would love to give her food for thought in a loving way, with a concise and detailed response, addressing each of her points below. Any suggestions?
Her email is as follows:
If and only IF Americans stopped eating meat, what would happen to the animals? There wouldn't be room for the multitudes of cows, sheep and goats alone. People could no longer afford to feed them or house them or to treat their illnesses. They would be roaming around aimlessly, starving, sick and with no shelter and would continue to breed until finally they would become extinct or face death by some horrible means. There would be massive suffering for them. No one would allow them to live on their property and reproduce and tear up the land. They would be roaming the streets and highways and would be getting killed and maimed all over the place. It would be horrific. Man would have to keep their numbers in balance so we would either have to shoot them and burn their carcasses or we'd have to sell them off to other countries who would slaughter them and eat them. Right now all of that is in check and we get to eat their meat and use their hides for useful purposes. They simply can not live wild without man to take care of them.
All current live stock animals would face similar situations. It would be horrific for all of them as well as for all of us humans. What would be your solution for this situation? Do you know what happens to the over population of deer? All over the US the government allows an open season on them from time to time for people to hunt them or to just kill them to trim down the population. Sad but true. This has to be done to keep them from over populating. If we allow them to over populate then they not only do damage to human homes, land, farms, crops, etc. but they become sick, starving and suffer and you start to see dozens of them being hit and killed along the roadways. The same thing happens with wild turkey and other animals. In our world today they simply can not be left to roam wild with out man caring for them and man can not provide care for them for free. There is no other solution. The only food supply I have heard about being over harvested by humans is in the seafood industry. There is a real problem in this area. We are depleting the earth's supply of fish this is why so many fish farms are cropping up and we know farm raised fish such as salmon and trout are not as healthy to eat as the wild caught ones. It is better to eat farm raised catfish than wild these days because they are bottom dwellers and the wild ones tend to gather near sewage pipes and eat dead fish from the bottom of the waters and because they live on the bottom they are exposed to toxic sediment caused from discharge or run off from industry. So it is very unhealthy to eat wild catfish today. Over fishing of the seas is also one reason you see the imitation crab meat in grocery stores and even in some restaurants. People want crab meat and there isn't enough to go around.