How to Love Animals in a Human-Shaped World

Julian Baggini at Literary Review:

This is just the most egregious example of what the Financial Times’s chief features writer, Henry Mance, describes as ‘the meat paradox’: a state of affairs where ‘people who care about animals manage not to care about farm animals’. It’s not just omnivores who are in denial. Vegetarians are arguably just as self-deceived. The life of a typical dairy cow is worse than that of one destined to end up as steaks. In the United States, up to half of dairy cows suffer lameness, a problem also rife in the United Kingdom. Vegetarians can’t even claim that at least they are not responsible for the slaughter of cows, since the economics of the dairy industry means that most male calves are killed at birth, once they have served their only purpose as catalysts of lactation. ‘If you are really concerned about animal welfare,’ says Mance, ‘you should almost certainly stop eating dairy before you stop eating beef.’

more here.