In what ways does vegetarianism support animal rights as much or more than eating ethically sourced meat?
I am confused by the notion that vegetarianism supports the ethical treatment of animals. Isn’t it just burying one’s head in the sand, rather than confronting the problem? It seems to me that if the current population of vegetarians began supporting farms that raise cows and chickens in the pasture rather than in feedlots, the demand for these animals would rise and thus so would the number of animals being raised in an ethical way. I’m not sure if there would also be a drop in the number of factory farmed animals, but in any case the resources and profile of the ethical farming movement might rise dramatically.
Please note that this is a different question than why people are vegetarian – I realize that there are other, often overarching moral or healthful reasons to be veggie. So I think an answer like “I believe it is wrong to deprive another animal of life in order to feed myself,” while an excellent answer to this question I am not asking, does not speak to how food animals could possibly still continue their existence as a species and also be treated humanely. I am wondering specifically about how (or if) vegetarians think that abstaining from meat helps the cause for ethical treatment of animals.
The only answer I can come up with on my own is that many veggies must not want food animals to continue existing. Truth? Or is there a scenario you guys could imagine where we live with and eat food animals in a way you’d find morally acceptable? Or am I way off mark?