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Pandora's avatar

As a vegan are you guilty of killing animals by association?

Asked by Pandora (29495points) August 24th, 2010

I just read an article about the safety of eggs. Comments on the article got into a debate about meat eaters being killers and one meat eater responded by saying that vegans where delusional. The comment was about how they are guilty by eating vegatables that are picked by meat eaters who need the energy meat gives them to work a farm. So basically guilt by association.
At first I thought it was hogwash, but then I thought about terrorists. If you fund a terrorist group and even if you suspect that they do terrorist things than you are guilty by association.
The person who commented said the only way for them to be truly vegan is to grow their own crops and hire only other vegans.
Do you think they have a valid point?
PETA won’t hire people who eat meat and yet they take money from people who do eat meat? Does that make them guilty as well?

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9 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Oh, I love this, I do – rather than discus what meat eating and the dairy industry does to us all, as a society and to our environment, let’s talk some more about veganism, a practice so few understand. I may be guilty by association because I eat plants but the people picking my plants don’t need meat for ‘energy to work a farm’ any more than I need meat for energy to deal with stupidity (and I need, it seems, a lot of energy for this as the problem is vast), unless we’re talking about global stratification of who’s working out there so that the U.S. can be as rich as we are and in this, we’re all guilty and I don’t mind people eating meat when they have no other choice to do so because we’re screwing them over, financially but since we do have a choice and, furthermore, can’t all grow our own crops and hire other vegans (the first carrot Alex grew was an inch long and we have no money to make even but sure)...then we, as vegans. practice harm reduction and, comparatively speaking, are as vegan as we need to be and less guilty than some. So, no, I don’t think they have a valid point because, it seems to me, their only point is to relieve themselves of the guilt they are feeling for being meat eaters.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar


So, then a meat eater is doubly guilty, so still guiltier. Assuming I give this pointless argument any credit at all. Which I do not.

Like all things, it’s really more about harm reduction. We’re all guilty of so many terrible things via our tax dollars, that nit-picking like this is pointless.

muppetish's avatar

I always wonder whether the people who assume there is hypocrisy on all vegans, think the only reason anyone would be vegan is because they’re opposed to the consumption of animals (or animal byproducts.) That’s really not the only motivation.

I’m suspicious of any guilt by association argument period.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@muppetish Agree, there are, besides opposition to consumption of animals, plenty of other reasons for why I became a vegan and many of these reasons would be shared by people if they only knew.

JeanPaulSartre's avatar

Word @muppetish.
Also, I can’t control other people’s morality, nor would I want to if I had such a power.

NaturallyMe's avatar

No, that is not a valid point. Meat eaters will often grab at any straw in their meat eating versus vegetarianism/veganism debates, even going so far as saying that vegetables and plants are also living and so they are being murdered as well, so us vegetarians/vegans are big old hypocrites (according to them).
I’m sorry but, very few points that meat eaters have during these debates are valid.
Also i agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. What does it matter? I guess one could look at it like vegans by accepting food picked by people who ate meat were de facto supporting meat eating or it could be just that they (the vegans) acquiesce to the fact that meat eaters picked the vegetables. Just like if you highly suspected a group or person was a terrorist but said nothing don’t necessarily means you support them just because you were not actively against them.

Man was hunters and gatherers long before they were farmers, so to me eating meat is quite natural. Man has hunted or fished as soon as he was able to figure out how, whether by trapping prey, developing spears, bows and arrows or whatnot. This went on long before man became more sedimentary and not nomadic. Man for centuries followed the food chain. As a whole this farming thing and having domestic animals is rather new. Hard to have a farm if you are a nomad.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh…My…God. I just realized that the computer I’m using was probably assembled by meat-eaters! Guess I’d better go live in a cave without any technology and subsist on twigs and weeds…wrist to brow

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, wait…I’m not vegan. Guess it’s OK.

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