“But, how can that be?” You ask. “That doesn’t make any sense….”
Actually, it makes perfect sense due to the way we produce food, and who gets to eat it. And by “who”, I mean humans and other animals. Here is the YouTube comment that inspired this post. Someone, let’s call him Bob, had made a comment that eating vegetables is not vegan because of all the insects that die. Someone else then replied with the first comment in the image below, followed by Bob’s comment related to the world hunger problem, and the suffering of human beings in underdeveloped countries. Bob seemed to be on some vendetta to disprove every vegan comment in this thread that contained over 200 replies and comments, many of which were Bob’s, and most of which were ignorant and unfounded by factual information.
Someone needs to do their research.
According to a 2012 study, at that time we were producing enough food globally to feed 10 billion people. I can only imagine it has increased some since then. So you might ask yourself, if we’re producing enough food to feed about 2.5 billion more people than the worlds population, how could there be so much starvation in some countries? The problem isn’t food scarcity, it’s poverty and inequality. Most of the starving families and children in the world – about 80-90% – live in countries that grow food to feed the animals that are then eaten by western countries. [source] [source]
We also waste a huge amount of the food we do produce, about 1/3 of the food worldwide, actually. I recommend watching the documentary “Just Eat It” to learn about how much of our food we waste.
We are using the land of these underdeveloped countries to grow food to feed our food, while making the cost to buy food prepared for humans too expensive for those impoverish countries to afford. Our own demand for eating animals is the cause of their starvation, and we know this. So what do we do? Do we start sharing the food? Do we start making the costs lower? Do we drastically decrease the amount of animals we eat so we can use more of their food for humans? Do we stop wasting so much food? No, we don’t do any of these things. Instead, we start charities, and non-profit organizations to collect money that we give to those people in need. But that’s not enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that donating to these charities is wrong, or something you shouldn’t do if you want to help. What I am saying though, is that there is something else you can do that doesn’t even cost you money, and would have a much greater impact in the long run than donating a few bucks every month.
First of all, you have to consider where your money goes when you donate to a charity. They all differ, but every one of those organizations have over head costs such as office space, paper work, staffing (unless they are strictly volunteer based, including those who run the organization), print materials, office supplies, marketing, advertising, swag, travel expenses, etc. All of these things are crucial to the success of the charity, and they all cost money. Your financial donations contribute to that. Even if an organization is a “not for profit”, that does not mean that they cannot use donations to support their staff and their own living expenses. If this is a full time job for them, their own salary comes from your donations. Money doesn’t fall from the sky, and all charities make money by donations.
Again, different charities spend their money more wisely than others, but they all have unavoidable costs that must come from their donations. [source]
So, yes, some of your money does make it to the actual cause (and you could argue that all the above mentioned overhead costs are a part of making that cause happen, which is true), but you’re donating money to help fix a problem that you are in part responsible for causing in the first place, so would it not make more sense to stop causing the problem?
Every time you spend money on meat, dairy, eggs, and other animal products, you are contributing to the demand for those products. As long as there is a high demand for these products they will continue to exist. As long as they continue to exist, we will continue to feed those animals more than half of our own food. If we keep feeding 70-100 billion animals our food each year, we are not feeding this food to humans. If we keep not feeding humans, they will continue to starve to death. See how this works? Every action as a reaction. Cause and effect. It is so easy to buy a neatly packaged piece of cow flesh at the grocery store and not think about everything that needed to take place in order for that packaged meat to exist, and what buying that meat means for our future long term, but it’s just as easy to see the truth than it is to continue believing the lies you’ve been conditioned to believe since you were born.
Yes, it’s a huge problem, and it seems like an impossible system to break, and I’m not going to lie, it does seem that way to me too some days. It’s hard to stay optimistic about it. But the answer is so simple it’s almost laughable. Stop paying for animal products. If the demand for animal products is gone, the food can be fed to humans instead. The costs of food will decrease because the cost to produce the food will drop. Less developed countries will be able to keep the food they grow for themselves, instead of feeding it to animals they will never get to eat. You can argue all you want, but it really is that simple.
There are, of course, countless other reasons to go vegan, but I’m not going into those here. This post was just to address this one issue brought up by that YouTube comment.
I hope I’ve opened your eyes to a little bit more of the truth today and got you thinking about ways you can actually make a difference by changing a few small habits.