Why being vegetarian can kill more animals than eating meat

Measure of Doubt

The most common justification I hear for vegetarianism is “It’s wrong to kill an animal for food.” Of course there are other motivations, such as health, religion, environmentalism, preventing suffering, and trying to score with liberal chicks — but the moral wrongness of killing an animal for food is the probably the most common, at least in my experience.

Consequently, I’ve found it surprising that people so rarely acknowledge that vegetarians do kill millions of animals for food.  If you buy eggs or milk or cheese, it’s true in theory that the dairy cows and laying hens don’t have to be killed in order to supply you with those products, but in practice, they are. A modern factory farm isn’t just going to let their animals die of old age; they kill them at whatever point the farm considers to be the most profit-maximizing. For dairy cows, that’s usually at…

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