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Ethics of animal use in food production

 

This paper was submitted to the Food Ethics Council in May 2000

1 Vegan Attitude
1.1Vegans regard food production as part of a comprehensive kindness and respect to all living beings and even to apparently inanimate objects to which ill-treatment or indifference connotes some form of hurt or vandalism. Exploitation of animals in food production and associated factors in farming outputs for feedstuffs and for industrial purposes and trade in cash crops cannot be separated from matters of ethics and self-discipline. Veganism is strict (or full) vegetarianism.


2 Pain, Mercy, and Rights
2.1 Infliction of pain counts as the sharpest insult to this kindness, altho we descry life of some sort (and variably and controversially) in a plant or tree or as some manifestation of beauty, functionality or sensation. A work of art or architecture or engineering or a form of expression such as language should generate reverence and dignity and an expression of creation, endeavour, and life. The quality of mercy imbues these attitudes more powerfully than jejune and stilted confusions over rights. However, if the FAWC’s Five Freedoms were rigorously observed most of modern livestock farming would collapse. Practice according to the appropriate teachings in the Qu’ran would throttle modern-day production of meat, milk, and eggs, and render contention over ritual slaughtering almost academic. At least the teachings of the good man’s care for his beast and scriptural references in several religions enjoin some respect for the hygiene, work, and welfare of farm animals, and bid forgiveness in the form of prayer prior to lethal acts.


2.2Concepts of animal rights arouse unresolved distractions in the lewd and naughty world we live in. Rolf Harris and the RSPCA vets tend the wounds and ailments of dogs and cats while indulging appetites for the mortal remains of animals enjoying few rights in this flawed love. The city and farm cat has a fine disregard for the rights of birds and rodents; campaigns for the rights of foxes and badgers pay scant regard to the rabbits and other prey they kill for food; and much of the RSPB’s ministry protects out-and-out raptors, and its seasonal outbursts of peace and goodwill ride roughshod over any exiguous rights they bestow on the turkey, the oven-ready broiler, or the spent hen.

2.3 In assessing the infliction and perception of pain we consider the acute and the chronic. The excruciating shock of a stubbed toe recedes quickly but the chronic throbbing of lameness and abscessing is a woe that belittles it. Such unremitting pain must exceed the misery of, say, a human sufferer of untreated cellulitis in the lower limbs or of an ingrowing toenail.

2.4 Pain is a cruelty presumed form frank, clinical symptoms but also in the less obvious sub-clinical miseries of fear, terror, foreboding, fretting, pining, exhaustion, and inanition. Behavioural and physiological indicators are strong enough to generalise such signs of stress and distress from our own experience to other living beings, even to the lowest. If we are plunged into a tunnel, our alarm is tempered by the knowledge that we perceive a glimmer at the end likely to lead to safety and not to herald an oncoming train .A frightened cow or calf driven into the reverberating darkness, unrelieved by a leading light, of a transporter lorry and unable in inimical conditions to back out presents a picture of torture as ugly as the assault and battery on an animal stuck and bled, expeditiously or not .The wailing of cow and calf as their bond is sundered denotes a cruelty and baseness that Shakespeare rated with a disgust to match the horrors of the “ bloody slaughter house”(or the euphemised abattoir). He used the harm as an example of treachery.

2.5 We analyse pain and reaction to stress and adversity by the nature of the response. A plant such as mimosa pudica wilts before a stress automatically, and recovers. It will behave similarly through repeated challenges. It will behave similarly through repeated challenges of this kind as its nervous and immune systems seem to lack the elaborations of learning, reasoning, and anticipation that inform animal species and allow a gain of avoidance and defence with a loss in the form of pain and frustration. We should however grant that this division may be blurred. The fruitarian will argue, not always convincingly, that she/he does not kill the plant to harvest the grains and fruits. At a different level this might compare with plundering birds’ nests for some (fertile) eggs for human consumption or robbing a store of honey that bees had laid down for the survival of their species. We know that animals farmed for food and other purposes communicate vocally and by the means of smell in reactions common to our species in the workings of the fright-fight-flight response. We vegans are trying to interpret this language in a noninvasive way to assess behavioral signs of stress, distress, and woe. Such pressures and harm may be proven by indicators in the excreta of metabolic and endocrinological upsets. Tests of this type to reinforce the evidence could replace the present need to clinch scientifically by blood assays what seems otherwise persuasive testimony.

2.6 Physiology now offers sound indicators of pain mechanisms. Animal behaviorists descry signs of distress, many implicated variously in fright/flight/fight responses, that have not been bred out of farm animals removed from the wild state, who are submitted to unnatural challenges by our species, which has forced itself into the status of the world’s domineering and fiercest attacker. Yield extorted from animals providing milk and eggs counts as avoidable torture; wholesale massacre of such livestock and their offspring rates as crude assault and battery in processes degrading to the workers and a shame on the veterinary profession for its indifference, betrayal, and complicity.

3 Animal and Sentience
3.1 Two terms need definition at this stage: animal and sentience (or sensibility).

3.2 Laws governing the conduct of zoos and on experimentation in scientific procedures define the word animal in broad and generally acceptable terms, embracing in their purview the fetus, regarded as a sentient being arbitrarily after the first half of its gestation. This gesture of protection extends beyond practice in, say, the conduct of aborting human pregnancy, and surgeons have for long worked on the false premise that anesthesia is unnecessary during operations on the fetus (even after quickening) and on the newborn (as in circumcision). Modern evidence confirms that this indifference amounts to callousness.

3.3 The play of market forces results in the slaughter at times of food-producing animals carrying well-developed fetuses that could survive, although pre-term. Fetal calf serum (FCS) much required in medical research and in the production of vaccines, is obtained in such circumstances; FCS is required to maintain cell-lines in procedures intended to replace experimentation on live animals. Common practice ignores the command that such fetal livestock should be rendered “instantaneously insensible” before they are stuck and bled out: they die slowly by.phphyxiation and drowning. Wool from lambs thus delivered is prized by some people, but avoided by vegans.

3.4 Mince from unborn calves produced thus was once disdained by butchers as slink, in a curious nicety not extended to bobby calves born from diary-cows and converted only a few days old into veal-and-ham pies, soups, and baby-foods, and used as a source of skins and of rennet for cheese-making. Latterly, these by-products of the dairy-industry have counted as the waste of inadequately-controlled artificial insemination and breeding, and have been born, killed, and destroyed in a subsidized European scheme to curb an excessive output of meat from the diary/beef/veal industry - the so-called Herod Slaughter.

3.5 Analgesics are licensed for the relief of pain in favored species including ours (after deliberately painful experimentation on animals), but such designated relief is not available for lambs and sheep, yet these animals suffer in vicissitudes of all types, especially in hill and upland flocks, for which care falls far short of the psalmist’s view of the Good Shepherd’s attentions. Exposure, toxemia, neglect, and especially lameness due to various causes subject these stoical animals to severe, unrelieved pain. A battery of hurried sorting, treatments, and inoculations ensue upon their occasional collection from the inclement pastures.

3.6 Sentience is not defined, as far as we know, in English law. The word is being introduced into European legislation. It is interpreted in the UK as synonymous with consciousness or sensibility; unconsciousness is a state in which it is supposed that pain is not felt. Lack of sentience should therefore connote a similar relief. However, pain may be severe if consciousness returns, because convulsions or operating injury may become sites of stress and inflammation, as in the recovery of an epileptic or in the rawness and scarring of internal wounds, which is a disturbing concern in the practice of cesarian deliveries, some multiple, and the consequent risks of adhesions in deliveries of “ beefy” calves from predominantly “milky” dams. This is another abuse the vegan consistently abhors and exposes. The veterinary profession’s involvement in and connivance at such practices is lamentable.

3.7 Where there may be doubt over potentially cruel practice the vegan invokes the benefit of mercy, which can be applied with little deprivation or by the exercise of our wit and resource. The nervous systems of some shellfish are not well understood, but boiling lobsters alive is a practice that can be avoided merely by leaving the animals be and by choosing unexceptionable foods in a well-intentioned and probably effectual act of forbearance – which should lead to other manifestations of informed self-discipline.

3.8 Vet and farmer don’t look for liveability in their animals beyond puberty in primarily meat-producing livestock and for an early cull in cows and hens laying eggs. About 1 in 4 cows in the dairy-herd are culled each year because of disease and premature exhaustion; they fail to achieve a 4th lactation and pregnancy.

3.9 Neonatal mortality in farm animals runs at over 10 times the rate common for human babies. The difference can be attributed to intensification and the lack by stock-keepers and vets to devote elements of TLC (tender, loving care) on their charges. About 1 in 2 of dairy-calves go to market without their fill of colostrum, so their immune systems are inadequately primed to withstand the stress and infections to which they are subject in transport, auctioning, and dealing.

4 Consumption, Appetite, Greed
4.1 The average Briton devours more than his or her own weight of animal flesh each year, which corresponds to about double this weight of live animal. It can also be expressed as the consumption per person in a life time of nearly 800 poultry, 36 pigs, 36 sheep, and 7 or 8 cattle, as well as a sundry bestiary of game (rabbits, pheasants etc), deer, ostriches, and hundreds of fish. The annual massacre in the UK of terrestrial livestock exceeds 800 million – and the total for consumption will be over 1 billion when allowance is made for exported and imported meat and derived products.

4.2 Experimental procedures take an annual toll of 2 to 3 million animals in the UK. The country’s population of pet (or companion) livestock numbers about 7.5 million cats and 7m dogs, as well as a large collection of horses, rabbits, birds, and insects, attracting a profitable part of the food industry and of the veterinary profession and media and animal welfare interests. Animals in this favored population enjoy care and attention denied to the food-producing livestock, which are exempted from some of the welfare regulations covering animals in the other categories. Most of the farm animals in live/deadstock production do not receive individual therapy when they fall ill; mass-medication may be administered in hit-and-miss treatments when weight-gain and other measures of production are likely to falter. Horses straddle the divide, being in the category of companion animals on the one hand or being agricultural on the other, with corresponding differences in the veterinary care and sanctuary allocated to them. Horses are slaughtered for meat in the UK, but the meat is exported. Like veal, it doesn’t command sales in Britain.

4.3 Well-endowed charities provide succor for aged and injured horses and donkeys. Such facilities for other failing or falling livestock comprise culling, knackery, and fellmongering, and probably feeding of the flesh and offals to dogs in hunt-kennels or to animals in zoos and circuses. Vegans raise funds to run one of the very few sanctuaries for victims, including 2 farmers, of the callous meat and diary business. This enterprise has survived for about 30 years. Some of the cattle have lived for as long; and the saying for donkeys’ years is confirmed by examples on the pastures of this farm/sanctuary. No official subsidies are granted for such custodianship. Adoption of vegan principles does not connote elimination of species introduced and reared by stimulated methods for the production of food; rather, the return of these immigrants and genetic freaks to a careful feral custody or to a wild existence unmolested by our species.

5 Killing
5.1 Whereas pets are “euthanased” or “put down” or “to sleep” with some decorum and respect, many by an injection, the food animals have to be slaughtered by methods of stunning ensued by bleeding-out. Massacre would be an apter word for the commercial operation of slaughter-lines killing hundreds of animals and thousands of birds each day. Overdosing with analgesic drugs as a means killing or prior to slaughter is precluded from procedures on animals whose remains are intended for food or feed, because residues in the meat and offals would endanger consumers.

5.2 Pre-slaughter stunning is intended to produce instanteous insensibility, in the manner of a boxer’s sock-on-the-jaw, except that the blow is shot by a contrivance delivering the shock (and thus compression of the brain, causing temporary unconsciousness) to the animal’s forehead. Captive-bolt guns are used for this purpose. Further lethal acts must follow in the brief moments before the animal regains consciousness, dazed and sore maybe, but technically ineligible for sticking and bleeding and “dying a second death;” however, animals killed by Jewish ritual are stuck unstunned. Prior stunning may be allowed in Muslim religious ritual (for halal meat).

5.3 The stunned animal is yanked up by one leg or laid on its back in a cradle. A stab cuts its throat into the major vessels in the chest cavity or by the horizontal “Jew cut” for animals killed by shechita. The beating of the heart continues, pumping out the blood. Some constriction of the severed arteries may occur, restricting the loss of blood draining from the head (and brain). Death supervenes after some minutes, during which the animal kicks violently in its throes. Cattle weighting up to ¾ -ton have to be slaughtered in this way, during which the animal loses several gallons of blood.

5.4 Butchers believe that bleed-out in this fashion determines quality in the meat and a satisfactory kill. Jewish religious ritual also pays much regard to removing the blood, and requires salting and other procedures to render the meat kosher. Jewish slaughter is carried out by rabbis trained in the ritual, and the examination ("searching”) is in charge of shomas who inspect the meat and offals (altho such products passed as kosher may be rejected by inspectors of the Meat Hygiene Service, and material discarded as trefa by the shochets and shomas – for instance, owing to miscarriage in the procedure – may be sold off, with no distinguishing information, on the ordinary market). Jews will allow their ritual horizontal cut to be followed almost immediately by the ventral stab executed by any slaughterer. Muslims insisting on sticking of a conscious animal may nonetheless allow an almost simultaneous performance of the stunning process.

5.5 Investigations have shown that bleeding-out of a recently-dead animal by gravity is as efficient as in procedures in which the heart continues pumping to the end. This finding lends support to proponents of stun-kill procedures in a single act (e.g. by electrocution).

5.6 In deference mainly to the safety and welfare of the workers, who have to avoid the hefty kicking of the dying animal after the cut, resort is made in some British slaughterhouses to pithing of cattle, by which a rod is shoved back and forth deep into the head to prolong the insensibility and diminish subsequent death throes. This procedure is resorted to much less in other countries, mostly because of risks of contamination, especially of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

5.7 Electrical stunning is practised, particularly on poultry and pigs. This can be tricky in ensuring that the current passes through the brain, causing a deeper stun than mere curarization, which paralyses the muscles (thus removing the ability to scream) without suppressing the sensations of pain and fear. Poor contacts or tracking of the current over the skin may reduce the required effect on the brain. However, stun-kill may be achieved by ensuring strong pulses through the brain and heart simultaneously, followed by bleeding-out by gravity. Some farmed fish are stun/killed.

5.8 Advances – if that is the word – have been made by stunning, particularly of pigs and poultry, by lowering the livestock in paternoster arrangements into gas chambers and then raising them for sticking and bleeding-out. Carbon dioxide is regarded by some as a cheap and effective gas for this purpose, but at high concentrations it is irritant and the animals may cough and choke a lot before they lose consciousness. Replacement or dilution with “inert” gases such as argon is being tested.

5.9 These are ugly and avoidable practices. We regard it unethical to turn a blind eye to the assault and battery on the animals and the disgusting work expected of the workers. Pious litanies of the woes and recommendations for reforms have been collected by experts sitting in one committee after another, and with politicians, the trade, and the public constantly reluctant to face the facts and act The distancing of a predominantly urban population of customers from the production of food has been increased as meat has been sold, for various reasons, in shops in which the links between the mortal remains wrapped in the cabinet are discreetly disguised in a vicious obscurantism.

5.10 As Professor John Kerbs acknowledged in assuming directorship of the newly-launched Food Standards Agency, which is pledged to represent consumer interests from plough to plate, customers are reluctant to dwell on the origins of the meat products on their tables or in snacks; and what they do hear, is euphemized – the BSE epidemic has at least exposed some of the time-dishonored facts.

6 Dead Slow in Reform. Euphemization Instead.
6.1 In the 1930s campaigners in the RSPCA and other welfare interests secured a ban on the use of the pole-ax to fell cattle and horses, and the practice of preslaughter stunning was continued with the application of a captive-bolt pistol or, in some instances, with an outright kill, with a free bullet (but with risk to workers in the vicinity if the gun was badly aimed, so that the bullet emerges with force from the back of the stricken animal’s head). In an unfortunate bout of elation at the ban of the pole-ax the animal welfarists called the captive-bolt pistol the “humane killer”, a grotesque euphemism that has obscured the fact that the implement stuns but doesn’t kill, and the toll of errors and misuse over the years of application of the original, modified, and other devices is an indictment of appalling cruelty. Research continues to this day on the efficacy of pre-slaughter stunning and stun-kill procedures, especially in interpretation of the requirement for an “instantaneous” knockout. Strict enforcement of this stipulation would bring many slaughter-lines to a halt. Manufactures don’t guarantee 100% efficiency. Even at a failure rate of 1% about 8 million sentient animals would be slowly bled to death each year. Conditions for the lingering death in fish catches are also appalling.

6.2 The early reforms were secured in a decade when George Bernard Show was leading the Fabian-minded Bloomsbury set on a campaign against the enormities of the meat industry. That flame of ethical zeal has died down. Since then billions of animals have been slaughtered “humanely”, millions suffering from inept application or training of workers doing a rotten job and stimulated by payment by headage-rates to cut corners and omit the niceties, even in the small slaughterhouses that now attract so much uncritical sympathy. Until a few years ago, when the Meat Hygiene Service was set up, animal welfare and hygiene were overseen by local authorities with varying standards or hardly any at all. Meat inspectors were (and still are, in many respects) an intimidated band, with few bold enough to act on everyday infringements in a work-force whose skills were classified by the government as offensive trades.

6.3 The vets’ complicity in all this ill-treatment has been deplorable. Many of the abuses have been documented, and recommendations have been ignored. Changes in population and trade have increased ritual (i.e. according to Jewish and Muslim religious stipulations) slaughter; Sikhs, however, do not insist on the practice here of their method (jatka), which entails beheading the animal in a mighty stroke of the blade. This act is dramatic, but laboratory experiments indicate that sentience lingers after the cut. Some experimentation on the conduct of methods commonly used has been abandoned because it is too awful to continue, but it has demonstrated the cruel fallacy of humane slaughter. Other euphemisms lulled the not- to-know complacency. Abattoir was introduced as a discreet replacement for slaughterhouse, in an attempt to hide the bloody truth from consumers who didn’t know that the French verb abattre means to batter down – a nice translation; and the very word butcher and its variations hardly speak for deft and kindly skills with knife and hatchet. Some slaughtermen (women are very few, and slaughterers and meat-porters, bummarees, and butchers belong to trades with right-wing outlooks embarrassing to the unions representing them ) still talk of animals “dying” in the premises. Shambles was the original word for a slaughterhouse.

6.4 Reform in the Jewish method has occurred with difficulty and errors. Hobbling and throwing of 4-legged animals and slaughtering on the floor have been abandoned in British slaughterhouses, if only for reasons of hygiene. In a seriously flawed attempt at reducing the cruelty the Jewish authorities were persuaded to accept a capsizing (or casting) pen to constrain a large animal, so that the slaughterer could take his knife to its throat after its violent struggles had subsided. For years Jewish slaughterers insisted that they could exercise the mortal thrust only with the animal upside-down. They have at last been persuaded to administer the cut upwards on the animal constrained in an upright position, but execution of this procedure still makes difficulties.

6.5 The Jewish ritual purports to improve on methods used before its writ began to run. The ritual excludes stunning prior to the cut as an ineligible injury to a “perfect” animal on which the deed must be done. Perfection to the rabbis is a much strained quality, for the livestock submitted to the ritual are no different from the run of the general market: they may include animals injured or diseased at the livestock market or auctions, the cows and ewes may be barren, the sheep broken-mouthed, and the steers physiologically imperfect because they have been castrated and thus emasculated.

6.6 In the exigencies of WW2 Jewish slaughterers and butchers in Britain abandoned the practices of porging (i.e. removing blood vessels and nerve tissue) the hindquarters, because it was tricky. Since then Jews in Britain have had to make do with forequarter cuts, and the hindquarters from shechita have been sold off on the ordinary market with no indication of their origin. At the moment efforts are being made by some British butchers, who have lost the skills of porging, to import kosher “buttock beef” from countries such as Argentina that can still produce it. This initiative has engendered some strife between Ashkenazi and Sephardic clerical courts in the UK.

6.7 The Jewish dietary diktats, like other religious rituals, manifest some respect for the animals and the act of killing them for food. The interpretation of parve practices in the kosher regime precludes consumption of meat and milk in one meal (hence black coffee at the end of it), this being an oft-repeated injunction in the Old Testament against seething the kid in its mother’s milk. The Jewish Vegetarian Society has no truck with any slaughtering of animals for food, and all vegetarians find non-meat Jewish commodities declared parve a reliable source also of non-dairy products.

6.8 Proponents of capital punishment strain after humane means of execution, there being misgivings over the suitability of hanging, shooting, or electrocution. A human being weighs about the same as a pig destined for the meat trade. We are assured that thousands of these animals are slaughtered daily in a humane fashion by trained operators, who could surely kill human subjects as acceptably. Such a procedure is conspicuously absent from the suggestions for humane executions in civilized countries. A revealing doubt lingers.

7 Outlets for the Fifth-Quarter: Woolly Thinking
7.1 Farming yields more than foods: it is a source also of products used for other purposes in industry. The vegan is therefore concerned with implications with or beyond dietary practice. Fifth-quarter and other objectionable by-products of the live/deadstock industry turn up in household goods, toiletries, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals, as well as in clothing and footwear. Vegans strive to prevent complicity in these guises with such avoidable exploitation of the animal kingdom; however, in today’s world leather might be regarded as a resource less offensive on environmental grounds than synthetic alternatives. This dilemma would diminish as production of animal-derived food declined. Similar factors would work for the application of wool. Much wool is obtained by shearing live animals and the process can be regarded at the moment as an expedient contributing to the wellbeing of livestock bred and kept in unequal conditions for which natural processes of moulting are inadequate. Very little wool is made from naturally-moulted hair caught in country hedgerows.

7.2 Production of wool and similar animal-derived fibres raises doubts over the care taken in shearing, the ultimate or primary fate of the sheep or lamb, and farming practices in dagging and mulesing the animals and in tending flocks carefully to prevent disease and infestations, such as scab, flystrike, lameness, and scrapie, as well as the appalling losses - certainly in the UK – in lambing due to exposure, hypothermia disease, and neglect.

8 Mutilation
8.1 Shearing represents one.phpect of the range of alterations (or “amendments”), beneficial as well as offensive, that have been wrought on domesticated animals. Even organic farmers and enthusiasts for “natural” foods connive at artificial insemination to hasten the reproduction of freakish animals modified to become food-producing machines of seriously curtailed “liveability”. Vegans object, for instance, to the extremes of the dairy /beef/veal industry in playing genetic games and AI to breed in “milkiness” or “beefiness” as required by the demands of the market. Resort to other means of boosting growth and production, abuse of “farmeraceuticals”, digestive enhancers, and metaphylaxis are forms of mutilation and abuse that damn the live/deadstock industry and begin, as reaction to intensified genetic manipulation increases, to arouse misgivings among a population far more numerous than the vegans. The objections multiply as disquiet mounts over GM-commodities and GMOs – which now comprehend feedstuffs and concentrates – although more on vaguely-descried reservations over risk to health and the environment, rather than to the focus on animal welfare. Woolliness and loss of hair merely by plucking it out in handfuls are traits that can be genetically engineered into sheep.

8.2 Castration is another mutilation common in the live/deadstock industry, in which the neutered populations enormously outnumber the “entire” males. The operation, which may be crudely carried out, is a cruelty excused as the lesser evil for the protection from aggression for the livestock and the farmworkers. It is a symptom of the sacrifice demanded of the animals in normal and “organic” systems to produce commercial meat, milk, and eggs. Egg-production illustrates such malpractices in the perversion of the birds’ dignity in forcing production, overriding seasonal respites, and in callously massacring male chicks and prematurely “spent” hens. This condemnation applies to “free-range” and to caged and perchery systems.

8.3 Mutilations are required in poultry breeder-flocks (e.g. dubbing and toe-removal) to reduce injury during copulation (“treading”). Such surgery is probably a welfare-factor in the conditions the birds are kept in. Breeding is producing freaks so malformed that the birds are physically incapable of copulation: they have to be artificially inseminated. Disbudding and dehorning of ruminants may be a cruelty in the name of kindness. Debeaking (trimming) of intensively-reared poultry and game-birds are further devices in manifestations of false kindness. In our own species the mutilations of circumcision and infibulation render controversial benefit to the innocent subjects on whom they are perpetrated.

8.4 Docking of the tails of sheep, pigs, and dogs is another dubious mutilation, serving as some mitigation of stresses inflicted by intensification and by abnormal usage of the livestock. The necessity is a sign of objectionable husbandry. Clipping piglets’ teeth and the beak-trimming of poultry and intensively- reared game-birds are other questionable and frequent mutilations leaving victims with lasting pain and stress. Defence can be made for individual corrections by vets of ingrowing nails and horn, as necessary to avert injury. To avoid such problems genetically-polled breeds of cattle should be reared; if necessary, early disbudding should be allowed only by trained practitioners. Docking of sheep’s tails is justified as a means to reduce the incidence of fly-strike, an appalling affiction now likely to become commoner as the use of organophosphate dips to prevent scab is being curtailed on grounds of the safety of the human operators.

8.5 The surgical tricks of this trade extend to procedures, abetted by drug-induced hormonal
manipulations, to achieve multiple ovulations and embryo-transfers as developments on AI. This market is troubled by an imbalance in the births of male and female calves, with an embarrassing surfeit of bobby- calves, for which sales for the veal trade have been throttled, partly owing to distaste on animal welfare grounds. Breeders are trying to surmount these difficulties by artifices prolonging lactations (so the calving /gallonage ratio is lowered) or by sexing of semen for AI; or by reviving a moribund market by producing “welfare-friendly rosy veal” from Freedom foods, with the full diapason of euphemistic notes, or as baby-beef or vitello.

8.6 Cesarean delivery “by the side-door” is now a not-uncommon procedure resorted to because modern cattle-breeding threatens birth of offspring ill-shaped, as dam or offspring, for easy parturition. Such crude surgery is attended by longer-term misery for, say a cow, in the form of internal scarring or adhesions. Systems that put untoward risk on calving, e.g. of “beefy” offspring from “milky” cows or heifers, are deplorable and the frequency of cesareans is a symptom of a fundamental evil. The workings of the whole dairy/beef/veal system, which depend on the meanness of stealing the baby calf, probably denied even its fill of colostrum, so that the deprived and grieving mother can be mechanically sucked for the commercial milk supply is a rapine the dominates that the ‘vegans’ aversion to all manifestations of the system. Most of British beef originates from this perverted demand by human consumers for cheap food. The processes are attended by a litany of production diseases and metabolic failures, leading to premature culling. BSE emerged from the dairy-herd and has concentrated in it, so that overworked and cast cows have to be incinerated, being useless for any conversion into food or fifth-quarter industrial products (other than fuel).

8.7 Some mutilations are imposed on people with purports of satisfying real or cultural benefit, but possibly with controversial corollaries. Routine circumcision is a debatable procedure. Methods of contraception and abortion compensate for the population control of disease among the young before medical interventions overcame this form of culling. Vegans have strong views on population control and the sentience and rights of the conceptus, as well as the possibility that unconstrained reproduction will deliver many babies into miserable lives of squalor, poverty, and hunger. The motto Let Live and Live demands acute interpretation in assessment of harm and benefit.

9 Traceability and What isn’t on the Label
9.1 Animal welfare has become a marketable source of premiums, albeit less powerful than “organic”, “GM-free”, etc. VAT on foods (Virtue Adding Tricks) is a (very) free-ranging delusion that lacto-ovo-vegtarians (“lovies”) cultivate to fend off the vegan challenge. The lovies have latterly regressed, and by facile approvals, connived at by many so-called animal welfarists, have disadvantaged the advance to veganism. “Vegetarian” cheese is as objectionable as beef from suckler-reared herds – or more so. In many ways consumers of organic foods confining themselves to animal-derived commodities produced in conditions according to the Soil Association code are advancing more quickly and effectively than the lovies to the vegans’ notions of farming. Vegans abstain from eggs and their derivatives because the poultry originate from timid birds of the jungle, seeking hides for nesting and escape, and laying seasonally, and for whom free-range is an alien and even inimical environment. Vices and cannibalism are common in commercial free-range flocks, so the hens’ beaks are “trimmed” in a mutilation to reduce injurious pecking aggravated by the stress. Mortality during the period of lay is usually worse than in caged flocks. Slaughter of unwanted male chicks (about one for every layer) by gassing or “maceration” (chopping the live chicks, Flymo-style), and the catching, transport, and slaughter of spent hens are as offensive – or worse – in free-range production as in cage and “barn” (perchery) systems.

9.2 Commercially available eggs are infertile: the hens don’t mingle with cockerels – who were massacred as day-old chicks for conversion into feed for livestock on farms and in zoos. The eggs roll away as the hen lays them, so they are kept clean, but she can make no nest of her own to sit on a clutch.

9.3 Base approvals of “vegetarian” cheese have hindered vegans’ efforts at explaining the ill-treatment of cow and calf in the workings of the dairy/beef/veal industry. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians have betrayed these animals (and, similarly, ewes and nanny-goats) by elaborate diversions over rennets used in relatively minute amounts as processing aids. The animal-derived content in these rennins and maturing agents becomes vanishingly small – beyond even homeopathic dilutions – when chymosins and lipases and other enzymes made by means of genetically-modified micro-organisms are applied in cheese-making. Lacto-vegetarians wriggle with excuses to escape their complicity in one of worst.phpects of intensified livestock production and slaughter. It is a connivance perpetuated in societies and organizations purporting to act in the interests of animal welfare, and has generated some impracticable mimsy, harking to Hindu principles of commercial milk-production from weary cows and their castrated offspring yoked to the plow. It is often overlooked that the diary-cow doesn’t last long because she is forced into a system that keeps her simultaneously gestating and prodigally lactating for over half the year.

9.4 Space on labels is a much-contested terrain as various interests jostle for disclosures of their particular interests. Other groups cash in by “selling the symbol” or “leasing the logo” in attempts at securing wide-ranging and often questionable assurances and approbation. Vegans have engaged with manufacturers and retailers on this issue and offered practicable means of informing customers objectively. It is only now and grudgingly that say, the “free-range” farm is routinely named; nor is the farm of origin, breed of livestock, and avenue and means of marketing and slaughter revealed on meat to the customer; and such traceability would be imprecise if the purchaser sought the origins of the milk in the carton or bottle. More revelations would support the vegans’ arguments and prompt reforms to increase the range of suitable foodstuffs – unless a surfeit of information generates indifference.

10 Husbandry and Populations
10.1 Contraception, abortion, and surgical interventions, routine or for sporadic remedial purposes, pose vegans several challenges in their attitudes to animals in the wild and kept for company or enslaved as a source of food or for other commercial gain. Means of contraception, like other mechanical and medical devices, have been invented by resort to physiological experiments and tests on animals, in what were formerly described in the parliamentary Act as procedures of scientific cruelty. It is easy not to oust experimentation for the development of “safe” cosmetics and toiletries but less easy to halt tests on household goods, pesticides, and food additives and components, as well as on medications for human and veterinary purposes, in the quest for safety and convenience, as well as for profit. This exploitation of the animal kingdom raises corollaries every day and is a challenge overlooked by vegans or the cause of division among those insisting on a complete ban, those denying themselves any benefit or knowledge won in this way after a specified date, or the advocates of the 3Rs concept for reduction, refinement, and replacement, which becomes ever more difficult with demands for products from novel processes, such as new biotechnology, or for long-known commodities applied in new conditions, possibly as promising additions to the vegan dietary.

10.2 Birth control troubles vegan consciences, inasmuch as contraception with “the Pill” (and hormone replacement therapy, HRT) entail recourse to estrogens obtained from mares (pregnant mares’ serum gonadotrophins, Premarin, PMSG), which are also used to regulate estrus and achieve synchronization in ewes and cows, e.g. in preparations used as intravaginal sponges or pessaries). Synthetic alternatives for vegan women are available. Misgivings for vegans remain because these products have been developed by physiological and toxicological investigations that would otherwise be condemned.

10.3 The objections extend to the conditions in which the stalled mares are kept for collection of their potent urine and to the fate of these animals and their progeny, some of which find their way into the traffic in live horses from N America into Europe to be slaughtered there for their meat.

10.4 Keeping livestock tied fore-and-aft, with restricted opportunities to turn, or in stalls with similar designs is an aid to hygiene, feed going in one end and excreta out at the other. It is not a new practice, but is now in disrepute and threatened decline for sows. It is not common in the UK for cows, but is seen more frequently in other countries for animals housed in smaller units (so imported cheese and some meat-products may derive from animals kept in such conditions). In Britain dairy-cows are overwintered in cubicles and straw-yards where risks of disease and distress are high. Keepers of small herds or single animals in stalls may give the stock an hour or two each day unconfined.

10.5 There remains the clash underlying the process of population control that means of holding back rises in human numbers are accompanied by methods for the stimulated fecundity and fertility of livestock competing unequally with strained resources in land or water, and converting feed into food inefficiently. Grow Food, not Feed is a Green Plan maxim that pays more heed to the quality of life than to meretriciously high standards of living.

11 Alternatives and Change
11.1 Recourse to modern food technology, thriftily turning crops into plant-milks in gleaming stainless steel vats, offers a preferable alternative to stuffing heavily fertilized perennial rye-grass and imported –
and possibly GM – concentrates into a miserable, mastitic, mucky, and milky mother. Such products from the mechanical cow, pioneered in this country by the vegan movement, are now on general sale for customers with a variety of objections to animal-derived milk. At the moment the products labor under disadvantages of price and lack of the subsidization advantaging the conventional dairy industry.

11.2 Vegans continue to reawaken interest in the potential of leaf-protein as an advantageous direct source of “dairy” products. Food technology has advanced since WW2, when this process was developed as a simple means of enhancing diets in hungry and poor nations, and it bids fair to return in improved forms in developments in the food market. Such veganizing alternatives could do much to relieve the oppression of the cow and her calf. Most vegans take similar views over the exploitation of bees for their honey, propolis, royal jelly, wax, etc.

11.3 Biotechnology boosts intensification of the agricultural revolution, e.g. by genetic engineering, to anticipate the rising populations of people and animals and to overcome present hunger and starvation, avert its recurrence, and to allow for higher standards of living, in the American style, with an increased content of animal-derived foods. These are perverse trends because, say, oriental and Mediterranean diets have been advocated to counter the excesses of American and North European consumption, and the sharp rise in intakes of meat and dairy-products in China and Japan is being accompanied, as would be expected, by an increase in the western diseases of untoward degeneration.

11.4 The vegan movement has been reviewing such issues in earnest since the launch in 1976 of its Green Plan to direct attention and campaigning on policies for farming, food, health, and the land. This thinking implicates personal example in population control and demographic adjustment. In America and Northern Europe longevity and birth control are keeping populations steady; however, for the UK a population of 60 million people and the corresponding numbers of livestock are excessive for its land area if it is to allow decent space for thrifty agricultural production, leisure, and wildlife, as well as for disposal and recycling of wastes, without dependence on ghost acres abroad to balance, in the exercise of organic principles and sustainability, the import and export of food (as well as managing pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases). Vegans must warn that the fertilized human conceptus can increase as a peril until fewer babies are born to each adult. Families, whether royal or prime ministerial, with as many as 4 surviving children present a poor example. It is one that vegans disavow in their efforts at treading lightly on this planet. However, demographic corollaries of aging populations ensue.

11.5 Reform in many respects is impeded by understandably entrenched interests. Cut down smoking, and tobacco growers and cigarette manufacturers are put out of employment and business. Widescale adoption of diets lowered in their content of animal-derived components would change farming practices and the food-industry, as well as rural and urban environments. Green Planning is a necessity in tackling the alterations responsibly. Other trends may strengthen, notably climate change. It is already possible to grow in the UK crops such as chickpeas and lentils, as a vegan group in collaboration with an official employment agency in the Midlands proved with a group of farmers of Indian origin, immigrants from Central Africa.

11.6 At the moment farming subsidies and grants are favoring better-off consumers who spend more on purchases of food and catering services than the poor, for whom relief in the interests of sound nutrition are more pressing. There persists also the “right” to afford consumption of animal-derived foods. Lentils and many vegan staples are disparaged as “poor man’s meat” and lenten fare, but they are nutritionally desirable; however, they bear the cost associated with a niche market and are therefore disproportionately expensive for a simple commodity. Rich sources of dietary calories are still likely to be sweetened and fatty manufactured foods, such as cakes and biscuits, that may actually be vegan or suitable for lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Reform of food policies is needed.

11.7 The Old Testament records the first nutritional experiment, in which Daniel and his colleags, with help from the court eunuch, prevailed on King Nechuchadnezzar to allow them to abstain from the royal meat. Sustained by a diet based on pulses, the group emerged from the test vigorous enough to convince the king of its adequacy. Veganism needs epidemiology nowadays of greater rigor to satisfy peer-review of its nutritional attributes.

12 “Our” Companion Animals, Pets and Living Toys?
12.1 Vegans face challenges in their attitudes to keeping animals as pets, for sport, or as guide dogs. Such companions may perform a useful but understated function as guardians and deterrents and exterminators of unwanted invaders of “our” territory. Dogs and cats occupy a special place in many people’s concerns. Vets treat horses differently according to animals’ status as companions or as agricultural animals destined, like cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs to be killed in conditions and by methods abhorrent to owners of pets. The cat hunts for food, kills rodents and small birds, like human pursuers of “sport”, in its version of animal rights; and dogs and cats are wont to consume the mortal remains of “ less equal” animals, if not taking crumbs from the human table, at least substantial scraps from the butchers' fifth quarter. Rights count for little when the favored species torment and kill, directly or indirectly, animals regarded as intruders. It would be a gung-ho butcher who tried to flog a dead horse in Britain.

12.2 Dogs can be kept demi-vegetarians or vegans, but they may not like a change when they are old, Change of diet, even a slight difference in food and drink upsets animals. Farmers recognize the setbacks in production. Cats are less equipped than dogs to thrive on vegan food. Such a regimen would need much modification with supplements and dietary adjustments based on unpleasant laboratory experimentation into nutritional deprivation. However, cats solve such problems by hunting, and their intervention in this function in domestic and farming contexts is a contribution that vegans gladly connive at, but have to acknowledge. Likewise, the territorial rights in arable areas and stores are fought out in warfare with many unpleasant.phpects. Pigeons raiding crops of oilseed rape and rodents and birds round the granary receive short shrift.

12.3 Many pets find and adopt their owners; some are rescued strays, others are aging, frail, and dependent members of the family or companions of the elderly, Bonds of trust and affection abound and suppress thought of provenance of their food and the experimentation behind the vaccines and medication they will need. Blood is thicker than water and charity begins at home are precepts much tested in a world of extremes of affluence and plenty and attitudes of fog-in-the-Channel-Continent-isolated sort. Logic would certainly tell the vegan that careful destruction of this population of livestock would relieve the animal kingdom of an even greater sacrifice. Breeding of these species – which are not equipped for survival after a return to the wild, nor do they serve as substitutes for the livestock now routinely turned into meat for human consumption – should be halted, preferably in the first place by means of humane contraception.

12.4 Here are decisions over which most vegans flinch. Such predicaments are common: we may anguish over abortion, the sentience and rights of conceptus and fetus, and the possibility of euthanasia for our moribund grandma, yet spare hardly a thought for millions of sentient human beings denied a life because of starvation and disease. Recent British generations of the great and good were incited and extolled to bayonet evil Germans or wipe them out from on high with explosives and fire, yet some rules of mercy obtained in the brutality; the enemy were not used for meat or soap, and the weaponry reduced finally to nothing more injurious than Mrs Thatcher’s handbag. It seemed to many in the conflict illogical to rescue the enemy wounded and thus frustrate completion of the intended mode of destruction. Few vegans can steel themselves to betray the trust of a pet in the logical outworking of scientific correctness. Vegans say that the relentless brutality, which amounts to an everlasting enslavement and war on the animal kingdom, must now be effectively reversed. The knives must be returned to humane functions or to the scabbard.

12.5 Such considerations extend to vegans’ objections, like those of many others, to the exploitation and degradation of animals in the racing of horses and dogs, baiting and hunting of prey with dogs, fishing and angling in all forms, circuses involving performing animals and zoos with captive wild and exotic species kept in unsuitable conditions and fed on some of the least savoury by-products of the slaughtering and food-producing industry. These pastimes and exhibitions blink strong evidence that fish feel pain and fear and that in their stoical response of ruminants to stress, sheep suffer distress silently in trials uncritically applauded with dogs.

12.6 Vegans aver that such abuses can be pleasurably and educationally replaced or at least progressively diminished, and they practise a consistent line of desistance.

12.7 Farming and countryside pursuits raise further questions. If vegans and like-minded welfarists prevail, populations of country people and animals will need to be helped thru changes, redundancy, and retirement. Not only dogs from hunts will have to be considered, but also flocks and herds of animals spared to live out their lives, like pets, unproductively; and many of these survivors will be out-and-out vegan herbivores. Vegans are therefore pleading for farming subsidies to be diverted from production to care of the environment and animal welfare. In an earnest of this ministry they raise funds to support a husband and wife, once dairy-farmers, who abandoned 25 years ago complicity in the industry that so viciously treated their cows and calves, and they turned their pastures into a sanctuary. This pioneering stand contrasts with the relentless commercial efforts at stimulating milk and meat-production, to which many self-styled animal welfarists are treacherous accomplices (see ).

13 Evolved Nutrition
13.1 Consumption of milk is low in the archetypally healthy diets, altho resort to fermentation in some (e.g. to produce such dairy foods as yoghurt and cheese) overcomes problems with natural and widespread lactose (milk-sugar) intolerance and with intolerance to alien animal-derived proteins. Therefore the precept for vegans that the body is the human temple and mens sana in corpore sano represents an ethical persuasion subserving a selfish interest. Moreover, British vegans wholeheartedly initiate and engage in epidemiological studies to test the cause, volunteering themselves as experimental guineapigs as one of the best earnests in replacing procedures on other and less relevant species. Iatrogenic anemia, induced by multiple use of the researchers’ needles, may account for more of any deficiency in vegans than a lack of iron in the diet. They welcome the scientific progress that harnesses the wit and resource of our species to higher qualities of living.

13.2 Conventional nutritional teaching accepts the benefits to health of a directly plant (and algal) based diet, with certain provisos of over deficiencies related to some extent by the “unfriendliness” of the modern food market and custom in countries such as the UK to vegan needs. Therefore, vegans, probably more than any other group in western countries, have recourse to supplementation, notably for certain minerals (e.g. iodine, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium) and vitamins (e.g. B-vitamins, especially B12 and vitamin D). Many non-vegans consume such supplements too and, like vegans, enjoy the benefits of fortified staple foods or take such additions unnecessarily or to excess. Some supplementation reaches the general population indirectly, for the feeds of intensively-reared livestock must be fortified to maintain fertility and production. Thus illthrift avoided in livestock passes on benefits, going back ultimately to remedying geological deficits, in human consumers, notably in the essential nutrients iodine, selenium, and copper.

13.3 Vegans exercise vigilance over the origins and formulation of supplements and additives because animal-derived components such as gelatin, egg-white, and lactose may be used or included; some ingredients (“E-numbers”) may be eschewed on health grounds, and mounting disquiet over GM-foods and GMOs entail scrutiny of labels and appeals for more information on processing aids(not disclosed normally) and traceability. Some of the difficulties beset more than the vegan community and can be easily avoided. Vegans see campaigning on such matters as part of their mission. In some instances, e.g. in non-dairy milk and meat alternatives and novel (to the UK) foods, such as houmous, tofu, tahini, falafels, and tempeh, they have been pioneers with an influence acknowledged in the supermarket.

13.4 Vegan abstemiousness does not preclude consumption of stimulant spices, salt, pepper, and alcoholic beverages. Beers, wines, and clarified drinks present some problems, because animal-derived proteins such as gelatin and egg-white (albumen) and from blood, as well as isinglass from fish, have not been replaced in industries dominated by conservatism and habit (the beverages tastes as good unclarified or not chill-proofed, or lagered to settle, or filtered through a mineral earth). Vegans would generally reject smoking as immoral for nearly all the imperatives in their custom and practice.

13.5 Like many people, vegans object to avoidable experiments on animals for apparently frivolous purposes, e.g. for the testing of cosmetics and toiletries. While such demands are declining, testing on colorings in foodstuffs represent a continuing resort for objectionable commercial reasons to unnecessary use and exploitation. Caramels (E150) present an offensive example. They are used widely in beverages and foods and pet foods that already have a natural color (e.g. beers, yeast extracts, sauces, and whisky), and they are no longer the substance made by heating sugar (sucrose) in a saucepan, but in new versions that had to be tested and, were found to be neurotoxic (in rats) and were reformulated to be “safe”. They are much used in cola drinks. These are unworthy tricks of food technology that vegans boycott in the hope of prompting their abandonment. We don’t need mushy peas colored with 2 artificial dyes and Indian meals, already colorful enough, dosed with lurid tints that owe more to the laboratory than the kitchen. Increased leverage by customers and supermarkets could teach the manufacturers this lesson.

13.6 Vegan persuasions would concur with wider reservations over farming practices with pesticides and fertilizers and intensive and non-rotational cropping, as well as with contamination from the animal sector. Organic systems with their emphasis on mixed farming, represent no more than a transition to stockless husbandry and reduced output and demand for animal-derived feeds and foods. Vegans exercise themselves with Green Planning to guide food production and consumption to their ideal. It entails profound thought on agricultural and rural matters, as well as technology. Vegan planning is richer with practicable ideas for the countryside, forests, and woods then prospects of overworked prairies of uninteresting staples and pathetic, mutilated animals born and reared to massacre.

13.7 Some vegans persist in irredentist views that their due reward for virtue will be good health with scant regard for diet or the advice of nutritionists or orthodox medicine and physiology. Veganism attracts ascetics. Anorexics can often be described as vegans. In rebellious groups such as hunt-saboteurs veganism is mark of credibility. Veganism is rife among the prison population (not the warders).

14 Veganism in the Real World
14.1 Altho vegans entertain issues in the politics, economics, and morality of world trade, and the flows of exports and imports and the significance of debt and outputs of cash crops (such as tobacco, sugar, cotton, bananas, citrus fruits, and pineapples), it is doubtful whether many people are impressed enough to turn themselves vegan without some other motivation, say, issues of animal welfare and the environment. It is easy to pile on virtuous factors once an initial step has been taken.

14.2 The vegan challenge crops up in sport, recreation, and leisure, especially because of by-products from the meat-industry. Alternatives exist for gut in the strings of racquets and musical instruments (and in some surgical applications) and leather in cricket, football, and rugger and other games, in some instances with advantage. Horsehair is still prized for the bows of stringed instruments. Many modern cars are furnished without leather. The gut for the foregoing purposes comes from the intestines of sheep or cattle; cat-gut is so-called, presumably, in the sense of catting as tying, e.g. catting an anchor.

14.3 The workings of an innate aversion to things animal, the sight of blood, and textures, taste, and appearance probably motivate vegans more than most people and are a powerful influence. Milk and eggs arouse various emotions of fertility and purity with underlying associations with less pleasant manifestations of birth, reproduction, and farming. Modern marketing and patterns of consumption distance the customer and consumer from frank plow-to-plate connections between the living animal and the packaged mortal remains in the fridge or the (contradictorily) virginal whiteness and maternal bounty of these convenience foods. The vegan’s imagination and reaction are sharper; nonetheless, the meateater is the faddist with various apparently illogical or irrelevant inhibitions over horseflesh or over dog-meat when it really is that, or over the abstentions that govern the consumption of meat, milk, fish, and poultry by Jews and Muslims. Breast-milk is the only animal food in the vegan dietary, in which it takes an honored place, to an age regarded by “normal”, early-weaned people as surprising. In “normal” tastes milk once esteemed warm from the cow now comes cold from the fridge. A woman suckling her baby in public gives offence to grown-up men guzzling bottled milk mechanically sucked from a dispossessed cow’s teat and denied to the sucking calf. Inadvertent addition of human milk to a cuppa generally evinces horror. Society rejects the idea of women turned into wet-nurses, yet relishes the status of the cow in this role. Vegans are at least more logical in the appreciation of the order of things.

14.4 Some vegans have risked death in stunts to draw attention to causes not unique to theirs, notably in exposing the horror and torture of animals in experiments. Such protests in the form of hunger strikes ensuing upon detention for illegal activities adopt a form common to other examples of death (or martyrdom) for a cause. Such ploys attract attention – and much more than patiently-pleaded advocacy – but it is a squandered persuasion unless it can be practised with the skills in satygraha that Gandhi demonstrated during the British raj.

14.5 Vegans have been outspoken in condemning research, especially involving genetic modification, to generate from animals “spare parts” for people. Perhaps an almost religious aversion arises, because the pig is actually the most suitable provider of such material. However, it has been genetic engineering that has yielded human insulin, generated by modified bacteria and fungi, to replace medical and veterinary near- equivalent versions isolated from slaughtered pigs and cattle; moreover, the new process and other devices in biotechnology have reduced the use of animals sacrificed in tests for safety and efficacy before the product can be injected into people.

14.6 A play of similar considerations accompanies the development and use of vaccines and of alternatives and lifestyles that avoid recourse to them.

14.7 Maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and minimum recourse to medicine and surgery represent at least an earnest of a discipline entailing as little exploitation as possible of the animal kingdom and throwing little demand on caring services.

14.8 Blood transfusion is another vexed question for vegans. Their reservations as recipients are sharper versions of misgivings common in considerations of the origins, the donors, and the safety of the supply. Vegans are willing to donate their blood for transfusion. They will usually accept banked blood for use on themselves, altho they would seek alternatives, such as autologous supplies. I have heard of cases of a vegetarian surgeon reassuring vegetarian patients that he would donate his own blood for them. This seems to ask a lot of the surgeon and credibility.

14.9 We have also tried to interest medical authorities and the RSPCA in provision of simple plaques or posters placed in hospital chapels and doctors’ and vets’ surgeries to reminded patients and owners of animals of the toll taken on the animal kingdom in the developments in physiology, medicine, and toxicology that lie behind the research and safety of the remedies available for the benefit of our species and of those enjoying our favors. Such memorials seem to us at least an honorable confession and reminder and a spur to stimulate less offensive methods of endeavor. Obscurantism, especially in the medical profession, has dispersed since the pranks over the memorial to the “Little Brown Dog” of Battersea testified to the animosity attending this subject at the beginning of the last century. It seems that the whereabouts of the small monument to Jenner’s cow is uncertain .At least she had a name, but that is also uncertain. Animals distinguished with names fare better than those merely entered as numbers in the farmers’, auctioneers’, and MAFF, DOH, and Home Office computers. Exploiters take pains to prevent such intimacy, especially as a means of cultivating in their own offspring the obscurantism that robs millions of animals of the attention they deserve.

14.10 We have mentioned the incongruity in meat-inspection, a rough-and-ready post-mortem on millions of animals each year, and have sought from the MHS, RSPCA, and FAWC analysis of this treasury of data, and assessments of the pre-slaughter condition and treatment of the livestock. We have even mooted the suggestion that public-spirited people would bequeath funds adequate to cover the costs of their own post-mortem for similar pathological surveys or that this might become a last rite in private health insurance. It is an opportunity for an entrepreneur, adding a service to the undertaker’s or as an earner for the NHS; and a good example of dying for the cause.

14.11 We have again to admit the problem, practise as far as possible the courage of our convictions, and do what we can to accentuate the positive. Most vegans sign up for posthumous organ donation and volunteer themselves for epidemiological nutritional and medical research. Vegans go further in urging a reversal in the decline of autopsies (“ the dead shall teach the living”- in Latin, of course – is the pathologists’ plea for more post-mortems). At least they instruct doctors and correct or confirm diagnoses and they satisfy coroners’ requirements; however, shortening the waiting lists at the mortuary doesn’t rank in the political world with claims for reducing the lists of treatments for living patients who may actually receive attention before they die, and then move on to eligibility for the pathologist’s rota.

14.12 Medical exigencies strain vegan consciences and invite charges of hypocrisy as compromises challenge principles. Adherents to other doctrines exempt themselves during emergencies from some of their tenets, such as otherwise orthodox Jews and Muslims. For lay vegans the contrasts may not be blatant, especially if they affect an innocence and leave others, who may not be vegans, to blast off against the wickednesses of the medical profession and the drug industry. Tracts of “what doctors don’t (or daren’t) tell you” are popular, as are complementary and alternative therapies and nature cure, but these will be of little avail in a life-threatening emergency. Vegans take a positive stance in lifestyles aimed at averting such calls, but accidents, degeneration, and inherited disabilities take their toll eventually.

15 What Paleontology Teaches
15.1 Evolution, nature, religion, creation, and what we were meant to be are adduced, albeit with less conviction latterly as paleontology raises answers and questions in quick order, as reasons for following a fruitarian or vegan way of life. The precise origins of our species are still mysterious. For many species evolution has progressed by fits and starts dominated by “acts of God”, as well as by competition between and within species. Such factors have been implicated in migrations and in the beneficial and adverse influences in novel environments and geology and thus the availability and variety of food. Climatic vicissitudes overcame the inhabitants of the world when they were driven apparently with a will for survival without motivations of any other form of ethics; any sense of the numinous had not apparently developed into systematic forms of religion, philosophy, morals, and behavior except, the social basis of sharing the spoils of hunting and scavenging. The chimpanzee’s evolution and habits are often advanced as models for a vision of our natural progenitors. The chimpanzee is genetically nearer to us than to any other mammal, even than to the gorilla. However, the chimpanzee has not wandered off into the marine and terrestrial circumstances of the higher latitudes, nor has the chimpanzee been inspired to wreak the far- reaching science-dominated changes that our kind have achieved over the relatively short spell – in evolutionary terms – of a few hundred thousand years. Tremendous environmental changes, with corollaries in agriculture and forestry and for other animals, followed in quick order, leaving nature behind, for better or worse, with vestigial evidence of biological linkages, biased towards the predominantly inorganic relics that have survived. Anatomical clues and remains of primitive tools on posture, habit, and cognition have to be deduced from essentially bony evidence, from which, for instance, brain-size can be calculated and thus cleverness and intelligence. Such evidence indicates that some of our progenitors were as big as us, but small-brained.

15.2 Our forebears moved from Africa into the apparently less clement climes of Europe in a relatively fast and competitive spell of invention, adaptation, and cultural awakening, during which certain types, e.g. the Neanderthals, lost out, maybe because they settled in unpropitious areas (possibly geologically) and were slow to develop skills learnt from nomadic life or from domestication and agriculture. Natural foods of today are novelties in evolutionary terms. They represent the beginnings of food technology in cooking, preservation, and storage; they also reflect the scourges, murrains, and pestilences that overwhelmed communities as frighteningly as the Black Death, cholera, typhus, schistosomiasi and BSE of modern times. Zoonotic diseases raged and were recognized long before Dr Snow removed the famous pump- handle, and he would not have waited for an enunciation of Koch’s postulates and edicts from the Food Standards Agency before acting. Sergeants-major in WW1 knew enough about the dangers of intensification to space out accommodation in barracks. Until the beginning of the last century warring adversaries lost more casualties to disease than through their attempts at killing one another. Nutritional deficiencies have undermined bastions and lost battles and wars.

15.3 Scavenging of meat and bone marrow anticipated human recourse to animal milks by millions of years. Milk being predominantly water in bulk, it was an especially valuable contribution to nomads from browsers and grazers such as goats and sheep. Pigs were less suitable on several counts. The cow and mare came later as a domesticated wet-nurse for the human species, but – as with all species – the problem of indigestibility due to the waning of lactase activity after normal weaning precluded consumption of liquid milk. Fermentation offered a device to overcome this difficulty – which persists appreciably to this day – the raw milk being converted into cheeses, yoghurts, and koumess; problems of preservation and storage were also solved and later ploys of scalding, pasteurization, and sterilization, as well as recognition of the content of alien proteins and allergies and intolerances, enabled this “natural” food to be consumed by a species distinguishing themselves as lifelong mothersuckers and baby-snatchers.

15.4 The chimpanzee’s essentially vegan habit is reflected in its main diet, dentition, and gastrointestinal tract. It manifests no rigid aversion to eating and hunting for food derived from other animals, but it is likely to have a limited stomach for such tastes. Its frame, like that of prosimian forebears, is shaped to accommodate the bulky gut of a plant-dependent digestion. Ours is a similar arrangement, even to the survival of the cecum, now dismissed literally as a blind gut, but an organ of importance for herbivorous single-stomached mammals – the archetypal vegans – such as the elefant and horse and, to a much lesser extent, the pig. Such animals can derive nutrients directly from the leafy grasses.

15.5 Modern hominids belong to the very select group in the animal kingdom for whom ascorbic acid is a vitamin. For us one enzyme is missing to complete the biosynthesis of this essential nutrient. Not surprisingly, the other members of this group are frugivores, who don’t need the biosynthetic apparatus for a nutrient scarce in foods of animal origin. However, this line of reasoning becomes tenuous when some B-vitamins, especially B12, and vitamins D and F, especially certain long-chain polyunsaturated acids, are considered similarly. Dependence on vitamin B12 (cobalamines) may have developed as hygiene denied us contributions from “unclean” food and water and as the required fermentation in our guts diminished as intakes of animal foods increased. Cobalt in pastures (or supplements in feeds) then became limiting factors. Reliance on dietary polyunsaturated fats and physiological requirements (e.g. for brain development and cognition) probably represents the success of maritime backgrounds and sources of seaplants and fish to ancestors who forsook littoral habitats and migrated inland to a terrestrially-based existence.

15.6 Some frugivorous animals, such as colobus monkeys, have compartmentalized forestomachs irrigated copiously with alkalinizing saliva and with a fermentative chamber giving them the digestive versatility of typical ruminants; they can therefore generate their own supplies of vitamin B12, provided that the soil and flora contain adequate supplies of the mineral cobalt.

15.7 The guts of out-and out carnivores such as cats, as well as their physiology and metabolism, contrast with the attributes of the herbivores, leaving the modern human being with versatile apparatus apparently with the capacity for relatively minor adaptations, genetically modulated, which have allowed survival, as in the Inuits, in bleak and unpropitious conditions. This versatility has been extended by the possibilities in the movement and storage of crops, as bartering and transport have developed, and recently by enhancements purporting to raise minimum nutritional allowances to intakes offering optimal nutrition. Applications of genetic modification and microbiology, in conjunction with advances in food-technology, offer scope for innovations to vegans and others. As departures from natural, pristine nutrition they are in evolutionary terms no more artificial that the introduction of cooking, preserving, leavening, fermentation, and trading to overcome seasonality and in animal husbandry to breed freaks as producers of “traditional” meat, milk, and eggs for human consumption.

15.8 Debate over the anatomical evidence for what we were “meant” to eat concentrated on dentition and the shape of the mouth, with an emphasis on the canine teeth, which were said to prove that we were
“intended” to tear flesh and eat meat, in the manner of the dog. This vision hardly fits the facts of these many gentler years, in which our canines, although special and useful, bear little resemblance to the fangs of the ferocious consumers of raw flesh and blood. In wild animals the fangs are less pronounced in the female of the species, and they are related to the tusks of the redoubtably herbivorous elefant. The fangs and tusks may be involved in fighting and contests as much or more than in the eating of food. Horns and antlers may be seen as arrays for similar purposes.

15.9 Our species has launched itself and associated animals into a wholly unnatural state, for better or worse. By our wit and ingenuity we are able to exercise choice and modification and to indulge our comfort, convenience, virtue, altruism and self- righteousness accordingly. If our robust African ancestors forsook the Golden Age of innocence about 150,000 year ago, and migrated north into the harsher conditions of northern Europe, they entered an environment requiring intensified use of their skills, powers of communication, competitiveness and social order to survive and overcome, not only the natural elements but also to establish territorial advantage and to preserve their culture. Survival of the fittest required either elimination or integration, e.g. by marriage, and adaptation to a hairy gracile body. These processes probably destined the Neanderthal trait to extinction, and cunning enabled our ancestors to plunder the animal kingdom as a short cut to harvesting for themselves exiguous sources of food.

15.10 This renewed exploration for sources of food brought risks. Most plants produce secondary metabolites as a means of defence against marauders, and consumption of raw plant-foods and meats lost nutritional potential or became associated with risks of poisoning attributable to foods and with plants esteemed for certain medicinal properties. The murrains, pestilences, and taboos of the housekeeping parts of religious scriptures bear witness to BSE-style epidemics of ills attributable now to pathogenic microorganisms and contamination.

16 Conversion without Harm
16.1 The vegan message appeals powerfully to a special group deserving attention because in an ill-considered way it could do harm. The population of children up to their teens have enquiring and unsophisticated minds traditionally asking of parents plow-to-plate questions, contemplating the family pet, and challenging dogma and authority. This is an age that clerics recognize as a time to capture and recruit minds. Other zealots, including vegans, exploit and assert influence on schoolchildren, not only to counter the barrage of propaganda uttered by the live/deadstock industry and its allies, but also to tap into a traditional sensitivity and age of conversion. Many children “go veggie” or go through a veggie phase at this time in their lives; with further enlightenment some go all the way and become full vegtarians (i.e. vegans). Much depends on parental attitudes and reactions, peer pressure, difficulties in school catering, and provisions at canteens and in the food and catering markets.

16.2 The vegan message in its full glory touches off rebellion over many social and environmental issues that engage young people, with expressions in dietary contexts, possibly with an abrupt and harmful number of abstentions and boycotts, even to the point of anorexia or other eating disorders.

16.3 In the countries of northern Europe and America anorexia and eating disorders affect, at one time or another, as many as I in 20 schoolchildren, more in girls than boys. The vegan message also appears to affect schoolgirls more than boys. Other influences work on the girls: they are likelier to be affected more than the boys by the cult, fostered by role-models, of thinness, and to be resorting more to smoking, which has a slimming effect and acceptability in peer groups.

16.4 This combination of virtuous and social impulses may result in untoward consequences in a particularly vulnerable group, for anorexia and excessive loss in bodyweight in young girls irreversibly delay development and make for trouble in later life.

16.5 It is essential therefore that the powerful vegan message be delivered by teachers, parents, and other purveyors of information and persuasion in an understanding, sympathetic, and personal way.

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