Thursday, March 10, 2011

Question Thursday: Suffering

Vegan Outreach advocates for “less suffering”. Could you please explain what is meant by less suffering? And if it were possible to commodify other animals for our purposes without causing too much suffering, would Vegan Outreach approve of this?   

These are either really easy or really difficult questions.  

We could spend the rest of the day debating the neurology and philosophy of suffering, but that really wouldn’t be a good use of our limited time – relative to what else we could do, it just wouldn’t accomplish anything useful.  

So let me just say that most people know suffering when they see it. They don’t need a PhD to call what happens in Meet Your Meat “suffering.” They don’t need to be a neurologist to be repulsed by the footage in Farm to Fridge.

If we want to make as much progress as we can for the animals, we should start our conversations with people there, rather than with philosophy or semantics.

And obviously, we don’t approve of unnecessary suffering, even if someone says it isn’t “too much.”