Redefining the Modern Day Vegetarian

Vegetarian and vegan are very strict terms. vegetarians eat no living things. Vegan consume no animal products at all where feasible possible. I'm not one for labels. Or groups. I applaud vegans for their dedication to avoiding using animals. And respect vegetarians for trying to decrease killing.

I take issue, however, with the egg thing. Eggs are technically vegetarian. Nothing has died. Hens lay unfertilized eggs. No harm done. Except most egg laying hens are tortured. They are literally treated like egg laying machines. Kept in dark, confined hen houses. If cruelty is what you hope to avoid, eating eggs is not accomplishing that.

Certain sea life on the other hand is less cruel in my opinion. Wild caught fish for instance. They led a natural life up until the day they died. Bivalves like scallops, mussels and clams. Have no brain. They can't be tortured. They cannot think or feel. Shrimp, pretty low on the life-form hierarchy. Akin to eating an ant. Personally, I'd rather eat shrimp or scallops than eat eggs. Feels far less cruel in my gut.

In an ideal world nothing would die to be human food and certainly nothing would be tortured for our wants. But in the real world it's different. Vegans, vegetarians and occasional fish eaters need to cross that gap that divides us. We all have the same goal in mind. Less cruelty. Dare I say, even eating chicken or beef wouldn't be such a bad thing had the animals led a nice life and been killed humanely.

Maybe in a hundred years, if we last that long, everyone will be vegan. But in the meanwhile we need to focus on what's most important. Not specifically what you eat, but rather, which will do the least harm.

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