View Full Version : your best anti-dairy answer
04-24-2003, 07:46 PM
You are in a meeting at work, and when the meeting leader leaves for a moment the conversation turns to food. Someone says, "I understand the meat thing, but why don't you eat dairy or eggs?" The meeting will resume in less than a minute. How do you answer intelligently & thoroughly in a sentence or two? (No snappy retorts, just real good answers.) And I'm talking about the ethical side of the argument more than the health side, just because that is where my passions lie, & that is what makes me stutter before a captive audience when so many answers come to mind I can't sift through them fast enough. I need an answer thought-provoking enough that they will be thinking about the point I've made instead of thinking about their next point of argument.
The best I've come up with so far is that the meat & dairy industries are connected to each other, but that's still too vague.
or if you want to economize, one word:
"Salmonella" works pretty good, too.
04-24-2003, 11:49 PM
How about asking them if they would rather be killed relatively early in their lives or be kept in captivity for a long period of time and then be killed when their body's output is no longer considered financially valuable?That is, do they prefer early slaughter or slavery that ultimately ends in slaughter? ... I'd imagine that more than a few people on this planet would choose to be "put out of their misery" rather than experience the prolonged imprisonment that countless dairy cows and egg-laying hens experience today. Throw in the fact that the mother cows have their calves taken away from them almost as soon as they're born, and you've got a pretty good case against the dairy industry right there. And it wouldn't take much to find examples from the egg industry that could put a nail in that coffin as well.
Perhaps on smaller, more traditional farms "back in the day" it was possible for dairy cows and egg hens to have relatively good lives... but since most of those animals now suffer in much larger, profit-driven factory farms, well... that gives people something to think about, I should hope.
04-25-2003, 02:49 AM
1) Because cows are kept in appalling conditions and treated as if they are milk machines. (Most people think it's like good old Farmer Brown getting up to milk dear Daisy, his cow -- they have no idea how the cows are hooked up permanently and milk production is made to dominate their lives. Imagine a human hooked up to a pump and fed whatever will generate most milk -- all the time...)
2) Because calves are removed from their mothers so that the milk can be stolen for human use -- and kept in crates to stop them moving around so they don't develop too much muscle and can then be killed for "tender" veal (veal being a euphemism for calf). This to my mind is the most brutal fact against dairy. It is part of the "dairy is connected to meat" argument you mentioned.
The above reasons are both ethical vegan reasons -- there is also the environmental reason that the number of cows kept by humans for dairy is helping destroy the environment (methane gas/ozone layer; clearing of trees, etc -- lots of reasons).
The quickest reason would be the removal of the calves. Most people are shocked by it too, which may make them think about changing their dairy habits. Many don't know how "veal" is "made"...
04-25-2003, 06:23 AM
I would say:
"If your baby was forcibly removed from you at birth and your breasts were tied to a machine that milked them painfully all day, and you were forced to remain pregnant most of your life and die prematurely, would you want someone drinking your milk?" This works best on women, of course.
04-25-2003, 06:50 AM
I usually find that the de-beaking and cutting off the toes of chickens is enough to make most people cringe. One of my husband's co-workers has told me that she doesn't want to know any more, b/c, after talking with me at the Christmas party the year before last, she can only buy free-range chicken eggs, much to the annoyance of her husband who thinks that they are too expensive.
Also re the milk, Erin's response should suffice (!), but I also used to have a t-shirt that I thought had a pretty good slogan, too. It said: "Milk: you're not a kid anymore. You're not a baby cow, either." My brother nearly strangled me when I wore it to "Big Hat Days" in Fresno, CA with him when he was going to school out there - farm country!
04-25-2003, 06:52 AM
Another thought, because I have been asked this: why don't you eat free range chicken eggs, then if those chickens are not de-beaked, etc., like the chickens in factory farms? I know that there are other reasons, but I usually tell people that a big thing for me is that the (unfertile) egg is basically the chicken's menstral period and I don't find that to be a very appetizing item to eat.
04-25-2003, 11:34 AM
Joanne Stepaniak has a good answer for why "free-range chicken" isn't really compatible with a vegan perspective. ( http://www.vegsource.com/joanne/qa/qaeggs.htm )
In particular, she mentions that "it is common for free-range layers to be debeaked just like battery-caged layers" and that "even if free-range hens were treated with kindness and given all the space they could use, they will still be killed for meat when their egg production wanes, usually after one or two years, even though in a natural environment a hen could live fifteen years."
One thing that I consider an especially damning aspect of the egg industry is the fate of male baby chicks. Joanne explains that, "because male chicks don't lay eggs and do not grow fast enough to be raised profitably for meat, they are deemed a financial liability, except for the few used as rooster studs. ... nine out of ten male chicks are considered virtually useless and will be killed by the cheapest means available, including suffocation and being ground up alive." And this happens regardless of whether the operation is "free-range" or not.
Wonder what your husband's coworker's husband would say, Christa, if she gave up those expensive "free-range" chicken eggs completely and avoided eggs altogether. Think he'd be happy she was saving the money or would he be even more annoyed that she was starting to become "one of those hippie vegan freaks"? ;)
04-26-2003, 06:23 AM
Here's what i tell them:
to people who don't irk me that much, i just say i'm allergic and no point in suffering all my life while supporting some industry that produces doubtful goods, and besides i firmly believe that milk causes diabetes and i'm terrified of needles
to those who quite irritate me, i give them a weird Look and ask them if it's any of their G*******d business what i eat or don't eat, i don't pry into and judge their diets so they d****d well not do the same to me
to the ones who REALLY irritate me, i give them the whole horror story with graphic descriptions, they usually get turned off by that alone, and i tell them that a calf has to grow from 90lbs to 2000lbs within two years and humans do not need to do so do we? We only need to reach 100 or 200 lbs after like twenty years? And leave them to do the math...:rolleyes:
For a calf, milk is a food but also a medicine. Milk contains chemicals which protect the calf against typical calf diseases (same as human milk protects the baby). So ask them who got calf diseases and needs milk for treatment!
05-26-2003, 05:25 AM
Many people will ask me "why not just a little/few animal products?"
I simply reply.."ya know...I have a wonderful cow pucky cookie recipe..it only calls for a "little" cow pucky..would you like it?" Usually it stops the conversation quickly and makes my point..EVEN A LITTLE IS UNACCEPTABLE! (is that too mean?? <grin>):p
05-26-2003, 08:07 AM
"cow pucky" ..... :D Thanks for the chuckle! heehee
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