The multifaceted consequences of ‘meat’ consumption and the adoption of a vegetable based diet: a core degrowth issue

From the text: . . . With such a future meat request scenario, many ‘different’ solutions are being taken into account, as the creation of transgenic animals, or the spreading in Europe and North America of the habit of eating insects, or the production of ‘in vitro’ meat created in a lab from stem cells.All the above mentioned solutions appear to be bizarre and extremely complicate if we compare them with the – immediate or gradual – change of our individual ‘Western’ lifestyle. Starting from our eating habits. The ever increasing demand for animal products comes for countries (like China and Brazil) who are adopting our lifestyle. It’s our duty, as our lifestyle is their ‘model’, to implement a more sustainable lifestyle, aware of the consequences of individual behavior on the future of the whole Planet. A vegan lifestyle responds fully to the principle of contraction, i.e. savings in consumption of essential resources.

Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.

Ethical reasons for animal liberation

Abstract: Every year, humans kill 66 billion nonhuman land animals and more than a trillion aquatic individuals for the purpose of consumption. Countless other nonhuman animals are tortured in laboratories or exploited for human clothing, leisure, sports, or work. The immense suffering of animals contrasts with a general neglect of the issue in left and green movements, and theory. In this paper, it will be argued that the animals typically used in animal agriculture are sentient subjects with diverse interests that have to be considered in order to make justified individual and political decisions. Since merely improving the welfare of animals doesn’t make the basic practices of animal use ethically acceptable, the use of nonhuman animals should be abolished. It will then be shown how the degrowth movement can incorporate consideration for nonhuman animals in its theory and practice and how apparent conflicts can be overcome.
Keywords: ethics, animals, animal liberation, agriculture, veganism