There is a big conversation to be had about individuals’ motivations for eliminating or reducing consumption of any animal products. I’m not in a position to tease all this out right now, but I want to flag it up as a concern.
And yet, and yet: surely if people cut meat and dairy out of their diet, some might say, the result is to be welcomed, no matter what the impetus? And of course in one way that is correct. If people go plant-based for environmental reasons, for health reasons or even because it’s trendy, the net result is less animal suffering.
The problem is, though, veganism is a whole ethical standpoint that leads us to question all the choices we make in our lives; and, for me, most importantly it challenges a worldview – our collective current worldview – that animals are here to be exploited by us, and that commodification of the other-than-human is not only OK but ‘natural’.
It is, clearly, this attitude, so widespread as to be ‘normal’, that is behind all our environmental problems today; and for myself all my professional work and personal life is about challenging this unthinking anthropocentrism.
However, as I’ve said, this is not the time for me to unravel this; so if you haven’t read it I’d like to direct you to a very good blog on the Vegan Society website, which begins to address these intertwined issues: