Is it ethical for vegans to support the Heifer Project?
vegan.com defines a vegan in this way:
“By definition, a vegan (most commonly pronounced VEE-gun) is a person who does not eat animal products, including meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy. But veganism is more about what people choose….vegans demonstrate respect for all life — their own, the planet`s, and the animals`….”
Heifer International claims on its website: “[The] Heifer [Project] helps people utilize livestock as an integral component of sustainable agriculture and holistic development. Heifer`s projects strengthen rural families and communities through improved nourishment….”
The basic question is this: Is it more important for a vegan to prevent animal exploitation or human malnutrition?
Sorry for opening up a can of worms here, but I think it’s an extremely interesting question.
I'm not familiar with the Heifer project. Let me do some research and I'll tell you. As a vegetarian, I'm not against killing animals for nutrients. I am against, raising them horribly and killing them needlessly to support human habit of eating meat. Some of my family and I haven't eaten meat in years and lived pretty well.
Yeah, I went there. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's a culture and world I'm not too familar with, living in industry all my life. My suspicions are that they probably don't care too much for the animals and that they don't do a very good job when it comes to shipping them and giving them to the families. The families probably eat the animals when they have bred and are no longer useful. So the question really is, do we condone this sort of lifestyle by perpetuating a condition for animals that is unecessary? For it is these animals that allow these families to grow, to breed themselves, to keep their families living like this forever. I'm curious about change. Will these families ever see beyond their lifestyles? Will they become more educated and enlightened by using these animals to perpetuate their lifestyle?
Whats more important, an animal or the feeding of a hungry planet. God gave us animals to eat. Noah had animals on the ark to provide his family with food, along with 2 of every kind, So in reality, Noah had more than two of every kind. In the Old testament when they sacificed a bull to God, some of the priests were allowed to eat some of the meat. Man has there priorities wrong.
Vegans eating meat or supporting it is pretty much an oxymoron, like saying is it ethical for a true Christian to be a devout Muslim.
It's not a case of ethics it's a case of what's actually possible!!!
glennh is right. a vegan is stictly against the practice of consuming animals or animal products. of course, that is due to a genuine--altho perhaps slightly misinformed--"respect for life" and as such, a vegan would also be concerned about the loss or poor quality of human life. so if there are rural families with malnutrition problems or whatever the case is here, a vegan would certainly be concerned, but rather than supporting something like the Heiffer Project, they would probably want to support a program that involved providing these families with more vegan-friendly products, like beans, rice, soy, etc.
Why is the sentiment on this thread that it's not possible for a vegan to view their choice as a personal one, and not one they have to enforce on everyone else?
I've known vegans that have that diet because they feel it's healthy; I know vegans that have it because they don't appreciate the way animals are treated in the U.S. meat/poultry industry. There are lots of vegans out there that fall into those two categories and I can't see why they'd have a moral qualm with the Heifer Project.
kanga, many impoverished people usually have a few grains to eat. You can't maintain proper nutrition with just a few grains, especially not adequate amounts of protein. Despite all the bad stuff in animal products, they are good sources of protein, as well as other nutrients. The founder of the Heifer Project was a relief worker in the Spanish Civil War, and he could tell whether the the livestock were dead just by looking at the state of the children. If the children were healthy, the livestock were alive. If the children were sickly and weak, the livestock had been killed.
For Westerners, who have access to a wide variety of foods, it's more healthy to cut animal products out of one's diet. But for the impoverished, animal products are DEFINITELY more healthy.
There are many ways to help. I give money to SolarCookers, which provides solar cookers to cook food and purify water using sunlight - often in refugee camps where wood is not easily available, and often it's not safe to go hunting for fuel.
The meat eaters can provide the cows, I will provide the pure water. We both help in our own way.
It wouldn't be unethical or hypocritical. A person who is vegan might understand that people in poverty can't afford to be vegan. Though the person might hope that people who can afford to be vegan doso, they might realize that saving the people's lives at the moment is more important, and hope that someday the world will be a place where everyone has the luxary of choosing to be vegan. Right now they can take the bigger path and not eat animal products, but realize that the impoverished people can't make that choice.
I just don't like it when vegans (certain ones that I know, I'm not refering to all of you!) act high and mighty because they're living as we're 'meant' to be living. What about a little thing called B12? It's only found in animal products and is essential in the human body. Why would we evolve to not eat meat yet need to eat animal products to survive?