Vegetarian diets can cause the death of animals too. There are many animals such as opossum, rock dove, house sparrow, European starling, black rat, Norway rat, house mouse, Chukar, gray partridge, ring-necked pheasant, wild turkey, cottontail rabbit, gray-tailed vole, and numerous species of amphibians that live in crop fields and get injured or are killed every time people work in the field. A substantial amount of field animals are killed every year in the harvesting of fruits and vegetables for humans. A vegetarian diet does not necessarily mean a diet that does not interfere with the lives of animals. In Fact, Many field operations including plowing, disking, harrowing, planting, cultivating, and applying herbicides and pesticides negatively affect the populations of animals in the fields. One operation of mowing alfalfa causes a 50% decline in the gray-tailed vole population.
From the Kantian perspective, acting right means to act rationally, so we should only act according to the rules that could rationally be universal laws. If vegetarians have a universal law that we should not kill animals for food, then they would not be following this universal law because many animals are killed in the harvesting process. Processed vegetarian protein options such as tofu can cause more greenhouse gas pollution than farming meat. Livestock freed on arable land. Arable land is deforest because it is cultivable. If we reduce the amount of livestock consuming arable land and switch to a delicate vegetarian option such as tofu or quorn you would actually increase the quality of arable land needed. This would increase deforestation which is a huge factor in the emission of greenhouse gases. Out of all the greenhouse gas emissions from land use change (LUC), the total proportion of LUC emissions associated with commercial agriculture was 58.1%.
Aristotle believed that the best life is the life in which humans fulfill their human functions excellently. If our human function is to help the planet and lower greenhouse gas emissions becoming vegetarians would not allow us to life the best life because we would not be not be doing our human function excellently. We would be raising greenhouse gas emissions doing our function poorly. Modern slaughtering techniques minimize the suffering on animals. Temple Grandin is an advocate for animal rights and the humane treatment of animals. She worked to improve animal-handling systems at slaughterhouses. This help decrease the amount of fear and pain that animals experience. Her solution was cattle-restraining systems that are now used in many meat plants across North America.
Today many slaughterhouses use safer transportation devices, stock yards, loading ramps, and restraining systems that minimize the stress of animals keeping them calm and reducing pain. These new systems that slaughterhouses use allow more room for animals to stretch out, stay calm, and feel little to no pain.
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