Shouldn't we focus on solving human problems before worrying about animals?

There are indeed many dire human problems which need immediate attention. However, becoming a vegetarian does not in any way take away from our ability to address these problems. On the contrary, since a vegetarian diet is less expensive than one which includes meat, this leaves people with more money to spend on the issues which they believe are the most important.

Also, eating a vegetarian diet directly helps reduce world hunger. Only a small fraction of the food which is consumed by an animal is converted into meat for human consumption. If the land which grows food for livestock was instead used to grow crops consumed directly by humans, then far more food would be available for the world's poor.

Aside from the issue of vegetarianism, there is also the issue of the money people spend on animals. I believe that it is indeed appropriate to criticize the way in which the citizens of affluent countries choose to spend their money. However, criticism of money spent on the alleviation of animal suffering is not what should be coming to mind.

People routinely spend money on items such as expensive cars and jewelry, when this money can instead be given to organizations such as UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). Instead of criticizing money spent on animals, we should try to remember our concern for global human poverty when deciding if to purchase a new TV or go on an expensive vacation.


Follow up questions:

How can some animal rights activists believe that other animals are our equals?

Isn't it wrong for vegetarians to act as if they are better than others and try to convert people?

What do animal rights activists think about abortion?

Doesn't duty to our own kind come first?


Back to the title page

Back to the list of the most commonly asked questions