[Daily Record - opinion - comments at full story link]
There is, you know, no victory in vegetarianism
How many times have you heard someone say, "I don't eat food with a face" and then watch them load their plate with cheesy garlic bread, butter and sour cream-packed baked potatoes or cream of something soup?
Basic vegetarians seem proud of their attempt to save lives, but what they don't know is that no level of vegetarianism protects animals the way that strict vegetarianism or veganism does.
Strict vegetarians, also known as vegans, refrain from all use, abuse and consumption of all animals and all animal byproducts. This means that vegans, or strict vegetarians, do not wear, buy, or eat dead animals, nor do they wear, buy, or eat any product that lists a deceased being or product of that deceased being as an ingredient within that item.
Knowing the facts can help.
For instance, by consuming milk and/or cheese by itself or when combined with other ingredients to make a food item whole, one keeps not only the dairy farms thriving but the veal industry booming as well. The reality is, in order for a cow to give milk, it has to have just given birth; like any woman, for that matter.
In this sense, for dairy production to prosper, cows must be artificially inseminated throughout their entire life spans without rest between pregnancies. Imagine a woman enduring such circumstances.
Ultimately, in terms of physical torture, dairy cows are in fact, worse off than those killed solely for their meat. Their lives are longer but the quality is less than livable, by any humane person's standard. With this acknowledged, it is clear that the only manner in which to utilize vegetarianism as a means of helping animals is to eliminate all dairy and dairy products from one's diet.
Using milk, but not meat, does not spare animal's lives or suffering, as some commonly believe. In reality, there is no victory in vegetarianism unless it is strict, and becoming a strict vegetarian (vegan) is the only answer.
For more information you may visit Happy Cow's Vegetarian Guide to Restaurants & Health Food Stores, where I am a resident blogger, known as EnglishTeachinVegan.
Ann-Marie Rufolo of Rockaway Township is a fresh voice columnist for the Daily Record.