14 votes

Which one promotes the most deforestation: raising crops or animal husbandry?

A relevant point is that raising animals for food requires feeding them plants. Since only around 10% of the energy input (the percentage used for growth) at one trophic level of a food chain can be ...
  • 11.6k
13 votes
Accepted

How does the cost of production of soya milk compare to cow's milk?

This question really made me curious. Where I live (Romania, developing country within Eastern Europe), it's the same: soy milk is (much) more expensive than cow's milk. The price difference has many ...
  • 3,680
13 votes
Accepted

Are animal pollinated foods vegan friendly?

Yes, plant foods pollinated by bees and other animals are suitable for vegans. After this subject was recently discussed on the BBC comedy television quiz show `QI' many news media producers started ...
  • 6,947
12 votes
Accepted

Why don't humans use animals after they die naturally?

I won't talk about "product quality" since it will probably highly vary from one place to another. That being said, price is probably a leading factor. Most animals that are bred for leather, meat, ...
  • 453
12 votes

Does the production of down typically involve killing or hurting birds?

Down is almost always collected from a live bird or from a bird killed for meat. There are 3 main ways: Live plucking, which you seem to already know about. The feathers are plucked from the live ...
  • 2,420
11 votes
Accepted

What specific ethical concerns are there about the use of sheep's wool?

Like most livestock, wool sheep are tail-docked, castrated, and have their ears clipped. Sheep are also selectively bred to favor the ones with the most skin-folds/highest wool production, which ...
  • 606
11 votes
Accepted

Are there any farms that sell "cruelty-free" eggs (i.e. that don't slaughter older hens)?

There are probably not commercial farms that sell cruelty-free eggs as described by you, but it's likely that there are many individuals who keep a few chickens as pets and do not kill them after ...
  • 688
10 votes
Accepted

Would we be overrun by cows and pigs if we stopped slaughtering them?

This situation is unlikely to happen. If the meat industry is to be phased out, it is likely to occur gradually. Large scale management of freed/former farm animals could indeed present some ...
  • 11.6k
9 votes

What specific ethical concerns are there about the use of sheep's wool?

According to sheep101.info, sheep have a natural life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. Despite this, a sheep's wool production begins to decline after 7 years. Therefore, farmers can produce more wool by ...
  • 688
7 votes

Does a live animal tracking system for vegetarian products exist?

There are no live animal tracking systems like what you describe. I tried looking for live video streams from farms and I was able to find one video feed from a farm sanctuary in NY but of course ...
  • 6,947
7 votes

Why don't humans use animals after they die naturally?

The meat is less tasty. Notice how carnivore humans not only eat animals; they eat child animals. Lamb, veal, etc. The same is probably true for the quality of fur or leather. However, down can be ...
  • 1,569
7 votes

Which one promotes the most deforestation: raising crops or animal husbandry?

There are two sides to your question: economics, and ecological impact. As Zanna explained the latter very well, and my experience is with the former, I'll focus on that. As a political economist, I'...
  • 107
7 votes
Accepted

How effective is farming crops without animal derived fertilizer?

Highly Tailored, crop specific fertilisers will tend to have better results, and are obviously much more efficient, since one has absolute control on the "nutritional" growth factors if you will. I ...
  • 186
7 votes

Are commercial figs vegan?

If it's not wasps it's something else. The vast majority of large farms use various bugs to eat/control worse more damaging bugs, pollinate crops, process dirt, eat unwanted vegetation, etc. It ...
  • 189
7 votes

Does eating insects save lives compared to eating plants?

There's a lot to talk about here and I'm sorry for this long answer so, here's a TL;DR: Given what we know about veganism, biology, entomology, philosophy and agriculture, we shouldn't aim at eating ...
  • 476
6 votes
Accepted

Do commercial chicken's eggs contain B12?

In nature, poultry get their B12 by pecking for insects and worms in the dirt. Since this behaviour is not possible on industrial farms, B12 is added to animal feed1. According to the USDA, one ...
  • 2,833
6 votes

Why are agricultural subsidies directed primarily towards animal agriculture?

Many of the subsidies are based on rationales that may not really be relevant to how the industry is set up now such as lots of independent small farmers producing output independent of each other. ...
  • 161
6 votes

How can grazing land be converted to contribute to feeding a vegan world?

Land used for grazing that was previously not used for commercial food production may be former rainforest, or hilltop regions (this may certainly not be an exhaustive list of the possibilities). At ...
  • 11.6k
6 votes
Accepted

How to avoid being part of the slaughter of cockerels on the free-range egg farms?

Buying organic free range eggs does nothing for protecting the cockerels. This is for example critisied here (in german) by PETA. There are organizations, which do raise the cockerels for meat (e.g. ...
  • 328
6 votes
Accepted

Does buying quinoa really take food away from people in Peru and Bolivia?

Here's a more recent article from Smithsonian that agrees with the Slate one. From a working paper written by the Towson University Department of Economics: "Using a database of Peruvian household ...
6 votes
Accepted

How are cows harmed in dairy farming?

In the most ethical dairy farm I could imagine while still having real cows and real farmers, but maybe not real economics, the dairy cows are harmed by having to give milk much longer than their ...
  • 392
5 votes

How common is it for the livestock industry to supplement B12?

There are a lot of interesting questions you pose and some are addressed in the article Do carnivores need Vitamin B12 supplements?. Let's first look at the claim that vegetarianism must be unhealthy ...
  • 959
5 votes

Are animal pollinated foods vegan friendly?

This one is technical, and will probably come down to personal sensibilities. I will however try to explain my personal reasoning and several other ways to think of this question. To start with a ...
  • 453
4 votes
Accepted

Are commercial figs vegan?

There are two arguments against vegan consumption of wasp-pollinated figs: The generic vegan dislike of eating foods which have been produced with the assistance of animals. (Of course not all vegans ...
  • 175
4 votes
Accepted

Does growing crops kill more animals than raising cows on pasture?

Assuming that the study estimating the 15 animals killed per ha of harvested crop is this one, it must be noted that the study was widely criticized for these and other mistakes and I would not in any ...
3 votes

Does the production of down typically involve killing or hurting birds?

Eiderdown is collected from the eider nests. Eiders are a duck that live on northern European and American coasts. They line their nests with the soft feathers from the duck's breast. The original ...
3 votes
Accepted

How big would the populations of farm animals be if not artificially raised by humans?

I would say that, if we stopped keeping farm animals, the numbers of those animals would be reduced to effectively zero. This doesn't include farmed animals kept as pets (rabbits or guinea pigs) or ...
3 votes

Which one promotes the most deforestation: raising crops or animal husbandry?

This is a false dichotomy. You can't raise (and breed) animals without growing plants to feed them. So it really boils down to which society is better for the environment: one which (1) purely grows ...
  • 1,532
3 votes

Would we be overrun by cows and pigs if we stopped slaughtering them?

Veg*ns can respond in many ways, but I would respond as follows. "People are vegan or vegetarian for many different reasons and would probably disagree with each other on the solution to this ...
3 votes

Are there any farms that sell "cruelty-free" eggs (i.e. that don't slaughter older hens)?

All for-profit egg producers kill chickens because it is not commercially viable to keep feeding chickens until old age. If laying hens were not slaughtered around two years of age (as is common) then ...
  • 6,947

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible