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Meat, dairy and animal consent

I’ve always found the business of “animal consent” to be quite a curious topic.

For those unfamiliar, I’m talking about those who argue that animals have somehow given consent to the way we treat them. The whole idea is predicated on the false belief that in return for food and a roof over their heads, it’s okay for us to use and kill them.

Naturally this is just a fairytale humans tell themselves to feel better about themselves, or something the meat and dairy industry tells you as a marketing ploy so that you’ll buy their products.

Of course animals haven’t signed a pact with humans that says ”humans give us food, and in return, we give our lives”. Any sane person can understand this when they stop to think about it.

Species don’t make choices; individuals do.

Jonathan S. Foer

Am I taking this too literally? Maybe, but probably not. The world is filled with people who’ll tell themselves the most absurd things in order to not have to face reality.

If you do think my interpretation of the argument is too literal, you might also attempt to argue that even though we abuse and kill animals, they’d be no better off in the wild. This statement however, is a failure on many levels.

Expanding on point number three above, you need to understand that the reason we kill as many animals as we do, is that we demand as many animals as we do. Get it?

By eating meat we create a massive demand for meat production, and that demand is being met by the meat industry. If we didn’t eat and use animals the way we do now, they wouldn’t exist in such massive numbers to begin with and just like the “in the wild” argument, this entire discussion wouldn’t be relevant either.

Are your taste buds really worth it? Is your food porn on Instagram that important? Sure, you'll get a few likes, but someone had to die for that.

The reason we kill as many animals as we do, is that we demand as many animals as we do. It’s a vicious and unnecessary circle.


If you had to decide on behalf of all human kind, which of the two would be preferable?

1) Humans should exist, but they would have to live as slaves and endure all the misery that comes with it, including certain death.


2) Humans should not exist. Period.

Regardless of your position, a dog, cat, chicken or pig can never make such a decision.


Human beings owning other human beings as slaves is an all too prevalent fact of history. Slave masters have long argued that by providing slaves with food and a roof over their head, their behaviour is justified.

This argument likely offends you. If it doesn’t you need to adjust your moral compass.

When farmers and omnivores (“you and me”) argue that very same point with regards to exploitation of animals, can you honestly say that the logic is any better?

For the animals,

Related entries

Capacity to suffer

The absurdity of Common Farming Exemptions

Will animals go extinct if the world becomes vegan?

Putting shit in perspective