Key points

  • Many vegans support reducetarianism (reduced meat consumption) however, is it consistent with veganism?
  • A reducetarian approach would be unacceptable in the human and companion animal contexts so supporting it in the farm animal context is speciesist
  • Supporters suggest reducetarianism is a ‘pragmatic’ approach for vegan advocates though there is no credible evidence to support this claim
  • It seems more likely that reducetarianism encourages people to only make small changes and in good conscience go no further
  • By legitimising continued animal exploitation reducetarianism further entrenches the current paradigm of commodifying animals and treating them as property
  • Animal exploitation will continue unless vegans unite to promote justice for all sentient beings: this begins, not ends, with veganism. …

Many people find the animal welfare position towards our use of animals compelling and think it is morally consistent with their values of not causing unnecessary harm to animals. However, does the animal welfare position cause more harm than good to animals?

This issue is well illustrated by a recent interview on The Pat Kenny Show with Pete the Vet, a well-known Vet in the UK. Pete talks about his reasons for participating in Veganuary — a global campaign which encourages people to go vegan for the month of January. However, rather than taking the opportunity to discuss the ideas behind veganism, a rejection of the unnecessary exploitation of all sentient beings, Pete focuses the conversation on animal welfare and not animal rights. Pete says:


Veterinary Vegan Network

Veterinary surgeons, nurses, paraveterinary individuals and their loved ones who believe that abolitionist veganism is a moral imperative.

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