Vegan and animal activist Russell Simmons posed a question to the twitterverse yesterday about the ethics of eating animals.
He wrote, “To my vegan friends what’s worse 4 people eating 16 shrimp or 50 people sharing one cow ? F if I know?”
I remember an animal activist who argued that if a person was to eat meat, that they should choose a cow over smaller animals like chickens. His reason was because in that instance only one animal faced pain and death verses the many lives of chickens that would have to be taken to equal the amount of food a cow provided.
But for a vegan, that argument doesn’t quite work either. First, because cows contribute to climate change through their methane production and because so many trees are cut down to graze the animals. (Ultimately harming all life.) Second, the idea of sacrificing any animal for another is an ethical disaster zone for a vegan.
So, Russell, I think the answer to your question is to keep inspiring others to choose veg options. Let’s work towards this slightly altered phrase: No animal left behind.
Or, as one of his twitter followers responded, “@unclerush depends on if you are the shrimp or the cow… everyone’s life is equally important to them. regardless of species.”
Do you have an answer for Russell Simmons?