Thanks for taking the trouble to produce a reasoned response to my article, Jamie. I admit that, by concentrating on the killing of animals for food, rather than the suffering it is claimed they endure in their lives, I missed an important point. First, that for most vegans there is no hypocrisy involved for it is true that their respect for all living creatures is such that they genuinely would not kill a fly. My contention would be that such an attitude goes against nature. The unavoidable facts are that all life involves suffering. And, as I said, all living creatures survive by eating other living creatures. Life would not exist were it not so.

I find the practices of industrial scale factory farming as abhorent as does any vegan. I do my level best to ensure the meat and dairy I eat come from a source where the animal is properly cared for throughout its life.

Nowhere did I mention the killing of animals for entertainment. I deplore hunting, bull fighting, cock fighting, horse and greyhound racing. I would even go so far as to add that many pets suffer as a result of the practices of some breeders which I believe should be outlawed. But killing animals for food is necessary to sustain life, in humans as in most other species. I think this last point answers your criticism of my reference to the longevity of the practice of killing for food, which cannot be compared to morally questionable practices long since abandoned.

Finally my question about the future of animals kept for food, should large numbers of humans become vegan, was based around they fact that none of these animals would exist, in the form or numbers we know today, were it not for the fact that we breed, feed, and care for them as a food source.

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Frank is a retired Engineer from England now living in Ireland. He is trying to learn and share the lessons of history.

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