What’s Wrong With The Bleeding Heart Case for Veganism

Frank Parker
4 min readOct 23, 2020

That’s not a question, by the way. Let me tell you what is wrong with the argument presented by this Medium article.

Let’s start by accepting as fact that every living species is food for one or more other species. That is the foundation of nature. It involves killing. The activity the author of that article is unwilling to be a part of.

I understand his desire to preserve the lives of cattle, pigs and chickens. But how far is he prepared to go? If he is offended by all killing, determined to protect and preserve living creatures, what about rats? Cockroaches? Locusts? Lice? Mosquitoes? Viruses?

Are you beginning to see the inconsistencies and hypocrisy in his argument? He may be able to guarantee that all the vegetable products he consumes have been grown organically. That means the farmer used no artificial fertilisers or insecticides. But I’m prepared to bet the farmer found a way to kill some of the pests that threatened to deplete or destroy his crop.

And that natural fertiliser he used? I bet it came from animals. And, like it or not, those animals will either die a painful ‘natural’ death or be killed.

Cabbages and beetroots growing in a raised bed in the author’s garden. Author’s photograph

I am fortunate enough to have a small garden. I grow vegetables for my own consumption. I feed them with farmyard manure. Those vegetables are a food source for butterfly larvae, slugs and snails. Carrot root fly is another creature that is determined to take a share of my produce.

I don’t use chemical pesticides. But I do squash caterpillars. I take appropriate preventative measures to limit or eliminate damage by the other beasts that crave the things I grow. To put it bluntly, I deprive them of the means to life. I kill them.

And, in so doing, I am removing a food source from other creatures. Who will, therefore, die.

If I offer a vegan a cabbage I’ve grown, will he or she refuse on the grounds that I have killed several hundred butterfly larvae whilst hosting it in my raised bed? Can he or she guarantee the grower of the cabbage he or she buys at his or her local farmers’ market, never mind a branch of a superstore chain, isn’t equally guilty of killing insects?

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Frank Parker

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