Sunday, February 12, 2012

"404" Animals Saved

A very quantitatively-oriented researcher has gone to a lot of trouble to estimate (conservatively) how many animals an American vegetarian or vegan saves (on average) from death in a year. The number is 404: 34 land animals, 219 fish, and 151 shellfish. The numbers can't be proved as accurate, of course, but the research suggests a measure of credibility. (Read the research here.)

So, in my 10+ years of plant-based eating, I've saved more than "4,000" animals from an unnatural and unnecessary death. (No brag, just a possible fact.)

I've learned that most people eliminate animals from their diets with one of two priorities in mind: nutrition or animal welfare. That is, it's possible to be a junk-food, animal rights vegan, concerned about animals but not about health. It's also possible to be a nutrition junkie and regard the by-product of fewer animals killed as nice, but not critical. Regardless of initial motivation, most vegans usually end up recognizing and honoring both priorities equally.

From either direction, the net effect is the same: fewer animals get eaten.

I came to a plant-based lifestyle from a third direction—the Bible. When I discovered that the diet outlined in Eden (Genesis 1:29) for human beings is a plant-based diet, my commitment to letting Scripture guide my thinking led me to a vegan lifestyle. With further understanding, I discovered that the other two priorities were accomplished by pursuing a biblical approach: eating plants is nutritious as well as honoring to animals under the creation stewardship mandate in Genesis—not honoring their "animalness" so they develop into better quality food but honoring them as sentient beings who make their own contributions to the mosaic of life on earth.

So starting with Scripture allows me yet another opportunity to honor the Bible as a guide for faith and practice while accomplishing the other two priorities—nutrition and animal welfare—at the same time. A rare three-fer.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, William, and thank you for sharing that research - Ben