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Why Environmentalism and Veganism Go Hand in Hand.

Published January 20, 2012 by vegansloveanimals

While companies may claim ways in which to make animal exploitation more “environmentally friendly”, there is absolutely no way in which to make environmental exploitation “animal friendly”…this is why I feel quite strongly that ethical reasons to become vegan should be based strongly in environmentalism AND respecting the rights of non-human animals.

This is the basis for anti-civ vegans, and I’m absolutely sick of being written off by other vegans because I am a green anarchist (though I personally distinguish between this and a primitivist, as I don’t condone hunting in any way). I am able to think for myself, and I certainly don’t blindly follow Derrick Jensen or John Zerzan or anyone else, though I may feel they have some very valuable things to say.

Clearcut forest–ask yourself, what do the animals think of this?

The exploitation of the environment (logging, mining, factories spewing all kinds of toxic chemicals from their smokestacks, cars and their roads, cell phone towers, planes, coal, oil drilling and oil pipelines and refining oil for our cars, etc etc etc) all DIRECTLY cause harm and exploitation to non-human animals. So just being vegan and driving a Prius doesn’t make us non-contributors to the direct exploitation of animals.

Strip mining for coal–how many animals lost their homes? How many died?


I’M NOT PERFECT. I know many of you vegans will scoff and say,”Well there you are typing away on your laptop, using electricity!” Yes, and I also have a cell phone, which contributes to the death of millions of songbirds each year. I also have a car, which was and is destructive as the materials to build it were mined and refined and manufactured, as the roads I drive on were paved over where once pristine habitat for wild animals existed, as the oil I use to power my car was drilled for and sent through pipelines or on polluting ships, as driving causes toxic, unhealthy emissions for both human and non-humans everywhere. But at least I am able to admit how destructive civilization is, for humans AND for animals. DIRECTLY.

With the human population nearly hitting the 7 billion mark, what would happen if every one of us did indeed go vegan? Would animal exploitation stop? Of course it wouldn’t. We’d still have to have massive agriculture, which means acres of land plowed over and replanted with crops for people. Water would have to be diverted from natural streams, rivers, and lakes for our agriculture. The food would have to be shipped to people living in cities, so roads would continue to exist, even continue to be built! Only a few examples.

Yes, people should ABSOLUTELY be vegan for animal rights and liberation. But they should also realize that environmentalism and animal rights go hand in hand, paw in paw, feather in feather. I am an abolitionist through and through. I am always against the exploitation of animals, and I am always against the exploitation of Nature, because they are inexorably linked.

Go vegan for the animals. Go vegan for the Earth, so that all who live upon the earth can live. And realize that even vegans do not have all the answers.

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