Sunday, 16 December 2012

How many animals does a Vegan save?

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with a good friend of mine who is a Vegetarian.
At a certain point of our conversation we found ourselves confronting on a question: how many animals does a Vegan save? Does he saves more animals than a Vegetarian? Being a Vegan, am I saving more animals than him?
Obviously we agreed that being Vegan means a lot to animal welfare because diary and eggs are a product of animal exploitation and of animal suffering, but in terms of number of saved animals every year is there a real difference?
Well, in my opinion there is a difference: taking for example eggs, buying eggs means financing a market that sistematically eliminates male chicks.
The same concept may be applied to diary: the milk industry needs only cows, this means that bulls may be considered a byproduct of this industry that becomes monetized in the form of meat.
It's not easy to find a formula to express the difference between a Vegetarian and a Vegan in terms of number of saved lives.
I did a research online and the results made me even more confused.
The most interesting website that i found on the matter is this one,, "a place for people who love animals and numbers". It may sound strange but that's what it actually is, a website with lots of interesting articles on animal rights with a strong mathematical outlook.
This page is about the number of animals saved every year by a Vegetarian. The article explains very well the computations used to arrive to define a number (I invite you to read it all if you are interested), and a very conservative esteem says that a Vegetarian saves every year more than 406 animals each year: at least 30 land animals (28 of them being chickens), at least 225 fish and at least 151 shellfish.
I still have no answer to my original question about the difference between a Vegetarian and a Vegan in terms of saved lives, but at least I know how many animals a carnivore victimizes every year just to satisfy his greedy palate.

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