Help with guilt - Paying for animals to suffer in order to go vegan?

I have now turned vegan as I personally feel guilty for buying animal related products for the following reasons:

Meat = actual dead animals, no brainier there.
Dairy = mostly tortured animals who live for their produce and then eventually become meat.
Veggies = Grown as a result of wild animals shot and trapped on site, who then become meat.
Wheat and grains = Animals shot and bodies wasted or made into pet food.

I now live off home grown veggies and pasta only, but I am giving SO MUCH more to farms and the livestock industry in terms of wheat, rice, and fake meat. Before, I lived off £3.00 bacon for two of us, aside from bread and pasta. Since being vegan I pay so much for vegetables, which goes back to the farms to pay for cattle, sheep, pigs etc... so now, I am really helping them thrive and helping living creatures to be abused and killed.

I feel I am now really helping the meat industry to grow and becoming a part of it now, despite not directly eating it. How can I live with this guilt? (No religious answers please, I am not religious in the slightest)

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"Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."

As far as is possible and practicable .... Think of causing the least bit of harm with your choices. Don't be overtly critical of yourself and don't analyse too much. You are doing good. At least your meals don't come from screaming animals.

Ah sadly though, my meals now do come from deaths of screaming and tortured animals :( The amount of wild animals being killed for my meals now is far more than it ever was, as I am buying food made from vegetables and wheat which wild animals have been killed for the sake of growing.

I wasn't eating much more than a packet of bacon a weak as a meat eater, but wasn't buying vegetables etc aside from tomatoes which are homegrown. So my meals back then consisted of only one animal suffering and now they consist of hundreds if not thousands.

I like your description though, as it does not necessarily say "Vegans do not eat meat." or "Vegans do not eat farm vegetables" and I was already excluding meat and farm products as much as possible, it's made me think perhaps I was more vegan before I tried to become one by replacing my minimal amount of meat with huge amounts of farming products.

As vegans we do inadvertently cause animal suffering. It’s inevitable. But that does not invalidate the vegan stance and the continual striving for the reduction of harm. And, I am sorry, but studies which are your point of reference, seem to be flawed and skewed too.

Besides, what about the ethical weight of suffering and cruelty inflicted about farm animals, such as branding, dehorning, castration, a lifetime of confinement, transportation without food or water for upto 36 hours, and a terrifying death? All of these horrors are not deliberately and calculatively practiced on field and wild animals.

What of veal and baby animals being murdered in the meat industry? Vegetarianism kills fewer animals, involves better treatment of animals, and likely allows a greater number of animals with lives worth living to exist.

Please go through the links included. I believe plants have some level of sentience too. But, we do eat them, don't we? It's about causing the least amount of harm to the environment, to all the sentient lives. And, take into account the way the animals are killed on factory farms and horrors they are subjected to, before being slaughtered. Compared to that evil, killing animals for growing grains and stuff seems like a lesser evil.

Poonam is absolutely right. You should never regret being a Vegan, you must be proud of it. As far as we have physical existence, we will be having some share in cruelty as you said. But those things are not in our control and we can never avoid them. So adopting a lifestyle which cause less harm will be the intelligent choice.  

Here is an excerpt from Eat Like You Care:

"And what about the field mice, snakes, birds, and other creatures who are killed when crops are planted and harvested? Would we kill more animals if we had a vegan diet than if we ate animals and animal products?

The answer is clearly “no.” It takes more land to grow plants that we feed to animals we eat than it would take if we consumed the plants directly. And the production of meat has the largest impact on the destruction of the world’s biodiversity due to its role in pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, land degradation, greenhouse gas emissions, and so on.

There are some people who argue that even if we have fewer acres under cultivation, whatever crops we eat will result in more animal deaths because more wild animals are killed in crop production than in raising animals on pastures. But this position ignores that the land used for crop production can provide up to 10 times the amount of protein than can be produced from animals raised on pastures. So even if more wild animals are killed in crop production than in raising animals on pasture, the number of wild animals killed per consumer in crop production will be a fraction of the number of animals killed in raising animals on pasture because one acre of crops can produce protein for so many more people than one acre of pasture used to raise animals."

Intention matters in issues of morality, and we unfortunately cannot live on fresh air alone. Currently, we have to rely on industrial farming methods which often kill animals and insects. But in a society that's mostly Vegan, we would find ways to prevent the killing of "wild animals" and insects. Until then, non-vegans who own these enterprises will continue doing what is economically efficient and will not care about the killing of wildlife and insects. And that's why vegan education is so important as we do our best to shift that paradigm as quickly as possible.

There's only so much you can do. The point of veganism was never to completely eradicate the mistreatment of animals, but to stop as much mistreatment as humanely possible.

My name is Alex Bledsoe and Im 34 years young. I have been a Vegetarian since I was 18 because of my love for animals was JUST to much!! Whether its a human life or a Humans, its STILL a life!! How would you feel if a stranger broke into your house and kidnapped your baby, and not only are they kidnapping, but they were cannibals and was going to eat them? NOT SO A OK IS IT??

Alex, you're preaching to "the choir" - a bunch of vegans and vegetarians here. The original post was about guilt over the worry of contributing indirectly even more to animal suffering because of buying farm products at all, even though those products might be grains or soy. I don't believe that is necessarily the case, but that was the concern.
I'm glad you became veg as a teenager. So did I, half a century ago, then non-dairy about 30 years ago.

You are causing much fewer vegetables to be grown and bought if you are vegan, as explained here;

I think you are laboring under a false assumption. You say, "...but I am giving SO MUCH more to farms and the livestock industry in terms of wheat, rice, and fake meat. Before, I lived off £3.00 bacon for two of us, aside from bread and pasta. Since being vegan I pay so much for vegetables, which goes back to the farms to pay for cattle, sheep, pigs etc... so now, I am really helping them thrive and helping living creatures to be abused and killed."
I would encourage you to go to the grain and soy farms and see for yourself what you are supporting. Today's farming operations in most westernized countries are specialized, not "Old MacDonald had a farm with every conceivable crop and animal on it."
My neighbors up the road are cattle ranchers. They don't grow grains, they don't even grow vegetables. In this area, cattle are pastured almost all year; the only crop they raise is hay.
Grain and soy farmers here are seldom ranchers and pig farmers, if ever. And Ranchers are seldom grain and soy farmers. Maybe it's different where you live, but that is what I see.

I think you should feel proud that you have such a small impact compared to majority of people by eliminating as much as possible. Plus by growing your own veggies you are actually doing a really good deed for all soil fauna and other little organisms living off your garden. And when it comes to still "supporting" factory farming....well, it's difficult to avoid this completely as long as society is set up this way. You would only have to go totally off-grid to have the total control :(. As sad as it sounds, all previous generations had to deal with some serious unwanted problems they didn't like at all.


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