Why is vegetarianism bad for animals

As for vegetarian products, the animals

Fortunately, no animals are slaughtered for these types of tofu. Image: K / Vegpool

The trend towards a meat-free diet has continued for many years. Large food manufacturers have long recognized the trend and have developed their own vegetarian and vegan products. Even large meat companies are now manufacturers of meatless foods.
But those who eat vegetarian food in order not to encourage the killing of animals should in many cases also leave the vegetarian products behind. Find out why in this article.

For vegetarian products such as cold cuts, sausages and the like, even more animals die than for products made from meat. What sounds unbelievable at first can be explained quite simply:

Often more animals die for vegetarian products

A large part of the vegetarian products that can be found on supermarket shelves are based on eggs. However, the production of eggs is inevitably linked to the killing of chicks and "laying hens". Male chicks are of course not suitable as laying hens, but due to their breeding they cannot be used for meat production either. In most cases, they are killed immediately after hatching. Countless animals die every year in German hatcheries.

Roosters almost never survive in the egg industry Image: joe06wds Image title: Peter Hahn, CC-BY

Although there have been protests against this practice for many years, lawmakers have not yet banned "chick shredding". The laying hens, which are completely emaciated after a few months, are also killed early - so that they can at least still be used as soup hens. In a sense, the killing goes directly to the account of the egg consumers. If you do not want animals to be killed for you, you will unfortunately find no alternative in chicken eggs (and products made from them).

Calculation: Why more animals sometimes die for vegetarian products

Vegetarian products made from egg whites from chicken eggs may even have to kill more animals than meat products. The underlying calculation is simple:

A slaughtered pig "provides" about 80 kilos of meat. A medium-sized chicken egg weighs around 70 grams and contains around 40 grams of egg white, the raw material for some vegetarian products.
To obtain 80 kilos of egg white you need 2000 eggs (80,000 / 40).

So many eggs have to be laid first. But the calculation goes even further. Because we ask ourselves how many animals die for the same amount of egg white.

A chicken lives in industrial laying for about 1.5 years and reaches sexual maturity (laying maturity) at about 5 months. So the chicken lays eggs for 13 months before its performance deteriorates and it ends up as a soup chicken.
The laying performance of a hybrid (inbred) laying hen is around 300 per year, i.e. around 25 per month. In her life, a hen in a classic laying factory lays an average of 325 eggs. So, in a sense, the entire laying performance of more than six hens flows into 2,000 eggs.

Which calculation is correct now?
Other calculations (e.g. by Stern journalist and vegan Derik Meinköhn) even assume that 11 hens "replace" a pig for vegetarian products. The reason is probably that a higher meat yield per pig was assumed. Ultimately, however, such calculations only serve one purpose: to show how many animals die for some vegetarian product.

Fortunately, there are animal-friendly and tasty alternatives

Of course, the bill does not mean that it would be better to kill a pig and eat meat again. However, it clearly shows that vegetarian products are not necessarily more animal-friendly - they could even kill more animals. So there are good reasons for animal lovers to take a critical look at the list of ingredients for meat-free meat alternatives. There is now a wide range of vegan products that taste just like meat without an animal having to die for it. Fortunately, it is very easy to go vegan.

Vegan sausages and meat alternatives are mostly based on seitan (wheat protein) or tofu (soy protein). They are not only animal-friendly, but also significantly more ecological. Because in this way arable land can be used directly for the production of food instead of for the cultivation of feed for animals.

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Author: Kilian Thirty