Murder free milk is a myth?

Forest Nymph

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I went to a family goat farm that has been there since the early 1900s on a field trip as an uundergrad. They refused to kill their goats. The males however did serve a purpose by mowing down blackberry brambles and that sort of thing, since goats will chew through most anything.
 
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Mom2vegan

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This question is frequently posed to vegans by detractors. It is often delivered with a triumphal expression on the face. It is the coup de grâce in the demolition of veganism. It is a tricky one that we must all be prepared for. Because it will inevitably be presented to each and every one of us.

The immediately obvious answer is yes. The true answer is an indefatigable no. Or rather that the question is completely meaningless. But it takes a lot of heavy thought provoking logic to understand why.

Mary had a little lamb
His name was Fred
And he had no inkling that far before his time
He would be very, very dead

The Fred we are talking about is an existing being. But what if he had never been conceived? This is the hub of the argument.

People sometimes say to a child, “Eat up your vegetables. You are very lucky to have been born in this country. You could have been born into a poverty stricken country and to have been always hungry.”

This is nonsense. It would have been impossible for that particular child to have been created elsewhere by different parents. That child was the result of one sperm out of many millions winning a race to an egg. If a different sperm had won that race then an entirely different child would have been born.

If our Fred had never existed then there would have been no Fred to have a short happy life. So it cannot be better for him because there never was a “him” to begin with.

This is all related to what statisticians call a self-selecting potential population. The self-selected are the ones that were actually born.

It is morally wrong to bring forth a life with the purpose of extinguishing it. Once it does exist it should be allowed to live.

But if that life never existed then there would be no loss. People find this difficult to understand because we are so full of our own self-importance that we cannot comprehend there never having been a “me”.

This is my second attempt to address this question. I do hope I have improved a little on the first.

Please see https://www.veganforum.org/threads/how-to-respond-to-this-argument.1986/ and see posts 3 & 4 from Jamie and 5, 6, 7 and 8 from me.

And the very best of luck in your journey forward! :)

Roger.

Edit: In fact it is my third attempt at this very thorny problem! Please see also:

https://www.veganforum.org/threads/the-animal-product-industry-creates-life.3074/

There are a lot of good contributions here and I’m afraid the thread has three whole pages! But it is well worth your attention.

I've been down similar paths in my head in the past and if I keep following the train of thought I just reach "it doesn't matter." Let me try it again. If there never was a "me," I wouldn't be here now . There is a "me" and when I die, my family will suffer - whether I die suddenly 2 seconds from now from a drive by shooting, never knowing it was coming or experiencing any fear myself or I die of old age many years from now after suffering numerous ailments and heartaches. If I suddenly die now I will not suffer and if I had not formed any bonds with other humans there would be no suffering at all associated with my death. The experience of living has been interesting. If I die my family and friends will suffer - that's the sad part. But if I had been born into some sort of human meat farm owned by a kind family of aliens, raised and coddled by aliens, never having formed tight family bonds........nobody would miss me or be sad when I die but

wait this whole train of thought is giving me a really creepy feeling........

oh boy now I'm totally getting the whole vegan thing. Before, I wanted to do the vegan thing just because I realized there's no way, logistically, to kill an animal without causing suffering. Plus I was thinking of the environmental reasons. Now I'm creeped out. A life without relationship bonds? No - a life without bonds is NOT better than no life at all.

You know - I can only open this forum every few days because of the emotions it causes me to feel. It's pretty intense.
 

Mom2vegan

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I went to a family goat farm that has been there since the early 1900s on a field trip as an undergrad. They refused to kill their goats. The males however did serve a purpose by mowing down blackberry brambles and that sort of thing, since goats will chew through most anything.
So were they raising milk goats?
 

Forest Nymph

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So were they raising milk goats?
Yes. They mostly made cheese, but also made things with herbs and flowers, like syrups and teas.

The babies were kept near the mothers for contact, in an open pen that allowed them to see and partly touch each other, but could not nurse. They were bottle fed. The older kids had a separate pen to all hang out together and selectively nurse by their own choice from an apparatus with nipples. The female goats were milked less than five minutes a day each, divided into two brief sessions ten or twelve hours apart.

We were allowed to hold the babies and pet the older kids. It was nice with a big pasture, and they had llamas to keep away mountain lions.

I suppose it was the ideal way to raise goats for milk on a commercial scale. Of course it would be kinder to simply have family goats and let the babies nurse.
 
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