Should vegans support AI in the Dairy Industry?

Graeme M

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  1. Vegan
Should vegans support AI (Artificial Insemination) in the Dairy Industry?

I've been having a discussion elsewhere about this; some people agree and some don't. I often see vegans and animal rights advocates claiming that AI is bad and even constitutes something akin to rape. This upsets many non-vegans for various reasons, but mostly it tends to make them see vegans as a bit weird. My opinion is that vegans should support AI, at least in the dairy and beef industries.

Vegans oppose animal exploitation so they choose not to support animal-using industries, usually by refusing to buy their products. But these industries still breed and use animals. The way I think about veganism is that it is about preventing rights violations (ethical vegans would tend to believe other animals deserve basic rights). So by refusing to buy the products from animal-using industries, vegans are respecting the rights of animals not to be owned and used as a means.

However, vegans also should want to respect the right of other animals not to be treated cruelly. AI is a husbandry practice aimed at several outcomes - improving genetics (ie healthier and more productive animals), reducing risk (from natural mating between bulls and smaller cows), and selecting the sex of offspring (mitigating the problem of bobby calves). Overall, there is no downside for the cows nor are they much harmed by the practice.

Anyways, I think vegans should support AI in these industries and stop the rape allegations.

Once animals have been bred, they exist. Vegans should still advocate for, and support, improved welfare for the animals once they exist. Of course, vegans would not support improved welfare economically - they would not buy meat from a more ethical farm - because breeding the animals in the first place was wrong. I suppose my argument extends to welfare more generally. But many advocates are much opposed to vegans/ARAs supporting improved welfare as, for example, Gary Francione claims.

Anyways, I think vegans should support AI in these industries and stop the claims it is sexual abuse.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: silva
Forcing an animal into pregnancy is literally the most invasive violation of bodily autonomy possible. Forced insemination specifically doesn't improve animal welfare because it is already the industry standard. So it's a slightly better form of abuse than an outdated, less profitable method...can you possibly set the bar any lower? This is what we should soften our stance against all animal exploitation for?

It's simultaneously the most vile aspect of animal exploitation and the means of perpetuating that exploitation. Vegans should take the strongest possible stand against it.
 
Forcing an animal into pregnancy is literally the most invasive violation of bodily autonomy possible. Forced insemination specifically doesn't improve animal welfare because it is already the industry standard. So it's a slightly better form of abuse than an outdated, less profitable method...can you possibly set the bar any lower? This is what we should soften our stance against all animal exploitation for?

It's simultaneously the most vile aspect of animal exploitation and the means of perpetuating that exploitation. Vegans should take the strongest possible stand against it.

I think you are misinterpreting what I've said. Where did I suggest "softening" any stance against exploitation? I suggested that vegans oppose the use of other animals as a mere means, ie to exploit them. But once animals have been bred, no choice that vegans make can affect the well-being of those animals, other than to advocate for better welfare practices. Doing so is not to endorse the use of animals in the first place, but it is to hope that the animals that do exist suffer less while they exist.