And the number of cows or pigs you’d save by eliminating beef and pork from your diet pales into comparison to the number you’d save by giving up animal foods entirely. For example:
“… far more fish are killed for food than any other type of animal. And when it comes to farm animal deaths, chickens easily rule the roost…”
“In their entire adult life,” Cooney continues, “the average American omnivore will cause the death of only about two dairy cows, eight beef cows and 30 pigs. But they’ll kill about 89 farm-raised fish, 120 egg-industry hens and a whopping 1,680 broiler chickens.”
The carnage doesn’t stop there: In the course of a lifetime, the same “average American omnivore” also accounts for the deaths of more than 12,500 wild-caught fish and 9,060 shellfish.
As bad as the abuse of factory-farmed cattle is, Cooney cautions that the suffering of factory-farmed chicken and fish is worse. If ending animal cruelty is your goal, he advises beginning with fish, chicken and eggs:
“Chickens (both meat and egg-laying) and fish account for 92 percent of the farm animals killed for food in the U.S. They also represent 95 percent of the days of animal suffering caused each year by omnivores.”
Veganomics takes a clear-headed look at the hard data surrounding animal welfare and vegetarianism. It also examines the best approaches for vegan advocates and businesses trying to maximize their effectiveness.
Cooney’s research found that about one-third of those who switched to vegetarianism were influenced by:
television and radio programming
and another third switched because of their family or friends.
The taste and labeling of plant-based meat alternatives also plays a large role in persuading people to change. But regardless of what convinces them, most are motivated by health reasons or animal rights.
Why didn’t I read Veganomics on its release in 2013? That’s the question I kept asking as I turned each page. It’s simply a must-read for vegan business owners or anyone promoting a plant-based lifestyle.