If you live in the United Kingdom, chances are that you'll have heard something about the badger cull which is currently taking place in south-west England. As I have said before in a previous blog post, I am an ethical vegan, so my concern for animal rights extends well beyond the food that I eat, which is why I think that the badger cull really should be considered to be a serious issue for vegans.
Firstly, there are animal rights issues to consider when discussing the badger cull. If we believe that non-human animals do have rights, or more specifically the right not to be treated as objects or property, then there is an inherent problem in killing badgers in order to protect the finanacial interests of the dairy industry. Whilst there are arguments for humane wildlife deterrence in some instances, the killing of individuals from one particular species which have been blamed for interfering with modern agriculture when more compassionate alternatives exist is incompatible with basic animal rights principles.
In addition to this, given that the consumption of dairy is not necessary for human health or survival, the supposed necessity of the cull is called into question from a vegan perspective. As ethical vegans, we are presumably already aware that cows suffer tremendously at the hands of the dairy industry, and this informs part of the reason for our choice not to consume any animal products. There are plenty of scientific reasons why the cull won't work anyway to eradicate bovine TB, but from my perspective at least, the main reason for trying to eradicate bovine TB through the killing of badgers (namely because the milk taken from an infected cow can no longer be exported under European rules) should be disregarded because that reason exists in order to facilitate the further exploitation of cows for their milk, which is simply unnecessary.
So, what can you do to help stop the badger cull? Here are just a few ideas:
- If you live in the UK, please do write to your MP about this issue if you haven't done already. It just takes a moment and can be done from the comfort of your own home.
- Consider going vegan, or at the very least giving up dairy produce. It's easy, healthy and the simplest and most effective way that you can change your life to help all non-human animals, badgers included!
- Join the Wounded Badger Patrols in Gloucestershire or Somerset, going out nightly throughout the duration of the cull to locate badgers in the cull zone who have been wounded by the shooters.