Vegans: you should be worried about the working conditions of farm workers if you’re really against cruelty
By Erin White
October 27, 2017
As a conflicted meat-eater who understands that animals don’t actually belong to us and I can concede that eating them may be ethically dubious. That said, animals are delicious and they would eat us too.
Nevertheless, the fight for vegetarianism and veganism is an honorable one and eating fewer animal products would be beneficial for everyone. But what’s so frustrating about too many animal-free platforms is the bizarre prioritization of animal welfare over that of the humans who produce the food.
Often touting meat-free meals and products as “cruelty-free”, the health conscious and food activists wrongly limit the cruelty of food production to the animals who are processed. So often these conversations center the rights of animals to the point where they ignore the inhumane working conditions poor, often undocumented laborers who provide all of our produce as well.
Rarely with rights and unions to protect and fight for them, migrant farm workers are regularly subject to sexual, verbal, and other forms of abuse by employers who already exploit their underpaid labor.
In no attempt to minimize the truly terrifying environmental concerns related to our food consumption, its so important to remember that, in the meantime, real-life people are being harmed by the systems that produce our food, too.