Many people refrain from eating meat for a variety of reasons, including environmental and health concerns. Flexitarians, because they consume meat on a regular but reduced basis, are closely connected to the issue of humane slaughter. The foremost reason people cite for choosing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is concern for animal welfare. In regard to the various types of vegetarians, each has a clear connection to humane slaughter. Lacto vegetarians are complicit in the slaughter of both male calves used for veal and cull cows used for ground meat. Lacto ovo vegetarians necessarily support the slaughter of hens when they are spent from laying eggs. In addition, the egg industry necessarily disposes of its unwanted male chicks.
Many pescatarians also consume dairy and eggs so would be connected to the concerns if both lacto vegetarians and lacto ovo vegetarians. Even if pescatarians do not include dairy and eggs in their diets, humane slaughter is an issue that concerns them. The Humane Society of the United States reports that approximately 1.3 billion fish are raised in off-shore and land-based aquaculture systems in the United States each year and slaughtered for food and studies on the physiological and behavioral responses of fish show that common slaughter practices are likely to cause suffering.
To learn more about these issues, the following resources are recommended:
Caraway, Andy. “How Ethical Are Your Eggs,” The Guardian, 27 February 2014, link to article
Cross, Sue. “Cow’s Milk is the Cruelest Drink: A Case for the Vegan Option Continued,” The Huffington Post, 10 April 2012, link to article
Singer, Peter. “Fish: The Forgotten Victims on Our Plate,” The Guardian, 1 April 2010, link to article