Are vegetarians being cruel to animals? In the sense that they might be contributing to the ‘Animal Elimination Problem’ (i.e. as a result of their refusal to eat them, are they denying as yet unborn bred-for-food animals the right to a life)? Such problems have been examined by top-of-his-class Professor Stephen H. Webb (Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA). His latest article : ‘The Chicken and the Bath Water: Exploring a Basic Limit to the Vegetarian Ideal’ (to be published in the journal The Expository Times, September 2012) explains how :
“If animal rights activists were to become successful in spreading their message, thus making vegetarianism the global diet, they would succeed in substantially decreasing the number of animals in the world. In the name of helping animals they would end up bringing far fewer animals into existence.“
More reading from Professor Webb:
‘Against the Gourmands: In Praise of Fast Food as a Form of Fasting‘.
‘Theology from the Pet Side Up: A Christian Agenda for NOT Saving the World‘.
Also see (though not from Professor Webb) ‘Mincing vegetarians rather than words‘.