Non-Human And Human Animal Rights, And Caring For The Biosphere – A Conundrum

Is Becoming A Vegan A Good Choice For My Health, Animal Rights, And The Planet?

frog rabbit and pig

Three wonderful gifts from my stepdaughter, Jess. Thanks so much, Jess.

animal trap in mulch pile

There is an unnecessary animal trap in this lovely mulch pile. Photo by FitOldDog

As I consider becoming a vegan, my thoughts on animal rights are running deeper.

Humans unwittingly create traps for wildlife.

We could save the animals from a painful death, through education, awareness, and most importantly, caring.

Whilst digging through the local community mulch pile, I came across one of my pet peeves, the horrible plastic mesh that is used to make it easier to transport grass turf. It is a trap, waiting for any unwitting critter, and quite unnecessary. I laid plenty of turf as a teenager, in England, back in the late 1950s, whilst working as a handyman in a local hotel. You just handle the turfs carefully, and no problem. The modern approach is to create a net to hold the turfs together; lo and behold you have a potential nightmare for passing moles, voles and gardeners.

I was one such gardener, having purchased a house a few years ago. There was an extensive lawn that I intended to turn into a vegetable garden (I don’t like monocultures, and I do like fresh, homegrown food). On the first attempt to dig up the lawn, there it was. Plastic mesh, and in the end I gave up the struggle to get rid of the stuff. I would like to see such things outlawed.

Plastic mesh in mulch pile

Here it is, hidden in the mulch, that nasty plastic mesh. Why did humans make that stuff? It is completely unnecessary. Photo by FitOldDog

I also find myself under increasing pressure to become vegan, or to live on a plant-only diet. As I ponder this idea, eating less and less meat every day, I wonder  about the impact of such things on the general health of the Biosphere, of which humans, contrary to popular belief, are but one small part.

It is only too easy to come up with obvious ideas, like importing rabbits or cane toads into Australia, or only living on plants, in spite of our omnivorous origins, whilst being unable to predict the impact of such decisions on the entire network, notably the Biosphere.

There is an old mathematical model of foxes and rabbits, in which their respective populations go up and down as foxes eat too many rabbits, then the foxes starve a bit through lack of rabbits to eat, then as the foxes are more scarce, the rabbits come back, and behind them comes more foxes, as with lots of rabbits around it easier to find provender for young foxes. And on it goes, in a continuous cycle. Presumably the carrot population follows the good fortunes of foxes rather than that of their prey. Then the populations of organisms that live on carrots (or whatever plant the rabbits eat), will have lean times somewhat in phase with the recovery of the rabbits, only to be rescued and revitalized when the foxes once again eat too many of their preferred lagomorphic comestibles.

Cashew bread

Deb’s lovely cashew bread. It is really good, and unlike wheat bread, you don’t have to eat the whole loaf and still crave more. It fills you right up! Photo by FitOldDog, with Deb’s permission.

Take this thought a little further and you will eventually find that all organisms on the Earth are to some extent influenced by the fox-rabbit population dance. So what about us deciding to only eat plants. Replacing the ecological nirvana of a healthy grass-fed beef ‘crop’ with the relative desert of an avocado farm. And what if I stop eating wheat, which I largely have, only to live on nuts instead – I wonder how Deb’s wonderful cashew bread will impact those foxes, rabbits, carrots and so on.

I can promise you that no-one knows.

My recommendation is that you do what feels right to you, to protect all animals as best you can, by raising awareness of the need to care, both within yourself and in the humans that you encounter.

Caring is the key!

Then there’s the wolves in Yellowstone Park.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.