Hi everyone, this is my first post on this forum. And I'm eager to learn more about ways in which I can reduce suffering in the world.
So regarding my question, Peter Singer's views have had a huge influence on my own ideas regarding ethics, especially in relation to animals. A lecture of his that I saw several years ago convinced me to adopt a vegetarian diet. However, about a few months ago, some uncertainty started to creep in regarding my views related to the welfare of animals, especially in the context of the country I live in, which is Pakistan.
According to Singer, factory farming contributes a great deal to the suffering of the farmed animals, so much so, that, at least in terms of the majority of these animals, their lives are not worth living. Therefore, the abolition of this system would significantly reduce the suffering in the world.
However, according to the Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (https://vaci.voiceless.org.au/countries/pakistan/), most farm operations in Pakistan are small-scale, and therefore, it seems, that the suffering that is inflicted upon the farmed animals is significantly less than what the animals in factory farms might experience. Now, I do realize that they are still subjected to practices that are detrimental to their well-being, but there is still the possibility that these animals, or the majority of them anyway, have lives worth living. In other words, the good in their lives outweighs the bad.
I understand that it is also important to take greenhouse gas emissions into consideration since animal agriculture is a significant contributor. But, according to Our World in Data's assessment for the year 2022 (https://ourworldindata.org/co2/country/pakistan?country=PAK~OWID_WRL), Pakistan emits only 0.54% of the total global emissions.
Another consideration that might be worth taking into account is the level of poverty in Pakistan. As many as 10.47 million people were living under the International Poverty Line of $2.15 per day in 2018 (https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-population-in-extreme-poverty?tab=chart&country=PAK). And many people rely on animal agriculture as a source of income in this country.
Considering this data, do you still think that it would be more ethical to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet as opposed to a meat-based diet? If so, I would appreciate it if you could go over the reasoning behind that.