This is still a pretty rough draft; I know I'll put off asking this question if I get bogged down in minutiae. I'm more than happy to clarify any questions you might have. This is also my first post here, so sorry if this is below standard. I am currently struggling with two things regarding ethical consumption:

  1. Is it better to consume wild caught/killed animals than farmed plants? The amount of insect death caused by plant farming is disgustingly high (trillions a year, probably even tens or hundreds of trillions), and the amount of animals killed per meal by hunting (and also fishing I think, although I'm less certain about that one) would be infinitesimally small in comparison. Obviously insects may not even be sentient, but the sheer scale at which they're killed easily makes up for this. Farmed animals are obviously still far worse to eat than farmed plants since they lead to even more plant farming overall; not to mention that even "ethically farmed" animals are treated horribly all things considered and that they wouldn't even be born (and thus would avoid the suffering they experience) without us, whereas wild animals would both exist and probably die a horrible death with or without us (especially in the case of smaller life forms).
  2. Given the opaqueness of many ingredient lists and the inclusion of farmed animal products in seemingly innocuous foods (such as shellac coating on apples), how do I effectively avoid farmed animal products? I'm taking the obvious steps already (if the ingredient list includes dairy, eggs, etc, I'm out), but what else should I look out for (this question applies to non-food items as well of course, food is just the context where it comes up most often).




New Answer
New Comment

1 Answers sorted by

This doesn't directly address your questions in the post, but it addresses the titular question of 'which products should we prioritize avoiding?' Ozy Brennan suggests that 'you can eliminate 95% of the suffering associated with your diet simply by giving up farmed fish, poultry, and eggs'. I don't know if they took the associated insect suffering into account.

Thanks. This does not seem to take into account insect suffering unfortunately, but it still includes some valuable information.