Dietary change is seen as a way to reduce animal suffering, especially in factory farms, by reducing one’s consumption of animal products.[1]

Besides its direct impact on food production, going vegetarian or vegan can also encourage others to make similar choices, and ultimately help change social norms.[2] For this reason, many members of the effective altruism community advocate a vegan or vegetarian diet, while some focus on reducing consumption of specific foods associated with most animal deaths or suffering.[3][4]

However, other members of the community have argued that reducing or eliminating animal products has monetary, attentional, and productivity costs, and that, after accounting for these costs, dietary change may not be a cost-effective intervention for those concerned about animal welfare.[5]

Further reading

Tomasik, Brian (2006) Does vegetarianism make a difference?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.
A discussion of how vegetarianism can have an impact on suffering.

Tomasik, Brian (2007) How much direct suffering is caused by various animal foods?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.
An analysis of the impact of the production of different foods.

Wildeford, Peter (2013) Why eat less meat?, Everyday Utilitarian, June 6.
A clear articulation of the case for eating fewer animal products.

animal product alternatives | animal welfare | farmed animal welfare | marginal charity

  1. ^

    Wildeford, Peter (2013) Why eat less meat?, Everyday Utilitarian, June 6.

  2. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2006) Does vegetarianism make a difference?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.

  3. ^

    Galef, Julia (2011) Want to kill fewer animals? Give up eggs, Scientific American Guest Blog, August 11.

  4. ^

    Tomasik, Brian (2007) How much direct suffering is caused by various animal foods?, Essays on Reducing Suffering.

  5. ^

    Lewis, Gregory (2015) Don’t sweat diet?, Effective Altruism Forum, October 22.