Rights vs. Welfare

Meet my Gardening Friend Ashley. 

I call her that because she loves gardening. 

Gardening Friend Ashley first commented on my blog post ‘When Food has a Face’. The article is about how supermarkets enable people to disconnect themselves from the reality of animal slaughter. In her comment, Gardening Friend Ashley explained that she grew up in Wisconsin, US with her parents. They lived well below the poverty line, and to survive they grew vegetables in their garden (then preserved them for the winter), they kept chickens for eggs and kept farm animals to eventually slaughter and eat. This was the way they had learnt to survive. Gardening Friend Ashley was in no denial that animals had a face, she had seen their faces and said goodbye to those faces when they were slaughtered. In her words, ‘respect the life and give thanks to it’.  

You’d think that would be the end of any relationship for me and Gardening Friend Ashley 😉  

I’ve never been in Gardening Friend Ashley’s position and as much as I can’t understand how someone could respect a life at the same time as taking it, I’ve never had to. Therefore, being from two different backgrounds, it is of no surprise that we feel differently about animals: I favour animal rights (the ideology that animals should have the right to live) whereas Gardening Friend Ashley favours animal welfare (the ideology that an animal should have a good life before they are killed for food). 

However, the two opposing sides of animal rights and animal welfare meet beautifully in the middle against one common enemy: factory farming.

Growing up with farm animals running around in her garden, Gardening Friend Ashley feels strongly against the captivity and animal abuse that happens on a daily basis as a result of factory farming. Sourcing meat and eggs from local farms can become expensive and as a result, she and her family are mostly vegetarian. If it weren’t for her husband’s aversion to vegetables, they might even have a few vegan days every now and then (she even went vegan for World Vegan Day 2018 when she made a vegan paella!). 

No matter how much we may disagree about animals, I appreciate that Gardening Friend Ashley grew up eating meat to survive. She is the only person I know that will buy her food at a local farm if she can afford it, otherwise she and her family will happily go without. I wish there were more people like Gardening Friend Ashley out in the world because, vegan or not, places like factory farms wouldn’t exist. 

Are you on the side of animal rights or animal welfare? Make sure your food choices reflect the side you’re on. 

If you want to find out how you can be more like Gardening Friend Ashley, then I’d recommend you start by checking out her mega blog here

Thanks for reading 💚


34 thoughts on “Rights vs. Welfare

  1. Charlie | The Barefoot Angel says:

    I love the fact that you have been willing to look so carefully at both sides of the argument – and that you and gardening friend Ashley have a common viewpoint, at least in so far as you are both against factory farming! At home my family always bought from our local farm shop – but where I live now we sadly don’t have that option. I am going to have to look more and more seriously about reducing our meat consumption. Charlie xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashley says:

    Haha love the name you gave me Zoe, almost as much as I love that we’re able to still come together and talk about what we do agree on while also hearing each other on what we don’t. More than the insight on Versus I’ve learned from you, I more value the fact that we are able to have honest conversation, no matter the issue. People miss out on meeting awesome people when they close their minds on things they disagree with. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Hahah! I give everyone a name and I thought this one was perfect for you.

      There was so much more I could have wrote on this post about how much I’ve learnt from you, but I honestly couldn’t do it justice and hence simplified it. You’ve opened my mind to a whole world that I had never experienced and I can’t thank you enough for that. We’ll fight factory farming together! 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. oyibo says:

    Wow! The truth is that am not even sure the side am on.. and have never looked at it in any of those perspective. Like stephanie said.. its really something to think about.. Its nice sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia G. says:

    I can appreciate where you are both coming from. I agree with your friend that animals should not be abused and have to live miserably before they are killed. However, I also can see your view that we should try not to eat animals if we are in the position and have the resources. I agree with both of you that factory farming is a gross injustice to animals. I wish that if we do need to kill animals, that people would do it in the most humane way possible, so that the animal does not have to suffer unnecessarily. Factory farming just sounds like greed and apathy for animals and humanity in general, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ressa Gallardo says:

    Very thought-provoking post! Can I root for both? I think it’s wrong to abuse animals, but I also think farmers should be more mindful about how they tend to animals. I have relatives that are vegan, and their insight helped me shape my own thoughts about where and what I eat.


    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      So both of what you describe are actually on the side of animal welfare. Animal rights is all about believing that an animal should not die to fulfill someone’s tastebuds, hence they have a right to life.

      I love that your family have helped you out, sounds like you have a lovely vegan family! 💚


  6. delacroixllc says:

    I’ve been slowly transitioning to vegetarian, because I also struggle with eating meat. I was unaware of the idea of animal rights vs. animal welfare, but definitely fall more in your camp with rights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      That’s fab to hear that you’re slowly transitioning. If you’d ever like any help then please don’t hesitate to let me know 🙂

      If you’re in the camp of animal rights, the more you learn about farming, the more you’ll go vegan – it’s great motivation! 💚


    1. The Crumby Vegan says:

      Humans don’t need any nutrient from an animal, I and millions of vegans around the world are examples of that 🙂

      However I do agree that in some countries it is hugely harder than others and in those situations it would be difficult to go vegan unless something changes 💚


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