This discussion was started in the thread Is the life of the mother or father more important than a BABY??
, which itself started as a debate on the comments page of the Vegetarian/Vegan Atheists group.
In the former discussion, bringing in veganism to the abortion debate was considered to be broadening the discussion a bit too far and that a new discussion should be added. So, here it is.
I'm not saying anything that I hadn't said before, I don't think - first, while there aren't any tangible benefits to killing animals in terms of diet (see position paper by the ADA
, as one example), the environment (see this report by the FAO
- again, there's more, but I'm too lay to dig up additional resources right now), or clothing (I'm not supplying a link for this :P), there are many obvious adverse consequences to a woman who carries a child to term, including but not limited to physical pain, emotional complications, and financial losses.
Secondly, while many animals probably don't have the highly-developed sense of self-identity that human beings do, we still have reason to believe that they have some
sense of self. For instance, an animal can tell the difference between an action taken by itself and another animal, can recognize friendly from non-friendly individuals, can discern between their own trail markings, songs and the like from those of others, and so on. These various facets of identity are generally recognized, I believe, to not develop in human beings until between two and eighteen months after birth
. As a result, it seems reasonable to conclude that the death of a born animal is a greater loss of life than a fetus's, if such a thing can be measured.
As a result, I don't see any inherent contradiction in being pro-choice as well as vegan at the same time.