Last week, I received an email from a person whom I will identify, with her permission, only as Johanna. Johanna wrote, in part:
You argue that we ought to put all our time and energy in trying to persuade people to become vegans. I think that is a wonderful idea but what about all of those people who are not at all concerned about animals and are never going to become vegans? What about those who may become vegan eventually but are not willing to do so right away?
Doesn’t it make sense to pursue welfare reform with respect to these people? Isn’t it better to encourage these people to eat foods that are produced in a more humane manner, even if the differences between those foods and foods produced in a conventional way may not be very great?
Johanna’s concerns are quite typical among those who promote welfare reform and the “happy” meat/animal products approach. I am posting my reply to Johanna in the hope that others will find it of use in thinking about these issues.