I used to consider myself vegan, although, slowly, not so much.
From now on I consider myself living a plant based life, eating a plant based diet.
why? I’m currently a volunteer zookeeper, and one day I will be a zookeeper. Throughout my vegan journey I have encountered many facets and fanatics of veganism. Animal welfarists, abolitionists, I am aware of a few of the latter. The abolition of animal use, well, It’s just not possible in my eyes. I’m not advocating eating animals so hear me out. Zoos, parks, places animals are held are a big NO NO! Or so everyone says, but then again, how many of these people have gone behind the scenes for real, there is no denying that there are many establishments worldwide that are not up to par, I don’t particularly think that Sydney’s Taronga even comes close in regards to environmental enrichment/enclosures that it should even though it gets a lot of funding (it’s in a bad location).
I work in a captive animal facility (read: WIldlife park). The park as a whole is very focused on sustainable practices, educating the public, In the public presentation i give I’m telling people not to approach/feed or interact with dingoes, to avoid polluting the ocean and to pick up any rubbish on beached and in waterways that could kill our marine animals.
We feed our animals PEST species, such as feral rabbits, rats, mice which is better than raising animals just to die, using pest species is also good for the environment and the native animals that may have been affected by them. Another food source used is day old male chicks, which would other wise be going to waste. We constantly review the amount of food we feed them so that it does not go to waste.
Animal breeding - I wish It didn’t need to happen, but, as many native species that are needed to create an environmental balance are listed as vulnerable or are on the brink of extinction (Tassie Devil - devil ark - perfect example of why we need to breed them). We don’t artificially inseminate our animals. But i’d rather insemination happen than an species to become extinct.
many parks, ours included take in animals that have been orphaned, been injured, that people decide they no longer want, even thngs like goats and baby cows, which then go into our farm yard where children get to interact with them.
I’m raising a wallaroo joey at the moment, his formula is cows milk based. I absolutely do not condone factory farmed dairy, or dairy at all really, but I do have to value the native animal more than the former, I support native animals, from an environmental standpoint. Both Kangaroos and the environment would benefit if there were less cows (read: no factory farming!), degrading soil quality, taking up grassland etc.
I’ve come to the conclusion that, I want to major in animal conservation and environmental presentation, and while it does not sit with veganism, there are some areas in which they can agree. we need less live stock, less consumption of animals, and consequently less abuse.
I value the environment over everything else. Without a stable and healthy environment, species die off, they become extinct, we then die.
sums it up really. I still avoid animal products in any capacity outside of my line of work, because I can and I feel it’s right, and if I were to ever run my own facility, It would be geared towards being as sustainable and compassionate as possible.