How Vegan Burgers are Killing Whales

Andrew R. French
8 min readDec 16, 2019

A whale will never understand the concept of being Vegan, but she will most definitely understand that she is dying because her stomach is full of 88 pounds of plastic waste, including 16 empty sacks of rice.

She is full, but she is starving. Her stomach acid cannot break down the plastic, so it has begun to break down the lining of her stomach.

Soon she will die in misery.

Is this what compassion toward animals looks like now?

If we decide to become a raw food vegan, we may end up increasing organized crime in south American countries because we cannot live without our avocados.

If we attempt to eat only fruits and vegetables as our main source of calories, we may end up importing them from all around the world, from countries that have lax or nonexistent laws about the use of pesticides on plants and around the humans who work with the crops.

We burn up tons of jet fuel to bring these fruits and vegetable to our casual Sunday morning brunches, releasing millions of pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere so that we can enjoy fresh fruit in the middle of winter with our friends. One ton of burned jet fuel emits over three tons of that greenhouse gas.

At some point we may end up throwing up our hands and giving up on a specific diet, and choosing to eat whatever feels right to us at that moment.

“If I just eat potatoes and carrots for the month of December, I am being kind to animals and to the planet.”

We make up stuff to justify whatever food choices we think might cause less suffering according to our own ideas about how the planet works.

But what is the reality?

For decades I’ve researched factory farming, the vegetarian diet, permaculture design, and regenerative agriculture. I’ve read read thousands of books and papers on agriculture and food issues and land planning and biology.

I’ve spent a decade farming on pasture and talking with other regenerative farmers who farm organically, who use permaculture methods or regenerative principles.

For decades I’ve been fascinated by this one question that many of us end up asking ourselves: What the hell

Andrew R. French

Writer at the Intersection of Ecosystem and Culture