Most vegans still drive.  Should they?  Driving almost inevitably leads to roadkill on a massive scale.  A painful way to go.  Via Vox:

No one really knows how often animals are killed by cars in the US. But one thing’s clear: it happens a lot.

There are about 253,000 reported animal-vehicle accidents per year (that is, accidents that are substantial enough to cause damage to the car). Last year, State Farm estimated that about 1.2 million deer were killed by cars in total.


When you factor in small animals, the number climbs dramatically. No researchers have done a thorough nationwide count, but very rough estimates are that around 365 million vertebrates are killed per year.

Never mind the vastly larger number of insects painfully killed by cars, if insects can indeed feel pain.

The obvious rebuttal is: “Switching to a vegan diet is easy.  Switching to a carless lifestyle is hard.”  But this is fallacious binary thinking.  Giving up cars entirely may be an enormous sacrifice, but cutting back on your driving by 20% is only a minor burden.  And in the long-run, you can easily cut back much more.  Move from the suburbs to a city, give up your car, and rely on walking, biking, and public transportation.  That should slash your roadkill impact by at least 90%.  And you’re living a lifestyle many strongly prefer to suburban living, so how bad can it be?

My point is two-fold. 

The first: Most vegans are too hypocritical to follow their own principles to their logical conclusion.  Given most self-identified vegetarians still eat meat, this is a rather obvious point, but as Herbert Spencer said, “[O]nly by varied iteration can alien conceptions be forced on reluctant minds.”

The second: Even morally scrupulous vegans are unlikely to follow their own principles to their logical conclusions.  Which strongly suggests even they don’t find their principles all that convincing.  And as I’ve said before, if even the most admirable advocates of a view ultimately find it unconvincing, that’s probably because the view is wrong.

Confession: I am always a little reluctant to point out additional onerous implications of moral views I deem unreasonable.  Part of me says, “Believers are already suffering enough for their mistakes.”  In the end, though, truth comes first.  If causing major animal suffering for the sake of minor personal gain is morally wrong, then we’re driving far too much.  And if you protest, “I can’t curtail my driving,” you’re just wrong.