I have heard some vegans complain about the extinction of certain wild animals, but simultaneously suggest that they want most if not all domesticated animals to become extinct. They say this is because domesticated ones(including cats and dogs) suffer immensely or have the potential to suffer immensely, by virtue of their very existence as dependents on man. Given this, these vegans should in fact be and even more so be in favor of slowly sending to extinction, ALL animals on land and sea(including humans), to thereby end all animal suffering. This is because in actual fact, the average non-domesticated wild animal like the gazelle inevitably suffers a far far darker fate, by virtue of struggling in nature, then the domesticated one like a cow. A gazelle lives day to day constantly fleeing from prey, constantly facing imminent starvation, and eventually most likely eaten alive by a predator. A cow suffers nothing for it’s next meal, has no immediate predators, gets medical treatment if it is injured, and eventually is anesthetized to some degree before being killed. Clearly, the animal facing nature inevitably suffers more by the virtue of it’s very existence. All the reason to drive it to extinction.

All the same, I think that first-world human beings have more or less stepped outside of nature. We are the first animals to have come together as societies, thousands of years ago and tacitly make an agreement with each other that we will work together to make our lives more comfortable and secure. We have been working on it since then, and went from the ancient world which was founded largely on slave labor, to the present one, fine-tuning it on its way, refining law and order and slowly developing our ability to treat each other more humanely. That being said, there are some collectivist argument for why we ought to stop eating meat, whether that be environmental externalities, or for other actual real reason rather than ‘because global swarming’.

A better thing to point out is that over the centuries a growing number of humans have developed a fondness for non-human animals, and a distain at seeing their suffering. That is why our western society has decided that it’s wrong to inflict needless suffering on even food animals. I think the best argument is simply to state that we need to redefine what we consider ‘needless suffering’.