When people make the decision to go vegan or vegetarian, some do it because they are opting for a diet and lifestyle that doesn't involve the killing of animals.
It's an admirable cause, however an Australian farmer has revealed that even though there might not be any meat on their plate, it doesn't mean that animals didn't die.
Food critic-turned-restaurateur and pig farmer Matthew Evans has been researching the Aussie food industry and has found that billions of animals are deliberately killed in order for fruit and vegetables to go from paddock to plate.
Matthew Evans. Credit: ABC
In his book, On Eating Meat, he reveals around 40,000 ducks are killed to ensure rice production stays on track, a billion mice are poisoned for wheat production in WA and more than 120 possums are killed by apple growers.
Mr Evans wrote: "It's quite possible that eating less meat might mean less suffering. But don't be fooled into thinking that being vegan hurts no animal.
"When you eat, you're never truly vegan. When humans grow and process food, any food, other things die. So a duck dying to protect a rice paddy for me is not much different for a cow dying to produce a steak.
"They are both animal deaths that happen in the name of us being able to eat. So there is nothing that we can do that doesn't have an impact on animals."
This revelation isn't meant to be a middle finger to vegans or vegetarians, but just intended to explain that everything has consequences.
Vegan Australia spokesman Andy Faulkner has told the ABC that most vegans are already aware that animals die in order for their main food sources to be produced.
"We have a situation where it's either minimising harm...or the next option is maximising harm," he said.
"Vegans are aware of this. It's about minimising impact."
Matthew adds in his home state, Tasmania, around 1,500 animals die every year for every 75 hectares of pea production.
Those in the firing line include possums, wallabies, ducks and deer, and rodents.
"The owners assure me it wouldn't be financially viable for them to grow peas without killing animals. Which means that every time we eat peas, farmers have controlled the 'pest' species on our behalf, and animals have died in our name.
He's encouraging people to eat less meat and better quality products. Instead of chowing down on animal products seven days a week, change to five.
Featured Image Credit: PA