What Happens to all the Animals if Everyone Goes Vegan?

Fee O'Shea
4 min readMay 22

It does seem strange that many people worry about what happens to the animals if everyone goes vegan — time to answer this.

Surprisingly enough, this particular question comes up quite a lot. People seem to think that if they go vegan, everyone will go vegan, and that will inevitably mean that cows, pigs, sheep and chickens will be let loose to roam around willy-nilly.

Okay, time to get real.

Even though more and more people are turning to veganism every day, it is obvious that most people have a long way to go before even thinking about eating plants rather than animals. Even those who do take on a reduced meat intake are still buying into the animal agricultural industry. This means the likelihood of millions of farmed animals roaming the world is, quite honestly, a bizarre notion.

The first thing to understand is that farmed animals are bred into existence specifically for us to eat — for no other reason. In most cases, humans control the breeding, especially in factories and large dairy farms. It is done by artificial insemination, an abusive and cruel practice.

Let’s look at an example.

When consumer demand for dairy increases, the number of dairy cows increases purely to meet the demand. When consumer demand for dairy decreases, as is seen now, with more people having plant milk and dairy-free products, the number of cows bred reduces. In the case of Aotearoa, N.Z., the dairy industry is looking overseas, namely China, to market its product in order to keep the money coming in and keep the industry pumping.

The reduced demand means fewer cows, reduced herds and farmers transitioning away. It’s really quite logical. The same applies to cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs. The less demand for beef, pork, lamb, chicken or eggs, the fewer these animals are bred into existence.

And just as an aside. The same applies to wool, leather, fur and silk. The fur industry is a good example.

As more governments ban fur farms and fashion houses ditch the use of animal fur, the need for these animal farms declines and finally, over time, ceases to exist.

Fee O'Shea

Gold card carrying vegan NZ author. Passionate about all critters (including humans). Can be seen advocating for the animals or speaking at events.