my interview with him and this discussion of his article "Veganism") that the best future for chickens and cows is one in which we keep using them for eggs and milk, but we don't kill them prematurely or subject them to unnecessary painful procedures. That vegetarian utopia is better than a vegan utopia with no (or hardly any) chickens and cows. He thinks we ought to do what we can to bring about that future by supporting the more humane eggs and milk that are available in stores today. By selectively supporting more humane products, we will stimulate development of even more humane products, and we will gradually come closer and closer to the vegetarian utopia.
I'd sure like all this to be true, but is it? Is there a trajectory from more humane, to even more, to really humane? Technologically, it's possible (see "Milk without Killing," here) to have a mostly female herd of cows or flock of birds, but there's also economics and human preferences to consider. Can I really tell myself that buying free range eggs and relatively humane milk constitute a push in the direction of a vegetarian utopia?