Responses to typical comments vegans hear from non-vegans
Written by Butterflies Katz
Created Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Responses to 60 comments vegans hear from non-vegans
Humans need animal products for survival. You will die earlier. There are things in meat, which your body needs and you cannot get from any other kind of food.
According to the world’s largest (mainstream) organization of food and nutrition professionals, that comment is simply NOT TRUE! “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life-cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence and for athletes……Vegetarian diets are often associated with health advantages including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels and lower risk of hypertension and type-2 diabetes, according to ADA’s position. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Vegetarian diets tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have higher levels of dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium, vitamins C and E, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids and other phytochemicals. These nutritional differences may explain some of the health advantages of those following a varied, balanced vegetarian diet...Additionally, an evidence-based review showed a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease.”
We’re cutting down all the rainforests to grow soybeans; we wouldn’t have enough land to grow soybeans if everyone went vegan because deforestation in the developing world to grow cheap soy for human and animal feed is a major issue in climate change.
In the U.S., most of our corn, wheat, oats and soy are fed to the 10 billion land animals who are killed every year for human consumption. Worldwide, the majority of plants are fed to 60 billion farmed land animals. The answer is in ending the breeding of farmed animals which takes up much of our planet’s land space. To quote Dr. Will Tuttle, PhD (author of The World Peace Diet) “...the driving force behind deforestation is animal agriculture. We’re cutting down approximately 1 acre per second of Amazonian rainforest every day right now, and the driving force behind it is eating meat, dairy products and eggs: growing soybeans to feed imprisoned chickens, cows, pigs, and factory-farmed fish.” With the gradual reduction of grazing farmed animals, the land would become available for growing crops, such as soybeans, without cutting down valuable forests.
“Oh but I love my meat” –or- “I can’t give up my meat/cheese”.
It’s not YOUR meat, nor YOUR milk. That milk is nutritious sustenance meant for a mother to give her newborn calf. Their meat is in fact the flesh and muscle of someone; someone who wanted to live.
The Bible and God say that animals are here for humans to use. Humans have dominion over other animals.
In Genesis 1:28 (King James Version) of the Bible is states: and God said unto (Adam and Eve) "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth." First of all, you need to believe that the Bible is the word of God. Many people are believers, but many people are not. There is a lot of violence and contradictions in the Bible (for example in Genesis 1:29 it states that God gives humans plants and the fruit of trees for food.) The scriptures were written and interpreted by humans (who we know make errors). The Bible was written a long time ago, and nowadays we are blessed to be able to live off the plant kingdom and therefore do not have to kill other animals who are sentient like us. It is also written in the Bible: Thou Shall Not Kill. And finally, if God said this and is a just God worth obeying, I would interpret the word "dominion" from that sentence to mean that we should protect our animal cousins because we have the capacity to help them.
Fish don’t feel pain and are not sentient. Do you eat fish?
In her book, Victoria Braithwaite offers new scientific knowledge showing that fish are more cognitive than we once thought to be true. Research has shown that they can have both accurate and long lasting memories, for example migrating salmon’s memory can span years. The way that they respond to stressful situations, the so-called "stress response," is very much similar to other animals; including us. After experiencing a stressful event, our bodies release cortisol into the blood, and the same is true of fish. The idea that fish do not feel pain in their mouths, where they are hooked, has been studied at the University of Edinburgh and the Roslin Institute by injecting bee venom and acetic acid into the lips of rainbow trout; the fish responded by rubbing their lips along the sides and floors of their tanks in an effort to relieve themselves of the sensation. Lead researcher Dr. Lynne Sneddon wrote, "Our research demonstrates nociception and suggests that noxious stimulation in the rainbow trout has adverse behavioral and physiological effects. This fulfills the criteria for animal pain." How sad that humans have to go as far as to inflict pain on animals to discover that fish feel pain!
I’m vegan at home or with other vegans, but it’s rude or impolite to inconvenience others or make a fuss when dining out with non-vegans.
I guess it depends on how one defines “impolite”. It’s actually more impolite to impose misery and murder on other feeling animals. In reality, it’s enlightening to share this information with people; and it can be done politely. Telling the Truth is always enlightening, even if the ears it falls upon are not seemingly ready to hear it; the seed will be planted. It’s more rude or impolite to support an industry that is devastating the planet we all share and violently killing billions of animals, annually. Talking about a (perceived) rudeness to other humans seems trivial and odd when we are in actuality talking about the needless murder of conscious animals.
It is clear that humans are predators just like many other animals. We are no different to other animals; lions eat zebras. I didn't climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants!
It is not clear! We are different to lions. They are truly carnivores. Humans have the anatomy of an herbivore when you look at oral cavity, stomach acids, length of colon, etc. As Dr. Milton Mills summarizes here: “In conclusion, we see that human beings have the gastrointestinal tract structure of a "committed" herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoon. Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores we must conclude that humankind's GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.” Source link, and a highly recommended article for those interested in the comparative anatomy of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores:
I wouldn't be vegan because of DHA, vegans can’t naturally get long-chain fatty acids.
Some studies have shown vegans to be low in their DHA (a long-chain fatty acid not found in plant foods), while other studies have not
shown that vegans are lacking in long-chain fatty acids. Apparently, they convert the short-chain fatty acids (found in flax seed, chia seeds, canola oil, walnuts and dark leafy greens) into long chain, as seen in the link below. Plus, there are quite a few brands of vegan (algae-derived) DHA for those who want the benefits of supplementing with DHA, but is not derived from fish that is accompanied with toxins like mercury, dioxin, PCB's, etc., beside being unethical. Some people really nit-pick for excuses not to be vegan! http://pcrm.org/health/medNews/women-on-vegan-diets-have-more-long-chain-omega-3s
You must be anemic.
From surveying the vegan community, we find that most all vegans claim to feel more energy after becoming vegan. There are plenty of plant-based iron sources such as molasses, nuts, dried beans (soaked and cooked), tahini and sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, dried apricots, parsley, dried herbs such as thyme, dark green leafy vegetables, spinach, Quinoa, tofu, soybeans, lentils, etc. Iron is absorbed better along with Vitamin C, and vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Foods like broccoli and bok choy are high in both iron and vitamin C, so the iron in these foods is well absorbed.
People have been eating meat since millions of years ago, so it must be the right thing.
People have been participating in wars, rape, hate crimes, and slavery since a million years ago....are those things we should continue the tradition or something we should work towards ending? We have reached a point in human evolution that we are able to live vegan. Our ancestors did not have the same opportunity.
What kind of religion or sect is this?
There is no church of veganism. It is a philosophy or a way of life that was initiated in 1944 by Donald Watson (and a few others) in the U.K. From its inception, the vegan ethic grew from seeing that human society is built upon enslaving and exploiting - and a consciousness was given birth of those who didn't want to participate, but wanted to try a new way of living without inflicting violence on other animals. It is a way of life that is open to any person of any religion, or no religion, spiritual to atheist, any age, color, gender, or nationality, who does not want to participate in the exploitation of other animals and wants to add themselves to this significant social justice movement that is taking root all over the world.
Hitler was a vegetarian…
It stands to reason that a person with such little regard for human life would also have little regard for nonhuman life. The concentration camp; Auschwitz, had its own slaughterhouse and butcher shop according to Eternal Treblinka by Charles Patterson. Hitler may have dabbled in the health aesthetics of vegetarian eating, but he was never completely free of animal-based products in his diet. Many witnesses have attested to Hitler eating liver dumplings, Bavarian sausages, stuffed squab (young pigeon), and caviar. There are first-hand reports from hotel and personal chefs that attest to the fact that he ate dishes made of animals or animal products. For example, animal glands and bone marrow were added to his food. According to Robert Payne (Hitler's biographer), the vegetarian claim was made up by Goebbels to make Hitler seem ascetic; like Gandhi. Author Rynn Berry, maintains that although Hitler reduced the amount of meat in his diet, he never stopped eating meat completely for any significant length of time. Berry claimed that many historians use the term 'vegetarian' incorrectly to describe someone who simply reduced their meat consumption. Apparently, after his niece Angela (Geli) Raubal died in 1931, Hitler became a vegetarian, but even then he still ate his favorite liver dumpling dish (which would make him NOT a vegetarian). At that time, it is reported that he said eating meat is like eating a dead body. (He had a lucid moment!) Hitler trying to eat vegetarian food for his own health has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of veganism. Someone can be vegetarian for reasons that have nothing to do with respect for other animals. On the other hand, the essence of veganism is always about ethics and justice and non-participation in the violent crimes against nonhumanity.
There would be shortages of food.
Perhaps the opposite is true. The Worldwatch Institute states, "Meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain - the grain is used more efficiently when consumed directly by humans. Continued growth in meat outputs is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world's poor". If we stopped inefficiently funneling all the grains and soybeans through animals to feed the few, we would have more plant-based foods to feed all. All would be fed, not just the people rich enough to purchase animal flesh; a gross waste of our universal resources like water and land. Gradually, the systems in power will change over. People will begin to (veganically) grow more fruit trees, more gardens, more grains, more Quinoa, more soy, legumes and feed it equitably to all nations. Most likely, there will be surplus, rather than a shortage. It is prophesied that there will be bountiful rewards from the Great Script-Writer-in-the-sky when society adopts vegan living!
If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of delicious meat?
You better watch out with that theory, because you are made out of the same “meat”…yep you also have a rump, ribs, leg, tongue, a liver, and muscle just like the organs, flesh and muscle of our animal cousins that you refer to as “meat”. A German convicted cannibal reported that human flesh tastes similar to pig flesh; a bit tougher. Link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,511775,00.html
You would eat meat if you were stranded on a desert island, wouldn't you?
What about indigenous people or Inuits?
I'm not stranded on a desert island. In the unlikely event that I am, I will have to reconsider. Though, I do not see the corpse of an animal as food. There is a rich bounty of the plant kingdom just about everywhere in the world. If I were an Inuit, I might have a good excuse; however their diet is not lengthening their life span. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. describes the life expectancy of those with a mainly meat diet: “Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research, from the past and present, shows that they die, on the average, about 10 years younger, and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.…We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to a broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.” Source link: http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-do-primitive-peoples-really-live-longer.html
Why do you care more about animals than human beings?
Because nonhuman animals are the most persecuted and abused sentient beings on the planet and they are defenseless. Animal liberation and human liberation are married; helping the animals will help people, too. We can create Peace on Earth if we stopped the violence that humans sustain themselves with. As Albert Einstein (German-born physicist) said: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” And more to the point he also said: “It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.” In other words, caring about other animals will help transform humanity into a more civilized race. Vegans care about all injustice, enslavement, and oppression, no matter what species, race, or sex the victim is. When non-vegans say human problems take precedence, vegans can’t understand what they are doing for human beings that would require them to continue funding the heartless exploitation of other animals? As it happens, there are many benefits to humans that stem from living vegan. The land used to farm animals could be used to feed many more people if we used it to grow plant protein; which yields far more protein per acre than animal flesh, and is healthier for humans. Heart disease is the biggest killer in the U.S. and studies have verified that vegans have a much reduced risk of death from heart disease. Those who eat large amounts of dairy and animal protein are at risk of depleting calcium stores, regardless of how much they consume. Milk is full of contaminants and causes asthma, food allergies, constipation; particularly in children. Because of this the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend that cow’s milk be given to infants under one year of age. Animal agriculture is creating pandemics, so therefore vegans are not aiding and abetting the creation of human epidemics (like Swine Flu) nor helping to distribute pathogens found in animal “foods”. (E. Coli and Salmonella). Animal husbandry is a leading cause in the reduction of biodiversity and a major motive in deforestation. Farming animals is causing land degradation, pollution and wiping out the fish in the oceans. According to a report by the Worldwatch Institute in 2007, it actually requires over five thousand gallons of water to produce one pound of animal flesh! Animal agriculture is the largest culprit in greenhouse gas emissions. Research has indicated that the best strategy for reducing our carbon footprint is to eat vegan and locally-grown food. The vegan ethic, that is based on protesting the use of other animals for human purposes, just so happens to have far reaching ramifications for helping the planet that is home to 7 billion of us humans, and thousands of other species of animal.
You vegans are so preachy!
Vegans are not the ones spending a billion dollars on milk commercials to lie to the public about how healthy milk is for them; with “happy cows” endorsing giving you the milk that was meant for their own calf; whom was kidnapped and killed so humans can steal the milk. Non-vegans have preached and promoted their point of view on such a large scale that they have made a completely unnatural act seem natural. With over $180 million spent annually on advertising in the dairy industry alone, perhaps non-vegans have been doing more than their fair share of "preaching" so to speak. Vegans are trying to disclose the truth that has been concealed from the public by major preachers of non-Truths. Make no mistake about it, we want the mainstream to become vegan…and we won’t stop what you call “preaching” because we are a voice for the voiceless. We’re Vegangelicals! We won’t be silent. Maybe what you are interpreting as preaching could possibly be educating if you could see it from another angle; a less defensive one.
Humans have canine teeth; teeth for ripping flesh apart.
The teeth of a carnivore are spaced so as not to trap stringy debris. The incisors are short, pointed and prong-like for grasping and shredding. The canines are greatly elongated and dagger-like for stabbing, tearing and killing prey. The molars are flattened with jagged edges to function like serrated-edged blades. In the herbivore, the incisors are broad, flattened and spade-like. Canines may be small as in horses or prominent as in hippos. Herbivores have many molars for grinding plant parts. The teeth of herbivorous animals are closely grouped (like in humans). Herbivores meticulously chew their food in order to release the digestible contents and ensure thorough mixing of this material with their saliva. This is important because the saliva of plant-eating mammals often contains carbohydrate-digesting enzymes which begin breaking down food molecules while the food is still in the mouth. In humans as well, digestion begins in the mouth with the mixing of enzyme-containing saliva. We have flat grinding teeth with jaws that can move from side to side. Virtually no other meat-eating animal has jaws that move side to side. Meat-eating animals don't chew their food, but instead tear pieces from carcasses and swallow them whole, and thus don't need flat teeth. And beyond teeth, humans have long folding intestines that lets food move slowly through the digestive system, allowing the body to absorb as many nutrients as possible before the food is passed. Carnivores have short intestines because meat may contain harmful pathogens and will putrefy if not processed quickly. And our stomach PH is the same as herbivores.
If we don't eat them, they'll eat us.
Most of the animals humans eat are gentle herbivores that would not even think of hurting anyone, even in retaliation. Humans pick on the most docile animals…animals that we could learn a thing or two from!
They wouldn't exist if we weren't meant to eat them.
They exist because they are purpose-bred for human use. We should stop breeding them into existence only to be seen as a commodity; owned by a human master who sees living sentient animals as a money-making opportunity; which is morally wrong.
If eating a plant-based diet is our natural diet, why can’t you get all the nutrients without supplementing, as in Vitamin B12?
Perhaps vegans are being compared to omnivores that are eating enriched grain products (like Twinkies) that are fortified with B12 or perhaps vegans need less B12, or perhaps we’re too sterile and wash all the microorganisms off, or some other possibility. Some health practitioners don’t feel that vegans get B12 deficiency any more than non-vegans; a certain percentage of the population becomes deficient for various reasons. Anyway, the general non-vegan population is supplementing and eating fortified and enriched foods, all day, everyday. Vegans would rather get their micro-organisms from a cherry flavored sublingual (under the tongue) nugget or fortified nutritional cheesy flavored yeast, soy milk or cereals, possibly chlorella or some other vegan way, than from the stomach of a tortured and murdered cow that wanted to live. There is no reason to take the life of animals when we can get B12 grown in micro-agriculture; cultivated on a bed of yeast. Recommended link: http://thevegantruth.blogspot.com/search/label/B12%20and%20Vegans
I buy organic so the animals are more humanely raised. They had a good life. Small farms are good for the environment. I support cage-free, humanely raised, but I don’t support cruelty to animals.
If you eat animal products (whether factory-farmed or small farmed), wear animal skins, use cosmetics and cleaning products that were tested on animals, go to circuses, zoos, rodeo’s or dog or horse races, or buy a “pet” from a breeder, (and sadly the list of ‘ways humans exploit other animals’ goes on and on) – you DO support cruelty to animals; whether you say you don’t or not. You are lying to yourself. Vegans have decided to face up to it, go online and educate themselves about what it means to be vegan as a stance of basic decency in our relation to other animals.
Some animals are meant to be food; there is a difference between pets and food animals.
Even though the majority of people believe this to be true, it is a fabrication of the human mind and it is an example of speciesism. People tell themselves this so they can partake in animal exploitation, or because they have not been able to break free of their misguided indoctrination in order to see that all sentient animals deserve the equal right not to be owned, enslaved, oppressed, assaulted, or killed by humans. They are "food" animals only because humans view them this way and have domesticated, bred, and farmed them. Vegans (who don't see pigs as food) experience relationships with them similar to a dog. Many people have had the great fortune to get to know the wonderful nature and personality of deer, sheep, pigs, cows, horses, chickens, turkeys, etc. by visiting sanctuaries and/or rescuing animals. Other animals are friends, not food! People really got that one wrong! Keep in mind, at one time the general mainstream consciousness; what pretty much everybody believed to be true - was that the world is flat. Human consciousness as a whole has had major shifts in consciousness. We can do it again.
It’s too difficult to do and too expensive. I’m too old for that.
No one is ever too old to step up into the next evolution of humankind, and by doing their part, helping the whole of humanity. Grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and nuts and seeds are not more expensive than animal flesh. Once you get the hang of it and learn a few new staples…it gets easier and easier until you reach a level where you feel that it's easy to be vegan. You’ll get there and it may only take several weeks. Living vegan becomes second nature (and will help you find your true nature).
Farmers love their animals and treat them well, generally.
No animal that is purpose-bred into existence to be killed is ever treated right. One would have to have a very shallow definition of the word "love" to think a farmer raising animals to be killed "loves" his animals. No one considered as the property of a human; a slave, is ever treated well. The Truth is most animals farmed for human food (or other products) have horrendous practices routinely performed on them throughout their short, very sad lives....all sorts of castration, de-beaking, de-horning, insemination, etc. without pain-killers. They are viewed as a commodity for human use; a thing, not the sentient, feeling, aware animal that they truly are. When profiting off a sentient animal is the motive, the treatment of them will always be wrong; whether they are perceived to be treated better by some farmers or methods, the whole mindset is way off base and wrong.
It’s not illegal to eat animals and their products.
Not that long ago in the southern U.S.A. an African-American was legally allowed to be owned by a white American. Women in the U.S. and elsewhere were once regarded as the property of their husbands or fathers. They were regarded as property just like nonhuman animals are regarded today. Just because something is legal does not make it right. To treat living, breathing, feeling animals as property is species discrimination, and is reflected in every country's legal system. Humans may harm other animals in ways that would be unthinkable if applied to humans. We need to make it lawful for all sentient animals to have legal personhood extended to them. Until that happens, legal systems are lacking credibility. It is legal to be cruel to other animals (it's legal to have sex with animals in some places) - that just shows that the laws need changing, not following.
I live a very active lifestyle and need lots of protein.
Soy beans contain more protein than animal "foods". A glass of cow's milk has 6.3 grams of protein while 100 grams of tofu has 8 grams of protein. Legumes, beans, lentils, and nuts have comparable protein to animal products. Diets that are rich in animal protein are known to cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their urine and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Plant protein is as useful as animal protein without all the fat, cholesterol, antibiotics, hormones, etc. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, bulls, deer, manatees, and horses are able to gain strength and size from eating an herbivorous diet. A mountain gorilla is primarily an herbivore. How do they get their protein? They built strength and muscle, as do many vegan body builders and athletes, with plants that have a high protein content. Of note: Quinoa has the highest amount of protein compared to other grains.
Poor people raise animals or fish (for free) and can’t afford to be vegan.
If someone is fishing for free, well a vegan diet can't beat that price unless that person grows their own food (and that would have some costs). We can't beat the free price. However, "meat" costs more than legumes, vegetables, fruits, and grains; it costs more money and it costs the Earth more. I know a man in Jamaica, living in a hut and sleeping on a mat - that became vegan from knowing us. It takes an understanding; not having a lot of money. That's the beauty of veganism; it's open to all; all walks of life, rich or poor, young or old, black or white, straight or gay, Atheist or Jew, male or female.
I travel too much; too inconvenient to be vegan.
Take food with you. Inconvenience is a rationalization; and not a very good one at that. Veganism is NOT about a matter of convenience for you, but about a matter of justice for them.
If we didn't eat them, what would happen to all the animals?
Your concern for other animals is so touching! If we didn't eat them, we would stop purposely breeding them into existence. Society would legally give them sanctuary after we legally outlaw humans owning any species of animal. That would greatly reduce their numbers. They would be kept separated so as not to enable them to continue on, and they would just live out their life in peace. They would legally be protected from sexual assault by humans and all breeding would end. Animals that are in sanctuaries and are free to naturally mate would be the only continuance of their species.
Animals are lesser creatures than humans and we control them.
Says who; humans – of course! We should not control them. This is wrong. This is human supremacy. We are speciesist to believe that only the human species of animal deserves to live their life free from human exploitation and assault. In this respect, all animals; human or nonhuman, equally deserve legal protection from being harmed by humans; who can live just fine without harming other sentient animals.
It doesn’t bother me when I see animals being slaughtered, or I don’t look; I don’t want to know.
The fact that most people are presently unable to empathize with the holocaust that other species endure at that hands of humanity - is not something to boast about. In your conscience, however hidden, you know that it is not right to cause needless harm to other conscious animals. Humans do not need to use animals; they are beautifully equipped to live vegan. It’s time for everyone to wake up and think about the misery we inflict on those who can suffer. We, the people, have the power to end institutionalized exploitation of animals by purchasing cruelty-free and by living vegan. We have the power. We will not be a part of the “demand” for animals to suffer and die for us. If we don’t demand it, it won’t be supplied.
Milk, eggs and cheese do not kill the animal.
The fact is that the “dairy cow” is killed to be eaten when she is no longer producing. The dairy cow is riddled with pain as a result of her exploitation, sexually abused, has her newborn stolen from her over and over, and killed to be eaten typically at around 5 years of her otherwise 20-25 year lifespan. The dairy and egg industries are literally built on the control of the reproductive systems of female nonhumans. It is deeply troubling that the reproductive system of any species of female is being perceived as nothing more than an economic resource. It’s a feminist issue. Animals used for their milk or eggs lead lives of misery and when they are no longer profitable enough, they are killed to be eaten. The animal-harming industry is all one big business, with different branches of it supporting each other. Veganism is the only ethical stance in our relationship to other animals. Vegetarians that consume dairy and eggs are funding animal exploitation and animals being killed.
Eating animal products is mainstream – everyone does it. It’s traditional.
So is deceitful, greedy, self-involved and ego-maniacal behavior. Everybody does it. Does that make it right?
Vegans are unhealthy.
Vegans are healthy, very healthy, and a few are not so healthy. Non-vegans are somewhat healthy, not healthy at all, and some are healthy. Statistically, vegans get less heart disease and cancer and other dreaded diseases, and have far less obesity. If a vegan eats whole foods; grains, legumes, seeds/nuts, fruits and vegetables (especially dark leafy greens), (plenty of raw foods), gets some sunshine, and sprinkles B12 fortified delicious cheezy tasting nutritional (or savoury) yeast on their meals, daily…they should have excellent health. But since veganism is not a diet, but an ethical position, there are some vegans who don’t find eating and living healthfully that important. There are many healthy long-time vegans. "The China Study" or the China-Cornell-Oxford Project, was a 20-year study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the the University of Oxford, directed by T. Colin Campbell (not a vegetarian, at the time). The study examined mortality rates, diets, and lifestyles of 6,500 people in 65 rural counties in China, and concluded that people with a high consumption of animal-based foods were more likely to suffer chronic disease, while those who ate a plant-based diet were the least likely. The authors conclude that people who eat a plant food/vegan diet will minimize or reverse the development of chronic diseases. They also recommend adequate amounts of sunshine to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D, and dietary supplements of vitamin B12 in case of complete avoidance of animal products, and to minimize the usage of vegetable oils. One thousand vegans were studied in the United States and they found that vegans had 40% less body fat and achieved healthy weight: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/thousands-of-vegans-studied/
C’mon, I'm kind and gentle and I love a good steak or fish.
I guess you’re kind and gentle, maybe, to humans, but certainly not to cows and fish. It’s time to extend your kindness and gentleness to other animals.
But the animals wouldn't be here if it wasn't for us!
That is also true of our children; they wouldn’t be here if not for us. Does that mean we can do whatever we like to them? Bringing someone into existence does not mean that you have unrestricted rights over that life form.
But wouldn't the economic consequences be disastrous for the farmers of animals?
This may or may not be true (as the change could be very gradual), but ending the enslavement of other animals is a moral imperative. The perfect example is slavery in the southern U.S. It was not financially beneficial to the slave owners of the south, but that did not take precedence, because owning someone is unjust. Even if something benefits you (like stealing) that does not make it something we should do.
Humans are at the top of the food chain!
A food chain that was conveniently devised by humans. There are vegans who are living beyond the "dog-eat-dog" mentality and find it real freedom of thought.
I can't go vegan, I don't like to eat vegetables. I don't want to eat tofu and grass, or I don't like vegan food.
There’s nothing not to like! Change your taste bud indoctrination. Vegan food is incredibly delicious. All the dishes you like can be made vegan. You will like the food as soon as you have your needed epiphany that you don’t want to eat the flesh of tortured and murdered animals or the products of slavery. Get that…and all of a sudden vegan food is delicious beyond your wildest imagination. Who doesn’t like potatoes, or spaghetti and marinara sauce, garlic bread, and delicious fruit, and nuts, and fried rice? Everyone likes vegan foods – start with the ones you already like, first. Get help; find a mentor that can show you how to prepare tofu; a tasteless block of protein that we can magically transform into a cheesy sauce, an omelet, onion dip or sour cream! It absorbs the flavor of the seasonings. When people say “I don’t like vegan food” it sounds so embarrassingly trivial in comparison to cruelty to animals. Recommended vegan cookbook: with over 500 incredibly delicious recipes, including vegan Lasagna, pizza, stuffed mushrooms, cinnamon rolls, cakes, cookies, and even a large raw foods section: Incredibly Delicious; Recipes for a New Paradigm by Gentle World. These were the recipes from our successful restaurant in Hawaii called - The Vegan - with lines out the door daily, and people saying I can eat vegan if the food tastes like this!
Animals have no soul, they don't feel pain.
All mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and some invertebrates like earthworms and insects have endogenous opiates, of which endorphins are the most well known, and they function to alleviate pain following serious injury. Why would an animal have a function to alleviate pain if he/she did not feel pain? Animals, in horrific animal experiments, avoid injurious stimuli in order to escape that stimuli. We share 98% of our evolutionary DNA with chimpanzees according to science. When humans harm and kill other animals in slaughterhouses, they squawk and squeal; the equivalent of our scream. They speak; but they go unheard. Because they don’t speak to us in our language, we pretend not to hear what they are saying, for the sake of personal monetary gain, trivial pleasure, or possibly out of ignorance, or not breaking free of ones misguided indoctrination. Other mammals share with us benzodiazepine receptors located in the central nervous system, which means that they feel fear, pain and anxiety. This has been shown in animal testing. How sad that we chose to subject animals to torture in animal experimentation to learn this obvious information. Animals are indeed capable of suffering. All animals; human or nonhuman have (or are) souls and are equal when it comes to the inherent right not to be harmed, enslaved, and murdered because they are sentient. Being capable of sensation gives them that fundamental right.
Our species evolved by eating meat - our brain size was not possible without it.
Glucose is the only fuel normally used by brain cells. This blood sugar is obtained from carbohydrates: the starches and sugars you eat in the form of grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables. These are the foods that feed the brain. “Meat” is not brain food, quite literally. Excess cholesterol from eating animal products leads to a waxy accumulation that could block the blood flow to the heart or to the brain. Poor circulation to the brain causing Alzheimer’s is caused by eating animal products. In addition, “A BBC News story entitled ‘Starch ‘fuel of human evolution’: Man’s ability to digest starchy foods like the potato may explain our success on the planet’, genetic work suggests. Compared with primates, humans have many more copies of a gene essential for breaking down calorie-rich starches, Nature Genetics reports. And these extra calories may have been crucial for feeding the larger brains of humans, speculate the University of California Santa Cruz authors. Previously, experts had wondered if “meat” in the diet was the answer.” Source link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6983330.stm
Finally, having a large brain does not necessarily mean that humans use it to their full capacity. And even more significantly, nor does being intelligent necessarily mean being ethical or kind. The school of thought of non-participation in exploiting other animals; human or nonhuman, is based on their sentience, not on their intelligence or brain size. We would not harm a mentally disabled human because they are less intelligent.
North American Indigenous people ate meat and they respected the animals.
Most of us are no longer limited by the circumstances that our ancestors may have needed for survival. (Some North American tribes ate mainly or largely vegetarian including the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Aztec, Zapotec, and others; but was lost in time and colonialism.) We are fortunate to have a wider range of choices available to us. Paying someone to farm, exploit and kill animals for food, clothing, or other human uses today certainly is not necessary, and therefore is not respectful. Saying prayers or giving thanks to animals that are killed for our unnecessary use may appease human ears, but these acts are meaningless to those slaughtered. Only through choosing not to exploit or harm other animals do we show them genuine respect. Many long-time vegans are proving that healthy living does not require taking the lives of other animals to sustain our own, and are thriving in a diversity of cultures all over the world.
It's okay if it's organic and grass-fed and humanely slaughtered.
No, it’s NOT okay. Not for the animals. Put yourself in their place. They are fully conscious beings, with eyes, a brain, a heart and many similar bodily functions and systems. They communicate and look us in the eyes; they scream and plead for mercy when they are being killed in slaughterhouses. They are much like us. We are a fellow species of animal. If you wanted to eat a person, would you describe your slaughtering of them, humane? Humans killing other animals is NEVER humane; whether organic or conventional.
Plants have feelings too.
Perhaps one day we will evolve to living without harming plants because they are a life form with many intricate processes. But we must start with the elimination of animal products because animals are sentient. Plants are not. Animals are clearly conscious of sense perceptions. Sentient beings have minds; they have preferences and show a desire to live by running away from those who would harm them or crying out in pain. Although plants respond to sunlight and other stimuli, they are not sentient; they don’t have a mind, they don’t think about or fear death, they are not aware and conscious. Plants do not have a nervous system, benzodiazepine (pain) receptors, or endogenous opiates, such as endorphins that alleviate pain following serious injury, which begs the question of why an animal would have these functions if they did not feel pain. Feeling pain and the capacity to suffer is a part of being sentient, as well as experiencing pleasure and a desire to live. Non-vegans make comments that there is no difference between plants and animals as a rationalization so they can turn sentient animals into a commodity, without guilt. There is no evidence of Truth to their position, however.
Rights apply only to humans not to animals, humans are superior.
Says who? Humans, of course. A humancentric, human-supremist species! There are many ways in which other animals are superior to humans from keener hearing, greater eyesight, larger brain, to more loyal companions. Having superior characteristics has no bearing on the truth that all animals deserve to be granted legal 'personhood' and not viewed as property or a commodity for human use. The superior one is the one who acts with respect, non-violence, and good intentions towards all feeling animals; both human and nonhuman. It is not someone who acts with blatant disregard for some animals while labeling himself superior.
Vegans are just being self-righteous.
Vegans are trying to act righteously, and not just for themselves, but getting out of themselves and their own small world to act justly towards other sentient animals too.
What we eat is a personal choice.
If it were my personal choice to fondle your toddler, would you say to me “that’s your personal choice”? It is every bit as true that it’s not a personal choice to the billions of animals that just want to live their portion of time on Earth, in peace, free of oppression by humans. We should not have a personal choice to needlessly harm any sentient being. Anyone who can suffer; anyone who is fully aware and conscious and experiencing life, breathing and feeling, should be legally protected from anyone who thinks it is their personal choice to harm them. I’m not referring to species protection laws, but where every individual sentient animal of any species is a rights-holder that is protected from humans who think it is their personal choice to harm them. It's unfair for you to have a personal choice when your choice so negatively effects animals and the planet we all share.
It's my culture, it's my religion to eat animals.
Pretty much everyone came from mainstream culture that says eating animals is okay. Traditions are meant to change as we evolve to a more humane race. Vegans had to rise out of the culture that they were indoctrinated with; they are not asking you to do anything that they themselves did not do. If a religion is worth anything it should be to help us extend our compassion towards those in our mercy. If a religion does not allow us to grow to the vegan ideal, it is not worth having.
I only buy meat where I know the animal had a good life and was humanely killed.
There is no such thing as humanely killing animals that were purpose bred, exploited, and meant to be eaten by humans or were stalked and shot at. “Humane killing” is an oxymoron. Stop lying to yourself…you obviously have concerns about the issue, so just do the only ethically justifiable thing and become vegan.
Nothing is going to change, so there's no point in going vegan.
The only thing that has ever changed the world is humans joining forces and becoming a social justice movement working for needed change. Humanity has progressed towards a more civilized (less racist or sexist, for example) way of living in the past and will continue to do so, as we are an evolving species. But it can not happen if people think like you! We all make a difference when we do our part in moving the whole of human consciousness forward towards a society whose heart is not based on the enslavement and exploitation of others.
It's the end of the world; we should enjoy the food as much as we can.
It might be the end of the world, but whether it is or it isn’t would not have any bearing on the injustice of using other animals. Vegans enjoy their food very much and enjoy knowing that they walk every step of the way without causing intentional harm to other animals. In fact, there’s no other enjoyment that tastes as sweet as living according to what your conscience knows is the right thing to do. If life here on Earth is for one more day or a hundred more years, vegans will live it with integrity as though their life had a real meaning and purpose to it; being a part of the solution, not a part of the problems that this world faces. If the world's people adopted vegan living, we would have real hope of saving the planet.
If we didn't eat meat the cows would die. No one would be farming them.
Well there certainly wouldn’t be 2 billion of them. Cows, in the numbers that they exist, are not good for the planet at all; with all their emissions adding to global warming, and their eroding the topsoil, their abundant excrement causing water pollution, their trampling down the new growth of native trees, and their high water consumption. Individually, they are gentle animals. Once we put an end to animal agriculture, we will stop the breeding and give them sanctuary to live out their lives. At some point, a few will be allowed to naturally breed so we can continue to love cows, rather than eat them, abuse them, and wear their skins. Cows rescued in sanctuaries have proven to be lovely friends.
Vegans don't care about animal suffering. They only care about their agenda. They want to see all small family farmers go out of business so all that's left is factory farms and it will be easier to convince people to go vegan.
Vegans abhor factory farms, but vegans also oppose small family farms. Vegans are against using, exploiting, and killing other animals. Period.
If we don't drink milk the cows would die from not being milked. We’re helping them.
It is true that if a dairy cow is not relieved of her milk, that her udders can be become so painfully distended with milk that she might be incapable of walking to reach water or food and consequently, die. The reason this doesn’t happen in nature is that bovines, like other mammals, only lactate after giving birth and while nursing their young. Because farmers take milk from a cow who is producing it, they steal her newborn calf from her and instead hook her up to milking machines that simulate the nursing of calves. If a farmer neglects to milk cows, who have had their babies taken from them, they will moo in distress from the discomfort. If farmers didn't take calves from their mothers, the calves would suckle about every twenty minutes and the mother cow would never experience the discomfort and potentially lethal result of not being milked enough.
What do you eat?
Vegans eat a wide variety of fruits and eat from the thousands of types of vegetables that exist; including green leafy vegetables, tuber and root vegetables, and flowering veggies like broccoli. Some eat them in their raw state. Some vegans prepare vegetables into delicious combinations like broccoli almondine in garlic sauce, vegan lasagna, vegan pizza, pasta bakes with tofu cheese, loafs and burgers, baked stuffed mushrooms, coconut-curry stew, baked stuffed potatoes, vegan sushi, cheescake...you name it! Vegans eat an assortment of grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, oats, cous-cous), bread, pasta, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes - many of the things you already like. Most of your favorite meals can be turned into vegan versions of that dish. Vegans also eat nuts and seeds, as well as legumes. Raw-food vegans might sprout their legumes like lentil sprouts. Vegans eat hummus made from garbanzo beans and tahini (sesame seed butter; a staple in a vegan diet that is rich in calcium). Vegans eat black beans, white beans, and red beans, as well as red lentils (that cook quickly) or brown lentils, made into an Indian dahl, Mexican chilli, stews or soups. Vegans eat tofu (a processed, high-protein cake of soy that takes on the flavor of the seasonings) and tempeh (a very nutritious, whole-foods, high-protein soy cake). Most people will want to somewhat disguise the fermented flavor of tempeh and turn it into Lemon-Broil tempeh, or breaded tempeh chunks, or saute the tempeh with tomato, garlic, and savory nutritional yeast. Vegans are certainly not deprived...a whole new world of food preparation opens up when we become vegan. And vegans also eat vegan cookies, ice cream, and cake and fair-trade, organic-vegan chocolate bars! Vegan food is exquisite; especially once you have had the epiphany that you don't want to eat the products of misery inflicted on other feeling animals. After awhile on the vegan path, a putrefying, blood-dripping corpse will not look like food to you any more. Vegans eat from the bountiful plant kingdom and nothing that is animal-sourced. Yes, we read labels, because we do not want to be a part of the demand for products derived from enslaving and/or killing animals.
You should be out helping people, not animals.
Animal and human liberation are entwined; can’t have one without the other. If I, as a vegan educator, can persuade you to become vegan, I have helped you as well as the animals. It’s a saner way of living. Helping people to become vegan is the best activity we can possibly do in these times. Veganism is the hope of the planet and its inhabitants, from an environmental and sustainable perspective, to global warming (animal agriculture is the biggest culprit), to human health, to helping end human starvation by not funneling most of the world’s grains and soy through bred animals for the rich to eat while others starve to death, to a hope for a world that is not based in violence at it’s very core. In helping animals, we might have found the cure for healing our planet.
Small animals die when grains are harvested, so you don't care about small animals?
It's unintentional harm that sometimes can not be avoided. Vegans are working to eliminate speciesism from thier thoughts and practices, and therefore do care about all animals, big or small, and are simply trying their best to avoid harming other animals. However exploiting animals for food, clothing, entertainment, labor, breeding, or experimentation is intentional harm/exploitation/assault/oppression. Some vegans eat locally produced food that is grown on smaller commercial farms who may be able to lessen their harming of smaller animals.
Jesus ate fish. The Torah or the Bible says that animals were put here for human use.
Jesus didn't live in present times. And now, we can beautifully live as vegans, therefore we should - in order not to not be cruel and violent to other animals, as I'm sure Jesus would be if he were here now. We are living in a time of history when thriving off the plant kingdom has been made possible for humans by humans. Veganism is a Truth whose time in history has come.
"But I didn't kill other animals, they were already dead."If you did not "demand" the violent assault of other animals by paying someone else to do the farming, exploiting, enslaving and killing of animals, and others stood up in opposition too, the animal exploiting industry would cease "supplying" products derived from animal exploitation.
M Butterflies Katz is based in the USA and New Zealand and has been a vegan for over 3 decades. She runs the blog Veganism: A Truth Whose Time has Come, previously wrote for the now-retired Australian Vegan Voice magazine and is the Co-author of Incredibly Delicious; Recipes for a New Paradigm by Gentle World