Okay. So I have long debated doing a post like this because realistically, I am in the minority group of people who shun out all animal products. As history has shown, being in a minority group comes with it hindrances and I know that a lot of people will read this and respond defensively/angrily. So I apologise in advance if this blog is something which offends you.
Before I begin, I just want to openly admit now that in the past I would have made these arguments myself. This post is just here for me to address them from my new perspective. Please do not take this as me being pushy, or anything of the sort. These kind of conversations/debates are some I’ve often had I feel like having a place online addressing them in full will make my life easier. It’s crazy how people have felt the need to question my diet since going vegan, especially from those who didn’t care for what I ate before I turned. By writing this I can refer people to here instead of having to talk about it in person which really does lead to unnecessary tension and conflict.
First of all, I want to address the statement that:
‘Vegans shove their opinion down everyone’s throats’
This is far from the truth. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve experienced meat eaters trying to shove their opinion down my throat.
For a start, I am not.
Secondly, every other advert on the TV is an advert for meat/dairy/eggs. Is that not shoving beliefs down my throat? Imagine seeing an advert about veganism- oh the horror!
Thirdly, do you really think it is wrong to preach non-violence and justice to animals? Would you speak up about the Yulin dog festival? Would you really not speak up against an injustice and unnecessary violence? Vegans only talk about animal rights because we view this injustice as being on the same level as any injustice-whether it be to humans or not, so to say we are preaching is unfair. We are speaking up about an injustice. For example, would you call someone preachy for speaking up about how children in Syria suffer?
It is my personal choice to not eat meat.
Your personal choice becomes non-personal when your choice has a victim. What about the animal’s choice?
Vegans on average are less nutrient deficient than non-vegans.
Based off personal experience, I have not consumed meat in 10 months and I am not protein deficient. In fact, nothing in my strength or body has significantly changed- if anything I have lost body fat.
Although people believe eggs, for example, are good for you as they are high in protein, people overlook the unhealthy baggage they carry. They have the same effect on your health as smoking 5 cigarettes a day and this is owing to the carcinogens in them. There is the same amount of cholesterol in one egg as there is in a big mac. They are produced by chickens (during menstration) to feed chicks for 24 days.
All protein comes from plants, which animals eat. Why get your protein second-hand when you could get it right from the source? Especially when the meat you eat has a tonne of saturated fat, cholesterol and carcinogenic animal protein in it.
If we can avoid harming animals and get protein directly from the plant-based source, why wouldn’t we?
(FYI: One cup of cooked spinach has about 7 grams of protein. Two cups of cooked kale- 5 grams. One cup of boiled peas- Nine grams. 30 grams of hemp powder-11 grams. 1 cup of Soya milk- 9 grams. Four ounces of tofu – 9 grams. AND MORE; all without saturated fat, cholesterol and carcinogens).
Animals kill other animals, why shouldn’t we?
Animals rape other animals – why shouldn’t we?
Lions eat their own children, why shouldn’t we?
Animals smell each other’s bums, why shouldn’t we?
Animals eat other animals raw, why shouldn’t we?
…because of the diseases they carry. We have to cook meat to eat it. Human teeth are not designed to eat meat raw. (Therefore humans are not carnivores).
Animals kill other animals because they have to and we do not.
Animals are not moral agents and they act out of survival. Humans are moral agents and have the choice to eat plant-based alternatives, lions, for example, do not. When we walk into a supermarket we have the choice between meat and alternatives. People choose to eat meat and it is not a matter of desperation.
Carnivores have taste buds on their tongues for protein, we do not. Instead, we have taste buds for salt, sugar, etc.
Animals also do not build factory farms!
Most animals are herbivores. The strongest animals, such as elephants and bulls, do not eat meat. Why don’t we model our diet of theirs?
We are designed to eat meat.
Do you watch slaughter-house videos and feel hungry? A carnivore would.
Do you run after pray, pounce on them and eat them raw? A carnivore does.
Our hands and teeth (see diagram above) are not capable of hunting and killing a mammal on the spot. We have to use equipment and inhumane methods of slaughter to actually attain their meat.
If it is designed, then why can we only eat meat when it has been sanitised, pre-packaged, cooked, seasoned and served with plants?
Why does it increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more? (Watch ‘What the Health’ for more info).
For example, dietary cholesterol only comes from animal products. Milk will always have hormones and oestrogen in it. This is because it is meant for a baby cow. Just like humans produce milk for their babies, cows do too. Humans stop drinking human milk at a certian age, yet drink cow’s milk for the majority of their lives. Studies have shown milk is acidic which is ironic, as it is advertised to be good for our bones-it is actually the opposite. The hormones (and puss-google ‘got pus?‘) in milk are meant for baby cows and these are being drunk continously by humans. Do you not think that’s a little bit messed up?
Although the human body has evolved to survive on an omnivorous diet, we do not need meat to survive. Thousands of vegans thrive and through their diet are able to combat illness that eating meat, dairy and eggs may present. If we can survive on a diet that inflicts no suffering, why shouldn’t we?
Why is meat one of the leading causes of environmental problems, if we are ‘designed’ to have it?
According to the United Nations, raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”
Raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of both nitrous-oxide and methane emissions, all of which are major contributors to climate change. It is also a main cause of world hunger: 760 million tonnes of grain are fed to animals on factory farms so that people can eat meat; for water shortage: A vegan diet requires 1,100 litres of water per day to produce, while a meat-based diet requires more than 15,000 litres per day. That means that it takes the equivalent of 50 bathtubs of water to produce just one steak; of deforestation: The livestock industry uses up approximately a third of the land on the planet. It decimates forests and grasslands , reducing unique ecosystems to grazing land for animals; and pollution: Meat production accounts for 80 per cent of the nitrogen and phosphorus used in farming, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. Most of these chemicals return to the environment through wastewater and excrement, contaminating land and water worldwide; harming local wildlife, human health and deep-sea marine life; killing fish, bees and amphibians and creating ecological “dead zones” in the oceans. Factory farms also generate vast amounts of sewage waste, which can also pollute water supplies.(READ MORE HERE https://www.peta.org.uk/issues/animals-not-eat/environment-meat-not-green/) (cowspiracy)
If we are designed to eat meat, like many argue, this sounds like a terrible design to me.
Humans are superior to animals, we are higher on food chain, it is survival of the fittest.
Sure, humans are clever. We created science, maths and literature. We also are responsible for wars and pollution. All the books we have written, all the music we have created-who cares, if we aren’t compassionate? It is all meaningless if we are not decent beings.
Humans are destroying the planet, whilst animals live in harmony in the ecosystem. Maybe a being’s value is in not causing harm.
Furthermore, is intelligence itself a measurement of whether something has the right to live? What about people with disabilities then? Should they be killed to make way for people wiht genius IQs? Of course not.
However, if you are adament that intelligence does define the value of species, why do we kill and eat pigs, when they are more intelligent than dogs and in some studies, 3-year-old children.
Our ancestors ate meat.
Firstly, we evolved from apes who are on a plant-based diet
Most people who use this argument are referring to cavemen.
Cavemen ate meat for survival , we do not.
We have thousands of plant-based alternatives, they did not.
Cavemen did not purposefully breed animals into existence for the sole purpose of killing them. They scavenged for what they could find (and lived 21-37 years old on average, as a consequence).
Cavemen, also, did not have factory farms.
Our ancestors also discriminated against women and other races. They held slaves for their own advantages. Do you still think we should model our behaviour from that of our ancestors?
I only buy meat that came from ‘humane slaughter’.
The definition of humane is to be compassionate. Would you argue that murder is compassionate?
Is it compassionate to, and how do you, kill a sentient innocent animal who doesn’t want to die?
I only buy meat from animals that have had a good life.
If an animal has to die for an unnecessary reason, how can you justify this? Just because someone had a good life you would argue this is enough justify ending it?
How would you feel if you grew up and you had a good life. One day someone turned around to you and said ‘hey, you’ve had a good life but now it is time for you to be slaughtered so that I can eat you’.
It is the ultimate betrayal.
Animals were put on the planet for us to eat. (God)
Would you not agree that humans who are playing god, by genetically modifying and impregnating animals against their will? By forcing them into a gas chambers against their will?
If they were put here for us, why is eating them causing so much problems, such as cancers and diabetes? (‘What the health’).
Is the slaughter-house a place of god?
What kind of loving god would create ‘foods’ that values their own lives, values their families and want to avoid pain and suffering? Why would God want food to be sentient, innocent beings?
God could have just made food that feels no pain. Oh wait… He did….PLANTS.
Plants have feelings.
Do you really think chopping a onion is the same as slitting a cows throat?
Plants do not have a central nervous system or a brain, they therefore do not experience pain.
Plants are, yes, alive, but they are not sentient. They do not have brains to process fear or death.
Plants respond to stimuli, just like phones and gadgets. They dont respond consciously and no reputable scientist on earth believes plants are sentient.
Animals, however, are sentient, and do feel pain. If you are bothered about the pain suffered by plants, surely you should really be concerning yourself with the pain felt by animals- a pain that has been scientifically proven.
If we stopped eating meat, animals would take over.
So many animals exist today, because we have bred them to be here. Over time the demand for animal products will decrease, thus fewer animals will be produced. It isn’t going to happen overnight, unfortunetly.
Meat tastes good.
Okay, I get this. I was the same once, and I thought meat tasted good too, however, I do not miss meat. I realised that I didn’t really like the actual taste of meat. Rather, I liked the marinade/ the sauce/ the way it was cooked. Also, your taste buds change over time.
However, some people do like the taste of meat, but does a moment of pleasure justify a lifetime of suffering and the act of violence on the animals?
Vegan food is some of the tastiest on earth and even if meat, eggs and dairy does taste good. Ask yourself:
are your taste buds really worth more than an animal’s life?
Basically, I am vegan because if harming an innocent being isn’t necessary for my survival, then I refuse to participate in it.
We genetically modify, enslave, murder animals for no other reason than they taste good. where is the justification in this? Eating animals and their byproducts is the leading contributor to the most renowned diseases including the number 1 killer around the world-heart disease (and the plant-based diet is the only one known to reverse this).
Animal agriculture contributes to world hunger, threatens environment (as it is the leading cause of deforestation, habitat destruction and species extinction) which jeopardises our entire existence. Where are we going to run to if the world starts to deteriorate? We only have one earth…
In my opinion, and many others, exploiting animals is cruel, unnecessary, unhealthy, unsustainable.
If we can live healthily and happily without harming animals, why wouldn’t we?
Compassion is the Fashion,