As a longtime vegan who travels around the world forever explaining my diet and lifestyle choices, I'm sure I've heard every comment, question, concern, joke and urban legend about veganism.
Here I'm going to address the top 10 repeat offenders that I hear the most (read: all the time), complete with my own very personal responses.
Defending animal rights is kindof like defending the existence of the sun. All I can say is - open your eyes.
Saddle up, folks. It's snarky.
1. humans are supposed to eat meat.
No, we're not. Omnivores and obligate carnivores especially are supposed to eat meat because they have to. Carnivores have long curved fangs and claws to kill prey and rip apart flesh. They also have short digestive tracts to pass raw meat through quickly before it decays and causes colon cancer.
Humans have the long digestive tracts of herbivores, meant to slowly process and extract nutrients from vegetable matter. And unless you're a vampire, then you don't have long canine fangs and sharp pointy nails and couldn't actually kill or eat a live animal with your bare hands.
2. i'm not vegan but i do eat healthy / mindful / local / organic.
So sorry to burst your bubble here, but I actually don't care what you eat, just as long as it's not dead animals. Knock yourself out eating local organic rocks for all I care. The animals also don't care whether they're called local or organic. They'd rather be called alive.
Animal products are not healthy, in fact, they're the opposite, because they actually cause a myriad of diseases that kill you. A plant-based diet has numerous health benefits. And there's no such thing as "humane meat". "Cage-free" eggs are also a joke. And so are any other cutesy names that companies put on the products to make you feel better about buying the dead body of someone that wanted to live.
You are what you eat. Eat dead animals and you will soon become a dead animal.
3. i love animals just as much as you but i'm just not vegan.
Well then no, you don't. You don't love something if you also want it to die, Dr. Lecter.
Neither Schrödinger nor quantum mechanics can help you with this pickle of a paradox. The animal is either alive or dead, not both. And you get to choose.
You may love your pet, and that's fantastic, but what about every other species? Extrapolate your compassion. If you really love animals, watch these, and then get back to me on that willpower problem.
Also: If you prefer the things you like to be dead instead of alive, then please don't mind me while I slowly inch backwards and look for an exit.... Hey, what's that over there?....
4. i heard of a vegan once who got skinny / sick / a disease / dead.
Well then that poor hypothetical person you think you know suffered from idiocy, not veganism.
I've been vegan for 24 years so if being vegan kills you then I must be a freaking superhero.
There are tons of strong, powerful and successful vegan athletes all around the globe. I cannot possibly list them all but here's a small sampling. There are bodybuilders like John Lewis of Badass Vegan, rugby players like Anthony Mullally, NFL players like David Carter The 300 Pound Vegan, UFC fighters like Abel Trujilllo, tennis champs like Martina Navratilova and Venus and Serena Williams, heavyweight boxers like David Haye, Olympic athletes, marathon runners, swimmers, race car drivers, and even Mr. Universe, all out there rocking it super healthy on a plant-based diet. None are skinny, sick, diseased or dead.
5. plants have feelings too so it's just as wrong to eat plants.
A. No, they do not have central nervous systems like animals, which transmits pain signals to the brain.
B. That's still not a reason to eat animals who very obviously feel fear and pain. I know a dog that considers nail trims to be so personally offensive that he cannot even bring himself to make eye contact with the person that did it for the rest of the day.
C. Plants regenerate so you can harvest the leaves and fruit without killing the actual plant itself.
D. Stop being an argumentative moron and do something constructive with your imagination instead.
6. humans are at the top of the food chain and if we didn't eat animals, they'd take over.
No, we're not and no, they wouldn't. Crack open a book or watch a documentary every now and then.
7. animals are treated humanely at farms and slaughterhouses.
No, no, no, no, and no. Not only are they scared, suffering, panicked, in pain and eventually murdered (all against their will) but they're also very often intentionally tortured by slaughterhouse workers. They hit, kick, stab, molest, and generally do whatever they want to do to the animals just because they can.
Countless investigations and documentaries have unearthed horrific snuff-film-like videos of employees in most every major supplier torturing animals to death. Nothing that goes on in a working farm or slaughterhouse is ok.
8. vegans are denying themselves the pleasure of food because they only eat boring tasteless things like tofu and lettuce.
If you get your jollies by eating the flesh of rotting corpses, then I'm sorry to be the one to break the news to you, but you are a zombie! That is what zombies eat. You should really get that checked out, because you're probably the walking dead.
I, on the other hand, eat actual food. A lot of it. And it's not tofu and lettuce. But it is all plant-based and made up of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. It's also burgers, pizzas, ice cream, mac and cheese and everything else that's awesomely delicious. And it easily can be found all over the world. Here's a list of over 400 vegan meals in Portland and there's not a single salad among them. Because everybody knows salads suck bigtime.
9. one person's choices don't make any difference.
What a sad viewpoint to have. Also, you're wrong. Because Hitler. But if you're talking actual numbers, a vegan saves about 198 animals a year. You can also calculate both the resources and lives you save. You can also make a difference by educating others on veganism, even kids! My personal choices make a difference to me because I know I'm choosing to live a lifestyle that's consistent with my beliefs.
10. where do you get your protein?
The dead bodies of my enemies.
No, I'm kidding. I get my protein from plants. (Or do I? Muah hah hah...)
How can everyone be so confused about nutrition? I studied nutrition in school, didn't you? Really, folks, there are so, so, so many delicious sources of plant protein, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan and plant-based dairy and meat products.
And it makes more sense to eat the protein directly from the source rather then pass it through an animal first before it gets to you. Eliminate the middle man. Cow. Eliminate the middle cow.
Eat your own food.
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
albert schweitzer inspirational vegan quotes
Interested in veganism but not there yet?
Here's a quick and easy way to go vegan - just sit back and watch movies.