As a longtime vegan who travels around the world forever explaining my diet and lifestyle choices, I've heard every comment, question, 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 responses. Saddle up, folks. It's snarky. Because sometimes defending animal rights is like defending the existence of the sun. Open your eyes.
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 jaws, teeth, nails, stomachs and intestines 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 / 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 local or organic. They'd rather be 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 care about animals just as much as you.
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 things you like 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 who got sick / diseased / dead.
No, you didn't. And, even if you did, then that poor hypothetical malnourished person, that lived in this century, and that you think you know, suffered from idiocy, not veganism.
I've been vegan for 26 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. Bodybuilders like Torre Washington and John Lewis, NFL players, UFC fighters, tennis champs, plus many more Olympic athletes, heavyweight boxers, marathon runners, swimmers, rugby players, race car drivers, and even Mr. Universe, are all out there rocking it super healthy on a plant-based diet.
None of them are sick, diseased or dead. But what does make you sick, diseased and dead? Eating meat. Numerous studies have shown a direct link between diet and disease, and even how a plant-based diet can not only stop, but reverse diseases. Watch What the Health for more. There are vegan tests you can take to monitor your nutrient levels, and a specialized vegan nutrition panel to maintain optimum health.
5. plants have feelings too so it's also 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 sentient animals who very obviously feel fear and pain.
C. Plants regenerate so you can harvest the leaves and fruit without killing the plant itself.
D. If you do think that plants have feelings, then you should be vegan because you'd still be causing the least amount of suffering since animals eat (a lot more) plants. Livestock occupy 26% of the planet and another 4% is growing their food alone.
D. Stop being an argumentative moron and please go do something constructive with your imagination instead. Clearly it's a good one.
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 a book 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, in agony, 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. Go to Learn and watch Earthlings.
"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
albert schweitzer inspirational vegan quotes
8. vegans are denying themselves pleasure because they only eat boring 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 walking dead.
I, on the other hand, eat actual food. A lot of it. And it's not sticks and leaves. But it is all plant-based and made up of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. It's also plant milks, burgers, pizzas, sushi, ice cream, lasagna, cakes and everything else that's awesomely delicious.
It easily can be found all over the world. I use Veganagogo and all these apps to find food worldwide. 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.
Don't cook? Who cares! I don't either. That's what restaurants are for! But you can still easily make vegan meals or easily veganize your fav recipes (or any recipe at all) at home.
9. one person's choices don't make any difference.
What a sad viewpoint to have. Also, you're wrong. Because Hitler, Stalin, Khan... Also, like the Dalai Lama said, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."
Every time you make a purchase, you vote with your money, and you can choose the bad things that hurt animals and the planet, or you can choose not to pay for animal abuse or animal agriculture (which harms animals, people, water and the planet).
The more you purchase vegan cruelty-free products, then supply and demand is pushed in that direction, and the economy will adjust accordingly. So, your choices do make a direct difference and your choices are actually crucially important to change the world.
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? There are so, so, so many delicious sources of plant protein, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan and so many plant-based dairy and meat products.
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.