This is my first opinioned post since starting this blog, and I have decided to address this subject because of a post I saw on PETA’s facebook.
I do admire the work PETA does to protect animals, as well as other animal rights groups, but the way that some of these organisations go about…
This is quite the infuriating post, so it may take up a lot of space to respond to. Apologies to anyone who has to scroll through it all.
“Next to religious people, vegetarian’s and vegans are the second most forceful group of people I personally have come across. Of course i’m not saying every single person, because I know many veggies who are perfectly happy to be around meat eaters as long as they have something vegetarian to eat. But the amount of times i’ve witnessed animal rights protesters being the most judgmental, “my way is the right way”, cruel people is into the hundreds.”
First off, those “vegetarians who are happy to be around meat eaters as long as they have something vegetarian to eat” are not activists. They aren’t advocating anything, they are minding their own business, pretending that it is some God-given right for humans to exploit animals, and that the slaughter and torture of animals is a “personal choice”. You will have to separate them from activists, which you take concern with. An activist ADVOCATES for their cause, and does not simply lie limp on the sidelines while animals are dying.
If you think you are being any less judgmental by calling thousands of right activists rude or pushy, you should reevaluate your position. It takes judgment to enforce any right or belief. We judge rapists for rape, murderers for murder, thieves for theft every day in human society. These are judgments and I do not think we need to escape them. A judgement is not in itself evil, pushy, or wrong. But sitting idly by is certainly questionable in its morality.
By calling out vegetarians or vegans for thinking they have the “right way”, you are also asserting that you know the right way. Otherwise you would give their arguments credit and attention. Since you so righteously deny animal rights struggles, surely YOU must know the best way to live? And if you do not, then why do you have such harsh words against those who are trying to find that way?
“I’m going to address two different sides to the animal rights story, from my point of view as a meat eater who cares about animals, to the point of view of a vegan.”
I’ll say in advance that you nowhere properly address the viewpoint of a vegan, for which I will substitute MY viewpoint as a vegan for a whole account, not a skewed one.
“I would still ideally like to live as a vegetarian, or at least live eating meat that I know is guaranteed to have been raised kindly and killed humanly. But for me that is not an option.”
It is not an option for anyone. Humane meat does not exist. I encourage you to learn that fact. Animals may be raised in kind manner, but humane slaughter exists no more for humans than it does for non-human animals. A non-consentual death for profit would sound terrible for any person, so why should death for profit on animals be otherwise?
“The only meat I eat is poultry and sausages. I can’t physically eat beef, lamb or un-ground pork. And that’s so that I can survive. When I became a vegetarian, my health depleted because I don’t eat meat substitutes such as Quorn, Tofu, etc… so I didn’t get enough to sustain a healthy diet. I’m also not a fan of the majority of types of vegetables. “
It doesn’t matter WHICH animal products you eat, it doesn’t make you a better person if you only eat chicken and fish or lamb or anything. I used to be the exact same way. When I was starting off on my way to vegetarianism, I would tell people I only eat chicken. As if that made it somehow better. I didn’t really understand it doesn’t matter which animal you eat. Eating one type animal everyday does not reduce how many you’ve led to slaughter.
Meat is NOT necessary to survive - a quote from the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada:
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. A vegetarian diet is defined as one that does not include meat (including fowl) or seafood, or products containing those foods. This article reviews the current data related to key nutrients for vegetarians including protein, n-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins D and B-12. A vegetarian diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. In some cases, supplements or fortified foods can provide useful amounts of important nutrients. An evidence-based review showed that vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate in pregnancy and result in positive maternal and infant health outcomes. The results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.
So, no, you do not need meat “to survive”. That is an excuse proven faulty by in-depth medical studies, so you should drop it.
I’ve never eaten Quorn before. I’ve never even seen it. And if you’re not a fan of most vegetables, you aren’t going to be a healthy omnivore either. All you need to do is eat as many as you are comfortable with, and gradually increase them. But, if you are stuck on being a meat eater, I will encourage you for your own health to start taking vitamins. If you aren’t eating vegetables right now I will guarantee you that you are NOT healthy.
“but it’s not that easy for everyone. The idea of eating Quorn makes me want to throw up because of the taste and the texture, much like the idea of eating beef or lamb. I can’t stand the taste and I can’t stand the texture.”
Like I just said, don’t fucking eat Quorn if you don’t like it. Eat something else. That’s not an excuse to harm animals.
“I’m a picky eater. If I didn’t eat meat and dairy based products, I would die. Simple as that.”
No, you wouldn’t. Don’t be overdramatic. Simple as that. Meat and dairy do not supply all of your vital nutrients - check out this information on dairy from Harvard: Calcium is important. But milk isn’t the only, or even best, source. Dairy milk is also singled out as the biggest dietary cause of osteoporosis. Also check out pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon’s short video on meat not being necessary to life. Consider the fact that there are many people who have been vegans for years and are completely healthy - quite a large number of them do not live off of meat substitutes.
“The human body is designed to consume meat. From our teeth to our digestive systems. Yes, back when humans were evolving through the Homo Habilis and Neanderthal stages, we had no choice but to eat meat, but I think people underestimate how much we STILL need meat in this day in age, even with agriculture.”
Congrats on knowing about our ancestors, but you should also know that for most of our lineage we were primarily plant-based. Our development as a species comes from our ability to control agricultural production, and to cook food. We consumed more calories, and that’s at the heart of our brain development. Carbohydrates are the brain’s number one fuel, and these come from - you guessed it - plant based foods! How can you argue that meat is what caused us to evolve when meat is not the source of our brain’s fuel? Brown rice, tomatoes, strawberries, bananas, and whole wheat are the best carbohydrate sources.
Here’s a link comparing our features to carnivores and herbivores, here’s the image (should be able to click to enlarge):
Humans are not “designed” in any way, unless you are arguing for a creator. But humans best match the make of herbivores, suggesting that we would be better suited to adapt herbivorous ways again, like most of our ancestry.
“If every person became a vegetarian right now, there would be a mass famine. Especially in the United Kingdom. People would die, and people would be starving.”
Actually, the UN acknowledges that a shift to plant-based lifestyles is not only “vital to save the world from hunger” but also vital for the environment. Global food security also depends on a more plant-based way of life. The amount of resources used to produce animal based products is a major factor in current starvation. People argue that we can’t be picky when there is “an African child starving”. But if you really want to “save starving children”, you have to be picky. Americans lead the way to usurping the world’s resources for a burger and a shake.
“plus we would have all of the animals that are no longer being killed that need to eat too. No doubt they would then die of starvation.”
Animals are bred at disturbingly high rates for human consumption. When demand for consumption decreases, so too does forced pregnancy of animals. The animals might finally be given a chance to live a natural life without being constantly inseminated for profit. At our current state, we use most of plant-based agricultural production to feed livestock animals.
“We would also start using GM foods more often, causing more health problems in humans and to the environment, and again to the animals that eat the crops.”
I don’t see your argument here. There is nothing which states we would be using more GM by moving to vegan lifestyles. In fact, vegan-specific food and food companies are usually organic/GM-free. There are also no defensible studies which show complete adverse health effects of GM foods, but that is a side argument to the real fact that there is no proof to your claim.
“Yes this is drastic, and luckily we don’t have to worry about it because I can guarantee the entire world will not turn veggie, but the OTT activists who think every person should be vegetarian need to think about the bigger picture.”
You’ve ignored facts so far to claim that vegetarianism would cause the next apocalypse. That is disappointing.
I won’t give the religious argument much time because I don’t see it as a major argument. If it is sufficient for spiritual individuals, then so be it.
Our planet is dying, and if you really want to save it, look over the links that I have provided that prove the case for a plant-based way of life being the best for the planet. Look again at the UN statement and tell me you would argue against that.
If you believe animals have rights, you should respect them. And again, please read this information on “humane” meat, dairy, and eggs.
“I can understand vegan’s who don’t want to eat eggs from farms that kick their chickens, or drink milk from cows that have had their calves taken to be slaughtered. But that’s not always the case.”
Take a look at this egg chart.
As you can see, even certified organic eggs still kill all male chicks at birth, either by grinding them alive or through the less popular method of gassing to death. And hens in hatcheries are almost always sent to slaughter. Don’t simplify the ethical dilemma to “kicking chickens” or slaughtered calves. There is so much more to the argument you are simply ignoring.
Last, a video on average dairy practices.
Rethink your dislike of vegans, because we are standing up for animals, the environment, and the health and hunger of the world, and we would like those who once opposed us to stand with us.
A Quick and Easy Low Cost Vegan Meal Plan for anyone interested, and the vegan starter kit website.