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🐯 Vegan Reddit Communites
🐰 Online & Local Vegan Activism Organizations
🐵 Vegan Challenges
Communities on the website reddit.com
Get out there and make a difference in the world for the animals!
Want to go Vegan? Help a friend go Vegan?
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⭐️ /r/Vegan
the largest vegan community on the internet
Vegan Activismall
The most comprehensive verified list of Vegan Activism organizations online for Vegans looking to jump into activism.
⭐️ Vegan Bootcamp 30~ days
find 100% plant based recipes
⭐️ Vegan Hacktivists
We're a group of passionate Vegan Activists that volunteer our time and skills to vegan projects.
Dairy Free Challenge21 days
discuss all things related to vegan fitness
Anonymous for the Voiceless
An animal rights organization that specializes in educating the public on animal exploitation and fostering highly effective activism communities worldwide.
Challenge 22+22 days
debate questions and discussions revolving veganism
Direct Action Everywhere
We create empowered networks of nonviolent direct action to force animal rights into the public consciousness.
10 Weeks To Vegan10 weeks
⭐️ /r/VeganActivism
get active with your vegan activist community and make a difference
⭐️ Meat The Victims
A new generation of the growing community of citizens willing to disobey unjust laws altogether to abolish animal exploitation. Locking down inside the very places the animals are kept hostage and allowing the public to meet the victims of their choices through personal footage.
Veganuary30 days
discuss zero waste with a focus on veganism
The Save Movement
The Save Movement is comprised of groups around the world who bear witness of pigs, cows, chickens and other farmed animals en route to slaughter. Our goals are to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals, to help people become vegan, and to build a mass-based, grassroots animal justice movement.
find and share beautiful pictures of vegan food
The Vegan Societyall
The practicalities of volunteering ranges from role to role, but regardless of what you’re doing, volunteering with us will always be meaningful, enjoyable, and well supported. Every project you ever work on will hold value to the charity’s work, and will feed in to the future of veganism.
share and discuss vegan backing recipes
Mercy for Animalsall
Your voice, your ideas, and your actions matter in our shared fight to end animal abuse. We are the generation that will empty cages and reform our food system. Join MFA’s global movement of changemakers who organize local events, take online actions, and support our mission in other ways with their skills and passion.
🐞 Easy Access Resources
Challenge 22+online
If you’ve been vegan for over six months, have patience and empathy for new vegans and the motivation to help make the vegan population grow, you’re exactly what we’re looking for! Our Challenges take place within Facebook groups, and we ask our Challenge mentors to be present in the group on a daily basis. Our goal is around 10 comments or an hour a day (can be dispersed throughout the day).
Easy access to compiled statistics and studies
The Humane League
Through quick and simple daily, or weekly, actions you can make a difference—influencing the policies of the world’s biggest companies, demanding legislation, or empowering others to take action and leave animals off their plates.
🐢 Vegan Health & Nutrition
5 Minutes 5 Vegans
Our vegan robots are constantly scanning social media, they retweet people we think are looking for help with going Vegan. Below are a bunch of quick-copy resources you can reply with quickly if you'd like. Simply scroll through the lists on the right and talk to the ones that could use a little help!
🐮 Vegan Documentaries & Films
Learn the specifics to being healthy while vegan!
Vegan Outreachlocal
Vegan Outreach is an American grassroots animal advocacy group working to promote veganism through the widespread distribution of printed informational booklets.
The Clear ConsensusPDF Version
Watch these documentaries with your friends and family!
⭐️ The Daunting FactsPDF Version
titledescriptionlink Veganism is HealthyPDF Version
namecategorylink Vegan Health
Reviews of the scientific literature related to the health benefits of a vegan diet.
🐥 Veganism Health Consensus
Viva! Health "Meat"PDF Version
⭐️ Dominion (2018)Animals
⭐️ Nutrition Facts
A strictly non-commercial, science-based public service provided by Dr. Michael Greger, providing free updates on the latest in nutrition research via bite-sized videos. There are more than a thousand videos on nearly every aspect of healthy eating, with new videos and articles uploaded every day.
World Health & Nutrition Organizations on Veganism
Viva! Health "Eggs"PDF Version
Cowspiracy (2014)
Vegan.com Guide
Vegan nutrition guide by virginia messina
30 Arguments Debunked
PDF Version
What The Health (2017)Health
Vegan Society Nutrition
How to thrive on a vegan diet
organizationdescriptionlink / source
Forks Over Knives (2011)Health
Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
The world’s Largest organization of food & nutrition professionals with over 100,000 credentialed dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, and other dietetics professionals.
Land of Hope and Glory (2017)
Kaiser Permanente Healthcare
The Largest Healthcare Organization in the United States of America.
🐎 Resources for new Vegans
Meet Your Meat (2012)Animals
🐗 Eating out as a Vegan
American Institute for Cancer Research
One of the nations leading cancer research organizations.
Helpful resources for going Vegan
Speciesism: The Movie (2013)
Quick resources to help you find Vegan food locally!
The National Health and Medical Research Council
Australia's top funding body for medical research.
Earthlings (2005)Animals
Harvard Health Publishing: Medical School
The third-oldest and renown medical school in the United States.
The Game Changers (2019)Fitness
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Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
Published by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and with the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Vegan Starter Kit
Get a quick overview on the philosophy of veganism
⭐️ Happy CowSearch
British Dietetic Association (Great Britain)
The nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members.
Choose Veg
Free recipes and resources to help you move toward a vegetarian diet or vegan diet.
Google MapsSearch
Dietitians of Canada
The leading professional organization and "nation-wide voice of dietitians in Canada" active at the local, provincial, national and international levels and has 6000 members.
Kinder World
We've gathered the best video guides, websites and support groups in order to help you learn how to go vegan!
🐱 Vegan Inspirational Speeches
Yelp SearchSearch
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
The most highly rated peer-reviewed journal in the United States.
acti-veg.com's resource page
Watch some of the best vegan speeches on the internet!
Eating Out TipsInformation
Mayo Clinic & ScienceDaily
Non-profit academic medical center that employs more than 4,500 physicians and scientists and 58,400 administrative and allied health staff.
Veganuary Starter Kit
Trying vegan has never been so easy
Fast Food GuideInformation
Vegan Society Guide
Vegan Society Starter Guide
video titlelengthlink Reddit Beginners Guide
/r/Vegan's official Beginners Guide Wiki
⭐️ Best Speech You Will Ever Hear (Gary Yourofsky)
🐎 Awesome Activists to Follow
You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again (Earthling Ed)
🍅 Great links for Vegan Recipes
These activists work day and night for a vegan world
This Man Makes You Think (James Wildman)
Find and cook delicious plant-based meals
🦔 Vegan Video Playlists
Fun video playlists revolving around Veganism
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🐋 Must Read Books on Veganism
James Hoot
title# of videoslink
These are the books to read on veganism!
Easy Vegan ChannelYoutube
Earthling Ed
30 Arguments Against Veganism Debunked
30 videos
Cheap Lazy VeganYoutube
James Aspey
Must See Vegan Documentaries
7 videos
book titleauthorpurchase Vegan Society RecipesPage List
Peace By Vegan
Sketches / Shorts That Make You Think
4 videos
⭐️ Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
Melanie Joy
Veganuary RecipesPage List
Gary Yourofsky
Become A Vegan Activist And Save Lives
11 videos
Animal Equality
Joan Dunayer
The Vegan CornerPage List
Alex Bez
Vegan Music Is Actually A Real Thing
11 videos
Animal LiberationPeter Singer
Vegan RichaPage List
Joey Carbstrong
The Easy Vegan: Quick Vegan Recipes
11 videos
How Not To Die
Michael Greger
Olives for DinnerPage List
Leah Doellinger
Vegan Fitness: Best Tips
17 videos
⭐️ The Animal Activist's Handbook
Matt Ball and Brice Friedrich
The Vegan 8Page List
Erin Janus
Inspirational Speeches that will change your life
7 videos
Bleating Hearts
Mark Hawthorne
Hell Yeah It's VeganPage List
Planet Vegan Music Video
1 videos
Eating Animals
Jonathan Safran Foer
Keepin it KindPage List
Farm SanctuaryGene Baur
Eat Figs Not PigsPage List
🐍 Notable Vegan Celebrities
VeganomicsNick Cooney
Did you know that these celebs are also vegan?
🍆 Vegan Cookbooks on Amazon
Green is the New RedWill Potter
Awesome cookbooks all vegans should own
Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight
Timothy Pachirat
🐀 Random / Uncategorized Links
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Links that we don't specifically have a category
Peter Dinklage
Actor; Game of Thrones
I like animals, all animals. I wouldn't hurt a cat or a dog or a chicken or a cow. And I wouldn't ask someone else to hurt them for me. That's why I'm Vegan."
Ariana Grande
Recording Artist, Actress
"I love animals more than I love most people, not kidding. But I am a firm believer in eating a full plant-based, whole food diet that can expand your life length."
Ageless Vegan by Tracye McQuirter
🦋 Arguments against Veganism Debunked
titlecategorylink Russell Brand
Actor; Comedian; Host
"How we treat the vulnerable is how we define ourselves as a species. I don't see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack. I'm now vegan."
By Any Greens Necessary by Tracye McQuirter
Videos and resources debunking common myths
Plant Based NewsNews
Woody Harrelson
Actor; Hunger Games
"Really, my message is simple. It's a message of compassion in this world that is spinning madly out of control. I've been vegan for 10 and a half years."
Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen by Richa Hingle
Badass VeganFitness
Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
"I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe, I had high blood pressure, and arthritis. Becoming a vegan gave me another opportunity to live."
Sweet Potato Soul by Jenné Claiborne
title of mythtextvideo The Vegan SocietyResource
Bill ClintonFormer President
After undergoing quadruple bypass surgery, the 42nd president adopted a vegan diet in 2010. He’s since lost 20 pounds, and has become an advocate for vegan diets.
Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry
Can You Love Animals and Eat Them?
We live in a world of animal lovers, nobody or at least virtually nobody would say they don’t like animals. Practically everyone agrees that animal cruelty is wrong and those that commit animal cruelty should be punished. This is why we have laws in place protecting the rights of animals, or at least certain animals. But how can a world of animal lovers be the same world that also believes that the deaths of over 56 billion land animals and as many as 2.7 trillion marine animals a year is not only acceptable but actively support its continuance, believing it is morally justifiable? So can you love animals and eat them? The answer is no, of course you can’t, because the two ideas juxtapose one another. Saying you love animals whilst eating their bodies and secretions is like saying “of course I can love my child and beat them”. If an abusive parent said that they loved their child but were also beating them we would think they were a psychopath. This demonstrates the disturbing psychology and paradoxical ideology we have as a collective society of ‘animal lovers’ who are in fact animal eaters. To put this another way, if you love someone the last thing you want to happen to them is for them to be forcibly impregnated, tortured, murdered and eaten, let alone pay for these things to happen to them. If you love someone then you want to avoid bad things happening to them at all costs, so if you love animals then by default the last thing you would ever want is to see their murdered body parts on a plate in front of you. This can even be put in simpler terms. If you are talking to an animal eater and they have a companion animal like a dog, ask them if it would be possible to love their dog if they mutilated and murdered him/her. To be a lover of animals is to love, respect and show compassion to them, all of them, not just the ones society tells you to love. To truly be an animal lover, you have to acknowledge that all animals are worthy of life and deserve to live that life free from human oppression. So no, the excuse you can love animals and eat them is not a valid justification for someone to eat animals, in fact it’s not even possible. When a non-vegan claims to be an animal lover, explain their hypocrisy to them, simply say “can you really be an animal lover if you pay for animals to be hurt?” - chances are they’ve never thought about their relationship with animals in this way before.
Your Vegan Fallacy IsArguments
Miley CyrusActress; Singer
"Be the voice of those who can't say "stop", who can't say "that hurts", who can't say "I'm so afraid to die. If you choose to eat meat, you love pets, not animals."
Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason
It's My Personal Choice To Eat Animals!
“Respect my opinion!”, “It's my personal choice to eat meat, don't force your views on to me!” - of all the excuses used to defend eating animal products, this could well be the most common. So is eating animals a personal choice or is it a little more complex than that? This is quite an interesting excuse as arguably it is a choice, one does actively choose to eat dead flesh and animal secretions, the same way that a racist actively chooses to be racist or a rapist actively chooses to commit rape. Using this logic it would then be morally justifiable to beat a dog or kick a cat, as it is a personal choice to do so. In this situation ask the person, “if someone makes the personal choice to abuse a dog, does that make it morally justifiable?”. The problem is when non-vegans use this argument they have either become so detached from the fact that their animal products came from a living being, or they hold animals with such little regard that they don't consider the lives of their food worthy of contemplation because they think the consumption of animal products only affects them as individuals. So when a vegan seeks to educate a non-vegan we are met with “you should respect other people's points of view”. However, as vegans we do respect the views of others. We respect the views of the 56 billion land animals murdered each year that didn't want to die. We respect the views of the dairy cows and egg-laying hens whose bodies are sexually abused and exploited and treated as nothing other than a disposable commodity. We respect the views of the 2 - 2.7 trillion fish and marine animals that are dragged out of their natural habitat every year and suffocated or crushed to death. We respect the views of animals skinned alive for their fur or abused, tortured and killed for their skin, wool and feathers. We respect the views of the animals callously tested on by scientists and cosmetics companies, confined to a life of agony and unbelievable pain. We respect the views of the animals beaten and punished to perform circus tricks and unnatural behaviours for our entertainment. We respect the views of every animal that is oppressed, tortured and murdered. We respect the views of the humans who are also victims within our systems of animal exploitation - and we even respect the view of the person we are talking to, the view that they probably want to live a long life by caring enough to tell them that consuming animal products hugely increases their risk of cancer, diabetes, strokes, dementia, heart disease and every other major disease plaguing our species. So when people so defiantly tell us to respect the views of others, the question is, which other view point are they considering other than their own? When they declare it's their personal choice to eat animal products, what about the personal choice of every other creature, human and non-human alike, whose life is treated as inferior and meaningless just so people can poison their bodies with products created from their death and fear? It is not morally justifiable to murder just because the murderer personally made the choice to murder. It is not morally justifiable to rape just because the rapist personally made the choice to commit the act of rape. It is not morally justifiable to kick and beat a dog just because the abuser personally made the choice to kick and beat the dog and it is not morally justifiable to pay for animals to be exploited and killed, just because a non-vegan personally made the choice to pay for animals to be exploited and killed. When someone uses the “my personal choice” argument, simply ask them “what about the personal choice of the animal who wants to live, have you considered their choice?”.
My Vegan TreeTracking
Evanna LynchActress
"I never found a religion or a faith that was exactly in line with what I believed because there are so many things I’m not sure about, but I strongly believe in non-violence, that we shouldn’t be hurting other people or creatures."
Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero
I Love How Animals Taste!
When it boils down to it, the number one reason people eat animal products is because they enjoy the taste - I know I certainly did, in fact like most people I loved the taste of animal products. I think one of the most disconcerting things about the taste excuse though, is that it is an excuse that bluntly admits that the personal desires of an individual’s taste preference matter more than the morality surrounding an animal’s life and unquestionably horrific death. However, it doesn’t mean that the person using this excuse necessarily believes that their taste preferences are more important than an animal’s life (most people I talk to don’t) but because they’ve never been asked about it before they’ve never had to confront the fact that through their actions they are placing their taste higher. This is why when people say to me “I love the taste of meat.” or, “I could never give up cheese.”, I like to ask them “do you value your taste buds higher than the life of an animal?” - most people will say no, but if they do say yes make sure to ask them why. One of the big issues with this excuse is that it seeks to validate a non-vegan diet by claiming that we shouldn’t be held responsible for our immoral activities because our selfish impulses are too strong to be suppressed and as such, we can’t be held morally accountable for the actions that we make. But where do we draw the line? Would this argument hold up in court if a murderer in their own defence said, “but I could never give up murdering because I enjoy it too much.”? It requires more than sensory pleasure to morally justify something - and the inconvenience people go through by giving up cheese, for example, is not even remotely comparable to the pain a dairy cow goes through being forcibly impregnated repeatedly, having her children taken away from her and being painfully pumped for her milk before she becomes too weak and is sent off to be slaughtered. I think one of the reasons why as vegans we find this excuse a really difficult one to hear is because it doesn’t matter whatever product people claim they could never give up or enjoy the taste of, the difficulty and the inconvenience that it would be for them to no longer eat animal products is minuscule compared to the pain, suffering and fear that the animals have to go through. A non-vegan meal lasts for 15 minutes, but the death of an animal is eternal. What food could ever be worth taking the life of an individual? An individual that felt fear, an individual that felt pain, an individual that felt confused and couldn’t understand why such intolerable suffering was being committed against them? The fear of death is not unique to humans. Most of us fear dying and hope it will happen peacefully, surrounded by the ones we love without pain. The scariest thing we can think of is being tortured and ultimately murdered. We make horror films about this concept and it gives us nightmares. But this isn’t a horror film for the trillions of animals that are slaughtered each year, it isn’t some nightmare that they will wake from. It’s real, the pain, the fear, it is all real - and then they die and they are gone forever. We need only put ourselves in the position of the animals, as they look up at the human who’s about to murder them and imagine their fear and confusion, to understand why taste can never justify this incomprehensible atrocity. When talking to someone who uses the excuse of taste, ask them the following questions: “Do you not think we require more than sensory pleasure alone to morally justify an action?. “Is it morally justifiable for someone to kill a dog if they like the taste?” “What is it about being human that means the life of an animal is lower than our taste preferences?” “Do you think it is acceptable to inflict pain, suffering and death on to an animal that wishes to avoid pain, suffering and death?” “If we would hate to be exploited and killed, is it not hypocritical for us to exploit and kill others?” Also, remember to explain that it’s not as if people even have to give up the flavours of the animal products that they eat. There is now such a huge and varied selection of vegan alternatives to cheese, milk, eggs and meats. Explain that as vegans we eat burgers, hot dogs, burritos, nachos, lasagna, mac and cheese, curries, cheese pizza, cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, ice cream and everything else in between. Explain how as vegans we experience all of the flavours and textures that we used to, except now they’re made from plants. No dead body parts, no gristle, no cholesterol, no hormones, no antibiotics. It’s also really helpful to tell them where they can get these products from, so for example here in the UK, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have their own range of vegan cheese and you can get meat alternatives in nearly every supermarket. I also think it can be worth highlighting which restaurants now have vegan menus and options, again just to make veganism seem as easy and accessible as possible. Some great examples of places in the UK are: Wagamama, Zizzi, Pizza Express, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, GBK, Wetherspoons, Pret A Manger, All Bar One and Carluccio’s.
Vegan PlaylistVideos
Brad PittActor, Producer
In a letter sent to Costco, Vegan actor Brad Pitt said: "Cramming hens into cages for their entire lives constitutes cruelty to animals and animals deserve better."
The Vegan Soulfood Guide to the Galaxy by Afya Ibomu
Animals Eat Other Animals
When confronted with the idea that the consumption of animals is done purely for the taste rather than for nutrition (see nutrition) one of the most common excuses vegans hear is, “but animals eat other animals, so why shouldn’t we?” As much as this may be true, some animals do indeed eat other animals, there’s many reasons as to why this statement holds no veracity whatsoever. We need only first consider the anatomical biology of omnivores compared to that of humans. Firstly, omnivores have sharp claws and huge fangs compared to our hands and blunt, ineffective canines. When was the last time you saw a human running on all fours ripping the flesh off a living animal? Omnivores also have short intestines, ideal for digesting flesh, whilst humans have incredibly long intestines, which are useless at digesting flesh - hence the constipation and colon cancer! The acid contained within omnivore and carnivore stomachs is very strong hydrochloric acid, ideal for the digestion of raw animal flesh, which when compared to the weak acid found in our stomachs, explains why we are susceptible to food poisoning from undercooked meat. You don’t see a lion checking to make sure their dinner is cooked through all the way to the middle. You also don’t see a lion being picky about which part of an animal they should eat, but how often do we see stories in the newspaper of the shocking revelation that a brain was found in a piece of KFC? It’s like for that split second the illusion that meat doesn’t come from a living, breathing, feeling animal is shattered and people are forced to confront the abject reality of where their food comes from. A real omnivore isn’t disgusted by the gore. Let’s consider this, if you were locked in a room with a live chicken and an apple you would always eat the apple first. Because when we see a living being we don’t feel hungry, we don’t want to ravage animals and tear them apart - but when we see an apple we do feel hungry. Furthermore, even though certain animals eat other animals, there are many more herbivorous animals than there are carnivorous ones. But regardless, what exactly is the relevance of what other animals do when applied to human behaviour? Some animals rape and kill each other, so does that mean humans would be excused if they committed these acts too? Ask that question to the non-vegan who is using the excuse, say “wild animals kill each other, does that mean it is morally justifiable for humans to kill each other just because some wild animals do?”. Furthermore, lions have been documented killing their own cubs before, so using non-vegan logic it must therefore be acceptable for humans to kill their children as other animals have been shown to do so. In this situation ask the non-vegan “do you think it is wise to base our morality on that of a wild animal?”. Animals also kill their food themselves, they don’t pay others to kill on their behalf because they find the prospect of slaughtering an animal too traumatising. If we were naturally designed to eat meat we would have no objection to killing animals. We also wouldn’t shelter the truth from our children and yet we deem the reality of slaughterhouses to be too troubling and disturbing for a child. Other animals kill out of necessity whereas humans do not, in fact eating animals is incredibly detrimental to our health. Humans kill other animals because we enjoy the way they taste, meaning we kill them for pleasure, even though this goes against many of our core morals. Many of us oppose animal exploitation when it comes to things like dog fighting or hunting as they are seen as unnecessary and only done for pleasure and yet can’t see that eating animals is also unnecessary and only done for pleasure. It’s important to try and get people to make this connection so you can also ask the non-vegan “are you an obligate carnivore?” and then say “if you don’t have to eat meat then why do you do so?”. If they say it’s because they like the taste, then ask “are your tastebuds more important than a life?”. As you can see, the circle of excuses tends to go round like a revolving door! It is so unbelievably ironic that we deem ourselves so incredibly superior to animals (see intelligence), but when the superiority argument no longer functions as an effective excuse for murdering living beings, we suddenly portray ourselves as just a wild animal acting out our primal instincts. So what are we, better than animals, or only animals? We can’t be both.
You Are Their VoiceSupport
Ellen Page
Actress, Producer
"Why are vegans made fun of while inhumane factor farming process regards animals and the natural world as merely commodities to be exploited for profit?"
Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook by Eddie Garza
Veganism Is Unhealthy
Hearing that we need to eat animal products in order to be healthy is a very frustrating excuse for a vegan to hear, after all, we’re living evidence that this simply isn’t true. However the majority of people truly believe that animal products contain nutritional elements that we cannot get elsewhere and that we need for our health and longevity, after all, there has to be a real reason why we’re doing all of these horrific things to animals, right? The main nutritional factors that come up in conversations with non-vegans are protein, iron, calcium and if they’re a bit more clued up, B12. I would strongly recommend watching and memorising the points in these four videos by Bite Size Vegan and M.D Michael Greger. 1) Protein: Dr Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org 2) Iron: Dr. Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org 3) Calcium: Dr. Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org 4) B12: Dr. Michael Greger of nutritionfacts.org You can quite easily shut a non-vegan down in an argument about nutrition by explaining to them that The American Dietetic Association and the British Dietetic Association, the largest bodies of nutrition and diet professionals in both countries, have both stated that a plant-based (vegan) diet is nutritionally adequate and safe for all stages of life, including pregnancy. Meaning that we can officially get all the nutrients we need without eating animals or their secretions. Protein, iron, calcium and every other nutrient that we associate with animal products can be obtained easily without the need for exploiting animals. The largest and strongest land animals in the world, the elephant, the rhino, the hippopotamus, what do they all have in common? They are all plant eaters. But does anyone think an elephant is protein deficient, or that a rhino has weak bones? What about a gorilla, humans share approximately 98% of our DNA with gorillas and they are herbivorous. But how many protein deficient gorillas do we see? Why would animals that have almost the same DNA as us but that are also much stronger than we are, be able to get all the nutrients they need from plants, if we humans can’t? In fact, consuming animal products has been linked to our top diseases and illnesses. Heart disease, type-2 diabetes, many forms of cancer, strokes, hypertension, dementia and osteoporosis have all been inextricably linked to the consumption of animal products and many of them can be treated and even reversed by switching to a plant- based lifestyle. Recommend that the non-vegan watches ‘Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death’ (YouTube) and ‘What the Health’ (Netflix). There are an abundance of plant-based athletes across the world including Germany’s strongest man Patrick Baboumian, NFL players such as David Carter and weightlifters such as Kendrick Farris and boxers like David Haye. You can reference these athletes in your conversation with non-vegans. Ask the non-vegan if there is any necessity for us to eat animals and their secretions, to which they cannot logically reply to with “yes” after receiving the information above about nutrition. Then say to them “does this not therefore mean that doing these things to animals is an act of unnecessary cruelty?”.
Veg NewsNews
Casey AffleckActor, Producer
"When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say, because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry."
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero (NEW ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
It's Cultural and Traditional to Eat Animals
It is true we have been eating animals for many centuries, but does the longevity of something justify its continuation and existence? Is the excuse, “eating animals is a tradition” a valid justification for not becoming vegan? Let’s just consider that slavery was once considered a tradition, as was treating a woman as less than a man - but does the fact that these things were once traditional justify them? I think (and hope) most of us would say no. If humanity had gone through history too stubborn and ignorant to change because of so called tradition then we would never have evolved or adapted. What about female genital mutilation? It’s been performed on women for centuries, it’s deep rooted in tradition and yet it is abhorrent. However, using the justification that eating animals is acceptable because it is traditional then means that performing female genital mutilation is therefore acceptable as well. You see, the logic here is extremely flawed as both acts are absolutely horrific and the excuse of tradition serves in no way as any kind of justification for them. To apply this argument to another scenario where non-human animals are the ones affected, bullfighting is very much considered a tradition as is the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, but does that mean that these things should still continue? The Yulin Dog Meat Festival and the Boknal Dog Meat Festival are both annual events where thousands of dogs and cats are killed and eaten, they are both traditional events and yet throughout the western world we voice our disgust at these festivals. When people bring up tradition as a justification to eat animals, I like to ask: “The Yulin dog meat festival is traditional, does that make it okay to butcher and kill dogs and cats?”. In terms of cultural identity - why should we celebrate culture with the slaughter of innocent beings when we can honour different cultures and areas of life through music, dance and language? Why is the unifying factor that binds all of humanity together the consumption of animals and not the universal acknowledgement that we are all brothers and sisters, creatures of this earth who are united by sharing one planet? Not the same but equal. Cultural tradition cements us in our past transgressions. If humanity is to ever evolve past abusing animals, we need to erase all concepts of tradition, for tradition is the construct of ego, passed on by generations to eradicate and deter the threat of change. Tradition has never and will never be a valid excuse for the acts we have committed as a species and especially not for the continued murder and consumption of sentient life. In a situation where a non-vegan uses tradition as an excuse ask them: “Is female genital mutilation morally justifiable because it is a tradition?”. “Is the slaughter of dolphins in Japan morally justifiable because it is traditional?” “Is bullfighting morally justifiable because it’s part of culture and tradition?” “With these in mind, do you think culture and tradition are good indicators for our morality?”
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James Cameron
Writer, Director, Producer
"It's not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, destroying the biosphere."
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Our Ancestors Ate Animals
When discussing veganism, one of the strangest yet most commonly used moral justifications for killing animals is that our ancestors used to do it. We often hear people say “you wouldn’t be here if your ancestors didn’t eat meat”, which is not necessarily incorrect but why are we basing our morality on the actions of our ancestors, primitive beings that had no perception of modern day morality and did entirely unethical things such murder and rape without consequence? Surely if eating is animals is acceptable because cavemen did it, then raping and murdering one another today must also be morally justifiable? Ask the non-vegan you are talking to, “do you think it is wise to base our morality on the actions of our primitive ancestors?” or, “if it’s morally justifiable to eat animals because our ancestors used to do it, does that not mean that it must also be morally justifiable to murder each other, as our ancestors use to do that as well?”. If non-vegans really want to live like their ancestors then they would eat a predominantly vegan diet with the exception of some occasional insects. They would also sleep outside, not use technology, speak in primitive and underdeveloped languages, get overly excited by the creation of fire and have incestuous experiences. Another thing people will say similar to the ancestors argument is that “we’ve always eaten meat”. It is such a regressive idea to look into the past for how we should live and basing our actions purely on whether or not we’ve done something for a long period of time is certainly not a good idea, if we did that we would still have slavery and apartheid. If anyone ever brings up the argument “we’ve always done it” ask them, “there was a time when treating a woman as less than a man was all we’d ever done, would that make treating a woman as less than a man morally acceptable today?”. Tied in closely with the ancestors argument is the idea that eating meat helped us evolve into the beings that we are today and because of that it is morally justifiable to continue eating animals. It is common knowledge and widely accepted that we evolved from primates who survived on a diet comprised predominantly of fruits, nuts, leaves and the occasional insects, but our diets have changed and evolved as the environments we’ve lived in have changed and evolved. It is often cited that the reason we are so intelligent now is because we ate meat and many non-vegans claim that it helped us develop and evolve. Even if this is true, it has no relevance to our society today as our brains are not developing every time we eat a big mac, nor are we evolving as a species every time we enter Nando’s. Quite the opposite in fact. As explained in the section of this e-book on nutrition, eating animal products is a hinderance to our health, as opposed to being beneficial. Consuming foods that have a negative impact on our health can therefore not be considered helpful to the evolution of our species. Because of eating animal products, we are dying younger than we would be without them. Couple that with the fact that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation system combined and is the leading cause of rainforest destruction, oceanic dead zones, species extinction, top soil erosion, land desertification and a whole host of other environmental concerns, it quickly becomes apparent that the future of our evolution depends on us not eating animals. The United Nations has in fact stated that the world needs to shift to a plant- based diet in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change. (http:// www.cowspiracy.com/facts/ - for all environmental facts) Furthermore, there are also other theories as to why our brains developed. The first is that we began to eat cooked starchy foods and more carbohydrate dense foods. These starches would have been readily available and with the brain using 60% of the human body’s blood glucose, such high glucose demands would not have been met on a low carbohydrate diet. Another idea is that we expanded our consciousness by consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms which allowed us to access parts of our brain previously unexplored, which therefore ultimately made us more self-aware and intelligent. Now undoubtedly eating animals helped us survive through times of food scarcity but just as the very foundations of much our society was built upon slavery doesn’t justify slavery in today’s world, the fact that eating animals helped us get to this point or helped us survive in the past, doesn’t justify eating animals in today’s world. In contemporary society we don’t need to eat animals or their secretions and in doing so we are shortening our lifespan, destroying our planet and causing an unimaginable amount of unnecessary harm to innocent, living beings.
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Lewis HamiltonF1 Driver
"We all have choices to make and if you are ok with it, then that's you, but I choose to love, to be conscious of what I'm supporting and I refuse to support the companies that buy from those companies killing and torturing animals."
One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson
If the World Went Vegan, What Would Happen to the Animals?
On face value this excuse can seem quite comical but actually I think it’s an excuse that can seem very valid if you don’t know the answer. This excuse is the idea that if we stopped eating animals they would all just be released and cause havoc to our environment, or they’d all be slaughtered and then just discarded. To debunk this excuse all we have to do is highlight the fact that animal agriculture works on a system of supply and demand, when we buy products we demand that more be supplied. Farmers only breed as many animals as they can sell, they’re not going to breed more because it quite simply would not be economically viable. Now because the world isn’t going to go vegan overnight and it will instead be a gradual process over a long period, this means that as more and more people go vegan, less and less animals will be bred in proportion with the rise of veganism. As the movement continues to grow this pattern will also continue which means that when we eventually end up with a vegan world, farmers simply won’t be breeding animals into production anymore. Consequently, we will never end up with a situation where billions of animals are being released into the wild or taken to the slaughterhouse to be killed and then discarded. I’ve even had non-vegans tell me that it isn’t vegan to be vegan because billions of animals would need to be slaughtered, but once we apply the supply and demand logic to this excuse it becomes easy to understand why that statement is entirely disingenuous. The conversation will often then go on to the non-vegan arguing that this will mean these animals will go extinct. This is actually quite an interesting argument as obviously the number of these animals will decline exponentially to the point of extinction. Now there’s a couple of ways of looking at this argument: firstly, the animals that we eat and exploit for food are not natural animals, they have all been domesticated, selectively bred and modified in some way that means they were never meant to exist. Dairy cows have been modified to produce up to ten times more milk than they would naturally. Egg-laying hens have been bred to produce up to 300 eggs a year rather than the 10 - 20 they would produce naturally. Broiler chickens have been bred to grow abnormally large at an incredibly quick rate and sheep have been modified to produce more wool than they would naturally and often give birth to more lambs than they would naturally. Because of these modifications it’s very unlikely that any of these animals would be able to survive on their own in the wild and as such, they would need humans to care for and look after them. Ultimately, we would really end up with a choice of whether or not we wanted to sustain healthy populations of these animals or whether we think it would be more ethical to allow them to no longer exist and instead replenish our eco-systems with their natural bio-diversity. We would also theoretically be able to reintroduce many of the natural wild animals back into their habitats as we would no longer require such huge expansive areas of land for animal agriculture. There would of course still be sanctuaries as well, where rescued animals would be allowed to live their life and there will always be an abundance of people who would be happy to put the time and money into looking after the farmed animals and giving them the care that they need. I think it’s also important to note that many of these animals are not native to the countries which they are artificially bred in to. For example, sheep are not native to America and shouldn’t be there and unfortunately, it’s the natural wildlife who are then the ones who face the consequences of this as their natural habitat is destroyed in order to make way for farming land. Native wild animals are also often hunted and killed in order to protect the farmer’s flocks. I think if someone mentions extinction, it’s important to point out that animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction - and we are in the largest mass species extinction of the past 65 million years. So if they’re concerned about species extinction, they should really go vegan!
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Joaquin PhoenixActor, Activist
"We are all animals of this planet. We are all creatures. And nonhuman animals experience pain sensations just like we do. They too are strong, intelligent, industrious, mobile, and evolutional. They too are capable of growth and adaptation. Like us, firsthand foremost, they are earthlings. And like us, they are surviving. Like us they also seek their own comfort rather than discomfort. And like us they express degrees of emotion. In short like us, they are alive."
Vegan Under Pressure by Jill Nussinow
Human Rights Issues are More Important Than Veganism
It’s funny how when you tell people that you are a vegan activist, or even just a supporter of animal rights, people all of a sudden become the most ardent humanitarians. The excuse “but shouldn’t we be concentrating on solving human issues” is then conjured up in act of defiant justification for continuing the consumption of animal products. But is this a justifiable excuse, should we fix human problems first? One of the key problems with this excuse is it can be applied to anything. If someone was to say “I think it’s really important that we deal with helping the homeless" you could say, “but shouldn’t we be worrying about fixing Syria?” or, “I think we need to address the slashing of benefits for the disabled” one could say, “but shouldn’t we be more worried about the exploitation of garment workers in Bangladesh?”. All of these issues need solving and nothing is achieved by devaluing any of them. Being vegan is as simple as not eating animal products, not wearing animal skin, not purchasing cosmetics tested on animals and not supporting animal exploitation of any kind. So you can be a humanitarian and a vegan. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter and be vegan and you can be building schools and hospitals in impoverished countries and still be a vegan. Being vegan is a passive action, it requires very little from the individual. One of the main issues with this excuse is that it really highlights the underlying belief that many people have, which is that humans are not animals and we exist as separate or superior to the animal kingdom. It is a very clear indictment of the speciesist mentality our society has. And beyond all of this, what most non-vegans don’t seem to realise is that if we all turned vegan we wouldn’t just end animal exploitation, we would end some of the most important human rights issues facing our species today. We are currently growing enough food to feed around 12 billion people and yet in a world of only 7 and a half billion, around 800 million people are living in a state of starvation due to lack of food - food that we have but that we feed to non-human animals instead so that we can eat their flesh. In fact the United States alone could feed every single one of those 800 million people with the grain that they feed to livestock animals. Furthermore, 82% of starving children live in countries where food is grown to feed livestock animals. Going vegan could end this unfair distribution of food. If we all went vegan we would end the exploitation of migrant workers and people in poverty, who work in slaughterhouses out of necessity and have some of the highest rates of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, depression and anxiety in any profession. If we all went vegan we would end the exploitation of tannery workers in India, Bangladesh and other third world countries where 90% of workers die before the age of 50 and have children born heavily disabled due to all the poisonous chemicals required in the production of leather. If we all went vegan we would end the exploitation of tribal groups in the Amazon, whose communities are being uprooted and destroyed so that the animal agriculture industries can destroy more of the rainforest. Going vegan allows us to become more in touch with our innate compassion, if we all went vegan society would naturally become more loving and gentle. How could we hurt another human being if as a society we felt that inflicting suffering onto a chicken was immoral? When faced with the staggering facts that show just how much human exploitation is required to produce the animal products we eat and wear, it becomes obvious that any attempt to devalue the suffering of animals with that of humans is not only disingenuous but ill-conceived. The excuse “but shouldn’t we be concentrating on human rights issues” is not justifiable because being vegan means we ARE concentrating on human issues. If we care about the suffering of humans then we should be vegan. If confronted with this excuse you could try asking: “Do you think it’s strange that we have enough food to feed 56 billion land animals every year, yet there are 800 million people currently living in a state of starvation?” Or, “How does the fact that there is war in the Middle East or people living homeless make it acceptable for you to pay someone else to kill and butcher an animal?"
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Plants Feel Pain
This is an excuse that I hear a lot more often than I ever expected to. Even before I was vegan I never once considered that plants felt pain and suffered when we ate them and yet for some reason since going vegan, this something I am constantly getting told. Firstly and most obviously, it’s important to address the science behind this. A plant lacks a central nervous system, pain receptors and a brain which means that anatomically they don’t have the ability to feel pain. If we also consider that the primary reason human and non-human animals feel pain is to alert us that we are in danger or are being hurt and that we need to escape the situation that we are in, a plant cannot move and thus any pain would be inescapable, making life torturous for any plant. Which begs the question, why would plants ever evolve such a horribly debilitating and destructive characteristic, as it goes against the fundamental purpose of evolution? If we now view the “plants feel pain argument” from a creationist point of view, why would a benevolent and compassionate God give such a horrible curse to plants? Why would he allow them to suffer so terribly, if it served no purpose for their survival? I think part of where the confusion regarding plants and pain comes from is that it is true that they are alive and they conduct various activities at a cellular level, such as tilting to face the sunlight. In fact, plants are capable of doing some truly amazing things, but they do not conduct any activities at a conscious or cognitive level, in essence meaning that plants are not sentient. I think a really good way of highlighting this to people is to point out that plants react but they don’t respond. A venus fly trap shuts itself on to a fly, not because it is consciously aware that a fly has landed onto it, but because it reacts to the pressure stimuli caused when the fly lands onto it. This is why the venus flytrap will close around anything that triggers this response, including cigarettes butts. A cow on the other hand, won’t eat cigarette butts just because someone puts them in their mouth because a cow consciously responds. If we move past the science of whether or not plants feel pain and concentrate on the ethics of the excuse, I am doubtful that anyone truly believes that dropping a cauliflower into boiling water and boiling chickens alive (something that often happens in the chicken slaughtering process) is the same thing. Nobody thinks that slicing the neck of a cow is similar to cutting the stems off a broccoli, or castrating a pig is similar to peeling a potato. But say the person you are talking to is determined that plants feel pain like animals do - it takes up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, meaning vastly more plants are killed in the production of animal products than they are vegan products. On top of this it’s important to note that up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction is due to animal agriculture, meaning that millions of trees have been and continue to be destroyed because of our consumption of animal products. So if the person you are speaking to truly believes that plants feel pain and are sentient, then remind them that by consuming non-vegan products they are not only causing the suffering of animals but also causing the alleged suffering of huge amounts of plants as well. To be honest, if this excuse comes up I often avoid talking about the science of whether or not plants have the ability to feel pain as sometimes people will say, “but science has only gone so far” and they get stuck with that point. Instead, I often just go straight into talking about the amount of crops killed for animal products, so perhaps try asking: “For the sake of discussion, let’s say plants do feel pain, are you aware that it can take up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, so vastly more plants are murdered for animal products than they are vegan products?” You could also ask, “If you were driving down the road and a dog jumped out in front of your car, would you swerve onto a bed of flowers to avoid hitting the dog?” - this reinforces in people’s minds that there is morally a difference between non-human animals and plants, as in that situation we would always choose to avoid the dog and instead hit the plants.
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Do Animals Feel Pain?
Continuing on from the excuse “plants feel pain”, I think it is also important to discuss whether or not animals feel pain, or at least do they feel pain the same as humans, as people do sometimes question this. In fact, I’ve even been told before that non-human animals don’t have brains, which is frightening to hear that people actually think that. We’ve had laws in place for a long time that require that we treat animals “humanely”, now these are quite obviously ineffective, however the point is that we do recognise that if we abuse let’s say a dog, we will be punished for doing so because we understand that the dog feels pain and has the capacity to suffer. If we draw comparisons to the plants feel pain argument, we don’t have any laws forbidding me from going out onto the street and pulling all the petals off a daisy. Another example would be the way that we slaughter animals, now obviously we all recognise that what happens in slaughterhouses is anything but humane - humane slaughter, after all, is an oxymoron. It can never exist. However, what’s important to note is that we do have methods in place that are there to supposedly reduce the suffering of the animals that we kill, the reason that this is important is because that means we acknowledge as a society that the animals we kill have the ability to feel pain and suffer. From a science perspective, non-human animals have the same or at least almost identical areas of the brain involved in processing pain and show similar pain behaviours to humans. When our companion animals are in pain they act correspondingly, showing unusual behavioural traits like rocking back and forth, emitting distress calls and changes in the rate and depth of breathing, such as panting. Humans in pain also display these behaviours. Many non-vegans think that fish don’t feel pain, however fish are scientifically proven to feel pain and have also been shown to adopt uncharacteristic behaviours in situations that provoke pain. Furthermore fish have sensory neurons that are physiologically identical to humans. In fact when morphine has been administered to fish showcasing pain, their symptoms and responses disappeared, like they do in humans. Sentient beings need to be able to feel pain in order to survive as it allows them to escape from dangerous situations and minimise potential injury. So let’s broaden the argument and encapsulate emotional pain into the excuse. We have established that animals feel physical pain but it is also well documented that they experience emotional suffering just like us humans do. Mother cows mourn the kidnapping of their babies by crying for hours, orcas as well have been shown to mourn the kidnapping of their offspring and animals such as dogs have been shown to suffer from separation anxiety when their companion human leaves them on their own. So now that we have established that animals feel both physical and emotional pain, the question becomes but do they feel pain as much as humans do? There seems to be an idea, an ignorant but nonetheless commonly accepted idea, that humans are more capable of suffering because we deem ourselves to be more intellectually sophisticated. There is however no evidence to support the argument that we suffer greater than non-human animals - and in fact it is plausible that it would be more correct to assume the opposite of this. If we compare the suffering that say a dog would go through breaking their leg, compared to the suffering a human would go through, it could be argued that a dog would suffer more because of certain cognitive differences. A human would know what the problem was and would know that it could be easily treated and that the pain will end. A dog on the other hand wouldn’t understand what had happened in the same way and would be greatly confused by the pain and wouldn’t have the same understanding that the pain will at some point end, arguably making their experience of the same event worse. But really it is entirely irrelevant the degree of pain an animal feels, it could be more than humans, it could be less. We all feel different degrees of pain but that realisation doesn’t justify inflicting unnecessary pain. You might feel less pain than I do but it wouldn’t then be acceptable for me to intentionally harm you. It doesn’t matter what experience of pain you have only that you are capable of having a feeling that you don’t want to have. The same applies to animals, the fact that they can experience pain means that they have a preference to avoid it and by default, it is our moral obligation to ensure no unnecessary pain is caused to any living creature.
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Humans Are at the Top of the Food Chain
The food chains within nature are incredibly important, they symbolise something that is part of the natural order and exists within an eco-system. They help to maintain healthy populations of animals and ensure that the natural ecology is balanced. What we do to animals when we selectively breed, artificially inseminate, mutilate and farm them, before driving them in trucks to the slaughterhouse where we hang them upside down, kill them and drain them of their blood is about as far removed from nature as possible and does not resemble anything like a food chain. The food chain that we have created for ourselves is a human construct to try and conveniently justify an entirely unnecessary act - it ignores the complexity and interdependent web of life that forms our ecosystems. It is an appeal to nature fallacy that overlooks our ability to make moral decisions and instead claims that our actions are predetermined for us entirely by biological determinism. It is a concept that we have conveniently constructed to assert and confirm our position as the dominant and most powerful species. It allows us to slaughter trillions of animals every year under the illusion and defence that it is a part of the natural world. We believe that because we have placed ourselves at the top of a hierarchical system we then have the right to exploit any we deem beneath us. Every human atrocity committed has come under the illusion of self-appointed power, whether it be Nazis believing they are superior to Jewish people, white people believing they are superior to black people, one religion believing they are superior to another religion or humans believing that they are superior to animals. The food chain excuse adopts the ‘might means right’ way of thinking, with people believing that because we have the physical ability to enslave and exploit others we are then morally justified to do so. But being in the position of power means that we have a responsibility to care for the vulnerable, we have a moral obligation to care and look after those weaker or less able than we are. The food chains in nature exist because they have to. The predator needs to kill the prey to survive. We don’t have to kill anyone to live, which means that we don’t have to use our dominance to kill others, we can use our power to look after others and create a better world - in fact, we have a moral obligation to. As humans we have moral agency, which means that we can make decisions based on a notion of right and wrong and most importantly we can be held accountable for the actions that we make. Our moral agency dictates to us that when we are in a situation where we have the choice to not inflict unnecessary suffering we can and should be held accountable if we actively choose to inflict unnecessary suffering instead.
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We Are More Intelligent Than Animals
As a species we pride ourselves on our intelligence and we have achieved some truly incredible things, but unfortunately the idea that intelligence defines worth of life can often become one of the main driving forces as to why we justify raising and killing animals. Straight away this idea creates a whole host of problems, for starters pigs have been shown to be more intelligent than dogs and in fact have the same cognitive abilities as a three year old human, so surely we should be eating dogs, not pigs? Moreover, the animals that we eat, the cows, sheep, chickens, etc are vastly more conventionally intelligent than many other animals that exist with us on this planet, so if we did eat animals according to their intelligence we would instead be living off of insects. But if you think about it, if we eat specific foods according to their intelligence then we should be eating the least intelligent species, which are actually plants. Plants are the least intelligent species that exist as they lack the cognitive abilities that animals have, meaning that if we truly believe in the intelligence defines worth of life excuse then we should all be vegan anyway. I used the phrase “conventionally intelligent” earlier because one of the other issues with this excuse is that intelligence is largely subjective, as Einstein famously said, “If you judge a fish on their ability to climb a tree they will spend their whole life believing that they are stupid.”. But when you think about it, what exactly does intelligence have to do with worth of life? Why would someone who is more intelligent be more deserving of life? It doesn’t make any sense. As a species most of us are very quick to take credit for work that others have done, people say “but other animals have never built spaceships and been to space” - to which I ask “have you ever built a spaceship and been to space?”. Or people say “but we have written symphonies” - to which I ask “have you ever written a symphony?”. When someone brings up the intelligence argument, ask them: “Does intelligence define worth of life?” “Is your life worth more than someone who has learning difficulties?” “If intelligence equals dominance does that mean that anyone with a high IQ can do what they want to someone with a lower IQ?” “A pig has been shown to be more intelligent than a dog, does this fact mean that you will stop eating pigs and start eating dogs instead?” I think it also has to be said that for all of our intelligence and technological advancements, we arguably do the least intelligent things of any species. We are the only species that is destroying our planet, the only home that we have. We mindlessly consume without looking at the impact our actions are having. We are destroying the rainforests and the ocean at a frightening rate and we are polluting so much that our world is literally being destroyed in front of us and yet so little is being done to safeguard the future of even our own species. If you look at our actions, they certainly do not represent the actions of an intelligent species.
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Why Farmed Animals Should be Grateful
When it comes to livestock animals people seem to use the excuse, “if it wasn’t for us these animals would never have been given a life, they should be grateful.” - let’s start by applying this logic to humans. If a child is born into an abusive family, where he or she is regularly beaten, is never fed and eventually dies from all the abuse, would we think “well at least that child’s parents gave them a chance to experience life?” Or, how about a Syrian child who has only ever known violence and fear. He sees his family killed by war and in an attempt to escape from the literal hell of his existence joins other refugees in making the dangerous journey into Europe by boat. But the boat sinks in the ocean and the child, scared and confused as to why such a horrible existence had been given to him, drowns. Should that child be grateful for the fact that they had the chance to exist? Would we be grateful? What about a woman who is born into human trafficking and spends her whole life being prostituted, should she be grateful to her captors? What about non-human animals? If I breed dogs into existence and then I mutilate, abuse and kill them, am I a good person for giving those dogs an experience of life in the first place? If I breed cats and then lock them in metal boxes that they can’t escape from, never allow them to go outside or breathe fresh air and then hang them upside down and cut their throats, am I now a morally righteous person, because without me those cats would never have been alive? Ask the people you are talking to those questions. Put the animals that we love in the position of the animals that we eat and ask whether we are still good people for giving them an experience of life. I find this excuse to be an incredibly arrogant one as it’s an excuse that only the oppressor could ever use. It’s an excuse that only someone who is living a comfortable life could use, because nobody who has experienced genuine suffering would ever claim that someone should be grateful for a life of pain. The simplest and most obvious way of deducing whether this is a good argument is to tap into our empathy. To really understand whether the so called ‘life’ we are giving to these animals is such a favour we need only put ourselves in their position. Put it this way, you’re given the opportunity to exist, but in return you will be taken away from your mother, be forcibly impregnated repeatably and each time you give birth you will have your children taken away from you. You will be in unrelenting pain, get excruciating infections and be abused by the people that hold you captive. When you are finally too weak to carry on, you collapse before being dragged to your own death, where you are hung upside down, have your throat slit and bleed to death. Would you accept that life? Would you be grateful and say “thank you, how kind. If it wasn’t for you I would never be given this wonderful opportunity!”. This excuse is used as if the animals that we raise to exploit, abuse and slaughter should be grateful, as if we are some benevolent, selfless species that deserves praise for all of our good deeds. Do you think that a pig whose entire life is spent in confinement, with huge periods of time trapped inside a farrowing crate too small for her to even move or turn around in, should be grateful? Would you be grateful, watching your children being taken away from you and mutilated in front of you? What about being castrated and having your body parts chopped off, now do you feel indebted to the oppressors that created you? These are all questions you can put to non-vegans when they state that animals should be grateful for being brought into this world by humans. The life that we give to these animals can barely even be called a life, in the eyes of these animals, they are in hell. They have nothing to feel grateful for. We do the most evil and unimaginably horrific things to these innocent creatures. We treat them as objects that we have dominion over, we inflict unspeakable violence onto them and yet we still have the audacity to say that they should be grateful to us for the life that we give them. The egg-laying hen kept in a cage should be grateful. The calf murdered for dairy should be grateful. The coyote killed for fur should be grateful. The pig killed in a gas chamber should be grateful. The cow that has a knife against their throat should be grateful. The fish dragged out of the ocean should be grateful. The animals tested on in laboratories should be grateful. The only time any of these animals feel a sense of gratitude is when their life is over and the pain and suffering inflicted upon them is over. The only gratitude these animals will ever feel is knowing that they’ll never again have to look into the eyes of the species that thinks it’s okay to treat them as commodities. Ask the person who uses this excuse, “do you think you could go to a slaughterhouse look an animal in they eye as they are about to be killed and tell them that they should be thanking you for their life?”
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Can't We Just Improve the Welfare of Animals?
Most consumers of animal products declare that they care about the wellbeing of animals and even go so far as to agree that the way we raise and kill animals is cruel. This is partly why many people choose to pay extra for free-range eggs and organic animal products. I was the same before I was vegan, I would always buy free-range eggs as I believed that the hens had lived a happy and fulfilled life. In fact, if people tell you that they buy free-range, or choose to buy animal products that are labelled as being high welfare, this can actually be a point that can be used in our favour, as it shows the person does have compassion for animals on some level. But let’s see, does the ‘humane’, ‘high-welfare’, ‘RSPCA-Assured’, ‘local’, ‘organic’ excuse morally justify exploiting and killing an animal? Well, taking an egg-laying hen out of a cage and into an overcrowded barn is about as helpful to the chicken as giving a prisoner a pillow to put his head on whilst he’s being waterboarded and labelling him as a ‘humanely tortured prisoner’. Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who drugged his victims before he killed them, so in reality the people he killed weren’t aware they were going to die, they didn’t suffer and they didn’t feel pain (where have we heard those phrases before?) - does that mean he was a humane serial killer? Was he a high-welfare, ethical murderer? The reality is, it doesn’t matter what privilege or treatment the animals receive, if they are destined to be killed, exploited or abused in anyway then there is no ethical or humane way in which to treat these animals. The only humane method of slaughter is to not slaughter. The only happy chickens are the chickens that get to live a free life, truly free, not free-range. Humane slaughter is an oxymoron, as is high welfare murder, or happy exploitation. Now there is of course an argument that improving treatment for animals is better than keeping it the way it is, in the same way that taking paracetamol for a broken arm is better than not taking anything, but it’s not going to make the problem go away and it certainly doesn’t provide any real relief. In fact, what these welfare changes actually do is ease the conscience of the consumer, which is very dangerous as not only does it reinforce the idea that there is an ethical way to exploit an animal but it allows the consumer to buy a product and think that in doing so they are giving an animal a happy life. This is why it’s so important we don’t perpetuate these notions of welfare because to do so is an injustice to the animal who is still suffering. It’s important that when we are talking to non-vegans we have clear message that states “there is no right way to do the wrong thing” and if someone mentions free-range eggs or something similar, say something a long the lines of, “buying free-range eggs shows you care about animals, however did you know that free-range is sadly a marketing ploy as the animals are raised in huge barns where the vast majority are denied access to fresh air and sunlight - and the male chicks are still ground up alive and ultimately all of the hens still end up being slaughtered?”. Free-range is a deceitful attempt by the egg industry to lure customers into believing their product is more ethical and morally righteous than caged eggs and in doing so they can charge more money for the product. High welfare is a scam to make people think that the animal lived a happy, good life but as we all know, it doesn’t matter what label is on the product, the animal died in the same slaughterhouse using the same method as all the other animals on the shelves. In fact ask the person you are talking to about this, say “are the animals raised on small local farms taken to different slaughterhouses, or are they killed in the same way factory farmed animals are?”. The issue is, it doesn’t matter how nice a life an animal has, the moment we exploit them for what is rightfully theirs and eventually take them to the slaughterhouse or to the yard to kill them, that is abuse. Animals don’t want bigger cages or larger barns, they don’t care whether or not they’re grass-fed, or organic. They don’t want to be RSPCA-Assured or Red Tractor Approved, because those labels are there for us, the consumer, to ease our conscience. All the animals want is to be free, truly free. Not free-range, not free to pasture 4 - 6 months of the year. Free to live their lives in their entirety, without fear of human inflicted pain, suffering or exploitation. It always strikes me as strange that when people campaign against eating dogs in Yulin, they don’t campaign for the animals to be kept in bigger cages, or to be free- range. Nobody ever asks for the dogs to be killed in a more humane way. We demand that the festival be abolished. If it was RSPCA-Assured labrador steaks would that be acceptable? What about Red Tractor approved minced poodle? The purposefully misleading marketing terminology printed on animal products holds no veracity compared to the actual treatment of the animal who was exploited, murdered and packaged up neatly for consumers to eat free of any guilt or culpability. I think it’s really important to highlight these points to any non-vegan who says we should improve conditions or states that they buy animal products from happy farms or humane slaughterhouses. You could always ask the person you are talking to, “can we humanely kill an animal?” - this is actually one of my favourite questions. If the person believes there is a humane way to kill an animal, remind them that the word humane means “having or showing compassion or benevolence”, so re-phrase the question and ask, “how do we compassionately, benevolently or humanely take the life of an animal that does not want to die for an unnecessary reason?”. So now let’s consider improving the welfare of animals from an economic perspective. The monetary system that we have in place, capitalism, ensures that we exist in a system that values profits and economic gain. Do we really believe that a system that teaches people that it’s acceptable to exploit other humans and indeed our environment for their own gain is going to invest potential profits into securing high- welfare standards for animals? If humans are treated as a commodity by the corporations and big businesses then how can we plausibly allow ourselves to be brainwashed into believing that animals will be treated with respect and decency? But as we’ve already established, if we’re using an animal for our own gain, we are by default not treating them with respect and decency. So if the corporations aren’t going to invest their money into improving welfare standards that would mean that the price of animal products would have to rise and the consumer would have to pay extra. Most people simply aren’t able to pay extra for their food and many won’t when they don’t have to. Furthermore, if we did move towards a system of “idyllic” family farming, with grass-fed free-range animals, it would just simply not be environmentally sustainable to meet the world’s demand for animal products. There is simply not enough space on the surface of the planet. What this would also mean is that animal products would only become available for the rich and wealthy, making it a luxury and highly sought after product. This is one of the reasons why I really frown upon organisations like Compassion in World Farming, as their end goal not only still means animals are suffering but it is inherently classist, as it creates a world where the rich and wealthy are able to buy products that most of society can’t - and it takes us back to the days where eating animals was a sign of financial dominance. So to conclude, even if we did somehow improve the standards of welfare for factory farmed animals, whatever kind of paradox that may be, that would still not justify continuing to consume animal products.
U.S. Farm Subsidies Database
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
Respect. Resources to advanced veganism.
Morality is Subjective
If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’d ever heard the phrasing “but morality is subjective” before I went vegan - and now it’s something I hear quite a lot and yet every time I hear it I always feel slightly astonished. If morality truly was subjective then there would be absolutely no need for a judicial system or prisons, there would be no such thing as good or bad as all behaviour would be completely acceptable. This is really how you can argue against the “morality is subjective” argument, by simply stating that if it was true then murder, rape, arson, theft, etc would by default all be completely moral and acceptable. Ask the person you are talking to, “if you believe morality is subjective, would it therefore be acceptable for someone to murder their partner?”. You could also ask, “using the morality is subjective argument, is it then acceptable for me to beat and kill a dog?”. If you wanted to you could even ask, “if you believe that morality is subjective then would it be justifiable for someone to murder you?”. I think one of the main arguments for why morality is subjective is because animals don’t live under any apparent set moral code, but this is not entirely true, animals do adopt a system of ethical conduct. Many animals display embarrassment, sorrow and regret. These emotions can only be exhibited if the animal understands that their behaviour was wrong in the first place. If no moral code existed then no animal, including humans, would feel regret or guilt, because we would never understand that what we had done was wrong. Unnecessary murder is immoral, we don’t need religion or science to know that. Abusing someone is immoral. Causing intentional pain or suffering to anyone for no necessary reason is immoral. We know these things because within us all exists an understanding of what is right and wrong, we can become blinded by conditioning but all we have to do is put ourselves in the position of the victim to understand why the action of hurting another cannot be morally justified. What morality really comes down to is the awareness of a victim. What is moral should be defined by whether or not what is being done has a victim that is suffering unnecessarily. I believe morality is as simple as “Would I want that done to me? And if not, what right do I have to do it to another?”. H. L Mencken stated: “morality is doing what’s right regardless of what you’re told. Obedience is doing what is told regardless of what is right.”
Consider VeganismInfographics
Livestock covers 45% of the earth’s total land.
Everything in Moderation
I’m tying in the “everything in moderation” argument with the idea of Meatless Mondays as both support the idea that reducing animal product consumption makes it both healthy and ethical. Let’s start with the health argument, when people say “everything in moderation”, or “a little bit of cheese or meat is healthy”, I normally respond by saying, “If something is bad for you, it’s bad for you. It doesn’t matter if you consume a lot or a little, it’s still bad for you. Now, you could smoke one cigarette a month and it wouldn’t give you cancer or kill you but that cigarette is still bad for you. Likewise, you could eat a slice of bacon once a month and although it wouldn’t kill you, it is still inherently bad for you.”. You could then go on to say, “the great thing about plants is they contain all the good nutrients and vitamins associated with animal products but they don’t come with all the incredibly unhealthy aspects like cholesterol, trans fat, hormones, antibiotics, etc.”. Now let’s turn our attention to the ethical implications of this argument. Veganism is the only social justice movement where people try and incorporate the idea of moderation or reducing as a viable solution. We would never consider it acceptable for a racist to simply reduce how much they were racist, or for a misogynist to simply reduce how often they oppress women. The reality is, it doesn’t matter how much or how little someone does these things, there is still a victim who is being impacted. This is why it is not morally justifiable to only reduce the amount of animal products we consume, as even if it is ‘only’ once a week there is still a victim who is being negatively impacted for an unnecessary reason, this is precisely why moderation or reduction is not an ethical compromise, because it means nothing to the animal who is still being exploited and killed. Claiming that eating flesh or animal products in moderation is ethically responsible validates the idea that using animals is normal and morally admissible. Let’s put this into perspective, most people who claim “everything in moderation” normally have a diet that consists of cow’s milk on their cereal and morning coffee, followed by a ham and cheese sandwich or something along those lines for lunch and probably another coffee with cow’s milk during the day. For dinner it will be cow flesh, or chicken flesh, or pig flesh, maybe some roast potatoes cooked in an animal’s fat. Afterwards it could be a dairy desert and then not to mention the snacks and biscuits that have dairy butter in them or the chocolate bars that have even more cow’s milk in. This diet resembles anything but moderation but this is the sort of diet that the majority of people in the UK consume on a daily basis. To bring this discussion back to the ethical side of the moderation argument, animals are still being murdered for no justifiable reason. No animal that gets murdered is grateful because the person that eats their flesh believes they do so in moderation. The animal is still dead, their life is still over and no amount of moderation or reduction changes that fact. If you are having a conversation with someone and they try to morally justify eating animal products by saying they do so in moderation or claim that they have reduced their consumption, ask them why. If they mention that it’s for ethical or environmental reasons then I think it’s important to praise them for reducing their consumption but at the same time don’t enable it and make sure to highlight how morally that still isn’t acceptable or good enough. Say something like “it’s great that you have reduced your animal product consumption for ethical reasons, but have you thought about how even though you may not be consuming as much as you used to, you are still paying for animals to be exploited and ultimately slaughtered?”.
Reducing SufferingResearch Blog
51% of greenhouse gas emissions are due to livestocks and their byproducts.
You Can't Be 100% Vegan
I think of all the excuses used against veganism this is actually a very important one and something that as vegans we need to be aware of. It is absolutely true that it is almost impossible to be 100% vegan in this world - for example the production and harvesting of crops does cause the death of animals like aphids, caterpillars, moths, worms, flies, locusts - and even birds, mice and rats. Where this argument falls apart is that it is used to suggest that if you can’t be 100% vegan there’s no point in trying at all, or more to the point because animals sometimes die in crop production it is therefore acceptable for us to breed, raise and kill animals intentionally. By this argument a fireman could be at a burning building about to go in and save a baby but then he realises that there’s also another person in there that he can’t save. So he decides that since he cannot save both, there is no point in saving either of them and leaves the baby to burn to death. Or a coastguard sees a group of drowning children but realises that it won’t be possible to save all of them, so he allows them all to drown instead of trying to save any of them. It’s like me saying, “well I can never be a truly 100% morally just person, so why bother trying to be a good person in the slightest?”. Or, “well I’m not a kind person all the time so why bother being kind at all?”. What this argument really boils down to is intention. When we buy animal products we are intentionally paying for someone to exploit and kill an animal, when we buy plants we are not. If an animal dies in the production of plants that is unintentional and as we can all agree, entirely regrettable. If someone was driving their car and they accidentally hit a dog, that would not be the same as if they purposefully drove after the dog until they ran them over. The logic behind the argument “it’s morally justifiable for me to pay for an animal to be killed because animals sometimes die in crop production” is stating that morally, accidentally hitting the dog is the same as purposefully hitting the dog, as it ignores the intention. It also states that because animals are sometimes killed accidentally by cars, it is therefore acceptable to purposefully run them over. When talking to a non-vegan who uses this excuse, ask them “morally, is there a difference between accidentally hitting a dog with your car and purposefully hitting a dog with your car?”. When they say yes, then ask them “so by that logic is there morally a difference between an animal accidentally being killed in crop production and an animal purposefully being killed in a slaughterhouse?”. Also, make sure to remember that vastly more plants are used in the production of animal products than they are vegan products, so be sure to say “if you care about the animals that are killed in crop production you should be vegan because vastly more plants are needed to create animal products, which means vastly more animals are killed in crop production for non-vegans than they are for vegans.”. This excuse also misses one of the biggest points of veganism, which is that we don’t need to eat animals or their secretions to live, hence why we don’t. The reason that insects and small animals die in crop production is not because we all want to eat them but because we do need to eat plants in order to sustain a healthy life. Ultimately, veganism is about minimising the damage done to animals as much as is possible and practicable, it’s not about being perfect. I think non-vegans often try and paint veganism as a pursuit for perfection as it makes it seem completely unobtainable, idealistic and not grounded in reality.
Vegan StatisticsStatistics
90 million tons of fish are pulled from the oceans each year. 3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted.
The Liberation Pledge
Pledge to live vegan, and refuse to sit where animal's bodies are being eaten.
What if a Vegan Was Stranded on a Desert Island?
The desert island excuse is without doubt a firm favourite for many non-vegans and I hear that due to the booming number of vegans winding up on desert islands there’s actually now a really successful falafel and hummus pop up. The idea of this excuse is that it seeks to create the illusion of hypocrisy in veganism. Non-vegans that use this excuse want to come to the conclusion that in a life or death situation, even a vegan would value his or her own life above that of an animal’s and therefore it is morally justifiable for them to continuing consuming animal products. Obviously, if someone was stranded on a desert island, vegan or not, they would seek to find fruits and vegetables first and if there were animals roaming around that we could kill, there would also presumably be vegetation that we could eat as well. Let’s be honest, if anyone did just randomly get stranded on a desert island their chance of survival would be incredibly low. Even if there was an animal there, most of us wouldn’t know how to kill them, butcher them and cook them, for this reason I would become friends with the animal. At least that way I would have a friendship and someone to spend time with as I slowly died from starvation and lack of clean drinking water. On a serious note, nobody can really judge what they’d do in a survival situation and there have been documented cases where humans have eaten each other in order to survive. The most important thing here however, is that just because humans have killed and eaten other humans for survival, doesn’t mean it is moral for us to kill and eat each other in a normal environment. This is really the main point of the rebuttal, because even if someone was forced to kill and eat an animal in a life or death situation, this provides no moral justification for eating animal products in everyday life. The reality is, we are not stuck on a desert island and therefore we do not need to kill and eat an animal out of necessity. We do however, live in a society where we are surrounded by an abundance of vegan foods, so morally this argument proves nothing. By creating an environment or a situation where every choice or possibility is an unsavoury one, non-vegans are trying to find solace for the fact their diet causes unnecessary and unjustifiable suffering to another living being. The desert island excuse is a way of reaffirming the myth that we need to eat animals to survive by creating an extreme situation with no satisfactory moral choices, and then transposing the conduct that one would find acceptable to commit on a desert island into everyday society. In essence it comes down to this, none of us are stranded on a desert island so the excuse is redundant and there is no moral correlation between killing an animal out of necessity in a life or death situation and killing an animal for nothing other than greed and selfish desire. The real question and the question you should ask the non-vegan you are in conversation with is, “why would you allow the destruction of our planet to continue, the needless slaughter of innocent animals to continue, the death of starving children to continue and the deterioration of your own health to continue when it is entirely unnecessary?” .
Google TrendsStatistics
To produce 1 Hamburger: we need 660 gallons of water, it’s equivalent to showering for two months
Being Vegetarian is Enough
When I was a vegetarian I was actually guilty of thinking this for a time before I turned vegan, I thought I had cut out supporting the murder of animals from my diet and that I didn’t need to go to vegan. The problem with this excuse is that even though most vegetarians cut out animal flesh for ethical reasons they are still hugely unaware of the atrocities committed to animals and don’t know the full extent of the ways that we exploit animals, I know that I certainly wasn’t aware. I became a vegetarian believing that animals shouldn’t die for food but I came to this conclusion without researching anything into the slaughter or treatment of animals. I hadn’t watched any slaughterhouse footage and I didn’t feel the need to because in my eyes I was no longer contributing to those systems of violence. I, like many others, was under the illusion that free-range eggs were ethical and that the treatment of dairy cows was humane. I never considered that female cows needed to give birth to produce milk, which really shows the power of the dairy industry and the propaganda that they feed to us. I remember even thinking that it isn’t necessary to become a vegan. I was very wrong. By being a vegetarian we still contribute to the needless torture, abuse and slaughter of animals. Being vegetarian quite simply isn’t enough, especially if the person believes that they are an ethical person. In the egg industry male chicks are a useless byproduct and they serve no use to the industry. So as soon as they are hatched they are thrown by the thousands into industrial grinders where they are minced apart, or they are gassed alive. These are new born babies and their first and only experience of life is being killed. Think of the confusion and fear these chicks feel as they are callously mistreated, thrown onto a conveyor belt and dropped into a grinder or into a machine designed to gas them to death. It’s so important to emphasise that all male chicks are killed regardless of what system of egg production it is. This happens in caged, free-range and organic facilities. Tell people that if they eat eggs they are by default paying for the murder of baby chicks. You can do this by saying something like, “what do you think happens to the male chicks in the egg industry, bear in mind that they are of a different breed to chickens raised for meat and are not suitable to be reared for their flesh?”. Furthermore, if people bring up free-range eggs, ask them “do you know what a free range egg farm looks like?”. You could even go so far as to ask, “do you not think free range could be a marketing ploy to make you buy a product with an eased conscience?”. Remember, free-range eggs still come at the use and abuse of hens. They still often have their beaks trimmed and even though legally they have to have access to the outdoors, many never leave the barn and are unable to access sunlight or fresh air in their entire lives. Even in free-range barns, hens only have on average the space of an iPad each and are crammed together, forced to stand on top of one another. In fact, farmers can legally house 16,000 birds per barn in the UK, which means they can legally house 9 birds per square metre of space. Many hens can’t cope with the stress of being genetically modified to produce 300 eggs per year instead of the 10 - 20 they would naturally, leading to them becoming malnourished and sick with diseases such as osteoporosis. In fact it is reported that more than 45% of egg laying hens break a bone at some point during their lives (http://www.landofhopeandglory.org/facts). Cannibalism is also a big problem on egg farms, with ill and dead birds being pecked at by their fellow birds. After the hens are spent, normally after 72 weeks, they are thrown into crates and are driven to a slaughterhouse, where they are then hung upside down and their throats are slit. Some hens survive this ordeal and are submerged in boiling hot water still alive and are boiled to death. The dairy industry is equally disgusting, like male chicks, newborn male calves are useless to dairy farmers and so they are taken away from their mothers normally within 24 - 72 hours of birth, some are even shot, killed and discarded immediately. The ones that are not shot will either be raised for veal, or they’ll be sold into the beef industry and raised for their flesh. The male calves that are slaughtered for veal are hung upside down and have their throats slit when they are still babies, the veal industry would not exist if it wasn’t for the dairy industry. Furthermore, like humans, cows only produce milk when they have given birth so female cows are forcibly impregnated using a process called artificial insemination in order to make them pregnant. If the calf is female she will also be taken from her mother only a few hours after being born. When people mention dairy I always like to ask, “why do you think a cow produces milk?” - as so many people I speak to simply don’t know why. You can also ask people, “what do you think happens to the calves if we’re drinking the milk that’s made for them?”. Or, “what do you think happens to the male calves in the dairy industry as they don’t produce any milk?”. Dairy cows have also been selectively bred to produce up to 10 times more milk than they would naturally. This overuse of their udders leads to painful infections such as mastitis, which can also cause pus and blood to be filtered into the milk that humans then drink. When they become too weak, or are unable to bear anymore children or produce anymore milk, they are taken to the slaughterhouse, where their throats are slit and they are left to bleed to death so that their flesh can be used for cheap meat products. Trapped in a hellish cycle of forced impregnation and forced lactation, repeatedly abused and exploited by the farmers, dairy cows, who in nature can live up to 25 years, die normally after only 4 to 5. For me this is one of the easiest ways to convince an ethical vegetarian, just explain to them that all the animals in the egg and dairy industries end up in the slaughterhouse. You should also explain the suffering animals endure in the clothing, entertainment and cosmetic industries, as vegetarians often support these systems too (I was a vegetarian that wore leather and went to the zoo). With dairy I always like to ask things along the lines of, “don’t you think it’s strange that we drink the milk from another species of animal, whose milk is actually meant for their babies and not for us?”. Or, “would you ever suckle on the udders of a cow yourself?”. Or, “would you ever drink pig milk, or rat milk?”. Now obviously being vegetarian still contributes massively to the suffering of animals, but many vegetarians are simply not aware of this, so any conversation with a vegetarian is a great opportunity for spreading veganism.
Farm Sanctuaries ListSanctuary
Livestock is responsible for 60% of Nitrous Oxide emissions (296x more destructive than cO2)
Hitler Was a Vegetarian/I Once Met a Mean Vegan
Of all the excuses that meat eaters use to invalidate veganism this one is possibly the most unusual. I’ve grouped the ‘but Hitler was a vegetarian’ excuse with the ‘I once knew a vegan who wasn’t very nice’ because they both revolve around dismissing an entire movement and philosophy of life based on the actions of an individual. First and foremost, Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian, I believe some of these ideas came about because Goebbels wanted to make Hitler seem likeable by creating comparisons between him and Gandhi, who was a vegetarian. But that fact is neither here nor there when addressing the question because even if Hitler was a vegetarian, what exactly would that prove? The idea behind this argument is that because one of the most evil men in history, who committed vile atrocities, cared about animals, then by being vegan you too will probably undervalue humans as a consequence of your views towards animals. Quite obviously this excuse is beyond absurd. Chairman Mao, Mussolini and Stalin all ate meat and committed unforgivable crimes. So by the logic of the ‘but Hitler argument’, vegans could say you better become vegan because Stalin ate animals and if you eat animals you'll be just like Stalin. If you are ever in a situation where someone actually uses this argument genuinely, I would first suggest that you take a moment to pause and take a deep breath, then say “actually Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian, but even if he was how does that morally justify you eating animals and their secretions?”. You could also remind them that you are vegan, not vegetarian - and that you oppose the philosophy of vegetarianism as it perpetuates the needless slaughter of both dairy cows, male chicks and egg-laying hens. If you think about it, fascists believe that they are superior to others based on entirely superfluous notions of heritage, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Likewise, people eat animals for entirely superfluous notions as well. Now, obviously non-vegans aren’t necessarily fascists but if there are comparisons being made, slaughtering trillions of animals for an entirely unnecessary and immoral reason is much more in line with the behaviour of the Nazis than eating plants and advocating for all life to be treated with respect and compassion is. Needless to say, I would not recommend insinuating that the person you are talking to is in anyway a Nazi or a fascist! But nonetheless, the Hitler excuse seeks to set up an association between not eating animals and being evil, which can be a dangerous comparison to draw if someone was to believe that Hitler was actually a vegetarian. But to any rational minded individual, it is quite clearly a ridiculous argument as it could be just as easily argued by this logic that because Hitler brushed his teeth or used a car anyone who does either of those things is by default a psychopath. I think the real issue with this excuse is that it attempts to demonise the vegan movement by associating it with the complete opposite of what it really stands for and for this reason I find this excuse more than just the outlandish argument it first seems. So let’s take this excuse and focus on the next element of it, which is “but I once knew a vegan who wasn’t very nice to me”. This argument follows the same idea that because someone who was vegan wasn’t very nice, they therefore invalidate the entire movement and everyone who is a part of it. Now for obvious reasons this logic is very flawed. For instance, I was once shouted at by a ticket inspector on a train in Hungary because there was a misunderstanding surrounding my ticket. Does that now mean I am morally justified to believe that all Hungarian men are not very nice? Or does that mean every ticket inspector on every train isn’t very nice? I once had an altercation with a lady in New York who told me she hated British people, I must now be morally justified to not like all New Yorkers, or even all women? The reality is, we have all had bad experiences with people at some point in our life, but to then believe that you can look down upon or judge on an entire demographic of people based on that one experience is obviously not logical in the slightest. Say that to the person you are talking to - “do you think it is sensible to judge an entire demographic of people based on the actions of one individual?”.
Consider The EggEducational
A person who follows a vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide.
🐜 Easy Guide For Vegan Nutrition
What About Farmer's Jobs?
So this is actually a slightly tricky argument, as it’s an important issue and one I imagine will be used more frequently as the vegan movement progresses. When someone brings up the issue of farmer’s livelihoods I normally say something like, “you’re absolutely right, we do need to consider the livelihoods of farmers, who are often born into the farming community and have never known anything different in their lives and have never questioned the morality of what they do.”. The reason I do this is because it makes us seem reasonable. Most people see farming as an idyllic, traditional job and we’re fed an idea of good, honest farmers struggling to make enough money to survive. Now this may not be strictly true, but it is what people believe and I think the most effective way of dealing with this is to acknowledge that farmer’s livelihoods are at risk and are therefore warranting of some consideration. When I first went vegan I had the mindset of “well I don’t recall anyone saying we shouldn’t close down Auschwitz because all those SS officers will lose their jobs, and they have families to feed” but it didn’t take too long for me to realise that this may not be the best outreach technique to use. The issue with farmers is that they are the ones directly enslaving, mutilating and profiting off the exploitation and death of animals and as such, it can be hard for us to want to address the issue of their livelihoods because the most important thing for us is to end the exploitation of animals as quickly as we possibly can. What we have to be considerate of though, is that these farmers are doing a job that they are being demanded to do, they are fulfilling the wishes of the consumer. Now, undeniably there are truly evil farmers who deserve no sympathy or consideration - I’ve spoken to other farmers who agree with this. The issue is most farmers are doing what they are told to do and operate under what is deemed legal, many were also born into farming families and consequently have been conditioned and indoctrinated into a certain way of life and genuinely believe that farming animals is completely ethical and moral. So as vegans we are left with a moral dilemma because we all readily acknowledge that the reason good people perpetuate systems of violence towards animals is because they have been conditioned to do so, but the same logic applies to farmers as well, who have also been conditioned into these same systems of violence. What this fundamentally means, is that farmers need to be given some form of consideration that shows they’re not entirely morally culpable for the life that they have been given and I think an awareness of the fact their jobs are at risk fulfils this need. One thing you can say to the person you are talking to is, “I agree that the issue surrounding the livelihoods of farmers is something that needs addressing but do you think that the life of animals and the planet is more important than money?”. For me this is really what it boils down to, money or life? Obviously, the life of an animal is far more important than money and most people will agree with that, but they need to be asked the questions in order to realise it. So I guess this leads us on to the discussion of what do we do about farmer’s jobs? There are a couple of things that can be done, firstly and most simply farmers can switch to arable farming and produce only plants. This is an entirely plausible solution for some farmers and in fact it has already been done by a number of farmers, including a cattle farmer who recently gave all of ‘his’ herd to Hillside Animal Sanctuary - and he now runs a fully vegan farm. The Vegan Society will offer help and financial support to any farmers who want to make the transition, so that’s always a really good thing to tell the person you are talking to. Another way of supplying the funds to farmers looking to make the transition is through tax subsidies. For me this is probably the most important thing that needs to happen to safeguard farmer’s livelihoods. So currently a proportion of our tax money is given to farmers to help financially support what they do, the issue is though, the majority of the subsidies go straight to dairy and animal farms, which is one of the reasons why animal products remain affordable. If the subsidies were removed it would cause huge problems to those industries. What needs to happen, is the subsidies that are given to animal farming need to instead be put into plant farming, this would drive the price of animal products up, making them less accessible and less affordable and bring the price of plants down, making them more accessible and more affordable. It would also mean that these subsidies could be used to help and financially support animal farmers transition over to plant farming instead. However, there will be farmers who can’t switch to producing plants as their land won’t be suitable for arable farming. This inherently means that they will probably end up losing their job as a farmer, but it was always going to be inevitable that would happen for some farmers. What is most important here is a sense of perspective, a job or a livelihood does not provide moral justification for enslaving, mutilating and profiting off the death of animals and in this situation the hardships of a farmer finding a new job is nothing compared to the life of suffering and fear that animals have to endure in the farming industries. What also strikes me as disingenuous, is for the most part people don’t ever normally care about whether or not their actions are jeopardising the jobs of others. For example, if you use the self-checkout machines in supermarkets you are jeopardising the jobs of the cashiers as their job becomes redundant. Another example that you could say to someone is “would you advocate for everyone to smoke cigarettes because if nobody smoked all the tobacco farmers and people employed within the cigarette industries would lose their jobs and their livelihoods?”. If they say no, you could follow up with “why do you think the job of an animal farmer is more important than the job of a tobacco farmer?”. Furthermore, not everybody is going to stop eating animal products overnight, the shift will be gradual, which means farmers wouldn’t be put out of jobs immediately and this would instead provide the perfect opportunity for them to phase into a different career. Also, when it comes to livelihoods and jobs, it’s only ever farmers that are mentioned, nobody ever expresses a concern for the jobs of slaughterhouse workers. In fact sometimes non-vegans say to me, “how could anyone ever do a job like that?”, or “you have to be a sick person to work in a slaughterhouse.” - that really irritates me as people who work in slaughterhouses generally do so out of necessity, not because they want to - and the only reason those jobs exist is because consumers buy animal products. Slaughterhouse workers are often immigrants or working class people who have little to no other options. They suffer from some of the highest rates of PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide and drug and alcohol abuse in any profession and suffer huge psychological issues as a result of killing animals. Abolishing animal agriculture would be a liberation for these people as well as for the animals.
Carnism DebunkedArguments
Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US
7 memes for quick vegan sources of nutritional needs
Eating Animals is the Circle of Life
This excuse is similar to the food chain argument in the sense that it operates under the belief that our consumption of animals is morally justified because it is part of some natural order and as such, we are merely fulfilling our responsibility as a species within the animal kingdom. Claiming that eating animals is the circle of life is a contradiction because animal agriculture is the circle of continuous unnecessary torture and death. Life is the exact opposite of what the animal agriculture industry is. The only two moments of life that are certain are our birth and our death and this is really all the circle of life actually refers to, everything that is born must indeed come full circle and die as well. What happens between these two events is variable and has nothing to do with a preordained circle of life. The concept of the circle of life is used by non-vegans who are trying to assert that humans are entitled to kill animals because of a pre-ordained natural order that is out of our control. They are essentially arguing that just because everything that lives must die, it therefore means we are morally justified to intentionally take life. This would theoretically mean then that we are justified to take any life that we want, in any manner that we choose because after all, it is the circle of life. I could needlessly murder a dog, I could needlessly murder a cat, or indeed, I could needlessly murder any animal for that matter. Using the logic behind the circle of life argument you would be morally excused for murdering a human as well. If someone you are talking to brings up the circle of life argument ask them, “by the logic that we are morally justified to slaughter animals because all life dies anyway, would it therefore be acceptable for me to cut the throat of a dog?”. It’s also interesting how the circle of life argument only applies to us killing non-human animals, it doesn’t also transpose to when humans kill other humans, or indeed to when non-human animals kill humans. When we hear about a shark or a crocodile killing a human we don’t sit back and say, “oh well, it’s the circle of life, what is born must one day die!”. No, we get angry and we send hunters or fishermen to try and kill the animal in an act of vengeance and because we fear that animal may go on to kill more people. If a human murders another human, we arrest them, punish them and send them to jail. However, if we are to subscribe to the logic of this excuse then murder would not be a crime or a punishable offence because death is inevitable and for that very reason it is acceptable to take the life of anyone we wish. If the needless murder of animals is justifiable because of the circle of life, then that means the needless murder of any animal is justifiable, not just the ones we conveniently want this logic to apply to. Furthermore, if the basis of the argument is grounded in what is perceived to be natural then that still provides no justification for how we raise, farm, exploit and kill animals as the systems that we have created couldn’t be further detached from nature. How can forcibly impregnating cows so that we can drink the milk that was designed to feed their children, be natural? It defies nature. How can raising animals in cages and then gassing them or anally electrocuting them so we can wear their skin be considered natural? How can putting cosmetics and toiletries into the eyes of animals and burning their skin with corrosive substances be morally justified through the idea of the circle of life? All of these things defy any notion of the circle of life, because the circle of life claims that what we are doing is intrinsically linked to nature but in reality, what we do couldn’t be further removed from the natural world. If we add to this the fact that 15 of our top 16 killers are caused by eating animal products it becomes apparent that it’s not only the circle of death for animals, but for us as well (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30gEiweaAVQ).
Sacred Scrible: StencilsActivism
110 animal and insect species are lost every day from rainforest destruction.
Animals Are Bred to be Killed
I’ve always struggled to understand how we have granted ourselves the right to decide what purpose another living being has. It really does epitomise the arrogance of our species that we think we have the right to decide why an animal is alive and what their life should be used for. I think it perfectly demonstrates just how much we have victimised and devalued non-human animals. The truth is, just because we have decided what will happen to an animal doesn’t mean what will happen to them is morally justifiable. Many people breed dogs into existence with the sole purpose of raising them for dog fighting, does that mean that dog fighting is moral because those animals were bred for that purpose? In some countries it is legal to have sex with an animal and there are even animal brothels, where you can pay to rape an animal. Using the ‘bred for a purpose’ excuse it must therefore be perfectly moral to have sex with an animal in a brothel as those animals were bred with that purpose in mind. This argument also completely avoids the fact that the animals that we exploit have a preference to live their life and wish to avoid feeling pain and fear, in their eyes they have no awareness of the reason they were bred and their desire to live is exactly the same as an animal that was born without a ‘purpose’ for humans. If you are having a conversation with someone and they use this excuse, ask them “Is dog fighting therefore moral if the dogs were bred with the purpose to fight?”.
1 to 2 acres rainforest are cleared every second
Soya Farming is Destroying the Environment
I haven’t talked that much about the environmental aspects of veganism and I think it is pretty much unanimously agreed that a vegan diet is significantly better for the environment than a non-vegan diet. In fact, the United Nations stated not so long ago that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, everybody needs to shift to a plant- based diet immediately. However, one environmental argument that many people often cite is that soya farming has environmental consequences such as rainforest destruction and habitat loss. Now undoubtedly the environmental impact and destruction caused by soya is massive, but we need only consider that 85% of the soya that is grown is fed to livestock animals - and that’s a conservative estimate. This pretty much dispatches the argument immediately as we can sustainably produce enough soya for human consumption - the issue surrounding soya farming is that such vast quantities are produced to feed livestock animals, which is why it’s bad for the environment, not because vegans consume soya milk. If someone brings up the soya argument say, “you’re right, soya farming is destructive for the environment, but did you know that over 85% of the soya grown is fed to livestock animals? It’s because of animal agriculture that soya is currently so destructive.”. You could also go on to say, “as you are worried about the environmental impact of soya farming, do you think you will give up animal products now that you know they are the main reason for the destructive elements of soya farming?”. I think another important thing to mention is that the soya that is used in foods for humans isn’t just used in vegan favourites such as tofu. It’s found in cereals, processed foods, breads, sauces, mayonnaise, animal flesh products, chocolate, sweets. Basically soya is predominantly used in non-vegan foods. Furthermore, something a farmer said to me not so long ago was “well you can go and enjoy your gm-soya!”. Interestingly however, if you actually look, many vegan soya products are advertised as using non-gm soya, or at least the ones here in the UK are. The majority of the gm-soya is grown to feed livestock animals, so if someone ever tries to use that as an argument (although I doubt many people will), remember to tell them that. So it’s pretty obvious that if people are really concerned about the environmental destruction caused by soya farming then it would be hypocritical of them if they don’t become vegan. Lets also consider that 1 - 2 acres of rainforest is cleared every second for animal agriculture and that animal agriculture, including livestock and their byproducts are responsible for up to 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to just 13% for the whole transport system combined. Basically there is no such thing as an animal eating environmentalist or a vegetarian environmentalist for that matter. If you care about the environment then you have to be a vegan, it’s that simple. When talking to an environmentalist it’s so important to emphasise this information to them, as most environmentalists still aren’t vegan - but why is this? I think one of the main reasons is because people expect governments and corporations to be the ones leading the change when it comes to the environment and it becomes incredibly easy to point the finger at businesses that exploit the environment and blame them for all the issues we are currently facing, rather than looking at our own actions and assessing whether or not we are doing everything we can as individuals. I think when we talk to non-vegan environmentalists we need to empower them to understand that as individuals we have the power to make all the difference and we can’t expect politicians and CEOs to implement real change. We need to tell them that it’s up to us the consumer to lead the change and even though absolutely our governments need to switch to renewable energy and stop taking handouts from oil and natural gas lobbyists, it’s hypocritical of us to demand change if we aren’t willing to make simple changes ourselves.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of amazon destruction
12 Plant Foods That Are High In Protein
Going Vegan is Expensive and Restrictive
Vegan diets have become somewhat synonymous with the idea of restrictive eating, people view vegan food as limiting and there is also a misconception that vegan diets are expensive and elitist. Let’s start with the idea that veganism is a restrictive diet. Since becoming vegan I eat a much larger and more varied range of foods than I ever did before and I’m cooking with ingredients I’d never heard of. Becoming vegan encouraged me to broaden what I eat and if anything I now view being non-vegan as restrictive. You can also point out to the person you are talking to that you still eat the same meals that you used to. You still have pizza, spaghetti bolognese, mac and cheese, curries, nachos, burritos, etc in fact you can veganise pretty much any non-vegan meal. So there’s no way that veganism can be restrictive because you can still eat the same foods that you used to, the only difference being they are now made from plants. So a vegan diet is anything but limiting and for that matter it is anything but extreme. This word extreme is often used to describe vegans but the irony is for the first time my lifestyle is the opposite of extreme. No longer do I eat death, no longer does my food come from animals that screamed in pain as they were murdered. No longer am I eating foods that are the product of enslavement and torture. Those things sound extreme. Not fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, legumes, nuts, potatoes, etc - foods that grow naturally and that don’t scream in agony. How can a vegan diet be extreme, when it consists of eating foods that prevent and cure disease, foods that increase the longevity of our lives, foods that give us more energy and help us to live more harmoniously with animals? Non-vegans eat products that give them an abundance of illnesses and diseases such as cancer and heart disease, their foods come from buildings called slaughterhouses and are produced from animals that were mutilated and enslaved. Now that sounds extreme. So, how about “but vegan food is expensive and elitist”. If you go into any supermarket, the most expensive foods tend to be the flesh and cheese and the cheapest foods are the beans, rice, potatoes, pasta, lentils, etc. Since going vegan I actually spend less money on food than I used to, as the majority of my diet consists of ingredients like oats, starches, carbohydrates and vegetables, all of which are among the cheapest foods you can buy. The only time where vegan food can be more expensive is when buying the substitutes, for example, frozen vegan ‘chicken’ nuggets are still more expensive than non-vegan chicken nuggets, but this is to do with supply and demand. As more people go vegan and buy those products, the cheaper they will become. You can now get soya milk for the same price as cow’s milk and the vegan cheeses in supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco are the same price if not cheaper than the cheese made from cow’s milk. You can also get vegan burgers and vegan mince for pretty much the same price, so even the substitutes are becoming more accessible and affordable all of the time. A vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to be eating expensive organic fruits or going to juice bars, the foundation of a good vegan diet is affordable and accessible foods, which are much cheaper than animal products. Plus when I used to handle flesh, I would hate it, it was slimy, smelly and I’d have to wash my hands and surfaces afterwards. Now when I handle fruits and vegetables I love it, they’re so colourful and vibrant, all you do is give them a rinse and they’re good to go, I don’t have to scrub my hands clean once I’ve chopped them. Now that I’m vegan I look forward to cooking, I used to view it as a chore but now it’s one of my favourite parts of the day. This brings us to the final point, as vegans we always get asked by non-vegans why we eat animal product substitutes if we don’t want to eat animal products. As much as I hate the thought of eating animal products now and it makes me feel sick and very uncomfortable, I, like most vegans, didn’t become vegan because I disliked the taste of animal products. Before I became vegan I loved KFC and cow flesh burgers, I loved halloumi and Domino’s pizzas - but I realised that there are more important things in life than my sensory pleasure. As a species we have to understand that justifying our actions by the fact that we find enjoyment in them is not acceptable if it negatively impacts the lives of others. Vegans eat animal product substitutes because we enjoy the texture and the flavour - and it’s even better because no animal had to die or be exploited for our enjoyment of them.
🐦 Protein Myths Debunked
2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef.
3 Vegan Options For Getting Vitamin B12
We're Omnivores/We Have Canine Teeth
This is without question an excuse that is used a lot to justify exploiting animals and it is one that we have to deal with on a regular basis. Interestingly, the way that I approach this excuse has actually changed a lot from when I first started advocating for veganism. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that we are actually not natural omnivores and are instead much more closely related to herbivores and frugivores - this was the argument that I would always make when discussing the omnivore excuse. The problem I found though, was that the conversation would often lose focus and become only about whether or not we are omnivores, rather than whether or not it is morally justifiable to kill animals. People are indoctrinated their whole life to believe that we are natural omnivores and this was something that I ardently believed for most of my life. I think often when people hear vegans say that we aren’t omnivores it makes them think that we are deluded and ignoring basic biology and then they struggle to see the arguments that we make as being credible. The reality is, it is entirely irrelevant if we are natural omnivores or not, it provides no moral justification for us to exploit animals as just because we can do something, does not mean that it is ethical for us to do it. If someone believes that we are an omnivore then by default that means that we are able to obtain energy and nutrients from plants and as such, we are able to sustain life from plants alone. Consequently, that means that there is no necessity for us to eat animals and because there is no necessity it cannot be morally justified. Ask the person, “if we are natural omnivores, which means that by default we can survive only on plants, how do we then morally justify taking the life of an animal as by your own admission it is unnecessary?”. The canine argument is definitely one of the most amusing justifications that people try and use but before I was a vegan I remember using the canine argument myself and truly believing that my canines made it acceptable for me to pay for someone else to kill an animal on my behalf. The quickest and easiest way of debunking this argument is to point out that a hippopotamus has the largest canines of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous. Other herbivores with sizeable canine teeth include the gorilla, the saber- toothed deer and camels. Our canines are not capable of tearing raw flesh or killing animals and instead are there so that we can bite into hard, crunchy plants (like apples!). If someone you are talking to brings up the canine teeth argument, ask them, “hippos actually have the largest canine teeth of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous, do you still think that canines grant you the right to pay someone to kill an animal for you?”. Also, just because we posses a physical ability that allow us to do something doesn’t make that action moral. So just because we can physically put animal products in our mouth and digest them does not therefore mean that it is an ethical thing to do. For example I can physically clench my fist but that doesn’t mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone. Ask the non-vegan using this excuse, “do you think that because we posses a physical attribute that allows us to do something, we are therefore morally justified to do it?”. If they say yes you could then ask, “I can physically clench my fist, does mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone?”. I think it’s also important to look at and know why there is an argument that we are not natural omnivores because it does sometimes come up and it is important to know. So the most important points that I use are that our teeth are flat and blunt and are capable of moving side to side, as a natural herbivores are. Our stomachs have weak hydrochloric acid in them, compared to natural meat eaters who have strong hydrochloric acid and the intestines of an omnivore are 3 times shorter than ours, which is important as animal products are devoid of fibre. Also, if we were naturally meant to kill animals we would be able to do so with ease, but the reality is, if we were given a pig that we had to kill using only our hands and teeth, at best we’d probably give the pig a tickle. But let’s say we did manage to kill the pig, how would we then butcher the pig and eat them? What about the organs, like the intestines and brains, the cartilage, the tendons and ligaments? As a natural animal eater we wouldn’t be picky about the bits of the animal that we ate, the whole animal would look appetising to us. Yet how many news articles or images have we seen where people are outraged because they found a chicken’s brain in the KFC they were eating? True animal eaters don’t find the body parts of the animals they are eating abject, they see the body parts as food - and aren’t repulsed by the gore.
Links to info regarding common protein myths
We could see fishless oceans by 2048.
10 Plant Foods That Are High In Calcium
My Friends and Family Will Judge me if I go Vegan
First of all lets address the friends part of this excuse. People’s friends have no control over the actions or decisions that they make in their life and at no point should friends stop anyone from following their morals and becoming vegan. However, it is important to also note that peer pressure is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with, especially when someone feels like they are being mocked or laughed at. What’s so important to realise though is nobody should ever let the opinions of others stop them from following a way of life that is morally right. I think what makes the friends situation particularly hard is that so many social interactions either revolve around food or at least involve food and as such, people don’t want to isolate themselves from their friends by avoiding situations that involve food. Fortunately, this situation is getting easier all the time as more and more places are introducing vegan options and vegan menus and the concept of veganism is becoming increasingly normalised. There is also a huge community of vegans both online and offline and if someone is struggling with their non-vegan friends or wants to go vegan but is worried about their friends, encourage them to join online vegan groups or to go to vegan meet ups where they can meet likeminded people. So let’s now turn our attention to the family aspect of this excuse. If I had wanted to become a vegan when I still lived at home with my parents it would have been an incredibly difficult time for me to do so. My family, as much as they have no objections to me being vegan apart from the stereotypical worries about my health, have not amused the idea of becoming vegans themselves for many of the reasons this e-book has covered. In regards to people being concerned about their family members questioning their veganism or mocking their ethical choices, I can understand how for some people this can be really difficult. If the person doesn’t live at home anymore then of course their family questioning their desire to become vegan shouldn’t stop them from becoming vegan. However, if the person still lives at home it can make going vegan a lot more difficult than it would be otherwise. I think the hardest part of trying to go vegan around your family is not necessarily their judgements, it’s the fact that you have to watch the people you love actively committing immoral acts in front of you whilst also poisoning their bodies at the same time. If the person you are talking to still lives at home then encourage them to try and show their family why it is they want to go vegan, perhaps ask them if they can show their family documentaries or YouTube videos. You could also encourage them to cook for their family in order to show them that vegan food is delicious, affordable, accessible and healthy. I think a lot of the time parents and family just don’t understand veganism or why someone would want to go vegan, so it’s important that the person is knowledgeable in why they want to go vegan so that they can properly talk to their family about it. Also, remind them to never forget that the pain and suffering the animals go through, the damage animal products do to their health and the environmental crisis we are currently facing are all far too important to be dismissed because of unreceptive friends and family. But most importantly, emphasise to them that there is a huge, supportive community that is always available to offer support, advice and help so if they feel isolated or alone because their friends and family are making them feel uncomfortable, then tell them that they can talk to the community because being vegan means they are never truly on their own.
For 1 pound of fish, up to 5 pounds of unintended species are caught.
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God Says That I Can Eat Animals
In my experience religion is one of the hardest excuses to argue against because people believe they have been told by a God that they are allowed to eat animals. This unfortunately means it can be incredibly hard to convince someone who is religious because in their eyes they are merely following what they believe they are allowed to do. When we discuss veganism with someone who is religious I think we have to be cautious to keep the argument focussed and not make it about the religion itself but how the person’s religion doesn’t justify them killing animals. First and foremost, in no religious doctrine does a God say that we have to eat animals, he says we can if we need to but not that we have to. This means that religion still doesn’t provide a necessity for us to exploit animals and as such it still remains unnecessary and therefore impossible to morally justify. A question I like to ask people who mention religion is, “if we don’t have to kill God’s creatures do you not think a kind, compassionate, benevolent God would rather that we didn’t?”. I will often say, “when Jesus was alive there was not the abundance of foods that we have now and it is plausible that Jesus would have had to eat animals to survive. However, we have progressed so much as a society that there is no longer a necessity, so do you not think that in the eyes of an all loving God, he would prefer it if we didn’t kill his creatures if we don’t have to to survive?”. Part of my frustration with religion is that, unlike the consumption of animal products, it is a personal choice and as such when people use a belief to condemn an animal to a life of suffering and pain it does not come close to making that action moral. Using a religious belief to justify killing animals is exactly the same as using a religious belief to oppress homosexuals or women. In fact, if the logic “my religion says I can eat animals” makes eating animals moral, then by default the argument “my religion says it’s okay to treat homosexuals or women as less than me” must also make oppressing homosexuals and women moral. I also don’t think God would be happy with what we are doing to his creatures and the planet that he made for us. Could you imagine if you had a piece of wood and you thought “you know what, I’m going to make my friend a lovely table out of this, they would really like that.” For the sake of argument let’s pretend that you spent 6 days making it for your friend and on the 6th day you looked at all you had made and it was perfect. So you give your friend the table and they claim to be so appreciative, they say “thank you so much, you have given me this table and I will forever be grateful to you”, but then right in front of your eyes they take a sledgehammer and start destroying it. Would you be happy about that? Because this is what we are doing to God with the earth. We claim to be incredibly grateful for the planet and all of the life that he has created, yet we are destroying everything he made for us right in front of him. He created non-human animals and we say thank you to him everyday by driving them to extinction and killing them by the trillions. We have even genetically modified his creatures, in essence playing God ourselves, because the creatures he created for us weren’t suitable for what we wanted from them. Furthermore, we go against God’s wishes by taking the milk from mothers that he designed specifically for their children. In what reality would a God be happy that we forcibly impregnate his creatures and take their babies away from them just so that we can take something that he didn’t design for us in the first place? In what reality do we think that a God would be happy about us murdering his creatures when it serves absolutely no necessity? How can a God be pleased with us destroying the beautiful rainforests that he spent time creating just so we can produce more cattle that we then needlessly slaughter? Why would a God create such an intricate marine eco-system, where each species of fish is as important as any other, but then be happy to watch us destroy it right in front of him? In 50 years we have decimated shark, dolphin and whale populations and in the past 40 years we have wiped out 50% of all wildlife on this planet. Now one of the main issues with using religion as a justification for anything really, is that religious texts are often very ambiguous and of course open to interpretation, this is partly the reason why some Christians believe it is a sin to be gay, whereas others don’t. This same ambiguity can also be seen when turning to the Bible for moral guidance on whether or not we should eat animal products. One of the main passages that people use from the Bible to justify eating animals is “every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green planet.” - but this is often taken out of context as the passages goes on to read “only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood”. Furthermore, in Genesis the Bible states: "And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”. Amos 6:4-7 states: “Woe to those who stretch themselves upon their couches and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall. They shall be the first to be exiled.”. Furthermore, Ecclesiastes 3:19 states: “For what happens to people also happens to animals—a single event happens to them: just as someone dies, so does the other. In fact, they all breathe the same way, so that a human being has no superiority over an animal.”. There are a multitude of passages from the Bible and indeed in the teachings of all the mainstream religions that further reinforce the idea that no religion mandates the consumption or exploitation of animals. Sometimes one of the simplest questions to ask someone who is using religion as an argument is to ask, “do slaughterhouses look like the work of Jesus or the Devil?”. Hell is described as a place of eternal suffering, torment and pain and yet all you have to do is watch slaughterhouse footage to see that they too are places of eternal suffering, torment and pain. For the animals, a slaughterhouse is hell and no benevolent God or prophet could ever condone what happens inside them. A question that I often ask to Christians is, “if Jesus and the Devil were locked in a room with a baby lamb, which one would kill the lamb?”.
80% of antibiotic sold in the US are for livestock.
6 Plant Foods That Are High In Vitamin C
One Person Can't Make a Difference
One of the most worrying aspects of this excuse is that if everyone had this attitude absolutely nothing would ever get done. Imagine if Mandela, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King had said “but one person can’t make a difference.”. Of course one person can make a difference. In fact, sometimes it only takes one person to make a difference and to inspire a thousand minds. A movement is always made up of individuals and it’s the cumulative effort of these individuals that creates change. In America 400 million less animals were killed in 2014 compared to 2007 and it is estimated that the average person eats around 7,000 animals in their lifetime, which proves that every single day you live vegan you do make a massive difference. It really comes down to the idea of supply and demand, every time we buy a vegan product we are changing what is being demanded and voting with our wallet for the kind of world that we want to create. As more and more people demand vegan options, more and more vegan options will be produced, this is already happening! This is exactly why there is now vegan cheeses in mainstream supermarkets and vegan menus in high street restaurants. There is no denying that this movement is growing exponentially and this is because thousands of individuals are looking at their own actions and making the switch to veganism. After all, we are morally accountable for the actions that we make as individuals and regardless of what other people are doing, we have a responsibility to address the impact of our own actions and assess whether or not our lifestyle choices need to be changed. By going vegan you’re fiercely stating “not in my name” to the industries that use and kill animals. If everyone had always had the attitude “one person can’t make a difference”, then we would still have slavery and apartheid. It’s precisely because individuals, who at that time represented the minority, stood up and spoke out against these injustices that progress was made. It’s now up to us to do the same in order to save the animals, the planet and indeed ourselves.
Busting the Myth of Incomplete Plant-Based Proteins
More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.
7 Plant Foods That Are High In Vitamin A
Vegetarian Protein Is Just As 'Complete' As Meat, Despite What We've Been Taught
We are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people.
10 Plant Foods That Are High In Zinc
The Myth of Complementary Protein
82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and eaten by other countries
🐼 Burnout / Emotional Support
PCMR: The Protein Myth
As many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year.