Anti-vegan media bias

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After the so-called “vegan” parents (who used cod liver oil) neglected their child, now the accused murderer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn is being identified as a vegan animal-rights activist, even though it doesn’t seem to have any relevancy to his motive. Interestingly, according to this AP article, he doesn’t sound like a super-hardliner and Fortuyn had “reasonable views on the bio-industry… Fortuyn believed that new agricultural policy needed to be animal friendly.”

I never really noticed it before, but there is a pretty disturbing media bias in reporting anything to do with veganism.

74 Responses to “Anti-vegan media bias”

  1. cmi

    just wanna say your site is awesome! hehe, i can’t believe that there is a site out there about vegetarian and that kind of things =). surely enough, i’ll add this site to my link list ^_^. i’ll support your vegan goal =D. go for it. i’m a vegetarian since little, if ever need any tips in cooking, i can help you out =). just let me know. have a nice day always ^_^. remember to *SMILE* ^______^.

  2. Lee Saretsky

    eat meat!!!!!!!!!, everyone should, its a way of life. Its a way of controlling the animal population.

  3. Ryan

    No, a way of controlling the animal population would be to stop breeding them for food and let them procreate as they were intended to.

  4. lee s

    stop breeding are you insane? that’s w way of life for many, many farmers. you city people have no idea what farm life is like, meat doesn’t just appear in packages, thats someones job, ya’know!!

  5. Ryan

    My point is that the previous poster’s assertation that eating meat is a way to control the animal population is absurd. We wouldn’t have to “control” it ourselves if we weren’t breeding so many to begin with. Besides, it’s not family farms that would be hit by a decrease in breeding for food purposes — it’s the factory farms which are doing a pretty good job themselves of killing off family farms.

  6. Spanky

    whoa tiger, ok here’s the skinny my vegetable loving morons. animals bred in capyivity, stay in captivity, they’re born and raised to be eaten. now… animals in the wild… if we were to say outlaw hunting. animals in the wild would breed and breed and breed… the amount of roadkill would increase greatly as there would be more or our happy fuzzy ‘lil forest buddies trying to cross the street. animal attacks on people would increase. with more animals out there the more likely they are to wonder into public areas with people who haven’t a clue what to do when i a male elk feels his territory is being threatened by them. not to mention any diseases some may carry, with a larger animal population it makes for more animals to carry and spread something.
    you get the point? probably not. your type are usually close minded veggie fascists anyway.
    but look if you really wanna make room for the animal population and you care so much… kill yourself and your family and give a deer your home.

  7. Ryan

    Of course, if you had actually read anything above your own post, you would have noticed we didn’t even approach the topic of hunting. We’re talking about factory farming and animals that are bred strictly for food production. And “they’re born and raised to be eaten” is the lamest argument I’ve ever heard, yet I keep hearing it… who determines that they’re born to be eaten by us? Seems to me that they’re born to… live, perhaps?

    Next time, please remove your head from your ass (and get yourself a book on grammar, while you’re at it) before posting.

  8. Micah

    First, I thought Spanky’s comments were funny.

    Secondly, I have no problems with vegans per say. I only have a problem with vegans who try to push their ways and beliefs onto me forcefully. This isn’t just for vegans, this is anything forced upon me. You can tell me, you can give me literature, you can give me all the facts, figures, and info you want to. Just make sure you guys dont try to force feed us your beliefs.

    Third, I do eat meat. No matter if you’re highly religious ((God ate meat btw)), or a Darwinist ((Read up on evolution and our teeth structures)) you can see that meat may be murder to you, but not to everyone.

    In Closing, cool site. Glad to see vegan sites ((everyone should have their place to go on the web)).

  9. Sarah

    You think humans were made to eat meat????

    How about the fact it has to be cooked thoroughly before consumed to kill all germs and bacteria that are living on it, and cover it with chemicals and salt to keep it edible. And even then people still get ill.

    Do you see carnivores in the wild cooking meat before they eat it? No i didnt think so. Thats because they have a much stronger stomach acid than us to kill these DEADLY germs, and a significantly shorter digestive system so rotting meat inside them can be expelled before it makes them ill.

    Are your canines so long they stick out from your lips? Does the human jaw move up and down simply like a wolf, or can it move around in all directions, like a cow that is meant to chew grass?

    There are scientific reasons why humans shouldnt eat meat, not to mention the fact it gives us raised blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. Even if meat wasnt made from dead animals, I still wouldnt put that crap in my body.

  10. Christy Taylor

    i love being a vegan! it’s so much healthier, plus i have a free consience about killing animals. none of my friends are vegan, so they pick at me for it, but i stand up for it. if anyone has this same prblem at school, please let me know. i’m 17 1/2 and i live in Ft.Collins, CO., so i’m sure i’m not the only one. go vegans!!!!

  11. Lucas Taylor

    It should be known that eating meat is natural.We did not evolve canines and bicuspids for nothing.They are for tearing flesh. Homo sapien is naturally ominivorous so not eating meat is unnatural. Also please do not criticize misspelled words.

  12. Ryan

    It should be known that eating meat is natural.We did not evolve canines and bicuspids for nothing.They are for tearing flesh. Homo sapien is naturally ominivorous so not eating meat is unnatural.

    This is such a tired argument. Show me a human being that can tear raw, uncooked flesh.

    Recent research seems to indicate that the development of canines was more likely as a defense mechanism. But even if we did develop them to tear raw flesh, we no longer can now which might indicate an evolutionary move away from eating meat.

    Indicating that a vegetarian diet is “unnatural” is absurd. Countless studies have proven that a healthful vegetarian diet is every bit as good or better than a healthful omnivorous diet.

    Also please do not criticize misspelled words.

    Any reason? They often reflect a poorly thought out argument from someone who doesn’t care enough about what he says to check his spelling (typos are one thing, but consistent misspellings are another).

  13. Michelle

    In regard to the original topic about an anti-veg slant in the media; we’ll of course there is. Anything that goes against the mainstream strikes fear into the hearts of the mindless followers of celebrity, fashion, and sports fetishes. There’s so much misinformation surrounding veg*n diet and ethics it’s a wonder that self-proclaimed red-blooded yank doesn’t light their torches and grab a pitch fork immediately.

    Anything that deviates from the standard jingoistic, pseudo-partriotic, consumerist American ethic is both feared and mocked. Plus, Americans hate to “deny” themselves anything. Most are greedy and selfish and would rather perish than forgo anything they derive a visceral pleasure from (food, buying stuff, watching TV, etc.). That’s why we have such high rates of obesity and huge personal debtload and are loathed by most of the rest of world.

    Throw a mindful, self-effacing, conscience driven vegan up in front of this group and expect the fearmongering and willfull ignorance to fly.

  14. davey

    ((God ate meat btw)) No, I don’t think that he did- GOD does not eat, as he’s never posessed a physical form outside of his self-carnation as Jesus, who’s never been recorded as eating meat.
    Before the fall in the Garden of Eden, there was no death. It was unknown to the World. Tigers and bears did not ate neither wildebeest nor bunny, because they didn’t kill, and no animals died naturally for predators to feed on.
    It stands to reason, then, that Adam and Eve did not eat dead things.
    The first chapter of Daniel tells the story of young Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego committing themselves to a Vegan diet.

    Where did you get your information from? If your sources are biblical, I want verse and chapter. I’d also like to know where Darwin addressed human tooth structure and a correlation of such to meat consumption.

  15. JJ

    Bottom line for me, fwiw… the way the food chain works, animals eat each other, we are at the top of the food chain and eat other animals.

    That’s life and that’s it as far as I’m concerned. Oo, I know let’s go the whole hog and try to stop animals ripping each other apart since it’s far more cruel than us slaughtering them ;-)

  16. Ryan

    For me, the “food chain” argument has always been a lazy justification for eating meat. It’s like throwing your hands up and saying, “Eh, what can we do? We were put here to eat beings lesser than us.”

    The point is not whether or not we are supposed to eat meat, it’s whether or not we need to, given all the pain and suffering that go into modern meat produciton.

    Because, really, if we’re at the top of the food chain, shouldn’t we be a little less cruel about the way we raise and kill the animals we’re “supposed” to eat?

  17. JJ

    1) You’re completely ignoring the way of the world. Animals eat ‘lesser beings’ than them, so what’s your stance on the rest of the animal kingdom then? Should we try stopping other animals from eating ‘lesser beings’ than themselves, since we are ‘at the top of the food chain’?

    2)If the human body was designed to function optimumly without meat then why do vegeterians advocate taking supplements to replace nutrients found in meat?

    3) Since you are citing cruelty in meat production as a reason to stop eating it, are you implying that if animals were killed in a completely humane fashion then it would be fine for us to eat them?

  18. Ryan

    1. We have the capacity to appreciate suffering and make a conscious decision to not contribute to it, something that most “lesser” animals don’t. So, yes, we can eat meat. We also could kill mentally challenged people because they are “lesser” than us. But we don’t. And we don’t need to eat meat to thrive.

    2. The fact is that many people, vegetarian or not, need to supplement because of inadequate amounts of one type of nutrient or another. The only real nutrient that vegans need to supplement is B12, which used to be readily available in the soil and we consumed when we ate unwashed vegetables. Unfortunately, because of the pesticides and other toxins that have found their way into the soil, this isn’t exactly a good way to get our B12 any more. Fortunately, it’s one of those vitamins that we need very little of, so getting it is easy with a combination of supplements and foritified foods.

    3. For me, no. But that is one reason that many people stop eating meat. I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I see that whether or not eating meat is “natural” doesn’t matter… for me, I can thrive (and, indeed, be healthier) with a vegan diet. It’s a simple way to avoid contributing to the pain and suffering that animals go through to wind up on one’s plate.

  19. Tiffani

    I have to agree with Ryan on this. I also want to emphasize one of the sentences in the second point he made:

    “The only real nutrient that vegans need to supplement is B12, which used to be readily available in the soil and we consumed when we ate unwashed vegetables.”

    If anybody considers a vegetarian or vegan diet unnatural because of the need to take supplements, please note that the only reason you don’t is because the bacteria that lives in animal flesh and milk produce B12. These bateria used to be abundantly present in the soil before current sanitary standards were implemented. If you don’t want to take supplements or fortified foods, grow your own plants and don’t put chemicals on them and don’t wash them thoroughly. I’d rather take a pill or drink some soymilk.

    As far as ALL of the arguments on this site, I think you have the right to say them, but please note that every single one of them has already been addressed thousands and thousands of times. If you’d really like a deep debate about motives for veganism, I suggest that you quickly read up on the PETA faq and then come back. Then I’m sure we’d all be more than happy to ask any new questions. The site is http://www.peta.net.

    Bias in the media – people always argue whether there’s a conservative or liberal bias in the media. I personally consider there to be a “mean, greedy people” bias in the media. So whatever side of the political spectrum you’re on, you’re likely to attribute it to the opposite side. But yes, I do believe that most meat eaters are ignorant (purposefully or not) and those who are not are mean, greedy, or defensive. So it would make sense that the media would address veg*nism negatively. Every time you see an (even slightly) positive representation of veggies, I URGE you to right to the station encouraging them. If anybody saw House, M.D. last week, this would be a good opportunity!

  20. James Peterson

    I would encourage all (vegan or not) to watch this video of helpless peaceful sheep. http://www.ingridnewkirk.com/archives/2005/03/an_offer_theyll.html

  21. Ryan

    I linked that video up on the sideblog a few weeks ago… definitely disturbing. Sheep are such calm, gentle animals…

  22. james peterson

    I have been a vegetarian for 4 years and am new to the vegan world, so I am still going through the phase of wanting to spread the good news. However, I am finding that most people get turned off from the preaching so I am working on changing my ways and just trying to raise awareness of what people don’t know.

  23. tree.hugger.chick

    Micah:
    “Third, I do eat meat. No matter if you’re highly religious ((God ate meat btw)), or a Darwinist ((Read up on evolution and our teeth structures)) you can see that meat may be murder to you, but not to everyone.”
    In the Bible it says many times for people to eat a vegetarian diet. Only after the first sin did any animals eat meat whatsoever, according to the Bible. Of course, that’s bunk because some other animals, such as felines, must have meat to survive, but the validity of the Bible’s another argument.
    As far as Darwinism… Darwin himself was a vegetarian, along with Einstein, Pythagoras, Socrates, and many other great minds from history. Also, our teeth have nothing in common with the canines of a cat or dog. One scientific report said that our “canines” were designed more for piercing fruit and such, which makes more sense. Try piercing cowhide with your teeth. If our bodies were designed for killing meat, we’d be able to outrun deer or other animals used for food such as cats, kangaroos, rabbits, etc.(have fun trying), kill them with our claws (except of course that we have none) and bite them to death with our canines (which are unable to accomplish such a feat- predators do this by biting the prey animal on the neck, snapping their neck. Our jaw muscles are not strong enough to break bones.). Other primates also don’t eat much meat, if any. Even gorillas and chimps are mostly (not completely, though) vegetarian.

    JJ:
    “1) You’re completely ignoring the way of the world. Animals eat ‘lesser beings’ than them, so what’s your stance on the rest of the animal kingdom then? Should we try stopping other animals from eating ‘lesser beings’ than themselves, since we are ‘at the top of the food chain’?
    3) Since you are citing cruelty in meat production as a reason to stop eating it, are you implying that if animals were killed in a completely humane fashion then it would be fine for us to eat them?”
    First off, the animals you are referring to must have meat to survive. We don’t. The only reasons humans kill and eat animals is to satisfy taste buds. Predators’ bodies are very different than ours, and they need the dense protein and some of the other nutrients than meat, and some of them can’t digest the same plants that we can. On the matter of protein, by the way, did you know that eating too much protein (most Americans do) can lead to health problems such as osteoporosis?
    As for the cruelty question, the killing of the animal for no good reason is inhumane in itself, even if they were raised in halfway decent conditions, which they’re not.

  24. escapologist

    hi there,

    I noticed people talking about the homo genus and our teeth, whether or not they are shaped for meat consumption?

    Well early Homo habilis had larger teeth that were more suitable for eating meat and showed bipeadalism hence he moved further into land and ate fruits (an omnivorus diet). It wasn’t until 1.4mya fire was ‘invented’ by Homo erectus. They cooked meat because it made it less tough and improved taste and the first to move ‘Out of Africa’ so to lands that were less arid and that could support other vegetables and fruits. I’m assuming earlier members of the Homo genus probably had a more acidic stomach with all sorts of bacterias that could disentegrate all sorts of meat even in its uncooked state.

    Due to the discovery of fire,less tough meats, more vegetables this would lead to the natural selection towards smaller teeth and less acidic stomachs. The teeth of the Homo genus are that of an omnivore and continued to get smaller, not specalised or specific and similar to omnivorous apes. So those of that like to follow the theories of Darwin…..we were made to eat meat…but now we are meant to eat LESS instead of more(excessive consumerism) and in a cooked state.

    I myself am a vegetarian and a Biologist (that doesnt belive in Darwinism). In this day and age I think it’s unneccessary to eat meat(do you know a third of cancers are linked to diet? And one of the top three cancers in both men and women are colorectal?) So those of you who are so proud of eating meat..carry on……but remember in the western world 1/3 people will get cancer and 1/4 will die feom it….your just increasing your chances!

    For the guy that thinks we need hunting to keep the animal population in check:
    You just sound well thick and ignorant….you should try reading about ecosystems. Any ecostem will naturally reach its climaz and an equilibrim without human inteference. This happened before we came along and also if anything humans have a tencdancy to mess up the natural state of an ecostyem (e.g too many cows and CO2 in the atmostphere-> greenhouse effect). If anything there should be less animals (the ones bred for the meat industry) just because they are a strain on the enviroment and require a lot of energy. It’s ridicilous that there are people in the world who have to survice on less than 600kcalper day whilst other people scoff on meaty foods stuffed with 2000+kcal. This is an unatural shift of energy.

  25. JoeJoeBeany

    Reading these debates has really been delightful. Really, thank you all very much for pouring your passion into this.

    I got into a debate with a vegetarian today at work and I wanted to read up on the general veggie/vegan posistion. SO I’ve been reading some sites (which led me here). I think I’ve formed a few opinions:

    Vegetarians make a good case that theirs is a healthier lifestyle. But it’s not the elimination of meat that makes their lifestyle so much more healthy. Its the control of the calories and types of foods that they eat overall that makes it so much healthier in my opinion. And of course by eliminating meats, they also remove the negative effects of meat in the diet (and the positive). But overall–they win that debate. Their food choices are healthier than mine.

    Vegans have a different problem. They put themselves on some sort of moral high ground. Their morals are right, and ours are wrong. Thats a very problematic argument to make. The argument becomes absurd and often goes to the level of whether or not it’s okay to kill insects.

    Even if a vegan resists eating animals and products made from animals, they have a whole host of other contridictions to defend like..are animals and insects killed while otherwise vegan-friendly crops are harvested by machines, are vegans using any hygiene products developed with animal testing? I read tonight that latex condoms are cured with a dairy derivative, and that animal derived products are used throughout the medical services industry. It’s almost endless list of contradictions for vegans to defend.

    It’s an all animal-consuming-planet that we live on. Period. That is the way our planet was “designed” to operate.

    Vegans are doomed to live in almost constant contridiction. Vegans have no moral authority or basis to declare that killing animals is wrong. It just bothers them, and so they think it should bother us. But it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t bother us, they try to make it bother us.

    On the subject of evolving teeth: (oh I wish I had more time):

    We don’t have thick pads on the bottom of our feet to protect them (like dogs). Its not that we had pads on our feet millions of years ago and then they “evolved away” when we started wearing shoes. We never had or needed pads. We were given the intellect to cover our feet. In the same way our teeth didn’t “evolve”, they didn’t need to, We were given the intellect to prepare our food–are our teeth reflect that.

    Good luck Vegans.

  26. Ryan

    Joe Joe —

    It’s a shame you started off so well there and then jumped into making rash generalizations about vegans like that.

    Let me just touch on a few points:

    They put themselves on some sort of moral high ground. Their morals are right, and ours are wrong. Thats a very problematic argument to make.

    This is just an unreasonable generalization. Not all vegans put themselves on a moral high ground just like not all Christians think that other religions of the world are immoral. Some do, some don’t, but it’s not a trait exclusive to vegans.

    are animals and insects killed while otherwise vegan-friendly crops are harvested by machines

    That bothers most vegans, but the crops harvested for feed for meat animals kill even more. You’ll find, though, that many vegans will eat locally grown produce or grow some themselves and will make it a point to be much more aware of their food.

    are vegans using any hygiene products developed with animal testing

    Most vegans are conscious of this and will seek out products that are not tested on animals. Fortunately, this is very easy these days, as there are many, many cruelty-free products.

    It’s almost endless list of contradictions for vegans to defend.

    They’re not contradictions to defend, in my view. They’re things to become aware of — vegans never claim that their lives are 100% free of animal cruelty, and that’s what sucks — our world has become so needlessly dependant on animal products that even people who want to avoid it can’t do it altogether.

    However–and if you read nothing else in my response, read this sentence–being a vegan is not about personal purity, it’s about reducing the suffering of animals as much as possible. Simple.

    That is the way our planet was “designed” to operate.

    Not sure where that comes from, but it seems you’re basing the “design” of a 4.5 billion year old planet on the last few thousand years.

    Vegans have no moral authority or basis to declare that killing animals is wrong.

    If killing animals is unnecessary for our survival, might it not follow that it could be considered “wrong”?

    Again, though, I think you’re working way too hard with this idea of moral superiority that you attribute to all vegans. Most of us are just normal people, you know.

    Good luck Vegans.

    Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine. Even us high horse, self-righteous ones.

  27. db

    It just doesn’t make sense mathematically to continue livestock farming. The amount of protein that is produced through animals pales next to the amount you can produce with soy beans on the same acre. It doesn’t make sense to keep putting more animals on this planet then people. It doesn’t make sense to use our fresh water supplies on factory farms. It stopped making sense so I stopped eating meat.
    I may not be all powerful, but I can choose where I spend my money and with what companies. This I do everyday.
    d

  28. Kelly

    To all the people who said that it is ‘natural’ for us to eat meat- I agree, humans have evolved to be omnivores. We CAN eat meat…but it DOES make us sick. It is NOT natural the way that we eat today- with all the toxins in our foods, mostly the meat.
    Joejoe, you started out on the right track, but so much of what you said about vegans isn’t true. You can’t generalise this group of people. Maybe some vegans you have met seem like a contradiction, because they say ‘ooh, Im 100% animal cruetly free…etc’, but I’ve never in my life met a vegan like this. We try to live causing as little harm to animals and the environment as we can- we cannot live on this earth without leaving a footprint- but what we CAN do is limit the amount of harm done, and try to educate people about what they are doing to the world. THAT is the goal.

    Don’t go thinking that you know more than everyone else because you’ve read on the internet that products are tested on animals and condoms use milk in their manufacturing process. Vegans LIVE this way of life, we know what we’re talking about, we’re not uneducated and just following along blindly. You sound like you’re interested in all this, and thats really cool, just keep up your reading, ok?!

  29. kittygogo

    I advise those of you who are eating meat (and those who don’t to help defend your sane side of the vegan debate) to read the book Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman. He is a former cattle farmer who, after a serious health scare, decided to get real and is now a vegan and was the co-defendant along with Oprah during the cow trial. In it you will learn that not only will eating animals cause you to get fat (undigestible animal fat will cause you to retain fat) and cause you additional health problems like cancer from gorging in animal muscle that collects the toxins that we feed these animals and heart disease from cholestorol provided by animals, (vegans don’t run a risk of artery blockage as only animal products contain cholestorol).

    More seriously and depressingly and selfishly so, the casual consumption of dead animals is causing the earth’s resources to become depleted. If we dedicated the amount of money, time and energy to sustain cows as we did to feeding the world’s population no one would go hungry. I think that this is disgusting. I don’t think there is any sane argument for eating meat. It is barbaric. There is no need in today’s world except that it “taste’s good”. Animals seem to like eating anti-freeze, that must taste good them, but I’m not letting my cats drink it. Soy products taste just as good as meat and nothing gets murdered in the process.

    Perhaps these poor, (cry me a river) overly subsidized factory farmers could try out an industry that actually sustains people insteasd of toiling in an industry that kills just as surely as tobacco, and with greater destruction to the environment. The fact is that animal consumption is killing animals, killing the consumers and killing the only world that we live in.

    Meat eaters can try to shove their selfish opinion down the throats of vegans all they want, but their arrogance and ignorance will not help them when the rivers dry up and the rainforests are gone so that they could get that cheap McDonald’s hamburger.

  30. Eric

    Jeez, man. Sorry you have to deal with so many idiots at your blog. Lee reminds me of those guys feeling bad for the tobacco farmers when smoking started getting banned in restaurants.

  31. Ashley

    Hi I dont know much about evolution of humans and all this crazy shit you people are talking about but what I do know is that I am a vegan….Yes I do think eating meat is very healthy for you, I think we were made to eat it, its a part of life. But I also believe in the fact that no animal should have to live a life of suffering for my eating pleasure. You see if animals were not treated so cruelly i would eat meat. I have no problem eating a dead cow as long as it wasnt cooped up in some lameass stall with no room to run or eat grass and shit, I guess I am just wanting a reform in the farming business so for now I will boycott it until things change. I also think that vegaans should not criticize people who are not vegan…they have free choice as well I am just tired of all this bickering between the two its lame i just wanted to say why i choose to be vegan so thanks for listening kids have a great day(sorry my typing sucks)

  32. christina

    Ryan, you have no life go away.
    21. Ryan
    I linked that video up on the sideblog a few weeks ago… definitely disturbing. Sheep are such calm, gentle animals…

    AHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHH OH PLEASE

  33. Ryan

    Yeah, you’re right. I forgot about all those vicious sheep attacks you always hear about.

  34. Ruth

    It seems that even those who eat meat are interested in finding out about not eating meat, Thank you, Ryan for this great site which will help enlighten our meat eating brothers and sisters. You have much patience, believe me even if they give you negative feedback, they are reading the positive and it is getting inside where it counts, we all have a soul which responds to the truth, so you are doing a great service Ryan, keep up the good work.

    Here is the thing, humans are destined to be vegan in this era, this is the time that humankind reach a crucial point of development, prophecised long ago. As we stop eating flesh we will also learn to stop warring, the two are irrevocably connected. Those who still eat meat are still part of the old times that are passing away, they will see their children and their children’s children become peaceful vegetarians, just as my parents saw their children become vegetarian and bring up vegan children (btw both of my parents became vegan anyway). Their grandchildren never ate a scrap of meat, they did not eat dairy or eggs and yet they are taller than their parents and are above average intelligence, one of them topping the class consistently from 1st grade to 12th grade—They are now grown up, proof that a vegan diet is not only viable but essential in these times of overconsumption of resources and a need to develop a spiritual, peaceful and compassionate kind of human being.

    Please keep visiting and learning about a way of life that the spiritual leaders from early history and even the Greek Philosophers, advocated.

    My reference is the awesome book Oahspe (published 1882), which is available online. Just search for Oahspe Online if your interested.

    Peace and Love,
    Ruth

  35. George Coachman

    I am doing a research paper for my college class. I wanted to hear your opinions on my research topic. would you please give me your insight about what bias the media uses to get more consumers to buy products. my email address is [email protected] thank you for your consideration.

  36. Jerry fucking Dover

    Ryan, you are the man. I don’t know how you put up with this shit all the time… but mad respect. It’s funny how much intellect is portrayed through some of these posts, on both sides. I see that some of these people are truely intelligent, concerned, and have done their research…. of course, some are “the” example of the kind of people who are bringing this planet to it’s knees and killing it. And as much as I didn’t want to single out anyone, Ashley….. oh gord, Ashley….. I’m sorry I have to do this, but…. I, on the behalf of all of Us, revoke your title of “vegan.” You insult me and the rest of Us who simply live the life, not the title and not for it. A “vegan” who would eat meat…… Great Grandmother’s spatula……. you would probably quit smoking if it was bad for you, too, huh? Wait, what?

  37. Ashley Bally

    Hi, I stumbled across this site while looking for information about children growing up on a vegan diet.
    There is a court case involving a vegan couple that are being charged with four counts of child neglect. This is after one count of aggravated manslaughter was dropped. The couple had a sixth month old child that died from malnutrition, the other children are also suffering from malnutrition.
    I’m working on an editorial for my campus newspaper and I was wondering if this is because animal products are needed in early child development or if it was due to the parents lack of responsibility in selecting the proper foods to follow the vegan diet?
    This is not an attack on either life style, I am actually considering very heavily on making the switch myself, I was just curious as to how the vegan community would respond to something like this.
    Information from the case can be found through links on http://www.cnn.com.
    Thanks.

  38. Ryan

    Ashley — Interestingly, most babies are vegan early on in their lives. Generally, meats, dairy, and eggs are not advised to be consumed until around the 18-month period (though many people do it earlier), so really, having a vegan 6-month old.

    Also, this case deals with parents that are raw foodists, not just vegans.

    And, these parents weren’t exactly doing the most advisable thing by stopping breast feeding at three months and then switching the baby over to wheat grass and coconut milk, you know? To me, veganism has nothing to do with this story and bad parenting has everything to do with it. You never see it mentioned that “an ominivorous couple’s baby died today…”

  39. Kristi

    so you think that we were DESIGNED to eat meat?

    Not at all. Many people say that we are meat-eaters because we have sharp teeth. This is like judging a book by its cover. Look inside and you will find out what is really going on. Our digestive system resembles that of the herbivores and the frugivores (fruit-eaters). It consists of a very long intestine allowing slow digestion of nutrients. By contrast, carnivores have a short digestive tract designed so that meat can quickly pass through the body before it putrefies and becomes toxic. To compensate for this rapid transition, carnivores have a stomach acid concentration 10 times greater than that of vegetarian mammals (including humans) to enable them to quickly digest the meat. When humans eat meat it begins to putrefy before leaving the body, often resulting in disorders as diverse as constipation and bowel cancer if eaten persistently over a period of time. Sure, the more fibre eaten with meat, the quicker it passes through the intestines, but why eat meat at all? Only vegetable matter contains fibre and a good vegetarian diet provides all the fibre the body needs without having to add extra”artificially”. If you are serious about lowering your cholesterol intake, a vegetarian diet is the best way to go since only animal products contain cholesterol.

    vegetarians are cool duhh

  40. Tamaritha

    The problem the media finds with studies of vegetarianism is that they do not follow scientific procols, and are set out to prove normative statements that do now allow scope for proper comparison.

    And no Ryan, babies are not vegans. From conception, the zygote-embryo-foetus literally feeds on the mother, and after birth, the first food they are introduced to is breastmilk.
    Babies cannot digest vegetable protein until they are one year old.

    Furthermore, if you are truly a strict vegetarian, you will not only need to take vitamin B-12 supplements, you are also required to take iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin E & selenium.
    Getting all that is called living on dietary supplements (courtesy of animal testing btw), not living on plant matter.

    The same applies with buying “cruelty-free” alternative brands: they are made with chemicals deemed safe by having other people testing it on animals previously.
    If you are against animal testing, then volunteer to be tested yourself.

    If harming animals are considered to be cruel, what people do to plants are equally cruel too!
    I find it hypocritic that the cruelty suffered by plants are somehow considered to be less worthier than that of animals.
    As for the statement that “plants don’t feel pain” – then by the same argument, torturing people after drugging them so they won’t feel pain would be ethical behaviour too.

    A comparison between humans and predatory carnivores is NOT a proof to the statement “therefore humans are not designed to eat meat.”
    Humans don’t kill the food with their jaws, and hence do not need especially long incisors or strong jaw muscles.
    On the other hand, pigs, orang-utangs and pandas will cheerfully kill and eat other animals without long incisors nor strong jaws, and many hervibores are able to bite through flesh and break bones – e.g. sheep, horses, cows…it’s amazing how people forget about herbivores being violent to each other.

    If humans are truly not designed for eating meat, well, we’re certainly not designed for eating plants either.
    We don’t have multiple stomachs, we don’t re-masticulate vomit (and help bacteria rot the food in our mouth so we can digest cellulose), and anyway, our stomach acid is too concentrated to do it. We are allergic to the majority of plants in the world, those in the wild AND those few we cultivate.
    Furthermore, we have enzymes that break down animal proteins, which doesn’t fit in with the idea of a body not designed for meat-eating.

    Vegans are more likely to get diabetes, ulcers, anaemia, severe teeth deterioriation, inability to regulate body temperature and muscle atrophy,menstrual problems, miscarriages, premature birth, and a curious skin condition that covers the skin in white downy hair on top of fast-ageing skin.

    Oh, and high blood pressure is not caused by eating meat. You’re thinking of animal fats.

    It _is_ harmful to your health to be a vegan in the long-term, and it does lower life expectancy: Buddhist monks are allowed to have milk and milk products, thereby being semivegetarian, the average age for menopause amongst female monks was recorded at 30 years of age, 98% had, by the time of being a fully trained monk, acquired diabetes, as their source of energy was almost entirely from carbohydrates(starch) – i.e. glucose.

  41. Ryan

    Wow, there are so many inaccuracies and fallacies of logic there, I don’t know where to start. I don’t even have time to address them, so let me just hit on the biggies:

    And no Ryan, babies are not vegans. From conception, the zygote-embryo-foetus literally feeds on the mother, and after birth, the first food they are introduced to is breastmilk.
    Babies cannot digest vegetable protein until they are one year old.

    Breastmilk is vegan — it’s willingly supplied from the mother to the baby. There is no cruel factory farming of breasts, as far as I know.

    you are also required to take iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin E & selenium.

    Wrong. These are all easy enough to find in a varied vegan diet. Plus, calcium is more easily absorbed when it’s not being inhibited by animal proteins.

    I find it hypocritic that the cruelty suffered by plants are somehow considered to be less worthier than that of animals.
    As for the statement that “plants don’t feel pain” – then by the same argument, torturing people after drugging them so they won’t feel pain would be ethical behaviour too.

    Plants have no central nervous system, no brain, no capacity to feel pain or emotion. Comparing to a drugged human ignores all of these.

    It _is_ harmful to your health to be a vegan in the long-term, and it does lower life expectancy

    Please offer some facts here and not random antecdotal evidence about Buddhist monks (which is not entirely correct, by the way).

    A varied vegan diet can be just as healthful as any other diet. And you know what? Even if it wasn’t, I’d be willing to live a year or two less if I knew I wasn’t contributing to the horrors of factory farming.

    That’s all I have time for at this point.

  42. Susanna

    I would like to begin by stating that I abhor preachiness (from vegans, omnivores, religious fanatics, atheists, etc…) It just makes the preaching individuals seem obnoxious and condesending. The same goes for those who try to prove others wrong by making blanket statements of dubious veracity. To go along with that, if you don’t like what someone is eating, please don’t turn up your nose while declaring “How is that a meal if there’s no meat?” or “How could you put that meat in your body?”

    Maintaing perfect health is possible without eating meat, dairy and eggs. However, there are some exceptions that are due primarily to geographic extremes (i.e. nomads in Northern Russia or the Sahel region of Africa.) I happen to live in Northern Virginia in close proximity to a Whole Foods and a plethora of Middle Eastern, African, and Asian restaurants that suite my vegan diet. Since I have read all of the comments I feel compelled to state that I am extremely healthy and have never needed to take supplements. That is because I have done my research to ensure I get all of the proper nutrients from a plant-based diet and have, therefore, not fallen into the unhealthy trap of eating nothing but pasta and rice.

    To Tamaritha- The aforementioned health issues are probably caused by an unbalanced diet as opposed to a vegan diet. Hence, anyone making a major dietary shift needs to do his/her homework. As for menstrual problems- mine regulated when I became vegan and my carnivourous sister has all sorts of feminine problem (I know, more than you all needed to know and probably just an example of how all bodies are different.) The curious hairy skin disease and aging skin could be the result of an anorexic masking the problem by using veganism as a means of controlling food intake (this unfortunately does rarely happen, primarily among teenage girls.)

    To Lee- Small family farms generally do not have deleterious effects on the environment or extremly pernicious treatment toward animals, but large factory farms do. If you can make a living from responsible farming, then kudos to you and your family. If you are struggling to make ends meet, perhaps it is time to find a more lucrative vocation- or switch to organinc/free range/grass fed methods of raising animals. There is a huge market for that with “city people.”

    In conclusion- tolerance, please!

  43. Scott C

    Why not go the whole hog and grow all your own food, the ever increasing demand for soya crop to fufil all the needs for soya produce(the number one ingrediant in most vegetarian diets) is causing the destruction of animal habitats, also there are roughly an equal number of field deaths(animals killed due to the harvesting and farming of crops) as there is for animals killed for meat. Obviously the only safe way to eat animal friendly food is to grow it and hand pick it yourself. If you truely believed in your principles you’d be doing that, but i guess it’s to much like hard work….

  44. Ryan

    Gotta love the smugness.

  45. lop

    “This is such a tired argument. Show me a human being that can tear raw, uncooked flesh.”

    Yeah, I am sure you eat raw rice all the time.

  46. AL

    I dont see why all of you are bringing evolution and religion into this. I eat meat because it tastes good. I dont support the mistreatment of animals. Thats why i support free range meat.

  47. Mike

    I hope that all of the Vegans (& future Vegans) learning from and contributing to this blog are doing sufficient research into all of the substances that they put ON themselves. Statistically, your skin is your largest organ and admits the majority of the external substances, both good and bad, into your lifestream. Do research on what is in your soap, shampoo, lotions, sunscreen, toothpaste etc.
    It is great to eat no animal products but eating is only one way you introduce things into your body.

    To my knowledge there is only one line of these products that would qualify as truly Vegan.

    Also, Google “rendering plants” and see what they produce and then look for those words on your cosmetics and toiletry ingredients. Or even in vitamin supplements.

  48. Little Sister

    To Scott C,

    The aim of veganism is to abstain from a system where other species and indeed members of our own species are treated as expendable products rather than sentient beings with fears and a core desire to live and not to be hurt.
    Insects and small animals that get caught in farm machinery are not victims of exploitation, they are casualties of industrial farming, needed to feed the billions of animals killed each year for the food and profit that will eventually lead to critical mass.

    As for those who criticise vegans/vegetarians for trying to ram their views down the throats of others, let me ask you this. What, on earth, do you think your parents, the education system, your government and culture have been doing in unison since the day you/we were born?
    They have been shoving their views down your throats, in such a wholesale, all comsuming fashion, that you haven’t even noticed the indoctrination process that has made you immune to such horrific and wide-scale suffering.
    Meanwhile, the so called ‘preachy vegetarians’ – including the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci and Tolstoy – try to encourage people to think outside the box with regards to their treatment of other creatures. But, as many a Roman emperor found and used to his advantage, the people don’t want to think, they just want to watch the games….
    If we’re the top of the food chain, then the level we’re feeding off is bullshit.

  49. Osiris

    Hi guys, I’ve been reading about those debates of veganism v/s meat eatiing people. I am a meat eating person or more like a flexitarian, I mean I try have a balance diet that means vegetables, fish, meat,Fruits, etc…

    I don’t believe that eating meat is unhealthy as long as it’s in moderation and providing as well that you’re having a balanced diet and as long as you maintain a certain level of fitness, as well a lot those diseases mentioned before are hereditary.

    Hence I don’t believe in these surveys done by these so-called experts as a lot of these surveys are done on the eating habits of americans( who are well known for eating too much meat)or people who eat too much meat anyway.

    As well when it comes to soy milk, do you guys know that a acres of forest in south america are being destroyed to produce soya.So how does that help against the cruelty of animal and as well who are we to say that plant don’t feel anything. If you’re very spiritual you will believe in every living things having spirits (which some people and tribes all over the world believe).

    All this being said, I’ve got nothing against vegans, I have a good friend who’s vegan and doesn’t enforce her views on us.
    Whether you guys are vegans or meat eating people, we are no better than each other.

    One thing I wanted to say is that we should stop looking at what we eat and stop going on so much about animal rights. The reason for that being with the current climate situation due to pollution and destruction of forests for producing wood and for agricultural purposes, in canada massive acres of forest are being destroyed for the production of oil, with wars(maybe one day there’ll be a nuclear one) as well…there won’t be much left in a few years time for anybody to debate on.
    It seems like we’re all destroying the earth no matter what we eat!!!!

    Hence we should concentrate on trying to save the earth on the whole and natural habitats of animal(forests and jungles) stop pollution wasting water, food producing so much waste, improving technology so that we can use more renewable source of electricity. Stop thinking which religion is best( I don’t believe in religion by the way) or race as well. Take actions to force our governments to start being greedy and do something.

    Thanks

    Alvin

  50. Danielle

    Alvin, re forests being destroyed for soy, a lot of that soy is used to feed animals who become food, not to mention far more land is destroyed for cattle grazing. If more people went vegetarian, farmers would not need to grow as much food, as it takes between three and sixteen pounds of plant protein to make one pound of animal protein.

  51. Angel

    I’m always puzzled by meat-eaters who seek out vegetarian/vegan sites just to harass…wtf!?
    Ryan and Little Sister…you guys rock…
    Thanks for speaking up for all of us!

  52. Skull

    I have met extreme vegans, they were so radical dumbasses that even considered the rights of fungus and bacteria. I, as a biologist, couldn’t stop a burst of massive laugh as I heard such a grotesque contradiction of everything. First, their own existence comes into conflict with their beliefs, every second of their life living beings are being destroyed by them: plants they eat, intestinal bacteria, skin microorganisms, microorganisms in food, bacteria being destroyed in an infection, every aspect of life creates death for others. Thinking like these people do, if their existence originates death, then they should commit suicide, if they don’t, then they would be the biggest hypocrites in the world. I told them this and their reaction was simple, they said I was being disrespectful ! Hahahaha! Also, they even dared to question theoric science for creating potencial death of living beings, then going on the animal testing subject. With such a show of ignorance I didn’t even know how to react when I heard all these things: laugh histerically or feel blatantly outraged.

    I eat meat and don’t support vegetarianism and veganism, though these two are a matter of opinions I respect, if they want to do it, go ahead. But extreme vegans, these ecofanatics…I am scientist and as I see it, with an objective point of view, these radicals are no better than religious extremists that say “God created this, God created that, your discoveries are bullshit you fabricated”. I can just say that Ecofanatism = Dogma = Religion

    That’s what I have seen

    (Sorry if my English is mispelled somewhere, it’s not my native language)

  53. Ryan

    I have met extreme vegans, they were so radical dumbasses that even considered the rights of fungus and bacteria.

    You know what? I don’t believe you. I’ve never met a single vegan that’s come anywhere close to this. Such a vegan wouldn’t be able to live a normal life because of the perceived suffering being inflicted.

  54. Skull

    You deny what I have experienced? the fact you haven’t met a single one like these doesn’t deny there are not any. I am not critizising vegans, I am critizising extreme vegans because, like you said, they couldn’t live without falling into insane contradictions with themselves. Maybe these morons were real extreme vegans with some kind of psychic disorder, or maybe they were not real vegans but just big hypocrites

  55. Shaun

    ok here is the argument that will end all arguments dealing with veganism and eating meat. yes animals are violently slaughtered for their meat and it is not a very moral and nice sight to see… but these animals have been bred in captivity for years and years for the sheer purpose of production, not in the evolutionary, out on their own, darwinistic view, vegans try to prove… domesticated dogs which have been bred through years of imbreading RELY on humans to take care of them. Why do you think you see so many breed specific problems like hip displacia with german shepards. it would be totally wrong to just set all of the domesticated animals free that we have specifically bred for human development.

    on the other hand, unless you grow vegetables in your yard without the destruction of any habitat around you, a vegan or vegetarian has no basis for claiming innocence… at the most basic level of societal development… agriculture has brought about many institutions in this world that have brought about murder and torture of HUMAN BEINGS not just animals. Agriculture allows me to sit here at my computer and think about how I think vegans and vegetarians are full of crap… that is just an example of it right there. Without the development of agriculture, I seriously doubt christianity, islam, judaism, buddhism, etc etc would even have come about. and the idea of money and trade probably wouldn’t have become such an intrinsic system like it is now. The fact that agriculture has allowed me and you as human beings to not worry about gathering berries or when the next bison will come around, has allowed human to wonder about crazy things like the afterlife and fight and kill millions of others becuz their belief about the afterlife is wrong, should tell you that agriculture is not innocent.

    but even at an immediate level, agriculture and development of land for crap production accounts for acres and acres of destruction of the south american rain forest each year. a land area the size of rhode island EVERY YEAR is destroyed in the south american rain forrest each year for agriculture. Rivers and streams are polluted with fertilizer which leads to algae blooms.. and when these algae blooms die after a 4 or 5 day series of cloudiness.. oxygen depletion through algae bloom decomposition kills THOUSANDS of freshwater fish… more than the total creel take of freshwater fishermen… thousands of migrant workers are paid below minimum wage (because employers have no legal obligation to pay them the proper rate), work 12-16 hour days, exposed to carcinogenic pesticides, and live in substandard housing just so you can sit at home and eat ur cheap apples, tomatoes, and pears…

    so yeah this is my pro-meat eating argument… I love eating vegetables and meat… I don’t hate on either… but I know that each one comes from a dirty past… not just meat. That squash I ate tonight was probably farmed by a poor ass farmer that had to have my tax dollars subsidize it, and an illegal poor mexican to pick it… and that steak I ate was prolly brutally murdered by a butcher shop, but you know what? that is the way of the world, and that is human ingenuity and evolution. if I plant or animal doesn’t like it… either grow some nasty ass poisonous thorns or grow a bigger brain than us… until then, we’ll exploit this planet and destroy it morally through slaughtering animals, and ecologically by destorying forests for crop production…

    the end

  56. Ryan

    I won’t bother repsonding point-by-point to the last post since most of what’s said there has been responded to a number of times already in this thread, but there were a few things I did want to address.

    but these animals have been bred in captivity for years and years for the sheer purpose of production, not in the evolutionary, out on their own, darwinistic view, vegans try to prove…

    You’re putting words in our mouths. Every vegan I’ve ever heard has acknowledged the domestication of cows, chickens, dogs, etc.

    it would be totally wrong to just set all of the domesticated animals free that we have specifically bred for human development.

    And no one has ever suggested that we do so. It’s our responsibility to take care of the situation we created. No one’s saying, “Let all the cows go! Let all the dogs roam freely!” Let’s live peacefully alongside them in our homes, in sanctuaries, in places like that, where an animal’s death isn’t required just so that we can get a piece of steak that tastes good.

    And while we’re at it, we can maybe stop the breeding.

    that agriculture is not innocent.

    Nope. Again, not something we ever claimed. There are issues with a lot of things about our current agricultural system, both animal and plant.

    a land area the size of rhode island EVERY YEAR is destroyed in the south american rain forrest each year for agriculture.

    And why is this a reason not to be vegan? Remember that eating meat uses significantly more resources than eating lower on the food chain. That meat you eat has to be fed something… and it’s fed a *lot* of it.

    and that steak I ate was prolly brutally murdered by a butcher shop

    Actually, probably not. When was the last time you saw an honest-to-God butcher shop?

    until then, we’ll exploit this planet and destroy it morally through slaughtering animals,

    If by “morally” you mean “immorally,” then yes, I agree.

  57. Autumn

    I could understand eating meat if we didn’t mass produce it. The way animals are treated in these farms is inhumane. If you want to go out and shoot your own animal or hunt it down in a natural way, survival of the fittest, that’s fine… that’s the way of nature. But the mass production of anything is terrible for the environment and the animals playing victim to this. So much shit goes on that people don’t know about. I encourage you to look up why vegans are vegans in the first place, it’s nowhere for me to preach it to you, but I do what I do to help do my part.

  58. amberlynn

    First, to Ryan, I’d like to say thank you for this site and for your patience. Often in these arguments I find that people get so heated that it becomes fighting for the sake of fighting, rather than the sharing of opinions and thoughtful comments.

    Why does it have to be this huge fight? I’ve yet to understand why these meat-eaters, for the lack of a better term, feel the need to come here and ridicule our beliefs and try their hardest to combat the reasoning for our choices. Why do you care so much? I for one, believe it is because you are threatened by people who live any way of life that varies from the norm. How dare we look outside ourselves and try to make concious decisions about what we put in our bodies…

    The most upsetting thing about the whole veg/vegan experience for me, is the fact that people so often use the argument, “if you dont eat meat, do you wear leather?” or the previous comments about insects killed in harvesting, etc. No one is claiming to be perfect. What is so wrong about trying to make things better? Yes I am aware there are tons of horrible things going on all over the world and I could do so much more in my life to help out. There is always more that every single person on this planet can do to help others, be them human or animal. I can only speak for myself, but I have a feeling most people here would agree with me. We are not perfect, we do not think we are better than everyone else, we are simply trying to do what we feel is right and make things better. How can you argue that?

  59. Liza

    Life is precious, we should respect it. We should respect the lives of each other, and even animals. There are alot of people who will try to disagree upon that, but this is my belief. We were put on this earth, like animals to live. It’s not up to us when it’s time to go. We can’t be selfesh and start killing everything because it would taste good, or because we felt like it. We’re hear for a purpose not for being savages. Many factory farms torment animals, and it’s extremely cruel. They have no say upon what happens to them. I worked at a chicken catching farm, I was only there for a day, the horrors of those animals suffering still lingers in me. Half were sick, some were dying or dead. I picked one bird up, and it’s wing fell off. There’s no need for this! Those animals were suffering because of people. We should stop this. It’s ridiculous. I finally made up my mind to be a vegetarian after I read some more upon it on this website. http://www.goveg.com/factoryFarming.asp You should see it. I bet it will change your perspectives upon what your eating.

  60. John

    Animals were created for food. Those who put them at the same level as humans are living in a cloud. Do they worry about hurting a vegetable? What about the rights of carrots!! How does the onion feel when you cut it in half?

  61. Tina

    …”the way animals are treated is inhumane”!!! Think about that……animals are not human….therefore treating them as inhumane (not human) is the way it should be.

  62. ryan

    The only reason I’m leaving the two previous comments up (from the same IP address, incidentally) is to show that, yes, it is possible to receive the same stupid ass, no sense-making comments a thousand times.

  63. Lauren

    It really makes me sad to read these comments and see how very uneducated and brainwashed some people are. Regardless of whether we’re meant to eat meat or not, how can anyone say that it’s okay to torture living creatures to satisfy a carnivorous palette when there are so many more healthy and humane options available today? And yes, at factory farms, their living conditions are torturous. To argue that the farmed animals are born to be eaten is just ridiculous – Factory farms don’t just hurt animals, they pollute communities, take jobs away from small town farmers, exploit and injure low level workers and participate in animal cruelty practices that would be punishable by law if inflicted upon dogs and cats. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs, by the way – and three year old children for that matter. Other species aren’t ours to do what we like with just because they aren’t as intelligent as us. This is their planet too and the anthropocentristic mindset of post-industrial Western Society is not only destroying the lives of animals and people, but our environment too.
    As Leonardo DaVinci said, ” The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

  64. Becci

    I love that quote too, Lauren, but DaVinci didn’t actually say that. He was a vegetarian, of course, but that particular quote is actually from a movie that was made about him.

  65. Human

    Humans are designed to eat meat, we are omnivores which means we need meat & vegtables to have a balanced diet. Our teeth are proof, we have canines & molars.
    We only have to cook pork & chicken, there’s a lot of dishes with raw beef, and of course fish.
    It’s not ok to torture animals, there’s organic meat if you feel that’s wrong.
    We are part of nature too, and this is how nature ‘designed’ us, we aren’t the only omnivores on the planet and I’m sure you wont be forcing other animals to change their ways either. Nature is cruel, that’s just how it is.
    I find it amusing to see vegans spout pro-nature this & that, but in the same breath they want it all to change so they can feel better about themselfs.
    Change how some treat animals, dont change us for we are animals too and have the same rights.

  66. Springer5

    Hi all

    First of all well done Ryan and everyone else involved for being so patient with those who seem determined to try to bury their own guilt about their indefensible immorality with respect to killing others purely for sensory pleasure.
    We all know (along with most of them I suspect) that there is no morally defensible argument for eating other creatures, for anyone who is capable of moral judgement to begin with.
    I also notice that the old chestnut ‘top of the food chain’ argument is still getting an ‘airing’ from time to time on this forum, so firstly let’s knock that one on the head once and for all.
    It is a favourite argument of those who need to convince themselves as much as anyone else, that what they are doing is right. However, as most of us already know, all that argument says is that we have the *ability* to eat whatever we want (including meat of course), it has nothing to do with the actual issue of whether or not it is right. If country ‘a’ has nuclear weapons, and country ‘b’ does not, then that makes country ‘a’ the ‘top of the food chain’ amongst countries, in terms of military might, because it can militarily dominate country ‘b’ anytime it wants to, but of course dominating another country just because you *can* does not make it *right*; and the same concept applies in the case of all individuals.
    Another example is that I am physically considerably stronger than my partner, so if I wanted to I could easily dominate and threaten her physically because I have superior physical strength. Using the ‘top of the food chain’ argument it could be said that it’s ok for me to beat her up every day (if it were to give me pleasure to do so, as it sadly does for some) because I am the stronger of the two of us, as nature made me. However, this would obviously be absurd for any morally minded individual, and completely unacceptable behaviour. The same applies to our relationship with every other individual, for the same reasons, not only our human partners or citizens of other countries as in the above examples.

    Now that that rather stupid excuse for causing suffering has been put to rest, I have a question for anyone here who tries to live as best they can by an ethical code in terms of their lifestyle choices. I know this is off-topic, but I hope no one will mind, as this question has been bugging me for a while and I’d really like to hear the opionions of fellow vegans on the matter. My question is this…..

    Someone pointed out earlier on in this thread that most, if not all, non-human animals cannot be expected to follow a moral code because they are not, to the best of our knowledge, capable of moral understanding. This excuses them from moral responsibility; you cannot be held responsible for something which you are simply not capable of understanding. To me this has always made perfect sense, and justifies the argument that humans should try to live by a moral code (firstly because they can, and secondly because when they do there is a greater net benefit for all of us), whereas non-humans cannot and therefore cannot realistically be expected to do so.
    However, all due sarcasm put to one side for a moment, it occurred to me as I read some of the pro-meat eater’s comments here that there may also be humans who are simply not capable of understanding morality. The obviouse and most legitimate example would be somoene who was mentally disabled to a degree which left them at a mental capacity below that needed for moral decision making. Surely this would place them in the same situation as many non-humans, where they should be excused moral responsibility, and so should presumably be allowed to eat meat should they express a preference to do so.

    Assuming we accept this premise my next question is how we decide what the cut-off point for this exemption among humans actually is. In many people it may not be as obvioiuse as in the above example of the disabled person. Some meat-eaters on this thread, without wishing to insult them in any way, may simply not be capable of making ethical decisions or understanding the moral issues which veganism tries to address. Admittedly most are in all probability simply immoral (i.e. they know the difference between right and wrong, but choose wrong because it is more convenient for them, and allows them to continue doing what they enjoy, regardless of the greater net suffering they cause). For those people there is no excuse. They are simply selfish.

    However, what about those who may just be *amoral* as opposed to immoral ?
    Some people out there may be just that , no more no less. Should we accept that these people should be allowed to eat meat on the same basis as we do non-humans (i.e. that they do not posess morality, and so cannot be held responsible for mindlessly following their physical desire to eat meat) ?
    We mustn’t forget that moral capability and intellectual intelligence are not always correlated. There have for example been many highly intelligent murderers throughout history who, following psychological evaluation, have been pronounced sociopaths, having great intelligence but no moral understanding whatsoever.
    Knowing that to be the case then, is there a potential argument for any one of the meat eating humans writing on this forum (and elsewhere), to eat meat with impunity regardless of their apparent intellect (or lack of it), provided they are genuinely amoral, and we know for a fact that many such people exist throughout human society as well as non-human.

    Does anyone not agree with this line of thought ?
    I’d appreciate any comments, eespecially from fellow vegans.

    Thanks

  67. Springer5

    Human,

    If as you say, you are no different from all the other animals, then why do expect to be treated differently from them when it suits you ?

    You claim to be the same when it comes to justifying your meat craving, and yet you would be he first to object if someone decided to put you in a factory farm. “You can’t do that I am human , you’re violating my human rights”. I cannot legally kill you, I cannot legally own you etc, etc.

    You want to be able to *behave* the same but be *treated* differently.

    So you see that your own position is far less consitent, and more hypocritcal than the vegan.

  68. Springer5

    Becci & Lauren

    Here is another good quote which you may heard before, and one which I think sums up the point we are all trying to make here…..

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  69. Sofie

    I really hope you see this, Tina: “treating them as inhumane (not human) is the way it should be.”

    May I ask where you found this definition? If I may:

    in·hu·mane [in-hyoo-meyn or, often, -yoo-]
    –adjective
    not humane; lacking humanity, kindness, compassion, etc.

    hu·mane [hyoo-meyn or, often, yoo-]
    –adjective
    characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses.

    Thanks. Look next time.

    Springer5: I completely agree with everything you said, up to your discourse on amorality. At that point, although it made total sense, denial kicked in. I would hate to believe that the majority of people I know are sociopaths. I think a few gruesome videos and maybe this blog would convince a good few of them, but I think a lot of people lack the self-control to learn to avoid one of the primary elements of their diet. As a solo vegetarian minor in an omnivorous family, my first adventure into the veg world lasted less than a week. My second try was more successful: I’m creeping up to a year at this point, but I’ve always been able to do what’s good for me. I can’t help but think that some of the people who’ve posted on the omnivores’ side of this blog fit the profile of a sociopath pretty well, but there are always the ones who want to deny the fact that eating meat is immoral because they DON’T want to feel like they’re hurting anything. These are the people who invent references to God’s meat-eating habits and the shape of our canines, not to mention our higher intelligence level compared to that of other animals. The evidence is clear, people just don’t want to see it.

    And it’s not even as though I feel the need to defend those who eat meat. I don’t think there’s anything to defend. I guess all I’m doing is trying for tolerance, and trying to retain my little faith in the human race. I don’t want to give up hope for the good of people as a whole. Keep in mind, this is from someone who has never had any criticism from meat-eaters. People respect my opinions, and I try to respect theirs.

  70. Savin Viswanathan

    Great site guys. I am a vegetarian and for generations my family and many other families i know have been on a strictly vegetarian diet (milk and milk based products are used) and i have not met any vegetarian till now who takes vitamin supplements to compensate for the lack of meat. This maybe due to the fact that our dietary and culinary patterns differ . However my point is that a healthy life is possible with a strictly vegetarian diet. Coming to the “animals are different from humans “aspect… yes we are different from them ..we have a brain , a realization of self ….so use your brain … its illogical to cause unnecessary pain. Quit thinking like a lion or a tiger . Think like a human.

  71. Savin Viswanathan

    Animals do have a “brain” and my use of “we have a brain” refers to our superior intelligence…and its interesting to note that the major difference of the human brain from the animal brain lies in teh cerebral cortex. The limbic ( if i remember the name correctly) part of the brain shows almost the same structure in both humans and animals (mammals to be precise). The limbic part is the seat of pain and sensation while the cerebral region is the seat of intelligence. I add this second part incase someone wants to refute my statement about brains.

  72. camille

    Hi everybody, why do people eat meat?I would say because of their egoist taste of it!They would say that they need protein and so on, protein can be found in vegetables also,we don’t have to kill a poor animal just for his meat! Go to a slaughther’s place and see how animals suffer when inpittiful so-called human “cut their heads” away!I am a vegan,cos been vegan saves
    the life of so many innocent animals? Do you know the cost of just eating meat?the earth is “suffering” because of the “meat productions”. Meat-eaters have thier ouwn choice but they have to think again and agin about thier way of life. I won’t say much, just note that animals are more counscious than the vegetables! Hospitals are there for MEAT-EATERS.Try veganism and be healthy.
    thanks for this site
    vegans worldwide,I live in Lome Togo, I would like to have friends , my mail is [email protected]
    bye(sorry for my English,I am a french-speeking man)

  73. Jonte

    “Why do people eat meat?”

    I think the primary reason which is probably true for 99% (or more) of the meat-eating population is – They were raised that way.

    Children are very susceptible. If a mother or father feeds their child meat, then of course that child will eat it. They are naturally going to do exactly what their parents teach them to do (evolutionary speaking – this improves their survivability). Most of us, at least in the western world, were raised this way. Most people continue to eat meat into adulthood, because it is exactly what they have been trained to do throughout their entire life. Some people (very few) go against this training and decide to become vegetarian. In doing so however, they receive a lot of criticism from regular people. In general, people don’t like being told that something that they have always done is ‘wrong’ or ‘unethical’. For this reason, meat-eaters will defend the practice vehemently. Even if all the facts state the opposite, people will invent reasons (no matter how stupid) to maintain the status quo.

    Now this post’s intention isn’t to defend meat-eaters, just to explain their behaviour. Although meat-eaters will usually state other reasons as to why they eat meat (e.g. it tastes good, high nutrients, top of the food chain, etc.) these are all just invented reasons to try to justify to themselves that it is perfectly okay. Actually, I can virtually guarantee that they never thought of any of these reasons before being questioned. It’s only after someone confronts them about their food choices that suddenly all these arguments come out. I doubt anyone gobbling down a steak every thought “Man, I’m at the top of the food chain, so that’s why I’m eating dead cow”. No, of course not. They do it because they have always done it and almost everyone – not only condoned it – but actively encouraged it.

    I remember times when I was a child in Australia standing around a BBQ with my extended family and my uncle saying words to the effect of “Come on matey! Get a steak into ya’! You want to be big and strong don’t ya’?” – Now what child can possibly stand up against that?

    But it’s not all doom and gloom for vegetarians. (very) Slowly, governments and health organistations are starting to realise that meat isn’t all that’s it cracked up to be. In the last 10 or more years, a lot of studies have been coming out talking about the bad effects of a diet high in meat (especially red and processed meats). Nearly all (if not all) health organisations have stated that people should increase their fruit and veg intake. Clearly they have realised that humans get far more of their nutrients from plant matter than meat. Here in Australia, the meat industry have been trying to fight this growing trend. They have been ‘advertising’ meat and dairy to be ‘necessary for a healthy diet’ using famous actors, scientists and doctors. Yes, many people fall for these so-called ‘ads’ and I often hear meat-eaters quoting them as their reference (although these are only commercials for big companies, they are often interpreted by their viewers as ‘scientific studies’ – exactly how the meat industry want them to be seen).

    Anyway, I think the truth about human diet will eventually be revealed. I have noticed a lot of changes just in my short life of 30 years. As a slight analogy – it was only about 10-15 years ago where smoking was extremely common. Many people that I knew smoked and most of them refused to admit that it was an unhealthy habit. Back in those days, if I was in a bar and said to one of my friends “I bet you in the next few years, smoking will be banned in pubs and clubs”, they would have laughed at me. But now, at least in Australia, smoking is illegal in pretty much all pubs, clubs, restaurants, etc. This goes to show that things do change and they can change pretty quickly when the momentum starts to build.

    So my final words to vegetarians – Continue what you’re doing. Promote vegeatrianism. Question meat-eaters when the opportunity arises. Get on the online forums and debate with the hard-line meat-eaters. Don’t give in to their silly logic. The more presence we show, the more the word will spread.

    From a personal perspective, it was the online communities that eventually swayed me. I was never a hard-lined meat eater, but like most of them, I was prepared to defend my position. But after months of hearing all the vegetarian arguments, I eventually came round and had a moment of enlightenment. And since then, I have never turned back (despite family / doctors / friends telling me otherwise – yes, seriously!). Now they have all come around and realise that I’m not turning back, and some of them now even go out of their way to invite me over and cook me veg meals!! I think it’s their way of saying “We agree with you – but we’re a little scared to go that way ourselves because of all the crap we’ll receive from other people”.

    Good luck to all of you and enjoy healthy and compassionate eating!

  74. ElynnKy

    It seems like every debate I come across on the issue of eating meat versus vegetarianism/veganism boils down to nothing more than an argument over who is morally superior. Have we all forgotten that eating is far more than just a moral issue? It is also an economic issue as well as one of location and culture. I don’t eat because it is the morally correct thing to do. I eat because my survival (and happiness) depends on it. We behave as if it is some black and white issue with wrong and one side and right on the other, when in reality, the most we can decide is which one we think is the lesser of two evils. It is absolutely necessary to kill in order to eat (live), whether one is vegetarian or meat eater. Vegetarians give some very good arguments in favor of their choices, and meat eaters also give some good arguments for theirs. I personally think it would be better (although I don’t do it myself) to eat whatever is in season locally, than to import fruits and vegetables that are not native to where I live (at great cost to the environment). That means during winter I would have to eat more meat because of the unavailability of fresh, locally grown produce. I also think that this kind of conversation only happens in affluent countries where people have more food choices. I cannot imagine telling a starving human being in Africa that it is immoral to eat animal flesh. It could be argued that wherever there are more options, we should opt for whatever we each think is less harmful to the environment while being the most beneficial to us. The best diet for the protection of the environment is a moderate one. Is the overeating of only plants morally better than moderate meat-eating? There are many unanswered questions and perhaps a little humility is in order, because ultimately it comes down to personal choices which are based on personal values.

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