arguments against veganism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-03-2006, 03:29 AM
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i've been talking to my parents alot about this whole veganism thing recently but i always seem to get arguments back which, to me at least, make no sense...i never know what to say when they come back at me with things like;



"yes but IF air travel and sea travel were stopped due to global warming we need to become more self sufficient and if we only lived on local produce we wouldn't have enough to eat being vegan and it would be far better to eat locally produced meat. it wouldn't be practical to be vegan. we'd only be living off potato and veg if we only ate local produce etc etc"

-oh dear not the what if game please...



[in responce to the whole you wouldn't eat your pet, why eat an animal thing]

i asked them if they'd kill and eat our dog because he had had a nice life so far. they said of course not.....

"that's different"

but when it comes to the animals that are seen as 'food' such as pigs, cows and chickens....

"if it has been treated well there is nothing wrong with killing it. animals aren't sentient beings. they may feel pain but it doesn't know what that means. so long as it has had a nice life it is alright to kill it. if its not been factory farmed it is ok to kill and eat the animal. so long as it hasn't been factory farmed it is killed nicely. its ok if the animals have been killed kindly. they don't feel any distress or suffering. etc etc"

- this is the one i really have a problem with, ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS, aren't they?? i don't understand why they don't feel that the life of an animal is worth anything and that they have the right to take it just because that is how people have always acted. since when is it ok? we are intelligent beings and we have plenty of alternatives. we don't need to kill animals to survive. and whats all this about the fact that it is only factory farmed animals who suffer?? they seem to think our extremely stupid dog is more intelligent and feels pain more than a chicken, cow or pig....oh yea and how do you kill something 'nicely'?



"humans have always killed animals to eat. we aren't meant to be vegan. humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live.we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores.its what i grew up with. it's how its always been."

- umm still doesn't mean that killing animals is right does it??



i'm just at a complete loss and each responce i get from them leaves me speechless...i wondered if any of you could help me argue my case...i'm sorry if my post has been incoherent and messy and probably over sensitive and emotional but it just makes me feel so annoyed lol



there are loads of other similar things they have said that i can't quite remember atm but i'll add some later if i think of any more



i would love to hear all your opinions on these arguments against veganism
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#2 Old 11-03-2006, 03:36 AM
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I pretty much hate having to debate it in general, but yeah - the worst are the 'what if...'s because they're just stupid. "What if you were trapped on a desert island with nothing but a horse?" I mean, pretty much all "what if..." type scenarios are pointless, but I just answer them honestly and if it's a scenario where I end up eating the animal (there are some of them, so sue me) I make sure to tag "and that question is absoloutely pointless, btw" on the end of my answer. Or sometimes "and to stay alive I'd probably kill another human too, should I do that in everyday life"?
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#3 Old 11-03-2006, 05:51 AM
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i think the best thing to do would be to smile [perhaps shake yoru head] and walk away. these kinds of uneducated people are not worth arguing with if you live in the same home and they are STARTING the arguments. if you are starting the arguments, i suggest you stop and leave it be.



but of course continue to be vegan.
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#4 Old 11-03-2006, 08:00 AM
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earlier today someone told me their reason not to consider veg*nism was: "have you ever had that lovely tasting piece of steak... mmm."

i just shook my head, said no and walked off...
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#5 Old 11-03-2006, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

oh yea and how do you kill something 'nicely'?

I see this all the time - people won't admit to themselves that the animals do suffer, and that being killed isn't very nice (!). They seem to somehow believe that the animals painlessly die of natural causes, then cleanly fall apart into burger-sized chunks. Time to show them some videos of a slaughterhouse, methinks.



As for the sentience thing: remind them that pigs are demonstratably more intelligent than dogs, up to the point that they can play videogames.
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#6 Old 11-03-2006, 09:25 AM
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I would say a good starting point is to get ahold of some books on the various subjects. Meat Market by Eric Somethingorother and Animal Liberation by Peter Singer will give you some good ammo.



There's a Recommended Reading thread in the Vegetarian forum with lots more to choose from.



As for this...



Quote:
"humans have always killed animals to eat.



Humans have always waged war. Doesn't make it okay.



Humans have always oppressed other humans. Doesn't make it okay.



Humans have kept slaves, men have oppressed women, we've polluted, smoked, murdered, and done dozens of other really crappy things for a long, long time. Surely the fact that something has gone on for a long time isn't a logical reason to keep on doing it?



If you ask me tradition is a pretty lousy excuse to keep on doing [edited by mod: bad] things.
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#7 Old 11-03-2006, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post


"humans have always killed animals to eat. we aren't meant to be vegan. humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live.we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores.its what i grew up with. it's how its always been."



I'll touch the other points later, and this one with some posted evidence as well, but quickly:



If your family believes in the Christian God - the garden of Eden was vegan. God's ideal is veganism.



If your family doesn't believe in God, science also supports man originally consisting on produce. Our body's support this as well. I can elaborate more later, but everything from out mouths, to our digestive tracts support a fruigivore diet.



If anything, we were not ALWAYS meat eaters, and in fact we were meant to be vegan.



To retort the "we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores" I would say "we would have large claws and teeth if we were meant to be carnivores - heres a live rabbit and a fork, enjoy! Ill go enjoy my strawberries"
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#8 Old 11-03-2006, 09:52 AM
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Ask them to name you some animals that have two stomachs.
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#9 Old 11-04-2006, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jeezycreezy View Post

If you ask me tradition is a pretty lousy excuse to keep on doing sh!tty things.



"What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right"
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#10 Old 11-04-2006, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

i've been talking to my parents alot about this whole veganism thing recently but i always seem to get arguments back which, to me at least, make no sense...i never know what to say when they come back at me with things like;



"yes but IF air travel and sea travel were stopped due to global warming we need to become more self sufficient and if we only lived on local produce we wouldn't have enough to eat being vegan and it would be far better to eat locally produced meat. it wouldn't be practical to be vegan. we'd only be living off potato and veg if we only ate local produce etc etc"

-oh dear not the what if game please...



[in responce to the whole you wouldn't eat your pet, why eat an animal thing]

i asked them if they'd kill and eat our dog because he had had a nice life so far. they said of course not.....

"that's different"

but when it comes to the animals that are seen as 'food' such as pigs, cows and chickens....

"if it has been treated well there is nothing wrong with killing it. animals aren't sentient beings. they may feel pain but it doesn't know what that means. so long as it has had a nice life it is alright to kill it. if its not been factory farmed it is ok to kill and eat the animal. so long as it hasn't been factory farmed it is killed nicely. its ok if the animals have been killed kindly. they don't feel any distress or suffering. etc etc"



- this is the one i really have a problem with, ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS, aren't they?? i don't understand why they don't feel that the life of an animal is worth anything and that they have the right to take it just because that is how people have always acted. since when is it ok? we are intelligent beings and we have plenty of alternatives. we don't need to kill animals to survive. and whats all this about the fact that it is only factory farmed animals who suffer?? they seem to think our extremely stupid dog is more intelligent and feels pain more than a chicken, cow or pig....oh yea and how do you kill something 'nicely'?



"humans have always killed animals to eat. we aren't meant to be vegan. humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live.we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores.its what i grew up with. it's how its always been."

- umm still doesn't mean that killing animals is right does it??



i'm just at a complete loss and each responce i get from them leaves me speechless...i wondered if any of you could help me argue my case...i'm sorry if my post has been incoherent and messy and probably over sensitive and emotional but it just makes me feel so annoyed lol



there are loads of other similar things they have said that i can't quite remember atm but i'll add some later if i think of any more



i would love to hear all your opinions on these arguments against veganism



A few suggestions,



- You have to ask yourself whether your parents are interested in genuine debate and whether receptive to your opinions. The chances are they are not. Don't feel compelled to talk your parents into veganism. I hate to be blunt, but it's not likely to happen.



- it seems that your parents undermine themselves in relation to your dog. If your dog has had a good life - and if they think that that entitles us to kill animals - how is killing a pet 'different?'. Killing is killing. Also you could point out that people do eat dogs and cats - ask: do your parents think this is okay?



- Your parents argue that 'animals may feel pain but do not know what that means'. This claim assumes that it is neccessary for animals 'to kno wwhat it means to feel pain' to be morally relevant. Your parents would need to prove this, not just claim it. You can counter that babies do not know about pain but that does not mean that babies are morally irrelevent: second order thoughts (thinking about feelings) is not necessary for feeling to exist. If your parents accept that animals feel pain (if they doubt it, ask them would they kick your dog) the burden is on them, not on you, to show that this is not morally relevant. All evidence (from philosophy, neuroscience, etc) proves animals feel apin - to claim otherwise is to rehash antropocentric idiocy from the dark ages.



- 'humans have always killed animals to eat' isn't an argument at all. You should point out the difference between 'ought' and 'is'. I.e. even if it were true that 'humans have always killed animals' this would not mean that we should continue to do so. Ask your parents if their moral compass is so stunted that they've made little progress from cave men. It is clear that humans have always done many things (rape, murder, war) - but this is purely descriptive. It says nothing about whether we should continue to do those things. As for having two stomachs, just ask them to compare their eating behaviour wit that of a natural carnivore, say a lion. Obviously there is a gulf not only physiology (our soft fingernails versus claws that can tear flesh, our puny teeth versus the lions teeth that can chew on metal, etc) but also in behaviour: how many pigs have your parents eaten with their bare hands, the flesh consumed raw? NOt many I imagine. The point is: what we are designed to do, what we do and what we SHOULD do, are not morally univocal.



There is a document, the animals rights FAQ (google it) that tackles much of your points further.
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#11 Old 11-04-2006, 09:34 AM
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To retort the "we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores" I would say "we would have large claws and teeth if we were meant to be carnivores - heres a live rabbit and a fork, enjoy! Ill go enjoy my strawberries"





That's a good way of putting it. Your parents wouldnt know what the hell to do if they couldn't buy prepackaged, preprepared 'meat'. The RELEVANCE of the claim that eating meat is 'natural' goes out of the window if you imagine your parents fumbling around like clowns trying to get their morning bacon from the 300 hundred pound, p*ssed off pig in their back yard. Now, a lion, a natural carnivore, would know what to do. If it's so natural to eat animals, why would your parents be so incompetent - having to get someone else to do the dirty deed or using MANMADE instruments to overwhelm the pig (rathrer than hands, teeth, etc).



See, the whole debate about whether eating 'meat' is 'natural' is IRRELEVANT. Man is an unnatural animal.
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#12 Old 11-04-2006, 09:37 AM
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"we aren't meant to be vegan."



This is correct. Humans aren't "meant" to do anything, because nature has no meanings.



"humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live."



What's the definition of 'natural'?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#13 Old 11-04-2006, 10:05 AM
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What's the definition of 'natural'?



One definition that I think a lot of people intend is the world as it exists without human beings or civilization.



I prefer "the particular combination of qualities belonging to a person, animal, thing, or class by birth, origin, or constitution; native or inherent character: human nature."



To wit:



Quote:
Originally Posted by lachry View Post

Man is an unnatural animal.



Birds build nests. Humans build houses. Are both not following their nature? How is one act more natural than the other?



Humans have the exact same basic drives as other animals—food, shelter, mating, etc. We're just better at it. Or worse. Depending on your point of view. But I don't think you can call us unnatural because our nature is so unique among the animal kingdom.
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#14 Old 11-04-2006, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

"yes but IF air travel and sea travel were stopped due to global warming we need to become more self sufficient and if we only lived on local produce we wouldn't have enough to eat being vegan and it would be far better to eat locally produced meat. it wouldn't be practical to be vegan. we'd only be living off potato and veg if we only ate local produce etc etc"



Actually, you'd be better off as a vegan. It takes MORE land to grow crops, then feed them to animals, which are also taking up space and rescorces, than it would to just grow the produce and eat it yourself. Why go through the extra step?



Quote:
Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

[in responce to the whole you wouldn't eat your pet, why eat an animal thing]

i asked them if they'd kill and eat our dog because he had had a nice life so far. they said of course not.....

"that's different"

but when it comes to the animals that are seen as 'food' such as pigs, cows and chickens....

"if it has been treated well there is nothing wrong with killing it. animals aren't sentient beings. they may feel pain but it doesn't know what that means. so long as it has had a nice life it is alright to kill it. if its not been factory farmed it is ok to kill and eat the animal. so long as it hasn't been factory farmed it is killed nicely. its ok if the animals have been killed kindly. they don't feel any distress or suffering. etc etc"



I know that even if I've "had a nice life", I still wouldn't want someone to kill and eat me while I could still be living it, especially if they don't even need to! Humans do not need meat to survive. You parents, out of an unwitting selfishness, are making up excuses. They feel the need to justify what they are doing with the arguement "they don't really know they're being killed" or "they are being treated well before we kill them". I can't say for sure whether they know what's going to happen to them, maybe, maybe not. But, I'm sure that most, if not ALL, factory farm animals are not being treated humanely and most are not killed humanely, either. Do your parents always eat non-factory meats? Do they never eat fast food? Do they never eat at restraunts? Do they kill thier own meat or watch as someone else kills it for them? Maybe they do, I don't know about your living situation, but how do they know the animal has even lived "a good life" and "been killed kindly" if they don't?
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#15 Old 11-04-2006, 03:37 PM
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To wit:



Birds build nests. Humans build houses. Are both not following their nature? How is one act more natural than the other?



Humans have the exact same basic drives as other animals—food, shelter, mating, etc. We're just better at it. Or worse. Depending on your point of view. But I don't think you can call us unnatural because our nature is so unique among the animal kingdom.





Hi,



I come at this from the persepctive of Erich Fromm, who argues that man is a 'freak' of nature in that we are both immanent creatures, but also transcendent. We are both of nature but also radically separated from it. See eg Man for Himself, the Sane Society, etc.



Fish swim, birds bird nests, etc. But no fish has every said to itself: "you know what, I won't swim today". It has no choice but to swim - it's 'programmed' to. Man is unique in that we are plastic: we have both a genetic birth but also, potentially, an existential birth. We are not cast at the womb. Humans are more than that - this is both our freedom and our curse. "Man is condemned to be free" etc, - Sartre.



I don't deny such a thing as "species being" (to use the Marxist notion) - but I would suggest that one major contestaion in western thought is: what is man's nature? Nobody knows and any claim to is hokum. But there is no question about fish or birds: fish swim, birds fly, etc. That's about it. The nature of a fish is genetically set, the nature of man's is not: we can and we cannot.



I avoid the word 'natural' because it is meaningless. Usually people just refer to the 'natural' to justify man made notions of behaviour, etc. So vegans think its 'natural' to be kind to animals, hunters think its 'natural' to be dominant, anarchists think its 'natural' to co operate, capitalists think it is 'natural' to compete, etc. Man is unnatural in the sense that our nature is not defined, totally, at conception - we are a freak on planet earth.





----

Fromm: "I should rather not speak in the name of psychiatry, because my views are perhaps not quite orthodox enough, so I speak for myself. In the first place, I think these needs are to b e understood from the specific condition of human existence. Man is a paradox. He is within nature and he tran-scends nature. He is, you might say, the only organism where life has become aware of itself. Man is gifted with imagination, with reason, with awareness of his existence, of his death, and of all the many choices he has. Therefore, he has a singular and unique problem to solve. His {11} needs are unique and specifically human inasmuch as they are rooted in this peculiarity and in this specificity of his human condition. " 1960's
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#16 Old 11-05-2006, 04:39 AM
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I did meet one omnivore who gave me what I considered a rational reason to eat meat. I don't think I can repeat the whole thing now, just some details.

In response to the we don't have claws or teeth to consume meat:



There's the intelligence to use tools aspect.

Building the tools is our natural weapon to use to hunt other animals.

People started to use fire a long time ago and this is when eating meat became natural for people. Our diet has been shaped by being able to cook things we could not otherwise eat.
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#17 Old 11-05-2006, 09:41 AM
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OP, I understand your frustration. Especially with the logical contradiction WITHIN the statements your parents are making. They say that "if the animal is treated nicely" then killing it is okay and then state that animals cannot feel. If they truly believed animals could not feel then they would not even give lip service to "nice treatment," and as was pointed out, wouldn't bother being nice to the dog.



Remind them that we are not living on a desert island or an isolated town or in any other ridiculous scenario. We live in the modern world where non-animal alternatives are abundant, delicious, and - under modern conditions - are more sustainable, healthier, and more humane.



And, of course, read up on THE NATURALISTIC FALLACY. It's so irritatingly common that it has its own name among the logic/academic community. IN short, "natural" is an ethically meaningless term, as others on this board have pointed out. "Natural" does not mean good, nor does it mean bad. Some natural things are good and some are bad. Naturalness has NOTHING to do with whether something is moral or otherwise a good idea. Most people would consider computers unnatural, or toothpaste, or airplanes, or shoes. Are these things morally wrong because they're unnatural? And as others have mentioned, war and murder and lying and stealing are totally natural. Most people would not consider them ethical just because they are natural.
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#18 Old 11-05-2006, 10:39 AM
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Here's from the "Arguments" section of Eco-Eating at www.brook.com/veg:



• 29. Arguments Against Vegetarianism? Not really.:



1. Humans are more important than animals, therefore human beings should come first



Tragically, there’s no shortage to suffering and it doesn’t seem to be running out anytime soon. Many of those who say we should tend to people before we take care of animals often use this as an excuse to avoid taking any action in the defense of life and justice. Further, trying to protect the lives of animals certainly doesn’t preclude us from trying to protect the lives of human beings. Indeed, vegetarians often do both.





2. Some animals kill others for food, therefore it’s natural



While certain animals kill for food, others do not. In fact, there are more herbivorous (plant-eating) animals than there are carnivorous (meat-eating) ones. One of the important characteristics of humans is our consciousness and ability to make choices, rather than merely responding to instinct. Making positive, life-affirming choices is the hallmark of community and civilization.





3. It’s my tradition, therefore I feel comfortable with it



We have many traditions, both old and new, as individuals, families, and cultures. While traditions may be important, it is also important to recognize that some traditions are destructive and that traditions often change over time. Our traditions regarding hygiene, work, the role of women, and child rearing, to name just a few, have changed dramatically over recent generations. Slavery was a tradition too.





4. I don’t feel well when I don’t eat meat, therefore I need to eat meat to be healthy and happy



Some people claim not to feel well when they don’t eat meat. Sometimes the detoxification process can be the cause of this, sometimes it could be related to physical habit, it could be psychological, or it could simply be an excuse. We know that eating animals is not necessary and, in fact, studies show that vegetarians tend to be healthier than their meat-eating counterparts. Many vegetarians also report feeling more energetic, more at peace, and happier overall.





5. I can’t get enough protein without meat, therefore I need to eat meat



Despite the conventional myths regarding protein, it is easy to get enough protein if you can get enough calories. Most people who are not desperately poor, and certainly most people in North America, Europe, East Asia, Australasia, and elsewhere, get more than enough calories and more than enough protein. In the U.S., for example, average Americans have about twice the FDA-recommended protein intake. For most people, therefore, the problem isn’t too little protein (few people have protein deficiency), but too much protein, which is linked to a variety of health problems.





6. The food pyramid includes meat, therefore it’s a good thing to eat



The government food pyramid contains meat, but even there it suggests a sparing use. The government is influenced by our culture and traditions, as we are, but is also influenced by the powerful meat and dairy industries, which stand to profit by the continuation of the unhealthy status quo. As alternatives, there are vegetarian (no meat, poultry, or fish) and vegan (no animal products) food pyramids that are unbiased and more accurate for your health.





7. I like the taste of meat, therefore I keep eating it



Simply trying to satisfy our individual tastes and desires, regardless of the impacts on others, has seemingly become a modern American (and increasingly global) ideal, but it is quite selfish. There are many possibilities that are open to us, even if they are legal, but that doesn’t necessarily make them right. Caring for and about others, while caring for and about ourselves, leads to true and lasting satisfaction.





8. Animals are lower than humans on the food chain, therefore animals are natural food for humans



Especially for humans, neither the food chain itself nor the food choices we make are natural and unchangeable. As potential omnivores who were originally vegetarians, humans have choices in the foods we eat and there are no natural foods. Indeed, what we eat is largely determined by our culture and consciousness.





9. We’re stronger than animals, therefore we should use them for our benefit



While physical force may prevail, might does not make right. Simply having the power to accomplish a task in no way makes the means or the ends fair, just, or honorable ones.





10. We have dominion over animals, therefore they are here for human pleasure



It is not so much that we have dominion over animals, but that we share the Earth with them or, perhaps, have stewardship, guardianship, or trusteeship over them, implying co-habitation and responsibility. Animals are not here for us to abuse or exploit, but rather to take care of, to commune with, giving each other companionship and pleasure in mutually satisfying relationships.





11. Modern humans evolved to eat meat, therefore we should continue to do so



Early humans were the hunted, not the hunters, eating only plant-based foods. Avoiding predators, and also not being one, humans further developed their brains as well as their social and cultural techniques of socialization, cooperation, and innovation. Whether back then or now, our teeth and intestines, for example, are not designed for meet consumption. Only after the advent of fire was meet eating even possible. While many people and cultures have incorporated meet into their diets, it is still not part of our physiology, biology, or genetics to eat to meat.





12. It’s always been this way, therefore it will always be this way



Not only hasn’t it always been this way (quite the contrary), but it is not even completely this way now. People and cultures are variable and adaptable. While it is clearly possible for us to eat meet, it is also clearly not necessary. Additionally, it is unhealthy for people, animals, and the environment.





13. If I don’t eat meat, someone else will, therefore I might as well



If you eat meat, more animals are terrorized, tortured, and killed to support your habit. It’s as simple as that. Your actions do make a difference.





14. If we don’t eat animals, we’ll be overrun with them, therefore we need to eat meat to keep their numbers in check



This argument reverses the causal connection. There are a lot of certain animals because they are raised for meat and people eat them. If there were less demand for meat, there would be fewer cows, pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep. People don’t typically eat lions, tigers, rhinos, hippos, zebra, giraffe, elephants, gorillas, and other large mammals and we are certainly not over run with them; quite the contrary, many of these animals are severely threatened in the wild.





15. If we didn’t eat animals, or if we let them, animals would eat us, so we should eat them first



This fear-centered misreading of animals and evolution does not comport with history or science. We’ll never be the next meal of the herbivorous cows and pigs.





16. Animals don’t feel pain or suffer, therefore it doesn’t matter if they’re raised for food



Many studies show that animals do feel and can suffer; many people’s personal experience with animals demonstrates this as well. Examinations of animal brains, nervous systems, nerve cells, and behavior all evidence the possibility of pain. Further, it is increasingly clear that many animals also experience emotions, including emotional pain such as fear, anxiety, sorry, grief, anguish, and terror.



17. Agriculture also kills living beings, so it doesn’t what you eat or do



While it’s true that agriculture and other activities also kill living beings, it should be obvious that animal agriculture kills even more and does so purposely. Additionally, animal agriculture heavily relies on plant-based agriculture to feed the animals raised for meat. Clearly, it’s a matter of intensity and the goal for vegetarians and vegans should be to do what’s most healthy and least destructive, causing the least damage to people, animals, and the environment.





18. I just like to eat meat, therefore I don’t care about the consequences



The great philosopher Hillel once asked: “If I am only for myself, what am I?” Honestly, not much.



While there may be various self-serving rationalizations for eating other animals, there are no biological, genetic, moral, ethical, religious, philosophical, or environmental reasons or benefits for humans to eat meat.



Each and all of the arguments against vegetarianism are ultimately without merit and fail.
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#19 Old 11-05-2006, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

"yes but IF air travel and sea travel were stopped due to global warming we need to become more self sufficient and if we only lived on local produce we wouldn't have enough to eat being vegan and it would be far better to eat locally produced meat. it wouldn't be practical to be vegan. we'd only be living off potato and veg if we only ate local produce etc etc"



You live in the UK right? The UK is not self-sufficient in food production - it imports about 40%. It is not self-sufficient in beef, pork, eggs you name it. So the question is does the UK have the ability to be self-sufficient in food production? I am pretty sure they could be. But it would be a lot harder to be self-sufficient when a huge chunk of agricultural land is being used to raise crops to feed live-stock. Live-stock are also hard on the soil. Being vegan does not require someone to eat exotic fruit that could not be grown locally.



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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

"if it has been treated well there is nothing wrong with killing it. animals aren't sentient beings. they may feel pain but it doesn't know what that means. so long as it has had a nice life it is alright to kill it. if its not been factory farmed it is ok to kill and eat the animal. so long as it hasn't been factory farmed it is killed nicely. its ok if the animals have been killed kindly. they don't feel any distress or suffering. etc etc"



How do your parents know that an animal has had a "nice life" and is "killed nicely?" Do they check in on future food while it is being raised tp ensure that it is living it up? Are they there when the animal is being killed to ensure that it is being killed nicely? Maybe singing to it and rubbing its belly before slaughter so the animal is not in any distress. I doubt it. It is simply a case of caring about the dog because they have contact with it and can see that it worth more then simply being human food and not caring about the cow because they don't have contact with it and can't see that it just as worthy of life as any other animal.



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Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

"humans have always killed animals to eat. we aren't meant to be vegan. humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live.we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores.its what i grew up with. it's how its always been."



This animal has one stomach and doesn't eat meat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_gorilla
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#20 Old 11-05-2006, 02:38 PM
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I definitely understand your frustration. Here are the responses that I would give:



"yes but IF air travel and sea travel were stopped due to global warming we need to become more self sufficient and if we only lived on local produce we wouldn't have enough to eat being vegan and it would be far better to eat locally produced meat. it wouldn't be practical to be vegan. we'd only be living off potato and veg if we only ate local produce etc etc"



Remind them that this is not likely to happen anytime soon. Also, throw in some What If's to them. Like, what if the meat industry didn't kill the animals for you? What if we couldn't cook? Would you kill the animal with your bare hands and eat it raw?



"[in responce to the whole you wouldn't eat your pet, why eat an animal thing]

i asked them if they'd kill and eat our dog because he had had a nice life so far. they said of course not.....

"that's different"

but when it comes to the animals that are seen as 'food' such as pigs, cows and chickens....

"if it has been treated well there is nothing wrong with killing it. animals aren't sentient beings. they may feel pain but it doesn't know what that means. so long as it has had a nice life it is alright to kill it. if its not been factory farmed it is ok to kill and eat the animal. so long as it hasn't been factory farmed it is killed nicely. its ok if the animals have been killed kindly. they don't feel any distress or suffering. etc etc"

- this is the one i really have a problem with, ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS, aren't they?? i don't understand why they don't feel that the life of an animal is worth anything and that they have the right to take it just because that is how people have always acted. since when is it ok? we are intelligent beings and we have plenty of alternatives. we don't need to kill animals to survive. and whats all this about the fact that it is only factory farmed animals who suffer?? they seem to think our extremely stupid dog is more intelligent and feels pain more than a chicken, cow or pig.... oh yea and how do you kill something 'nicely'?"



People get this all the time. I get it all the time, too. I think that it's "different" to them because they have bonded with this animal. However, bring up the issue of how cows are treated in India. They don't kill or eat cows because it is "different" there. Why does that make it okay for them to eat cows where you are?



"humans have always killed animals to eat. we aren't meant to be vegan. humans have always been meat eaters and veganism isn't a natural way to live.we would have two stomachs if we were meant to be herbivores.its what i grew up with. it's how its always been."



It isn't natural for us to eat meat raw. Also, our brains are so complex that we have a choice whether or not we want to be vegan. As so many have said before me, we cannot define what is natural for man because man is such an unnatural species.



Quote:

This animal has one stomach and doesn't eat meat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_gorilla





This reminds me- my friend was trying to convince me the other day that gorillas killed and ate small mammals. Is this true...? I've never heard of it before that.
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#21 Old 11-05-2006, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alli View Post

This reminds me- my friend was trying to convince me the other day that gorillas killed and ate small mammals. Is this true...? I've never heard of it before that.



Chimpanzees have been known to kill and eat small mammals, but meat is still a tiny and inconsistent portion of their diet.



Gorrillas on the other hand do not eat meat.
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#22 Old 11-05-2006, 02:43 PM
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Oh, alright. That makes sense. Thank you.
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#23 Old 11-05-2006, 02:44 PM
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You are welcome
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#24 Old 11-05-2006, 03:05 PM
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I think I do recall gorillas being fed meat in captivity. I am not sure if this was mixed into their food or they were trained to like it like orangtans are in captivity sometimes.
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#25 Old 11-05-2006, 03:28 PM
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I hate the What If arguments...last week I got asked if I was in a desert there was only a rabbit to eat, would I eat it. I asked them what the rabbit was living off before I got there, and they told me the rabbit came with me, so I said I wouldn't eat it because the rabbit would be A. Raw, and B, only make me last a week or so longer if I didn't die from the food poisoning so I'd still be stuffed, I'd just have to spend longer in the middle of an empty desert. And that's the only time I've ever won an argument of that kind
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#26 Old 11-05-2006, 03:35 PM
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I think what if arguments are silly because circumstances change what you'd do.

What if you were starving and there was a dead person in front of you?. If you'd eat them does that justfy being a cannibal?, I don't think so.



But I love your reply anyways.
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#27 Old 11-06-2006, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everything_is View Post

i've been talking to my parents alot about this whole veganism thing recently but i always seem to get arguments back which, to me at least, make no sense...i never know what to say when they come back at me with things like;



i would love to hear all your opinions on these arguments against veganism



I read your responses to what your folks have been saying... and you're doing just fine without our help, although those responding in this thread have made plenty of good points.



Are they trying to convince you to drop vegetarianism? If not, maybe there's no reason to discuss it with them further.

Peasant (1963-1972) and Fluffy (1970s?-1982- I think of you as 'Ambrose' now)- Your spirits outshone some humans I have known. Be happy forever.
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#28 Old 11-06-2006, 03:15 PM
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As far as the 'we were meant to be carnivores' schtick:



'You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car.'



-Harvey Diamond
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