One thing vegans must endure is the mind-numbingly repetitive arguments omnivore’s feel they must enlighten us with. It is unclear whether they feel it is their imperative to guide us back to the ‘right track’ with these points or whether they are the views they cling to in order to justify their own use of animals. What is clear is that when they drag out their debate cards they don’t realise we have heard it 900 times before and that quite frankly, their reasoning is illogical.
And it can be dumbfounding, tiresome and infuriating.
When an idiot throws a nonsensical string of sentences at you with the kind of victorious flourish that says: ‘I have undone you vegan!’ — let’s be honest, vegans are nonviolent beings but sometimes you envision slapping that triumphant look off their faces.
However, even when you have heard an argument like this for the umpteenth time, it is still a great opportunity to present a clear argument for veganism.
So, here are my retorts for the three most common arguments I hear against veganism…because head butting is considered an impolite response to stupidity.
Plants have feelings too so how can you justify killing them?
Even the most adamant omnivore could not draw a comparison between slicing the throat of a struggling and afraid calf and cutting an apple in half. But if we, for argument’s sake, were to admit the possibility of plants having feelings then we have a moral obligation to eat plants directly rather than through animals since it takes far more plant life to feed animals that are consumed by humans than to feed plants directly to humans.
Eating animals is natural; humans have eaten an omnivorous diet for thousands of years
There is an ever mounting pile of research that proves an ominovorous diet is harmful to human health while a plant-based diet is health-enhancing and promotes longevity in humans. Regardless, if humans are omnivores, that means we are able to obtain the nutrients we need from plants as well as animals. We do notneed to eat animals. In fact we can thrive without eating animals so it simply is no longer justifiable to continue to use and abuse animals for our own ends. Vegan activist and author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau puts it perfectly: do we really want to use Neanderthals as the model for our ethics? Can’t we do better than that?
Animals are bred for the purpose of being eaten so we are justified in eating them
You would not argue that slavery is justifiable because we breed people for the purpose of enslaving them. We do not need to eat animals to survive so it is not justifiable to breed billions of animals — often in cruel, painful and terrifying conditions — just to then slaughter them so that we can eat them. Breeding animals is an ethical choice that is made long before the act of slaughter. Breeding animals is not something that happens regardless so we may as well eat them; breeding is a choice we can choose not to make too.