Arguments Against Veganism
by Kieron George
(Yorkshire, Great Britain)
One good argument is the human are mostly carnivores, this is true because an all-meat diet and humans can consume any non-poison meat, this however is (as I understand) not true for plant matter. It is also possible to live only meat (not just only animal products but meat) this is not true if we take a say vegetable diet as consumption of fruit and other plant matter is necessary for healthy vegan diet.
Importantly, the very thing that makes us human is meat, the brain enlarging protein, the cooperation required to hunt and the cultures and tools it inspired. The human body is clearly carnivorous as the stomach contains hydrochloric acid which is used to break down animal proteins, the pancreas produces enzymes for turning animal proteins into amino acid and the human body is designed for endurance hunting.
Another good argument is that many domesticated animals would be extinct or endangered if not for their use by humans, arguably any life is better than no life at all. This couples with the fact wild animals usually live shorter, harsher lives which end with the fleeing in fear only to be ripped and bitten. On the other hand, farm animals usually live long, happy lives that end on full bellies in the hands of caring farmers or quickly and painlessly in slaughterhouses.
Also, there is the partial fallacy of veganism preventing world starvation, this does not consider that meat is the best source of food in harsh environments such as desert and Arctic regions. Another error is the use of beef in the argument a highly inefficient if we instead consider such things as meal worms then it changes the argument considerably and admittably meal worms aren't high on many people's food intake but neither was sushi or even fruit relatively recently, so who knows.
Another fallacy: vegetarians claim they are among the healthiest people around, and they can expect to live nine years longer than meat eaters. The 'nine-year advantage' is an oft-repeated but invariably unsourced piece of anecdotal evidence for vegetarianism. Consider that all vegetarian foods are also available to meat eaters, the inference would be that the eating of meat is, in itself, harmful. This is dubious as meat's value as a primary source of the eight 'essential' amino acids, vital minerals and trace elements including iron, zinc and calcium.
I find it funny how there is a popular misconception that mankind no longer has natural predators; in fact there are thousands of microscopic creatures that will make their living at our expense if our immune systems permit them. Should we disable our cruel antibody mechanisms to protect the welfare and rights of the invaders? (There are, of course, viral invaders that will happily do the job for us.) Vegans read the small print on food packaging so as not to inadvertently consume microbes, but we must wonder how they feel about dealing effectively with bodily infestations of parasites or with killer diseases resulting from bacterial or viral infection. A doctor who was also a vegan would face a moral dilemma with every patient presenting.
Thank you for presenting your argument. This is a hugely pro-vegan website, but we are always interested to know why people are anti-vegan, if for no other reason than to understand the human psyche. Hopefully my response provides some answers.
1. Humans are not built to be complete carnivores, but more as selective omnivores with a mostly herbivorous diet. The main differences between carnivores and herbivores include talons/claws vs. flat fingers/blunt nails; sharp teeth for ripping flesh vs. flat teeth for grinding grains; short, smotth digestive tracts for quick escape vs. long, bumpy, winding digestive tracts to dissolve fiber; and acidic saliva and stomach acid to break down protein vs. alkaline saliva to process plant matter.
2. Unfortunately, the commonly held belief that farm animals live long, happy lives is about 50-100 years out of date, although most humans are unaware of this fact.
Jonathan Safran Foer has an absolutely sensational book out right now called Eating Animals that is rocking the world with its facts and poetic writing. Foer spends some time talking about how, arguably, farm animals would actually be better off not being born at all rather than live the way they do now. I think of Eating Animals as the modern day Animal Liberation which was written by Peter Singer, and did a great job of presenting the philosophical argument behind humans eating other animals. To see my summary of factory farms, where 90-99% of human meat comes from, click on this link. You can also read my ebook, which condenses the information I've read in countless full-size books on factory farming and the lives animals lead to give us meat.
*Warning: the information on these pages and in these books is extremely graphic and upsetting, but is well-worth knowing so people can begin to learn the true nature of lives on factory farms. Plus, if the animals have to go through that treatment, we should have to read about it.
3. To be fair, the current meat consumption has nothing to do with preventing starvation. Those on the lowest rung of wealth do not eat meat. Meat right now is produced for those with wealth, and because the demand for it is so high, the prices have remained lower than any other food product in history, leading to the obesity and disease problems in today's society, as well as the horrible treatment of food animals. I'm not familiar with the eating conditions in harsh areas like the desert or the Arctic, but I do know that most of the world doesn't live in hypothetical eating situations.
4. There are countless studies on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, and even the FDA (which has an extremely close relationship with animal farmers) says that these diets are lower in cholesterol, saturated fat, etc. To learn more about the health benefits of a vegan diet, and more importantly, to learn more about the diseases that are directly linked to meat consumption, click these links.
5. I haven't heard of the concept that humans have no natural predators, and I agree that it's completely false. There are plenty of animals who would gladly feast on us! As far as microbes, much of the rampant bacterial and viral infection problem stems from our relatively new resistance to antibiotics. Because the demand for cheap meat is so high, "farmers" are forced to keep huge numbers of animals in packed conditions which leads to disease, and to counter it they feed them antibiotics. Those antibiotics rest in the flesh of the animals as well as rinse out in their urine and feces. The flesh is consumed by humans, who then develop antibiotic resistent diseases. The excrement from the animals isn't required to be treated like human excrement and so it is piled into huge cesspools which leach into the earth and groundwater and end up in our faucets, which also leads to antibiotic-resistent disease. It's a horrible cycle and though the solution seems so clear to many of us, it's still so far from being solved.