Your Arguments Against Veganism Don't Hold Up

by Mary Kate 2 years ago in vegan

The Flaws in Anti-vegan Points

Your Arguments Against Veganism Don't Hold Up

Does veganism seem radical to you? Can you even imagine a day in the life without animal products? Consider this. Do you think perhaps, because veganism is not the social norm, you discredit it too quickly? Let us look over some common rebuttals most vegans are very accustomed to hearing from their omnivorous friends and enemies, and see if they stand their ground in an argument.

1. Meat tastes so good, though!

This is perhaps the most elementary of anti-vegan arguments, but it is not a strawman. Indeed, you have probably said or thought this at one point or another, and any vegan can attest to having heard it at least once or twice.

It is fairly obvious that there is a basic problem with this quasi-argument: Something feeling good does not justify its morality. Self-explanatory.

2. Humans are able/meant to eat animals.

The point is that humans are better suited to an herbivorous diet, not that they cannot eat meat.

A man ate an entire plane. Some people have iron stomachs that can digest anything; does that mean they should eat whatever they can digest?

Human trunk length parallels other herbivores. We have long intestines to extract as much nutrition from each food as possible. Carnivores have short intestines because meat cannot remain in the digestive tract for long without causing harm.

We cannot kill and eat without tools. Carnivores do not require tools. Their bodies have everything they need.

3. A vegan diet is nutritionally deficient.

The only required nutrient not available in a plant-based diet is Vitamin B12, which can be easily and infrequently supplemented to preserve adequate intake. Animals themselves are not sources of B12—it is often supplemented in their feed. Further, many of the rumors of health issues on a vegan diet are due to poor planning or myth. Nutritional deficiency is possible in any diet; most people are deficient in Vitamin D3. Meat does not contain Vitamin D3. By this logic, you could say an omnivorous diet causes deficiency because meat has no vitamin D3.

Extremely high intake of soy (such as a quart of soymilk daily, as present in some of the male subjects in fertility studies) increases phytoestrogen and can result in lower sperm count. The solution is simple. There are many other complete plant proteins (rice + beans, lentils, quinoa, wheat gluten, buckwheat, chia, hemp, I could go on) that are not soy. One can eat a reasonable amount of soy and stay fertile.

Most health claims about veganism can be debunked with a single web search.

4. Animals are not intelligent enough to be of moral value.

Here is where it can get dicey. What exactly is your bar for intelligence being enough to live? How about dogs? If this is the case, pigs must also be off the menu for good, considering that they are smarter than dogs. If you are going to take the edgier route and claim that no animal is smart enough to have the right to live, then consider the severely disabled humans, real or hypothetical, who are at about the same cognitive level as a cow. Do these people deserve to live? You might say that simply because they are humans, they deserve to live. However, to claim this, you must point out the ethically differentiating trait between animals and humans which make humans of the same intelligence level have more of a right to live. Otherwise, you are holding a straight-up double standard. Nothing can stop you from being inconsistent, but you should probably question your intellectual and moral integrity and consider keeping this argument to yourself.

5. Plants have feelings, too.

There is a vast difference between intelligence and sentience. Intelligence means to be able to learn and adapt to new situations, and, indeed, there is some research that points to possible plant intelligence. Sentience, however, according to Google, is "the capacity to feel, perceive or experience subjectively. Eighteenth-century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think from the ability to feel." The Cambridge Declaration of Animal Consciousness confirms that animals are believed to be conscious beings with a subjective experience. Plants, on the other hand, do not possess a brain or a central nervous system, and have no evidence of being conscious thus far.

Further, even if plants *were* sentient, vegans consume far less plants through eating them directly than an omnivore does by consuming herbivorous animals!

6. It is better to exist and be killed than to never exist at all.

This is an interesting question to ask yourself: If you were given the best life possible, living in luxury and granted all your wishes from birth until death, *but* you were killed at 16, would you take this life?

This could perhaps be equated to the life of an animal on a "humane" family farm.

But let's get real.

Now imagine you live in a small room for your entire life, never seeing the light of day. You never go hungry, but you cannot leave this space, and you will be killed at 16. Would you rather exist in this life, or not be born at all?

Are you being honest with yourself? Do you really think that existence is always better than nonexistence?

There are many more arguments and rebuttals against veganism, and these are just a few basic versions of the many. Perhaps open your mind to the possibility of a new perspective, and you might just find yourself on the other side of the debate.

Mary Kate
Mary Kate
Read next: Easy, Cheating Prawn and Cream Cheese Risotto
Mary Kate

I like the arts, the ice, and the cats of this world

See all posts by Mary Kate