Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How do you respond to the anti-vegans?

Anti-vegans are always looking for ways to display their ignorance. Take this guy, Mike, who posted a comment to the story, "Vegan mom could lose quintuplets," which was published in the Chicago Tribune:

"One thing is clear - keeping an infant or toddler healthy on a vegan diet is a bigger-than-average challenge. It requires above-average intelligence and extraordinary attention to detail, and even then the risk of malnutrition and retardation are significantly higher for Vegan babies than in the general population of meat-eating Westerners.
This is not like Celiac/Sprue and other food allergies, Julie. No one chooses those. Veganism is an uneccessary lifestyle choice that poses some serious risks to developing children. Not unlike the lifestyle choice related to refusing medical care for sick children pursued by certain religious zealots."

Here is my response to this guy's comment:
Veganism is certainly not an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Meat-eating is, though. Vegans can eat unhealthily, but meat-eaters run the risk of diseases of affluence, such as cancer and heart disease. Veganism removes the potential of dairy to promote cancer (see "The China Study"). Veganism does not require some special degree or intelligence to follow it in a healthy way. Simply eating enough calories means you'll likely be getting enough protein (again, see "The China Study"). Vegans can be comfortable with where their food comes from. I don't know many meat-eaters who will kill their meal or watch it getting killed. What is up with meat-eaters being grossed out about eating certain body parts of an animal or even certain animals? If meat-eaters are so comfortable with their philosophy in eating, they would be comfortable with eating their pet dog or horse. Why do these animals get special exemptions to the human palate and cows don't?
What would you say to a guy like that?


  1. Hi Andrew!

    "Vegans can be comfortable with where their food comes from. I don't know many meat-eaters who will kill their meal or watch it getting killed."

    Hate to drop by and open up a can of worms....but.......

    I know where my meat comes from because I raise & kill it myself.

    But more to the point:

    Are you so very sure you REALLY KNOW where your food comes from?
    And at what cost to animal life?

    This has come up as a topic in my comments for Meat Rabbits.

    I'm going to address this subject on my blog in a couple of weeks.

    I hope you will join us in the discussion.
    All the best to you

  2. Thank you for your comment, Granny. The point I'm trying to make about meat-eaters killing the food they eat is that many people do not equate the meat they buy in the store with the cut up flesh of an animal. They never see the animals. The flesh just appears in the store. There may be some people, like you, who have no problem with killing their own food. I, on the other hand, would not have been good with that when I was a meat-eater. I do know where my food comes from. Most of my vegetables come from a small community supported agricultural farm, who farm the land with hand tools. I buy mostly organic products. I often read up on the farms where my food is produced. I go to farms to either buy food or pick it myself, such as what I do in the winter when I pick my own oranges. As far as your suggestion that vegans kill plenty of animals with farming, I think that is a pretty absurd comment. Vegans try to minimize their harm to other animals. Not supporting current animal farming practices goes a long way in doing that. Most of the crops grown in this country feed the animals grown for food. If we cut out animals in our diets, we would not only not be harming those animals, but we wouldn't need as much farm land for crops, further decreasing any potential harm to animals from farm machines. If we support smaller farms and organics, again, the harm to animals goes down more. No vegan is under the illusion that nothing gets harmed as a result of her needs. We just want to contribute to it as little as possible.