An open letter to militant vegans

Categories: Veggie Girl

vegetarian_feast.jpg
Dear militant vegans:

Please, please, for the love of all things holy, do a favor for everyone -- non-militant vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike -- and shut the fuck up already.

I know many of you are going to start banging out angry comments without reading the rest of my argument -- and that is your prerogative. But I would like to state, for the record: I am on your side.

I've been a vegetarian for ten of my thirty years on this planet. I agree that the mass production of meat, dairy products and eggs are more often than not cruel exhibits of the lengths to which human beings will go to make a buck. The benefits of a meat-free existence are myriad: lowered cholesterol, weight loss, greater energy, increased karma points. And as a recent convert to veganism, I can attest to the fact that its benefits are incrementally greater: clear skin, vibrant energy, increased memory, less lethargy.

Want to know why it took me so long to try out veganism? Because I was already tired of people rolling their eyes and tying me to your crazy, militant asses when I disclosed that I was a vegetarian. And I knew coming out as a vegan would only make it worse.

How successful do you think Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are at convincing the public that God hates fags? How many people do you think those nutjobs have converted to their way of thinking by protesting funerals and blaming the earthquake in Haiti on poor behavior? Well, guess what? You come across as equally batshit crazy when you start ranting to people about caged chickens and slaughterhouse practices.

Once again, I agree with you. But you know, there are better ways to bring people over to your way of thinking than attacking them. Meat-eaters already know that an animal has to die so that they can enjoy their Kobe beef and pork green chile. Obviously, beating them over the head with info they already know does nothing but piss them off.

Why not instead share some cold, hard facts about global warming with that Prius-owning carnivore? Not in attack mode; instead, say, "Hey, did you know that the world's meat consumption has been estimated to be responsible for 51 percent of all carbon emissions?" If people already care about the environment, it's not hard to share with them some ways they could make a difference by cutting out meat just one day a week.

Or for your diabetic friends who're struggling with a weight problem -- why not be a resource and offer to show them some tasty, meat-free recipes to help them along their way? Some people think going meat-free means you eat nothing but salad, sprouts and tofu. Host a cooking class in your kitchen and direct them toward a good low-fat, meat-free cookbook -- that will be far more effective than lecturing them on the evils of a meat-based diet.

Your all-or-nothing attitude is not only unhelpful, but actually an obstacle to leading people down the vegetarian/vegan path. Many people say, "I could give up everything except lobster/steak/barbecued ribs." Instead of berating them, try this mild response: "Well, why don't you try it and see how you feel?"

Another roadblock that kept me from going vegan was the fact that cheese is one of my very favorite foods. I didn't jump into being vegan head-first -- instead, I figured I would try it for a week or two and see how it felt. Well, I came to the conclusion that as much as I love cheese, I love the increase in energy and beauty benefits even more. So I'm sticking with veganism. But all you who told me that I had to go 100 percent vegan or go home were instrumental in preventing me from taking that step years ago. Just so you know.

How hard is it to put a muzzle on that mouth of yours and lead by example? My husband isn't vegan; when I told him I wanted to try it, he said, "Fine, but I'm not taking that step." Instead of going into nagging-shrew mode, I replied, "That's okay -- there are plenty of things we can still eat together, and I'll just start making dinner more often." Now he's slowly creeping my way after seeing how it's benefited me, and how I'm not really sacrificing much in terms of taste.

Neither one of my two brothers is a vegetarian, but I've been inviting them over for dinner for years, and recently started showing one of them how to cook. They both know that a meal at my house is going to be a meat-free affair, but they keep showing up, because they enjoy the food I make and want to learn how to impress a future girlfriend. My co-workers have noticed my increased energy level and my elevated mood. And instead of beating them over the head with how cruel and inhumane they are to even consider eating meat, I simply share with them what I've been doing and let them know I am here as a resource if they ever want to consider taking that step themselves.

You're undermining your own argument when you take the all-or-nothing stance. Guess what? Not all meat comes from a factory farm. By doing a little research, consumers can learn about the practices at different outfits and make an educated decision about meat, milk and eggs. By purchasing from companies with integrity, you're making an economic statement about what you'd like to see in the marketplace.

That's voting with your dollars -- and by doing so, you're sending a message to the meat, dairy and egg industries that will inspire them to adopt humane practices, and the companies that choose not to do so will see their profit margins falling.

Plus, in Denver -- and other cities across the country -- it's possible to keep your own chickens and goats for eggs and milk, putting the responsibility for those animals' well-being directly into the hands of the consumer. How is it a bad thing to promote responsible animal husbandry? And do you realize that decrying all eggs and dairy as inherently evil calls your credibility into question? I come from Midwest farm stock and can remember the truly free-range chickens clucking around my grandmother's yard and the roaming cows not hooked up to milk machines. Perhaps you don't agree with eating eggs or drinking milk -- that's your choice. But claiming that there is no such thing as a cruelty-free egg or glass of milk is ludicrous.

One last point, and then I'll wrap up this rant: How is it helpful to attack someone like Rachel Kesley, the chef at WaterCourse Foods, who was a vegan for three years but decided to add consciously raised-and-slaughtered meat and eggs back into her diet because her energy levels were low? She listened to her body and did what was best for HER. By screaming, "Don't listen to your body -- listen to ME!" you are only causing meat-eaters to conclude that anyone who chooses not to partake in certain foods is a shrill, angry person with no regard for individual choice and body chemistry.

I'm tired of being lumped in with your ilk. My choices are just that -- MINE -- and I respect the rights of others to make their own choices, whether they're vegan, vegetarian, a conscious meat-eater or stop by the drive-through every night. Get off your high horse, shelve the self-righteousness and lead by example. THAT is how you change eating habits -- and lives. Otherwise, you're just an animal-loving version of Fred Phelps. And nobody likes that guy except his fellow church members. And maybe not even them.

Sincerely yours,

Veggie Girl

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216 comments
jasonpadd
jasonpadd

"will inspire them to adopt humane practices"

- she must believe that killing/abusing another animal for her gain is ok

"claiming that there is no such thing as a cruelty-free egg or glass of milk is ludicrous."
- is the animal mistreated at any point, or killed at the end of their production cycle?

"who was a vegan for three years but decided to add consciously raised-and-slaughtered meat and eggs back into her diet because her energy levels were low? She listened to her body and did what was best for HER"
- right for her. was she eating the right things to fulfill her bodies needs? all of our bodies are the same, with instances of some bodies not absorbing as much as others. in these instances cleanses can allow the body to absorb nutriments better

The only constructive point I can see from this article is that if you look at the whole concept as a marketing ploy. Increment people to eat less, and as they feel the benefits, they may reduce further. 

This seems like it would be easy for her, referring to the top "point". Imagine a Jewish person in this manner trying to increment a Nazi soldier to reduce his input to Holocaust victims. The Jewish person would have to be so strong, and at times would break to a scream and shout ...just stop! Militant this Jewish would be called by this authors standard, but wait referring to the top "point", she must not see all life as having an equal right to life, and so wouldnt see the two as the same.

mambatam
mambatam

I realize this is an old thread, but I'm going to comment anyway, and give kudos to the author.  I read through all the comments, mostly from MILITANT vegans, whose only arguments gave further credence to the author's points.  MILITANT vegans are nothing more than a cult with the same religious fanatacism as The Taliban. PROJECTING human feelings, thought processes and emotions onto animals is nothing more than personal prejudice and is extremely arrogant and disingenious, and trying to persuade others of your "absolute rightness" is off putting and extreme. especially when it is only YOUR human emotions that are speaking. I for one, have never felt better than when I was eating a diet high in protein.  Science does not promote an all Vegan diet.  As one example, a woman I work with was strongly advised to start including protein from animals into her diet or to continue to suffer from ill health.  Reluctantly she did, and is now doing much better.    The point being:  do what is right for you, then shut up.  I don't care if you eat carrots. Stay out my kitchen, and I will stay out of yours :)

PeterFrankman
PeterFrankman

I am sorry, but I will never, ever be a Vegan.  Ever.  The reason for this is simply because of the fanaticism that Vegans absolutely MUST bash you over the head with.  How many times have you seen a cooking show on Food Network...a competition show specifically...wherein at least 2 of the contestants are Vegan?  And EVERY.  SINGLE. TIME. they are making a statement, they always have to throw in "Because I'm Vegan.  I do it for Vegans.  I'm proud to be Vegan.  I made sure it's Vegan." Blah blah blah blah.  

Vegans are, as far as I'm concerned, the new "I'm so gay that I fart rainbows, and i'm gonna shove it down your throat every chance I get" drama queens.  I'm so sick of getting an attitude for not having a "Vegan option" at a party or lunch, whereas I would get chastised for asking for a Non-Vegan option in the same situation.  People are cultish about Veganism, and it's fucking irritating.

I love animals...humans are monsters and a plague on this planet.  But I will never convert to Veganism, or even Vegetarianism.  I can't, and I won't.  I will always continue to enjoy my medium-cooked burgers smothered in cheddar cheese and bacon, and I will very gladly smile at any Vegan while I do so, and of course offer them a bite.

Dani
Dani

I might have gone vegan sooner than I did as well, except for someone in college that I knew. My husband and I decided a few years ago that we wanted to go vegetarian; we never even saw veganism in the future because we didn't know the plight of egg-laying hens and milk cows. But a friend of mine had been vegan for years, and basically told us that we'd find living a vegetarian life would be empty to us and we weren't really compassionate unless we went all the way. I knew that was his personality; he's a cocky, very outspoken fellow, but I associated all vegans with him for a while. I knew better, but it's just natural to feel that way.

I've been vegan since September last year now. I'm not militant, but I do get angry when people intentionally berate me trying to say I'm wrong. It's a struggle not to get upset and scream sometimes. But the longer I become vegan, the more I learn to pick my battles and handle different situations better. I have a co-worker who is reading The China Study, coming to me for recipes and advice. It's people like that who genuinely want to learn that help me learn.

kayla
kayla

So tell me, how is it that you can get on a platform and tell vegans what they can and can't do? --namely, that they can't tell people what they can and can't do.Vegans are just speaking what they believe, which is no different than you sitting on your high horse and saying what you believe.

I do agree that militant vegans get exhausting. I also disagree with many of the things that they will do to get their point across (btw, arguing against hate/violent acts of veganism/animal rights could have made your argument better here). However, how would anything ever get changed if no one brought up the important issues? Sometimes it really sucks to wear my veganism on my sleeve--I am different from everyone around me--but by being open and informative about my life and diet choices, I open that to everyone around me. If I had never been confronted by someone who was vegan, if I had never been assaulted by Peter Singer, if I had never had to sit through heart-wrenching PETA animal-torturing youtube videos, I might not be vegan now. I am almost positive that every vegan can credit their veganism to at least one person or video or something shoving it in their face. Sure, that stuff can get annoying, but without it, some [stubborn] people would never see the truth. Ignorance is the biggest thing we vegans have to fight against, and it is powerful. It cannot and will not ever be overcome by just sitting down and "shutting the fuck up."

smothered with bacon
smothered with bacon

All this talk of eating women, raping pigs, restructuring the universe, limiting free speech, solving carbon emissions and all the rest makes me want to put down my BLT and free all the animals raised for food. In two or three days they will all be on the side of the road, freshly dead but free for the taking, because they will never survive on their own.For those who site greenhouse gasses and depleted ozone because of cow-generated methane, I do my part. I eat the cows.

AllVegan
AllVegan

B Holbrook Wrote the Following Below;

"Considering that 97% of the American population eats meat it's rather difficult to justify calling all of us sociopaths. I have plenty of feelings beyond my own wants, it just so happens that what I choose to eat (just like 97% of the population of the planet) IS defined by my wants. And I want dead animals. I don't care if you like it. As far as being healthier, Lierre Keith disagrees, and hell, she's one of yours (or was until veganism almost killed her)."

First Holbrook, your numbers are off, over 5% of the US population self identifies as vegetarian, on top of that another 10% identify as almost vegetarian. So your 97% number is not accurate. Additionally your 97% of the world statement is wildly exaggerated. The latest numbers from 2007 suggest that an estimated 58% of all humans are vegetarians. Why do you think you can come here and debate educated people, then just pull numbers out of your butt to justify your outrageous positions.

Secondly, Lierre Keith! Lierre Keith? Seriously? Lierre Keith wrote a novel full of outlandish claims to exploit ignorant people like you. Healthy Cholesterol? Really! Rickets is a vegan disease? Really! Holbrook if you believe that bull you are a fool. Have a look at some real clinical science, Lierre Keith? Why am I wasting my time on you?

Third, How can you be so ignorant as to suggest that when I diagnosed you as a Sociopath based on your claims of not caring about anything beyond your own desires. That I was referring to all "meat eaters" (sounds kinda gross doesn't it.) I was in fact, referring to you alone because of your inability to feel compassion for other living beings. now you claim you have feelings. Well that's just great, however your apparent ability to turn them off when they inconvenience your "desires" still troubles me.

"Au contraire. By choosing to eat what I enjoy without regards to your artificial moral choices I have vastly improved the quality of my life. Life with pork? Awesome. Life without? Not worth living."

Really Holbrook, you know ignorance is really only valued by the ignorant, Go tell someone who hasn't studied nutrition, you'll get a much better response there.

Denderah
Denderah

I do not participate in direct action campaigns and protests because I live too far away from city centers and do not travel very much. I would love to participate more and especially in the above ground protests that take place in Los Angeles. The animals that migrate through my property are not mine and I did not turn my land into a wildlife sanctuary. Feral cats are a problem here and we work to trap neuter/spay and release back to habitat. Someone living near the BLM started an artificial habitat introducing peacocks, emus, chickens, ducks and so on and the animals have reproduced and infiltrated the surrounding areas. Now I have wild peacocks that nest on my property and chickens also. They nest in a land holding a block over and return here at dawn. This is their pattern. I do enjoy them. It is a pleasure to watch their lives. And other people have come to love them also though at first everyone was concerned because the population was advancing so rapidly.I do not generally hang out with meat eaters. My husband and close associates are vegan. But we occasionally eat in restaurants that serve both vegan and meat dishes. I have no problem with that. I do not hate meat eaters. I was once a meat eater and there would be too many people to hate as the world is largely carnivore. I left my family long ago-my meat eating family-yes it is so-I disowned them for. My mother was an abuser and a lunatic. Ditto my father. My brother a pedophile. They ate meat. I no longer wanted to share a turkey dinner or hamburger with the people who abused me. I no longer wanted my tormentors in my house.If my husband's elderly meat eating father comes to town to visit we go to a restaurant if he wishes to eat meat. I do not cook meat dishes here. It would be upstting to have meat in my refrigerator. My meat eating in-laws respect our vegan ways and we respect their meat eating. Holbrook-you sound more intelligent when you are not using crude language- Still don't like you.

Amber Taufen
Amber Taufen

I've really been enjoying following this thread and reading all the comments -- both attacking me and defending me. There are some fascinating conversations going on here.

And to those of you who were wondering why I didn't pen an open letter to up-in-my-business carnivores ... you inspired me. Look for it on Friday.

Denderah
Denderah

Glad that you are Vegan...glad that anyone is Vegan. Bless your cotton socks one and all. But I beg to differ on some points. We don't have time for wishy-washy oh-so polite catch penny wisdoms nor oxymoronic humane/slaughter talk nor fretting about the dainty feelings of meat-eaters nor comparisons to Baptist church hysterias...and militant vegans are not "batshit crazy" No one stopped you from becoming a vegan. I am not militant. And I was with you at first until I started hearing a WHINE. Oh you poor little dear! Those nasty miliants.One more thing. I would not be married to a meat-eater period! I do not have meat in this house. No one comes here and eats meat. I'd disown my mother unless she converted. She's dead though-probably from meat-eating...Yes Veggie Girl I am with you in your gentle side and cringe over violent militant tactics...however those people have passion in their angry sorrowing hearts and I wonder if there is something greater in them than resides in my comfortable do-nothing vegan life.

vegangurl
vegangurl

I hear a lot about militant vegans, but have never actually met one (or been verbally attacked by one), and I know A LOT of vegans. Well, as many as it's possible to know, given what a small percentage of the population we make up... My point is, I think the whole "militant vegan" thing is blown out of proportion. i'm not saying they don't exist, but I do think they're becoming something of an urban myth, a story repeated along the lines of "My cousin used to date this guy that knew this vegan..."

It's a tough thing, though, trying to find the right balance between sharing this important information (of which there is a lot!) and not turning people off to the movement altogether.

Veganism is a conceit
Veganism is a conceit

I agree that it's better to not kill animals to eat if it's not necessary but the people commenting about militantly standing up for all animal rights need to read this post again. It is impossible to eat *any* food that did not involve an animal dying. Every vegetable you've eaten has a dead animal somewhere along the line - from farm inputs like manure and fertilizer to field mice and insects being killed by harvest to roadkill from the food getting to your door. Vegans that think that animals don't die so you can eat haven't thought carefully enough about the subject. Sure less killing is involved than an omnivore diet but animals are still being killed. Get off your high horses.

Llathander
Llathander

The problem is not with the lifestyle choice. It is with the reasoning for engaging in it. Carnivores dislike vegans for their inconsistency. Sure, maybe the conditions are inhumane-- but do you think a tiger will pounce on a gazelle in a "nice" fashion? just to minimize it's prey's pain? I think not. Vegans dont consider that animals kill other animals, nor do they consider the effects of their own diet. Sure you may not be eating meat, but what about those millions of prairie dogs, musk rats and other rodents that die to harvesting combines every year? Should they make sure that the sound of their skulls being crushed don't make a noise loud enough for you to hear, so you dont feel guilty? Thats the real issue for the hatred. Be consistent.  

Denderah1951
Denderah1951

I read your essay and it is so very good. Makes me feel ashamed that I have said I respect meateaters...I have done so to keep the peace with my in-laws and to be one of those polite vegans. Actually I want to throw them out of my house. Cut off all relations. You are correct. Veggie Girl is not a true vegan.

Denderah
Denderah

Yes-leave the living animals alone Bacon Smother-slobber up road kill-it suits your style and the poor critters have already gone to heaven.

Denderah
Denderah

I don't get the eating women bit and limiting free speech...? Whatever has that to do with Vegan ? I am amazed at the comments coming from the meat eating brigade and never understand what their problem is? Why do vegans get to you? Do you feel that we are snubbing your lifestyle? Well, we are. So you are going to win by scribbling the most inane posts. We breed the animals in high numbers for the meat production. They would not be dead by the side of the road in two or three days if freed. And they could survive on their ownif people left them alone in the first place. You are not clever-Oh smothered one!Just another troglodyte.

BeaElliott
BeaElliott

I think you miss the point totally... It's a matter of NOT creating more animals, because sadly, we've domesticated them to the point that they couldn't live without "us". Hence that "justifies" using them which is absurd!!!

As it is now the highways are littered with carrion. If you "love" your meat so much I suggest a troll on any interstate at around sunrise ought to satisfy your needs. But slaughtering them just for that purpose??? Indefensible!

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

1) The fact that you seem to truly believe that 58% of the global population is vegetarian tells me that you get your information from your own propaganda sources and only believe what you want to believe. The real numbers are nowhere close to your imaginary bullshit statistics.

http://answers.google.com/answ...

2) So, because you disagree with her conclusions you write her off (and apparently expect everyone else to) as a charlatan? Thank whatever vegan deity you pray to that you weren't around Jonestown; you're a born Kool-Aid drinker.

3) No, "meat-eaters" doesn't sound kinda gross. It sounds fine. I'm a meat eater. I've killed, slaughtered, and butchered more than a few animals in my time. Eating it is probably the most appetizing thing I've done to meat.

so·cio·pathPronounced:/ˈsoʊsijəˌpæθ/Listen to audioFunction:nounInflected forms:plural so·cio·pathsMeaning:[count] : someone who behaves in a dangerous or violent way towards other people and does not feel guilty about such behavior—so·cio·path·ic Listen to audio /ˌsoʊsijəˈpæθɪk/ adjective ▪ a sociopathic personality ▪ sociopathic behavior ▪ He is sociopathic.

Notice that? "other *PEOPLE*"? Yeah. Just because you wish the definition included animals doesn't mean that it does.

I don't care about your idea of health or nutrition, I care about taste. Melted animal fat=flavor. Always has, always will.

TheEvolved
TheEvolved

A fairy typical ill-informed rant from a speciesist. This women simply isn't vegan. She is confusing a plant based diet with veganism which has nothing to do with diet.

Veganism is about non human emancipation, not clear skin and a diabetes treatment programme (though these are two of many welcome benefits).

If you have a problem with activism and hearing about the holocaust that is the meat, dairy, egg, skin and vivisection industries... guess what... you ain't vegan.

No vegan speaks of researching 'ethical' ways to murder and eat our non human cousins because there ARE none.

This is drivel from an ego that likes the sound of its own ignorant voice. Maybe one day she will 'get it' . I hope so but I'm not holding my breath.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

1) Willingness to disown your mother for eating animals conclusively proves that:a) Yes you are batshit crazy. b) Yes you are too a militant.

2) If you don't intend to care about the feelings of the people you would need to sway, then --thankfully-- your pathetic little move,movement is doomed to failure.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

An "Urban Myth?" Jesus fucking Christ, look UP vegangurl, there are at least half a dozen militant animal abolitionists in the comments of this post alone! And what are they doing? Eating one of their own for having the temerity to mention that they might want to tone it down a bit.

BeaElliott
BeaElliott

That information used to worry me too... Then I asked my husband who comes from 5 (known) generations of farmers. They cultivated and harvested from thousands of acres... The ratio you state: Every vegetable you've eaten has a dead animal somewhere along the line. Is totally false. Nonhumans have a remarkable sense of hearing - Seems that as soon as the threshers and any loud farm equipment make their way into fields - Most of the critters scat every which way to safety.

Yes, he told me of a nest of rabbits once, that didn't make it... And a possum... And several field mice - But that's in a lot of years of harvesting. So your statement is grossly exaggerated.

No, it doesn't make the loss of those few lives any less tragic. But eating from these foods is an attempt to minimize harm. Much better this than feeding 6 times the amount of crops to fatten animals first. Which would proportionately cause much more (needless) damage to life.

The point has never been "perfection" - But doing all one can reasonably do to cause less harm/suffering. Surely, not deliberately breeding and eating animals is a great effort towards that end. ;)

Vegan
Vegan

I don't know of any vegans that don't acknowledge that animals are usually if not always killed in the production of plant foods. And you admit that less killing is involved. So what's your point? Does the fact that some accidentally and/or unavoidably die make it o.k. for us to intentionally and needlessly exploit and kill others? I don't know anyone who thinks that sort of "logic" would hold if we were talking about humans, so why should it when we are talking about other species?

Show me where any vegans here have been on their "high horses". What I see here is a lot of people trying to do what they can in an imperfect world and you insulting them because they can't be perfect. What are you doing about the problem?

savewillowpark
savewillowpark

For me it is about cancer.  I don't eat meat because I don't want cancer.  I also know that raising 9 billion head of cattle per year is bad for our environment.  Not eating meat is a win win for everyone.  

kayla
kayla

Hmm... I don't think you quite have the vegan philosophy right.  Veganism isn't about ignorance, that's kind of the point.  I, as a vegan, choose to not be ignorant about who or what my life and food choices may affect.  That includes not only animals that are slaughtered or tortured for human consumption, but also those tested on inhumanely in experiments, animals kept in confinement, prairie dogs and other rodents that get destroyed due to factory farming, wild (endangered) wolves that get shot for even being near livestock... etc.  As BeaElliott also said, it is impossible to live a 100% harmless life.  But as a vegan, I choose to be consciously aware of what goes on around me and what and who that affects.As for other carnivores in the environment, BeaElliott is right that we can differentiate ethical considerations.  (Aside from the fact that a tiger doesn't raise a gazelle in a confinement with no exercise, rip it from its family, brutally torture and slaughter it, and package it up be shipped off to McDonalds...) In addition to being able to make a conscious choice, there is also the fact that we don't have to.  We are perfectly capable of getting all necessary nutrients and living a long, healthy, happy life without eating meat.  Personally, if I was absolutely starving and had no other choice, I would probably eat an animal.  But the fact is that I don't have to.  So just because I CAN, doesn't mean that I should.  So you should stop saying that you hate vegans for inconsistency or whatever else you'll say next.  The real reason is probably that you feel guilty, and you're just looking for any excuse to continue your ignorance.  Why?  Because you like the taste of flesh?  Is a taste preference really that important to you?

BeaElliott
BeaElliott

Hi... The points you make regarding tigers, bears, crocs, etc. who "pounce" on their prey don't apply to man.  We are the only species that can differentiate ethical considerations.  Humans can make choices.  We don't act on "instinct".Therefore, we ought to use our "special" qualities - don't you think?  

And I don't know of any vegan that proclaims a 100% totally harmless life.  This is impossible, as just walking a few feet can harm an untold amount of life.  The issue is to be as compassionate as possible.  To inflict as little suffering as is "necessary" to support one's own existence.  Certainly eating cows, chickens and pigs does not fall into that requirement to sustain a happy, healthy life.  

And honestly, if one is concerned with the suffering of rodents and other wild life that are harmed while harvesting crops --- They would still opt for a vegan diet as less crops would have to be "filtered" through "livestock" animals.  70% of corn/grains are used to fatten animals before they are fed to humans... That is an incredible amount of additional UNNECESSARY suffering.

It's not about "perfection".  It's about doing what one can to make this planet kinder and more sustainable.  Everyone can pitch in to those ends... They aren't difficult choices at all.  

AllVegan
AllVegan

Actually B Holbrook, Those numbers are from the WHO (World Health Organization). I did not know it when I wrote the previous post but I found out while researching this response to you that 2/3rds of the worlds population eats a "primarily" vegetarian diet. If you don't mind I am not going to click on the link you posted as I am not particularly interested in what the experts at google.answers think about world diet statistics.

The rest of your response is quite ignorant so I am going to ignore it.

AllVegan
AllVegan

Evo, I understand that in the strickest sense of the word Vegan means exactly what you described. However, and I am not busting your chops here. The word has been diluted over the years to the point now that anyone who does not consume meat or dairy is called a vegan. That may or may not be right, but it is what has happened. if traditional terms were used a non activist vegetarian who does not consume dairy would be called a strict vegetarian. Unfortunately that term has been replaced by the word vegan to describe anyone who does not eat meat or dairy.

As for the woman who wrote this article, I believe she has been badgered by the meat Mafia to the point that she was confused about who her real oppressor was. I believe she will get it right, she has acknowledged that this dialog has been useful to her.

Denderah
Denderah

Are you talking about the Veggie Girl essay or what? Because your post to AllVegan makes no sense.

AllVegan
AllVegan

Who are you talking about? Because I am having a hard time finding any correlation in your rant, to the discussion I am having with Holbrook.

Denderah
Denderah

I am not a militant. I do not do any direct violent activism. I am not even an activist in the sense of above ground protests and that sort of thing. I run a habitat for feral cats and take care of birds-my property is a nesting place for wild peacocks and I have free range chickens...the chickens are not earen of course they live their lives roaming free on the property and other properties in the neighborhood. I wish I could do more. I do not dislike activists at all...they risk a lot. It is unfortunate that the label militant is used to describe them.As for you Holbrook...you are just a smart aleck two-bit...low mentality and bad character...nothing new there...Have fun thinking up your next salvo...

vegangurl
vegangurl

Hey Holbrook, why don't you look UP and read my comment before spouting off! I said I've never MET a militant vegan or been attacked by one. You somehow believe that just because I'm posting here I must personally know everyone else who does? Invite them over for Sunday Tofurky dinner???

Good job reading.

Vegan
Vegan

Oh, yes, Holbrook, we're just so militant. Look at us militants at our computers nonviolently telling you and others to not be violent or encourage violence on other sentient species! We're just so scary and mean and dangerous!

Was that sarcasm over the line? If so, I apologize. It's late and I think it's absolutely ridiculous that people like little ol' me are "militants".

AllVegan
AllVegan

Tone what down Holbrook? Billions of animals are brutally killed every year just to provide people with unhealthy food which causes disease. and you are upset because someone points this out to you?

This is a response to B Holbrook's Response Below As for some reason I am unable to reply to that post directly.B Holbrook, There is no reason to feel bad, a small percentage in any population are sociopaths I do hope you are getting help though. As I understand it, it's quite hard going through life with no feelings beyond your own wants. As for your cadaver obsession I guess it could be worse.

Lastly, Just so you understand by eating carrion you are damaging your body. You may be shortening your life but at the very least you are lowering your quality of life.

Veganism is a conceit
Veganism is a conceit

How about insects? You don't think insects were killed or harmed during the cultivation or application of pesticides? How about the habitat that was destroyed by putting the farm there in the first place? And where do you think the organic, animal-based fertilizer came from?

I think my point stands - there's no way you can eat without creatures dying. So then it's all a matter of degree of harm caused and each of us determines where that line is drawn. There is no correct answer - it's a personal decision - and, as Taufen writies here, militant vegans looking down their noses at others does nothing but harm your cause.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

You assume that I believe there is a problem. I do not believe that raising, killing, gutting, skinning, butchering, freezing, grilling, and eating animals is immoral. I do not view what I choose to eat as a moral question. You do. We will never agree..

Veganism is a conceit
Veganism is a conceit

Oh, so it is ok that animals die so that you can live. Hadn't seen that mentioned in any comments yet. So if you agree to that, why is it ok that some animals can die but not others? I'm not talking about animals raised in factory production, but ones raised humanely - small scale or even personal productions. Chickens raised so their shit can be used to fertilize plants, keep insect populations down, eggs, etc. and then made into soup when they die. Where's the exploitation there.

TheEvolved
TheEvolved

I was talking in response to veggie girls scribble. Forgive my ineptitude in using this forum. I posted in the wrong place. I hope I haven't caused offense.

Denderah
Denderah

I think you are agreeing with AllVegan but clicked the reply button.

TheEvolved
TheEvolved

AllVegan, Please accept apologies, I thought I was replying to the original post. I clicked the wrong place.

TheEvolved
TheEvolved

AllVegan, my comment is obviously in response to the (and I use the word in the loosest sense) 'article'. Why would you call my assessment of it a "rant"? You;re having trouble finding any correlation to the 'discussion' your having because (prepare yourself) this isn't about you. In fact I read the nonsense article and commented on it. I never noticed you. Is that OK?

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

Stop equating "militant" with "violent." I am a militant socialist insofar as I want universal access to free health care, education through the bachelor level, and public funding of the arts. This does not make me a violent socialist, but the fact that I am not shy in expressing those beliefs and actively work to change other people's minds about those issues does qualify me as a militant one. The fact that you have turned your property into Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom writ small and are willing to disown meat-eating family members are two rather large clues that you are, in fact, a militant. The fact that you do not participate in direct action campaigns or organized protests only discredits your courage, not the level of your convictions.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

Why don't you look up the term "myth." If you truly believe that militant vegans are "becoming an urban myth" (though, again, you are really stretching the definition of myth there) then you need look no further than this thread to shatter your hypothesis. Militant vegans exist, they are here in this thread, and are thus not mythical. Unless you too are confused about the use of the term 'militant' in a non-violent context.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

Let's just look up 'militant', shall we?"mil·i·tant   /ˈmɪlɪtənt/ Show Spelled[mil-i-tuhnt] Show IPA–adjective1.vigorously active and aggressive, especially in support of a cause: militant reformers."

You aren't scary, but vegans are quite often mean to other humans and can be dangerous. But mostly you are simply heart-breakingly naive and infuriatingly arrogant, entitled, and over-privileged..

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

Considering that 97% of the American population eats meat it's rather difficult to justify calling all of us sociopaths. I have plenty of feelings beyond my own wants, it just so happens that what I choose to eat (just like 97% of the population of the planet) IS defined by my wants. And I want dead animals. I don't care if you like it. As far as being healthier, Lierre Keith disagrees, and hell, she's one of yours (or was until veganism almost killed her).

Au contraire. By choosing to eat what I enjoy without regards to your artificial moral choices I have vastly improved the quality of my life. Life with pork? Awesome. Life without? Not worth living.

B Holbrook
B Holbrook

I'm not upset for someone pointing it out. I feel no guilt about it. I don't care. When I'm done typing this I'm going to go make a ham, sausage, and cheddar fritatta fried in butter and drink a glass of whole milk. All without guilt or concern. I like eating animals. They taste good. I don't believe that what I eat is a moral question, but an aesthetic one.

wellplayedsir
wellplayedsir

Why not just try to do less harm? That's what vegans try to do. Your point may be true, but why not try to cause less death and suffering by eating lower on the food chain? Eating animal products means eating all of the plants those animals ate. A meat-eater therefore consumes way more plants than any vegan.

BeaElliott
BeaElliott

Actually I don't think there's a way to exit one's home without causing creatures harm and death... But here's a driving analogy that might make the point of "accidental killing" more clear:

Say an individual must drive his car to get to X destination... Both take the same amount of time and use the same amount of gas. However, one way is relatively free of flying, crawling, running human and non human beings. The other way, is cluttered with all sorts of people, kids on bikes, dogs, cats, bunnies, toads, slugs etc. It is a path most assured to cause death/injury. Yet, this person opts for that path anyway - Wouldn't most people judge that this was an unwise choice?

If there weren't "degrees" on the intent of causing harm, accidents that involve death would not be termed "accidental homicide". While other DELIBERATE acts are called MURDER. Yes, there IS a difference between the two - One can attempt to minimize suffering OR go full out and say, "what the hay - I stepped on a ladybug so let me go kill a cow"! That "logic" of course is totally absurd.

Vegan
Vegan

I don't believe exploitation is ever humane. It's not humane to breed other sentient beings so we can use them.

But no, there aren't big chicken farms when chickens are just bred to make fertilizer all their "natural" lives. The fertilizer comes from farms that do indeed kill animals. And even their blood and bones and other parts are often put into that fertilizer. Neither do many people keep chickens primarily to reduce insects. It would be a highly inefficient system and chickens attract plenty of bugs of their own.

Egg-laying chickens are routinely killed when their egg producing slows -- often after just a few years. Even backyard chickens that may live as "pets" usually come from hatcheries where their brothers are killed at a day or two old because they will never lay eggs.

See http://www.humanemyth.org

The exploitation is in thinking that other sentient beings are ours to use, especially in the case of non-human animals that cannot give any reasonable consent.

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