Arguments

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"When we consume animal foods, we inflict unnecessary suffering and death on animals. And none of the arguments that we think can justify or excuse this behavior is valid upon closer examination."- Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton[1]

Logical Arguments

Basic English

(1) If a practice causes serious harms that are morally unjustified, then that practice is morally wrong.

(2) The practice of raising and killing animals for food causes serious harms to animals and some human beings.

(3) These harms are morally unjustified.

(4) Therefore, the practice of raising and killing animals for food is wrong.[2]

(1) We shouldn’t be cruel to animals, i.e. we shouldn’t harm animals unnecessarily.

(2) The consumption of animal products harms animals.

(3) The consumption of animal products is unnecessary.

(4) Therefore, we shouldn’t consume animal products. [3]

Boycott Logic

(a) its production causes serious and unjustified harms and so is morally wrong,

(b) the product can be avoided,

(c) avoiding the product would not seriously harm the boycotting individual,

(d) there are readily available alternatives to that product,

(e) the boycotting individual might benefit from boycotting,

(f) the probability that not purchasing or consuming the product will lessen or eliminate the wrongdoing is equal to or greater than the probability that purchasing or consuming the product will lessen or eliminate the wrongdoing, and

(g) boycotting will make that individual a member of a morally progressive group that opposes a wrongdoing,

then individuals are obligated to not purchase or use that product. [2]

Name the Trait

Argument for animal moral value:

P1 - Humans are of moral value

P2 - There is no trait absent in animals which if absent in humans would cause us to deem ourselves valueless.

C - Therefore without establishing the absence of such a trait in animals, we contradict ourselves by deeming animals valueless

Argument for veganism from animal moral value:

P1 - Animals are of moral value.

P2 - There is no trait absent in animals which if absent in humans would cause us to consider anything short of non-exploitation to be an adequate expression of respect for human moral value.

C - Therefore without establishing the absence of such a trait in animals, we contradict ourselves by considering anything short of non-exploitation(veganism) to be an adequate expression of respect for animal moral value.[4]

P1) If your view affirms a given human is trait-

equalizable to a given nonhuman animal while retaining

moral value, then your view can only deny the given

nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~P.

P2) Your view affirms a given human is trait-equalizable

to a given nonhuman animal while retaining moral

value.

C) Therefore, your view can only deny the given

nonhuman animal has moral value on pain of P∧~P[5]

Ethical Discussion

Can you love and eat animals?

Edward Winters[6]

Saying you love animals whilst eating their bodies and secretions is like saying “of course I can love my child and beat them”.

This demonstrates the disturbing psychology and paradoxical ideology we have as a collective society of ‘animal lovers’ who are in fact animal eaters....To put this another way, if you love someone the last thing you want to happen to them is for them to be forcibly impregnated, tortured, murdered and eaten, let alone pay for these things to happen to them.

To be a lover of animals is to love, respect and show compassion to them, all of them, not just the ones society tells you to love….To truly be an animal lover, you have to acknowledge that all animals are worthy of life and deserve to live that life free from human oppression.

When a non-vegan claims to be an animal lover, explain their hypocrisy to them, simply say “can you really be an animal lover if you pay for animals to be hurt?” - chances are they’ve never thought about their relationship with animals in this way before.

The Vegan Brains
Love is more than a noun or verb, it a basic need of life. Love is the force of attraction that creates and sustains life. Life as it exists today, would not exist without love.

Love is not ending someones life, you cannot lovingly kill someone who does not want to die.

Can you lovingly take the life of an animal at a segment of its full actualization because you like the way it tastes?...

No, that is not love.

Its a personal choice

Edward Winters[6]

Using this logic it would then be morally justifiable to beat a dog or kick a cat, as it is a personal choice to do so...

It is not morally justifiable to murder just because the murderer personally made the choice to murder. It is not morally justifiable to rape just because the rapist personally made the choice to commit the act of rape. It is not morally justifiable to kick and beat a dog just because the abuser personally made the choice to kick and beat the do and it is not morally justifiable to pay for animals to be exploited and killed, just because a non-vegan personally made the choice to pay for animals to be exploited and killed.

When someone uses the “my personal choice” argument, simply ask them “what about the personal choice of the animal who wants to live, have you considered their Choice?”...“if someone makes the personal choice to abuse a dog, does that make it morally justifiable?"

George Martin [7]
By definition, supporting animal agriculture cannot be a personal choice, because it affects others. How you style your hair, your favourite colour, your preferred music genre—these are all personal choices. Who you choose to enslave, oppress, and kill, however, is not. To summarise: "Your personal choice ends where someone else's body begins".
Nathan Nobis[8]
It’s important to realize that this response is lamentable: it’s an evasion of the issues, since it does not engage the arguments. For this issue, it’s an attempt to avoid rational engagement with uncomfortable questions about the lives and deaths of, each years, tens of billions of conscious, feeling beings.

Taste pleasure

Edward Winters[6]

When it boils down to it, it is an excuse that bluntly admits that the personal desires of an individual’s taste preference matter more than the morality surrounding an animal’s life and unquestionably horrific death.

This is why when people say to me “I love the taste of meat.” or, “I could never give up cheese.”, I like to ask them “do you value your taste buds higher than the life of an animal?”

It requires more than sensory pleasure to morally justify something... - the inconvenience that it would be for them to no longer eat animal products is minuscule compared to the pain, suffering and fear that the animals have to go through. A non-vegan meal lasts for 15 minutes, but the death of an animal is eternal...[also] it’s not as if people even have to give up the flavours of the animal products that they eat. There is now such a huge and varied selection of vegan alternatives.

“Do you not think we require more than sensory pleasure alone to morally justify an action?...“Is it morally justifiable for someone to kill a dog if they like the taste?”...“What is it about being human that means the life of an animal is lower than our taste preferences?"

George Martin[7]

How can we morally justify taking someone else's life because we like the way they taste? We cannot justify harming others based on sensory pleasure. If we can, then we can also justify rape because to the rapist it feels good, or theft because the thief gets pleasure from the money or goods they acquire. Harming someone else for one's own pleasure is morally reprehensible, and any good person knows that.".

Nathan Nobis[2]

This reaction, however, fails to explain how the pleasure we get from eating animals could possibly justify the serious harms involved in raising and killing them for food. What is missing is a connection between the premise that eating animals produces pleasure, and the conclusion that it is not wrong to eat animals. Given that animals used for food are harmed in serious ways, the burden is on the objector to explain how the pleasure we get from eating animal products justifies these harms. [2]

Just because something causes pleasure doesn’t make it right. We do not think that pleasures automatically justify harming humans: if things are different in the animal case, we need reasons to see why this would be so. And, besides, there are many other pleasure-producing cuisines (often they are ethnic) to choose from that aren’t based on animal products anyway.[8]

Animals eat other animals/It is natural/instinct

Edward Winters[6]

What exactly is the relevance of what other animals do when applied to human behaviour? Some animals rape and kill each other, so does that mean humans would be excused if they committed these acts too? Ask that question to the non-vegan who is using the excuse, say “wild animals kill each other, does that mean it is morally justifiable for humans to kill each other just because some wild animals do?”.

Other animals kill out of necessity whereas humans do not...Animals also kill their food themselves, they don’t pay others to kill on their behalf because they find the prospect of slaughtering an animal too traumatising.

In this situation ask the non-vegan “do you think it is wise to base our morality on that of a wild animal?”

George Martin[7]

While it is of course true that animals do eat other animals all the time in nature, basing our own ethics, as humans, on the actions of animals, can lead us to all sorts of problems. If we can justify something solely on the basis that animals do it, then we can justify the following: urinating in people's front gardens (dogs do it); sexually penetrating females without their consent (lions do it); smothering our babies to death (lions also do it); vomiting on people's food (flies do it); and so on. People only seem to be interested in justifying human behaviour on one thing that animals do, and that's eating animals."

"...there is nothing at all 'natural' about eating animal products in this day and age anyway, as the definition of 'natural' means something that is not man-made. Given that the animals we eat are a.) forcefully and systematically bred into existence, b.) domesticated and not wild animals (so essentially are a human creation), and c.) are routinely fed antibiotics and other completely unnatural things, it makes absolutely no sense that anyone could say that eating meat or animal products now is natural at all.

For something to be a human instinct, it has to be something programmed into the genetic code of all humans, that every single one of us does naturally and is beyond our control. Examples of human instinct include breathing without even thinking about it, jumping/flinching if something catches you by surprise, laughing if you find something funny or if you get tickled, shaking when scared/anxious, shivering when cold, sweating when hot, and so on.

So this idea that it is our 'instinct' to eat meat or to hunt/kill animals is simply not true. It's not something your body just does and you have no control over.

Not once has any human ever ate meat or killed an animal through 'instinct'. If it's an instinct, why do I and millions of other people not do it? Why do we find it so easy to control?.So if it's human 'instinct' to eat meat or to kill animals, then pretty much every other thing you have full control over and could easily abstain from doing if you cared enough is instinct as well.

Nathan Nobis[8]

Whatever meaning one uses, however, it’s very hard to see how modern, industrial methods of factory farming, transport and slaughter are at all “natural.” But the relationship between what’s “natural,” in any sense of the term, and what’s morally right does not help this argument. Selfishness and cruelty are often quite “natural,” but they are not right or good. Walking on one’s hands is a quite “unnatural” way to transport oneself, but it’s usually not wrong to do so. Some “natural” behaviors are right, but many are deeply wrong, and advocates of this argument forget that simple point. Whether something is “natural” or not is irrelevant to its morality. [8]

Only some animals eat other animals, and these are not chickens, pigs or cows. And so what? Many animals do lots of things that we wouldn’t want to do, and should not do (e.g., eat their own excrement and, sometimes, their young), so why should we imitate animals in only some ways, but not others? A principled response is needed for this argument to have any force. [8]

..Just because we are animals does not mean that it’s morally right for us to do all the other things that other animals do; above we saw many things that (some) animals do that would be wrong for us to do. And if we are animals, we are unique animals with the ability to reason about the morality of our actions, in light of their consequences for others. Should not we use this reason to do what reduces harms to animals and ourselves? [8]

Tradition and Culture

Edward Winters[6]

Let’s just consider that slavery was once considered a tradition, as was treating a woman as less than a man - but does the fact that these things were once traditional justify them?...the logic here is extremely flawed as both acts are absolutely horrific and the excuse of tradition serves in no way as any kind of justification for them.

Cultural tradition cements us in our past transgressions….we need to erase all concepts of tradition, for tradition is the construct of ego, passed on by generations to eradicate and deter the threat of change. Tradition has never and will never be a valid excuse for the acts we have committed as a species and especially not for the continued murder and consumption of sentient life.

In a situation where a non-vegan uses tradition as an excuse ask them: “Is female genital mutilation morally justifiable because it is a tradition?”...“Is the slaughter of dolphins in Japan morally justifiable because it is traditional?”...“Is bullfighting morally justifiable because it’s part of culture and tradition?”...“With these in mind, do you think culture and tradition are good indicators for our morality?”

George Martin[7]

This is an appeal to tradition fallacy, i.e. where someone justifies something on the basis that we've always done it. This is a very poor argument, because you could justify just about anything using this logic, including other things humans have always done, such as: molest children, rape, steal, kill each other, enslave, torture, etc. Our ancestors were primitive savages, not role models, and besides, the longer an act of violence has been going on for, the worse it makes it for the victim. So the logical conclusion to "humans have been eating meat for thousands of years", if anything, should be: "we must stop now"

Nathan Nobis[8]

But not all traditions are good or right: the important question is always whether an aspect of a tradition can be supported by good moral reasons or not. Also, for many people, eating animals is not a tradition: for thousands of years there have been people who extend their compassion to animals, and many other people who were raised eating animals start new traditions when they see that consistency and moral reasoning demands change.

Ancestors/Evolved eating animals

Edward Winters[6]

We often hear people say “you wouldn’t be here if your ancestors didn’t eat meat”...“we’ve always eaten meat”... “eating meat helped us evolve into the beings that we are today”

Why are we basing our morality on the actions of our ancestors, primitive beings that had no perception of modern day morality? It is such a regressive idea to look into the past for how we should live and basing our actions purely on whether or not we’ve done something for a long period of time is certainly not a good idea, if we did that we would still have slavery and apartheid...

Tied in closely with the ancestors argument is the idea that eating meat helped us evolve into the beings that we are today and because of that it is morally justifiable to continue eating animals…[This argument] has no relevance to our society today as our brains are not developing every time we eat a big mac....[additionally,] there are also other theories as to why our brains developed.

Ask the non-vegan you are talking to, “do you think it is wise to base our morality on the actions of our primitive ancestors?” or, “if it’s morally justifiable to eat animals because our ancestors used to do it, does that not mean that it must also be morally justifiable to murder each other, as our ancestors use to do that as well?”...“there was a time when treating a woman as less than a man was all we’d ever done, would that make treating a woman as less than a man morally acceptable today?”

George Martin[7]

While it doesn't matter what our ancestors did anyway (given that we are living in the present and can make our own choices), it's likely not true that meat played any role in the development of the human brain—if meat was brain food, then the most carnivorous species on this earth would be the most intelligent. What separated us as a species from all the other animals is cooking, and this is the most plausible explanation as to why we evolved the most powerful brain (again, not that it's relevant anyway).

There is nothing so special about human existence that animals should have to die for us to exist, whether it's now or whether it was back then. Regardless, this argument leads to dangerous ground, because one could also justify the rape of girls by the same basis (that's why the human female can start bearing children as early as 10 years old—they evolved being impregnated around that age). As per usual, the actions of our ancestors are simply irrelevant to how we behave now as a species.-George Martin"[7]

Human rights/other issues are more important

Edward Winters[6]

One of the key problems with this excuse is it can be applied to anything ...All of these issues need solving and nothing is achieved by devaluing any of them.

...Being vegan is a passive action, it requires very little from the individual. One of the main issues with this excuse is that it really highlights the underlying belief … that humans are not animals and we exist as separate or superior to the animal kingdom. It is a very clear indictment of the speciesist mentality our society has.

And beyond all of this... if we all turned vegan we wouldn’t just end animal exploitation, we would end some of the most important human rights issues facing our species today...Going vegan could end this unfair distribution of food... we would end the exploitation of migrant workers and people in poverty [in the industry]... we would end the exploitation of tribal groups in the Amazon, whose communities are being uprooted and destroyed ... The excuse “but shouldn’t we be concentrating on human rights issues” is not justifiable because being vegan means we ARE concentrating on human issues. If we care about the suffering of humans then we should be vegan.

If confronted with this excuse you could try asking: “Do you think it’s strange that we have enough food to feed 56 billion land animals every year, yet there are 800 million people currently living in a state of starvation?” Or, “How does the fact that there is war in the Middle East or people living homeless make it acceptable for you to pay someone else to kill and butcher an animal?"

George Martin[7]

This is known as a fallacy of relative privation, i.e. an appeal to other problems. It is fallacious in several ways: a.) the person saying it likely isn't doing anything (or is completely incapable of doing anything) about these 'other issues' they mention, b.) them eating animal products is doing nothing to actually help those other issues, c.) none of these other issues are preventing them from going vegan, and d.) being vegan does not take more time than being non-vegan, so they can still be vegan and focus on these 'other issues' they allegedly care so much about anyway.

What's particularly ironic about this fallacy with regards to veganism though, is that supporting animal agriculture actually causes many of these 'other issues' in the first place! A society that is indoctrinated into accepting harm to animals from day one (e.g. a Carnist society, like the one we live in) normalises violence, thus this is echoed in the way its human citizens are treated. To summarise, there is no chance we will eradicate war, rape, slavery, genocide, murder, and assault for as long as we think it's just 'the done thing' to mutilate and slaughter 2 billion innocent animals every single week. In fact, animal agriculture itself has a direct link to violence towards humans—a joint study by the University of Windsor and Michigan State University concludes that when a slaughterhouse is opened in a particular area, rates of violent crime, robbery and rape in the area show a significant increase as a direct cause of slaughterhouse employment.

As Pythagoras once said: “As long as humans continue to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy or love.” And as Leo Tolstoy said: “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”

Most people don't even realise that animal agriculture is actually the most destructive entity on the planet. In other words, without veganism, none of these 'other issues' would even have a planet to exist on. The ongoing holocaust of animals and its resulting destruction of our planet is, quite simply, the biggest issue of our time.

Dan Hooley and Nathan Nobis[2]

Some harms to human beings concern public health: e.g., air pollution from intensive animal agriculture may cause higher asthma and depression rates for those who live close by.18 Animal agriculture also increases the number of harmful bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Factory farming is also dangerous work: workers are sometimes injured or killed by flailing animals and machinery in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants. And there is also evidence that the presence of industrial slaughterhouses in rural communities harms these communities, as they lead to an increase in violent crimes that cannot be explained by other factors, such as population demographics, unemployment, and so forth.[2][9]

Our concern that workers are harmed in these ways might seem odd since we have argued that they act wrongly. Nevertheless, harms are harms and so merit our concern, even if they result from someone’s own wrongful choices to harm others. Charges of unjustified paternalism typically apply to cases where the harm done is only to the agent; this case, however, involves unjustified harms to unconsenting others. These harms merit our attention because the preferences of consumers – who demand cheap meat and other animal products – depends on workers undertaking this work, in these conditions. Many of the workers in factory farms and slaughterhouses do this low-paying, difficult, and risky work largely because they have few other options. Many are immigrants, trying to provide for their families. Cheap animal products would not be possible without individuals doing this work. That this work actually harms many workers, and their families and communities, in these ways deserves our concern.

Gary L. Francione & Anna Charlton[10]

...animal agriculture is an ecological disaster, responsible for water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, global warming, and all sorts of other environmental harms. And animal agriculture is not necessary to feed the world's population; on the contrary, it contributes significantly to human poverty and starvation by making wildly inefficient use of arable land, plant foods, and drinking water. [10]

We are giving them existence/We use very part

Edward Winters[6]

When it comes to livestock animals people seem to use the excuse, “if it wasn’t for us these animals would never have been given a life, they should be grateful.”

...- let’s start by applying this logic to humans. If a child is born into an abusive family, where he or she is regularly beaten, is never fed and eventually dies from all the abuse, would we think “well at least that child’s parents gave them a chance to experience life?”...What about non-human animals? If I breed dogs into existence and then I mutilate, abuse and kill them, am I a good person for giving those dogs an experience of life in the first place? Put the animals that we love in the position of the animals that we eat and ask whether we are still good people for giving them an experience of life.

...it’s an excuse that only the oppressor could ever use. It’s an excuse that only someone who is living a comfortable life could use, because nobody who has experienced genuine suffering would ever claim that someone should be grateful for a life of pain.

The simplest and most obvious way of deducing whether this is a good argument is to tap into our empathy. To really understand whether the so called ‘life’ we are giving to these animals is such a favour we need only put ourselves in their position...The life that we give to these animals can barely even be called a life, in the eyes of these animals, they are in hell. They have nothing to feel grateful for.The only time any of these animals feel a sense of gratitude is when their life is over and the pain and suffering inflicted upon them is over. The only gratitude these animals will ever feel is knowing that they’ll never again have to look into the eyes of the species that thinks it’s okay to treat them as commodities.

Ask the person who uses this excuse, “do you think you could go to a slaughterhouse look an animal in they eye as they are about to be killed and tell them that they should be thanking you for their life?"

George Martin[7]

Indeed. But buying an animal product isn't a bad thing for the animal who is already dead—it's a bad thing for the animal who is now going to be killed as a result of the money you paid to that industry to kill them in order to replace that product on the shelf. Every time we pay for an animal product, we pay for another animal to be abused and murdered. Again, this is the reality of supply and demand. We vote with our wallet every time we buy an animal product, and say: "I support animal cruelty"."

[We use ever part]: By this logic, we should also have given American cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer a lower sentence, given that he ensured to use nearly every part of his victim's corpse, eating various parts of it and even turning some body parts into household items like bowls, etc. Often, using every part of the body is actually the most undignified way to treat someone after they've died.

Humane Slaughter/Painless Death

Edward Winters[6]

Does the ‘humane’, ‘high-welfare’, ‘RSPCA-Assured’, ‘local’, ‘organic’ excuse morally justify exploiting and killing an animal?

Well, taking an egg-laying hen out of a cage and into an overcrowded barn is about as helpful to the chicken as giving a prisoner a pillow to put his head on whilst he’s being waterboarded and labelling him as a ‘humanely tortured prisoner’.

Humane slaughter is an oxymoron, as is high welfare murder, or happy exploitation. Now there is of course an argument that improving treatment for animals is better keeping it the way it is, in the same way that taking paracetamol for a broken arm is better than not taking anything, but it’s not going to make the problem go away and it certainly doesn’t provide any real relief.

In fact, what these welfare changes actually do is ease the conscience of the consumer, which is very dangerous as not only does it reinforce the idea that there is an ethical way to exploit an animal but it allows the consumer to buy a product and think that in doing so they are giving an animal a happy life....This is why it’s so important we don’t perpetuate these notions of welfare because to do so is an injustice to the animal who is still suffering. It’s important that when we are talking to non-vegans we have clear message that states “there is no right way to do the wrong thing”...

The issue is, it doesn’t matter how nice a life an animal has, the moment we exploit them for what is rightfully theirs and eventually take them to the slaughterhouse or to the yard to kill them, that is abuse. Animals don’t want bigger cages or larger barns, they don’t care whether or not they’re grass-fed, or organic. They don’t want to be RSPCA-Assured or Red Tractor Approved, because those labels are there for us, the consumer, to ease our conscience...All the animals want is to be free, truly free. Not free-range, not free to pasture months of the year. Free to live their lives in their entirety, without fear of human inflicted pain, suffering or exploitation.

You could always ask the person you are talking to, “can we humanely kill an animal?” - this is actually one of my favourite questions. If the person believes there is a humane way to kill an animal, remind them that the word humane means “having or showing compassion or benevolence”, so re-phrase the question and ask, “how do we compassionately, benevolently or humanely take the life of an animal that does not want to die for an unnecessary reason?"

George Martin[7]

The words 'humane' and 'slaughter' put together, are what is known in the English language as an oxymoron, i.e. 2 words that contradict each other when put together. To use the term 'humane slaughter' is as nonsensical as to say 'humane rape', 'humane slavery', or 'humane holocaust'—regarding the latter point, some synonyms for 'slaughter' in the dictionary are 'bloodbath', 'massacre', and 'holocaust'... given that it does not make sense to use the term humane for any of those 3 words, neither can it make sense to say it for the word those synonyms derive from.”

Dan Hooley & Nathan Nobis

The final way all animals used for food are harmed is when they are killed. Farmed animals are often killed in ways that are quite painful. Because of the rapid pace at which animals are slaughtered, animals often have their throats slit while they are still conscious. And this law excludes birds, fish, and rabbits. Chickens and turkeys make up the vast majority of animals slaughtered in the U.S., nearly 9 billion are killed every year, and suffer particularly horrifying deaths. They are shackled upside down, paralyzed by electrified water, and then dragged across a mechanical throat-cutting blade, all while being fully conscious. Every year millions of unlucky birds miss the blades and drown in scalding water.

The harm of death extends beyond pain animals experience in the process of being killed. Cutting their lives short seriously harms animals because the good lives they could have experienced are taken from them. Nearly all of the animals we eat are killed at a very young age, well before they have come anywhere close to living out a natural life span.

In cutting their lives short, we seriously harm these animals by depriving them of the possibility of enjoyable and valuable future experiences.

This is why even killing farmed animals ‘humanely’ is actually inhumane: the animals lose everything, all the good of their future, and are made far worse off because of it. For farmed animals, a ‘pain-free’ death isn’t a harm-free death.[2]

...there is strong evidence that many of the animals humans eat, like pigs, chickens, and maybe even fish, may have the sense of their self, existing in the future, that makes it prima facie wrong to kill them, even painlessly.[11] Even if we accept the view that a painless death only harms beings with a sense of themselves existing in the future, some animals deserve the benefit of the doubt. There might be sufficient reasons to think death may harm them – and it would still be wrong to painlessly kill them to consume their flesh.

An individual doesn’t need a strong sense of their self existing in the future to be harmed by death or to have an interest in continued existence. Thus, we have good reasons to reject the claim that animals aren’t harmed by a painless death, in favor of our deprivation account articulated earlier. ‘Happy meat’ precludes future happiness for animals, harms them greatly for no good reason, and so is wrong.[2]

Morality is Subjective

Edward Winters[6]

If morality truly was subjective then there would be absolutely no need for a judicial system or prisons, there would be no such thing as good or bad as all behaviour would be completely acceptable.

Unnecessary murder is immoral... Causing intentional pain or suffering to anyone for no necessary reason is immoral...We know these things because within us all exists an understanding of what is right and wrong...

What morality really comes down to is the awareness of a victim. What is moral should be defined by whether or not what is being done has a victim that is suffering unnecessarily.

Morality is as simple as “Would I want that done to me? And if not, what right do I have to do it to another?”. H. L Mencken stated: “morality is doing what’s right regardless of what you’re told. Obedience is doing what is told regardless of what is right.”

Ask the person you are talking to, “if you believe morality is subjective, would it therefore be acceptable for someone to murder their partner?”. You could also ask, “using the morality is subjective argument, is it then acceptable for me to beat and kill a dog?”...“if you believe that morality is subjective then would it be justifiable for someone to murder you?”

George Martin[7]

To the perpetrator, morality is subjective. To the victim, however, it never is. Morality is only ever subjective when the person saying that phrase isn't the victim.

I'm yet to see one person who uses this excuse actually abide by its principles when it comes to them. What do I mean by this? Simple: anyone who harms others and justifies it by saying "morality is subjective" should write into their country's law courts and tell them that, should anyone ever harm them (e.g. rape or murder them), the person responsible should not be punished, because hey, morality is subjective, and who would we be to force our beliefs on the person who has raped/murdered them, right?

So just like the food chain and the circle of life, the people who use these phrases always exempt themselves from the very rules of it while expecting animals to be victim to it.

Everything in moderation

Edward Winters[6]

Let’s start with the health argument,“If something is bad for you, it’s bad for you. It doesn’t matter if you consume a lot or a little, it’s still bad for you. Now, you could smoke one cigarette a month and it wouldn’t give you cancer or kill you but that cigarette is still bad for you. Likewise, you could eat a slice of bacon once a month and although it wouldn’t kill you, it is still inherently bad for you.”.

Veganism is the only social justice movement where people try and incorporate the idea of moderation or reducing as a viable solution. We would never consider it acceptable for a racist to simply reduce how much they were racist, or for a misogynist to simply

reduce how often they oppress women...

The reality is, it doesn’t matter how much or how little someone does these things, there is still a victim who is being impacted. This is why it is not morally justifiable to only reduce the amount of animal products we consume. If you are having a conversation with someone and they try to morally justify eating animal products by saying they do so in moderation or claim that they have reduced their consumption, ask them why?

If they mention that it’s for ethical or environmental reasons then I think it’s important to praise them for reducing their consumption but at the same time don’t enable it and make sure to highlight how morally that still isn’t acceptable or good enough. Say something like “it’s great that you have reduced your animal product consumption for ethical reasons, but have you thought about how even though you may not be consuming as much as you used to, you are still paying for animals to be exploited and ultimately slaughtered?”[6]

Can’t be 100% Vegan/Other diets cause harm

Edward Winters[6]

It is absolutely true that it is almost impossible to be 100% vegan in this world ...it is used to suggest that if you can’t be 100% vegan there’s no point in trying at all, or more to the point because animals sometimes die in crop production it is therefore acceptable for us to breed, raise and kill animals intentionally

...this argument really boils down to is intention. When we buy animal products we are intentionally paying for someone to exploit and kill an animal, when we buy plants we are not. If an animal dies in the production of plants that is unintentional and as we can all agree, entirely regrettable. If someone was driving their car and they accidentally hit a dog, that would not be the same as if they purposefully drove after the dog until they ran them over. This … misses one of the biggest points of veganism, which is that we don’t need to eat animals or their secretions to live, hence why we don’t. The reason that insects and small animals die in crop production is not because we all want to eat them but because we do need to eat plants in order to sustain a healthy life.

When talking to a non-vegan who uses this excuse, ask them “morally, is there a difference between accidentally hitting a dog with your car and purposefully hitting a dog with your car?”. When they say yes, then ask them “so by that logic is there morally a difference between an animal accidentally being killed in crop production and an animal purposefully being killed in a slaughterhouse?”. Also, make sure to remember that vastly more plants are used in the production of animal products than they are vegan products, so be sure to say “if you care about the animals that are killed in crop production you should be vegan because vastly more plants are needed to create animal products, which means vastly more animals are killed in crop production for non-vegans than they are for vegans.

George Martin[7]

As humans, we are born into a world where all consumerist actions cause harm in one way or another. But to say we shouldn't bother minimising our harm in one area just because we are causing harm in other areas is a complete cop-out. To use an analogy: if you are a lifeguard and see a group of people drowning, should you not bother to jump in and save any because you can't save them all? This is what you're doing when you continue to fund animal oppression simply because you can't stop all oppression. With regards to there being animal products in everyday items such as car tyres, windows, walls, etc., we shouldn't be focusing on 2% of the problem. The 55 billion land animals and 90 billion marine animals massacred every year are massacred by the meat, dairy, egg, leather, wool, and fish industries—not the car tyre industry. Not the glass industry. So let's focus on the extremely simple and practical solution of boycotting meat, dairy, egg, leather, wool, etc. and then we can see those industries switch to plant-based alternatives.

Vegans absolutely have a responsibility to acknowledge that their consumerism causes harm. But the practical solution to the problem of animals dying in crop harvesting is not to consume a diet that requires around 10 times more crops (due to the crops used to raised livestock) and maximises land usage and then on top of that support the largest act of systematic oppression and violence in the history of this planet (2 billion animals murdered every single week) via the meat, dairy, egg, leather, wool, and fish industries.

No vegans are claiming to be perfect (or at least, any that are, are delusional). What veganism is very good at, though, is massively, massively minimising one's impact on animals and on the environment. There are also a lot of myths that go around that suggest vegans are actually responsible for more animal deaths than meat eaters. The Flaming Vegan debunks this myth excellently, using credible resources, in an article you can read here.

Also regarding crop deaths: see nirvana fallacy and tu quoque fallacy.-George Martin[7]

Dan Hooley and Nathan Nobis[2]

We are only obligated to take reasonable steps to minimize harms that we contribute to with our food choices, but this is consistent with an obligation to be vegan.

There are challenging empirical and mathematical issues here, but it’s worth noting, first, that this objection in no way justifies any standard diet involving factory farmed animals, since that clearly results in unjustified harms and fails to minimize the number of animals killed...The data that has been marshalled in favor of these objections is not convincing.[12][2]

Desert island/Survival

Edward Winters[6]

Non-vegans that use this excuse want to come to the conclusion that in a life or death situation, even a vegan would value his or her own life above that of an animal’s and therefore it is morally justifiable for them to continuing consuming animal products...nobody can really judge what they’d do in a survival situation... if someone was forced to kill and eat an animal in a life or death situation, this provides no moral justification for eating animal products in everyday life.

The reality is, we are not stuck on a desert island and therefore we do not need to kill and eat an animal out of necessity. We do however, live in a society where we are surrounded by an abundance of vegan foods, so morally this argument proves nothing.

The real question and the question you should ask the non-vegan you are in conversation with is, “why would you allow the destruction of our planet to continue, the needless slaughter of innocent animals to continue, the death of starving children to continue and the deterioration of your own health to continue when it is entirely unnecessary?”.

George Martin[7]

This is a complete lie, and anyone who uses this argument, deep down, knows it. Vegans are living proof that we do not eat animal products for survival purposes. People eat meat, cheese, milk, eggs, and fish because they enjoy the taste. Mars Bars, KFC, Ben & Jerry's cookie dough ice cream, maple-glazed bacon, donuts, and cheesy puffs are not survival foods and never have been. We can survive and thrive without all these foods (all of which, by the way, there are vegan versions of), and thus we are morally obliged to do so.

Hitler was a vegetarian/I knew a mean vegan

Edward Winters[6]

...the ‘but Hitler was a vegetarian’ excuse [is] with the ‘I once knew a vegan who wasn’t very nice’ because they both revolve around dismissing an entire movement and philosophy of life based on the actions of an individual.

First and foremost, Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian…[secondly,] The idea behind this argument is that because one of the most evil men in history, who committed vile atrocities, cared about animals, then by being vegan you too will probably undervalue humans as a consequence of your views towards animals. Quite obviously this excuse is beyond absurd. Chairman Mao, Mussolini and Stalin all ate meat and committed unforgivable crimes. So by the logic of the ‘but Hitler argument’, vegans could say you better become vegan because Stalin ate animals and if you eat animals you'll be just like Stalin.

If you are ever in a situation then say “actually Hitler wasn’t a vegetarian, but even if he was how does that morally justify you eating animals and their secretions?”. You could also remind them that you are vegan, not vegetarian - and that you oppose the philosophy of vegetarianism as it perpetuates the needless slaughter of both dairy cows, male chicks and egg-laying hens.

The reality is, we have all had bad experiences with people at some point in our life, but to then believe that you can look down upon or judge on an entire demographic of people based on that one experience is obviously not logical in the slightest....

Say that to the person you are talking to - “do you think it is sensible to judge an entire demographic of people based on the actions of one individual?”

George Martin[7]

While vegans should not be rude to you, as the vast majority of us were also non-vegans at one point, this is not an acceptable excuse to harm animals. If you don't like vegans, that's fine, by why take it out on animals? Are chickens rude to you? Then what is the point of this argument? By this logic, one could also be put off of eating animal products, give that non-vegans are frequently rude about a variety of things, including subjects involving food. So why not say: "A non-vegan was rude to me once, so I'm not going to eat animal products ever again?

What about the farmers?/People will lose their jobs

Edward Winters[6]

...the most effective way of dealing with this is to acknowledge that farmer’s livelihoods are at risk and are therefore warranting of some consideration.

One thing you can say to the person you are talking to is, “I agree that the issue surrounding the livelihoods of farmers is something that needs addressing but do you think that the life of animals and the planet is more important than money?”.

For me this is really what it boils down to, money or life? Obviously, the life of an animal is far more important than money and most people will agree with that, but they need to be asked the questions in order to realise it.

...what do we do about farmer’s jobs? ...firstly and most simply farmers can switch to arable farming and produce only plants. This is an entirely plausible solution for some farmers and in fact it has already been done by a number of farmers...

...What needs to happen, is the subsidies that are given to animal farming need to instead be put into plant farming, this would drive the price of animal products up, making them less accessible and less affordable and bring the price of plants down, making them more accessible and more affordable. It would also mean that these subsidies could be used to help and financially support animal farmers transition over to plant farming instead.

However, there will be farmers who can’t switch to producing plants as their land won’t be suitable for arable farming. This inherently means that they will probably end up losing their job as a farmer, but it was always going to be inevitable that would happen for some farmers. What is most important here is a sense of perspective, a job or a livelihood does not provide moral justification for enslaving, mutilating and profiting off the death of animals and in this situation the hardships of a farmer finding a new job is nothing compared to the life of suffering and fear that animals have to endure in the farming industries.

Another example that you could say to someone is “would you advocate for everyone to smoke cigarettes because if nobody smoked all the tobacco farmers and people employed within the cigarette industries would lose their jobs and their livelihoods?”.

If they say no, you could follow up with “why do you think the job of an animal farmer is more important than the job of a tobacco farmer?”

George Martin[7]

That's funny... I don't recall anyone ever writing in to Netflix to tell them of their heartfelt concern about all the people being put out of work in the DVD industry because of the trending online switchover to video on demand content? And I don't recall anyone writing a letter to their bank either, criticising them for their switchover to online statements, thus putting all those poor people out of work in the paper industry. And what about when people quit smoking? Shouldn't we be concerned about all those people being put out of a job in the tobacco industry?

As per usual, people are only ever interested in using this argument when it comes to animal exploitation. But anyway, with the workings of supply and demand, changing the demand for a product can cause an industry to 'change its tack', so to speak, so any animal farmers who are genuinely interested in staying in business would be encouraged to switch to crop farming, and so on.

In any case, the livelihoods of those on the side of the oppressor is not worth more than the lives of the oppressed. Just as it would not be ethical to continue human slavery on the basis that plantation owners would be put out of work, so too is it unethical to continue animal slavery for fear of farm owners and slaughtermen being put out of work.

Circle of Life/Its natural

Edward Winters [6]

The concept of the circle of life is used by non-vegans who are trying to assert that humans are entitled to kill animals because of a pre-ordained natural order that is out of our control. They are essentially arguing that just because everything that lives must die, it therefore means we are morally justified to intentionally take life.

This would theoretically mean then that we are justified to take any life that we want, in any manner that we choose because after all, it is the circle of life. Using the logic behind the circle of life argument you would be morally excused for murdering a human as well.Furthermore, if the basis of the argument is grounded in what is perceived to be natural then that still provides no justification for how we raise, farm, exploit and kill animals as the systems that we have created couldn’t be further detached from nature.

If someone you are talking to brings up the circle of life argument ask them, “by the logic that we are morally justified to slaughter animals because all life dies anyway, would it therefore be acceptable for me to cut the throat of a dog?”

George Martin [7]

You'll have to point me to where the 'circle of life' is in all these slaughterhouse videos, because all I see is torture, abuse, pain, suffering, and misery, for the sole purpose of someone enjoying a 5-minute snack for their own personal pleasure.

And isn't it yet again convenient how the people who use the 'circle of life' excuse, just like 'the food chain', seem to want to exempt themselves and their own species from the very rules of this system they allegedly abide by, as perfectly articulated by Gary Yourofsky in his video 'Circle of Life Hypocrites'.

It is expensive/restrictive/extreme/inconvenient

Edward WInters[6]

People view vegan food as limiting and there is also a misconception that vegan diets are expensive and elitist. Let’s start with the idea that veganism is a restrictive diet.

Since becoming vegan I eat a much larger and more varied range of foods than I ever did before and I’m cooking with ingredients I’d never heard of. Becoming vegan encouraged me to broaden what I eat and if anything I now view being non-vegan as restrictive.You can also point out to the person you are talking to that you still eat the same meals that you used to. You still have pizza, spaghetti bolognese, mac and cheese, curries, nachos, burritos, etc in fact you can veganise pretty much any non-vegan meal. So there’s no way that veganism can be restrictive because you can still eat the same foods that you used to, the only difference being they are now made from plants. So a vegan diet is anything but limiting and for that matter it is anything but extreme.

This word extreme is often used to describe vegans but the irony is for the first time my lifestyle is the opposite of extreme. Non-vegans eat products that give them an abundance of illnesses and diseases such as cancer and heart disease, their foods come from buildings called slaughterhouses and are produced from animals that were mutilated and enslaved. Now that sounds extreme.

....“but vegan food is expensive and elitist”....If you go into any supermarket, the most expensive foods tend to be the flesh and cheese and the cheapest foods are the beans, rice, potatoes, pasta, lentils, etc. The only time where vegan food can be more expensive is when buying the substitutes... this is to do with supply and demand. As more people go vegan and buy those products, the cheaper they will become.

George Martin[7]

Not true. As a matter of fact, veganism can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. But pound for pound, a plant-based diet is by far the least expensive one on the planet, given that the staple foods of the most poverty-stricken societies worldwide are rice, beans, lentils, potatoes, bread, and so forth. For much of the world, meat and animal products are a luxury item. Indeed, we even unknowingly promote the cheapness of a plant-based diet when we use such common phrases as "cheap as chips" and "living on the breadline". We don't say, "cheap as steak" or "living on the lobsterline"

Nathan Nobis[8]

Many meat-based dishes are inconvenient to prepare, and plant-based dishes are usually as convenient as eating meat anyway. It’s just a matter of choosing something else from the same menu or same grocery store. But since doing the right thing sometimes requires our being inconvenienced in minor (and sometimes major) ways, so what?

Since so many other people have given these up, or never ate them in the first place, this claim is likely disingenuous. And since this person probably hasn’t even tried changing his or her diet for moral reasons, he or she likely lacks the evidence needed to confidently make that judgment.[8]

Why do you eat meat substitutes then?

Edward Winters[6]

[We] didn’t become vegan because [we] disliked the taste of animal products. Before I became vegan I loved KFC and cow flesh burgers... but I realised that there are more important things in life than my sensory pleasure. As a species we have to understand that justifying our actions by the fact that we find enjoyment in them is not acceptable if it negatively impacts the lives of others.

[Say:] “Vegans eat animal product substitutes because we enjoy the texture and the flavour - and it’s even better because no animal had to die or be exploited for our enjoyment of them...”

Isn’t being vegetarian enough?

Edward Winters[6]

By being a vegetarian we still contribute to the needless torture, abuse and slaughter of animals...

In the egg industry male chicks are a useless byproduct and they serve no use to the industry. ...all male chicks are killed regardless of what system of egg production it is.

...dairy industry is equally disgusting...newborn male calves are useless to dairy farmers and so they are taken away from their mothers normally within 24 - 72 hours of birth, some are even shot, killed and discarded immediately. The ones that are not shot will either be raised for veal, or they’ll be sold into the beef industry and raised for their flesh.Furthermore, like humans, cows only produce milk when they have given birth so female cows are forcibly impregnated using a process called artificial insemination in order to make them pregnant. If the calf is female she will also be taken from her mother only a few hours after being born.

You can do this by saying something like, “do you know what a free range egg farm looks like?”...“do you not think free range could be a marketing ploy to make you buy a product with an eased conscience?”. When people mention dairy I always like to ask, “why do you think a cow produces milk?” - as so many people I speak to simply don’t know why. You can also ask people, “what do you think happens to the calves if we’re drinking the milk that’s made for them?”. Or, “what do you think happens to the male calves in the dairy industry as they don’t produce any milk?”. ...explain to them that all the animals in the egg and dairy industries end up in the slaughterhouse.

God said that we can eat animals

Edward Winters [13]

People believe they have been told by a God that they are allowed to eat animals...we have to be cautious to keep the argument focussed and not make it about the religion itself but how the person’s religion doesn’t justify them killing animals.

First and foremost, in no religious doctrine does a God say that we have to eat animals, he says we can if we need to but not that we have to. This means that religion still doesn’t provide a necessity for us to exploit animals and as such it still remains unnecessary and therefore impossible to morally justify...unlike the consumption of animal products, [religion] is a personal choice and as such when people use a belief to condemn an animal to a life of suffering and pain it does not come close to making that action moral.

Using a religious belief to justify killing animals is exactly the same as using a religious belief to oppress homosexuals or women. In fact, if the logic “my religion says I can eat animals” makes eating animals moral, then by default the argument “my religion says it’s okay to treat homosexuals or women as less than me” must also make oppressing homosexuals and women moral....I also don’t think God would be happy with what we are doing to his creatures and the planet that he made for us. In what reality do we think that a God would be happy about us murdering his creatures when it serves absolutely no necessity?

Now one of the main issues with using religion as a justification for anything really, is that religious texts are often very ambiguous and of course open to interpretation, this is partly the reason why some Christians believe it is a sin to be gay, whereas others don’t. This same ambiguity can also be seen when turning to the Bible for moral guidance on whether or not we should eat animal products. There are a multitude of passages from the Bible and indeed in the teachings of all the mainstream religions that further reinforce the idea that no religion mandates the consumption or exploitation of animals.

Sometimes one of the simplest questions to ask someone who is using religion as an argument is to ask, “do slaughterhouses look like the work of Jesus or the Devil?”... A question that I often ask to Christians is, “if Jesus and the Devil were locked in a room with a baby lamb, which one would kill the lamb?”. A question I like to ask people who mention religion is, “if we don’t have to kill God’s creatures do you not think a kind, compassionate, benevolent God would rather that we didn’t?[6]

Nathan Nobis[8]

About Christianity, It is very doubtful that Jesus – who advocated compassion, love and mercy – would support the needless killing of animals for pleasure. Christian theologians and philosophers have carefully engaged these issues and have argued that theology, the Bible and critical thinking about God’s will likely supports such compassion.[14] For those who insist that God supports killing animals for the pleasure of eating them, we need to ask them, first, how they might know that and, second, whatreasons God would have for advocating eating animals, especially since it is often nutritional harmful for humans.

My friends and family won’t like if I go vegan

Edward Winters[6]

People’s friends have no control over the actions or decisions that they make in their life and at no point should friends stop anyone from following their morals and becoming vegan. It is important to also note that peer pressure is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with...What’s so important to realise though is nobody should ever let the opinions of others stop them from following a way of life that is morally right.

...what makes the friends situation particularly hard is that so many social interactions either revolve around food or at least involve food and as such, people don’t want to isolate themselves from their friends by avoiding situations that involve food. Fortunately, this situation is getting easier all the time as more and more places are introducing vegan options and vegan menus and the concept of veganism is becoming increasingly normalised.

If the person still lives at home it can make going vegan a lot more difficult than it would be otherwise...encourage them to try and show their family why it is they want to go vegan, perhaps ask them if they can show their family documentaries or YouTube videos. You could also encourage them to cook for their family in order to show them that vegan food is delicious, affordable, accessible and healthy.

There is a huge, supportive community that is always available to offer support, advice and help so if they feel isolated or alone because their friends and family are making them feel uncomfortable, then tell them that they can talk to the community because being vegan means they are never truly on their own."

One person can’t make a difference

Edward Winters[6]

If everyone had this attitude absolutely nothing would ever get done. Imagine if Mandela, Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King had said “but one person can’t make a difference.”.

Of course one person can make a difference. In fact, sometimes it only takes one person to make a difference and to inspire a thousand minds. A movement is always made up of individuals and it’s the cumulative effort of these individuals that creates change...every single day you live vegan you do make a massive difference. It really comes down to the idea of supply and demand, every time we buy a vegan product we are changing what is being demanded and voting with our wallet for the kind of world that we want to create. As more and more people demand vegan options, more and more vegan options will be produced, this is already happening!

There is no denying that this movement is growing exponentially and this is because thousands of individuals are looking at their own actions and making the switch to veganism. After all, we are morally accountable for the actions that we make as individuals and regardless of what other people are doing, we have a responsibility to address the impact of our own actions and assess whether or not our lifestyle choices need to be changed. By going vegan you’re fiercely stating “not in my name” to the industries that use and kill animals. If everyone had always had the attitude “one person can’t make a difference”, then we would still have slavery and apartheid.

It’s precisely because individuals, who at that time represented the minority, stood up and spoke out against these injustices that progress was made. It’s now up to us to do the same in order to save the animals, the planet and indeed ourselves.

George Martin[7]

You going vegan actually will make a difference. A huge one. Indeed, in the US alone, 400 million fewer animals were brought into a life of exploitation and suffering in 2014 than 2013, due to a rise in the number of plant-based diets. In the UK, the number of vegans has risen 360% in the last decade, hence why the main chain restaurants there are changing their menus in order to cater to demand (e.g. restaurants offering vegan cheese pizzas, etc.). So why not join the ever-growing number who are becoming part of the solution to the problem of animal suffering?

Want to see how much of a difference you'd make by boycotting animal products for a certain length of time? Check out the Vegan Calculator and see for yourself!

In any case, we are accountable for our own actions. Imagine if someone said that, just because burglaries are still going to happen regardless of whether you burgle or not, you might as well burgle. Just because others are doing something, that doesn't mean we should be playing a part in it as well. As the saying goes: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Most people think it is okay/It's legal

George Martin [7]

Most people in the West at one point also agreed that enslaving black people was okay. Most people in certain countries right now think that stoning 'apostates' to death is okay. Majority human vote is not a good way to measure how moral something is. Often throughout history, the masses have agreed with oppression, and are doing the same thing now with the oppression of animals. See appeal to popularity fallacy.

Again, all the oppressions throughout history were fully legal, and it is still legal today to do things in many cultures such as beat your wife, execute people for adultery, and so on. See appeal to legality fallacy.

Vegans act superior/veganism is a religion/stop pushing your belief

George Martin [7]

Veganism is about treating others as equals, not about being superior. It is non-vegans who believe that their tastebuds are superior to all life on earth. As vegans say: "I don't feel superior because I'm a vegan... I'm a vegan because I don't feel superior". With regards to being judgemental, vegans judge the majority of life on earth as precious. Meanwhile, it is non-vegans who tend to judge all other species as being not worthy of having even basic rights, e.g. the right to be free from harm and exploitation...

You also have to laugh at this statement, because if it was the person arguing it who was the one waiting in line to have their throat slit, or was having their babies stolen from them, or was about to be skinned alive, they'd be begging, sobbing, pleading for people like us (vegans) to speak up for them and save them. Hell, if you look at it from the victim's perspective, if anything, the question should be: "Why aren't vegans more forceful with their beliefs?"

It is no more a 'religion' to abstain from harming turkeys and pigs than it is a religion to abstain from harming cats and dogs. Veganism, simply, is a moral obligation.

With regards to it being similar to a religion, consider this: religion is getting people to believe in things they can't see. Veganism is getting people to see things they don't want to believe.

Not everyone can be vegan & veganism is a first world issue

George Martin [7]

But you can. And that's the point. Anyone who's reading this has no excuse not to be vegan. Unless you're either a.) sitting on a sand dune in the middle of the Sahara Desert, or b.) sitting in an igloo somewhere in the North Pole, in which case I must say, I'm pretty impressed with your wi-fi signal.

Palming off one's own complicity in animal agriculture onto those living in barren wastelands shows a complete lack of ability to take responsibility for one's own actions. If you are reading this now, that means you have access to either a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, which means you also have access to shops and so on."

If you've got time to buy animal products, you've got time to buy fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, lentils, seeds, and grains. Being vegan is no more time-consuming than being a non-vegan, so this is a completely redundant excuse. Indeed, often the foods that take longest to cook are animal products. Put it this way: it ain't the nut roast that's in the oven for 8 hours on Christmas Day.

Add to that routine visits to hospitals and pharmacies that are part and parcel for many people who eat animal products due to their aggravation of our most common diseases, and you'll find that eating animal products turns out to be one of the most time-consuming endeavours you can undertake.

Ask anyone who uses this argument what's actually stopping them from going vegan, and they'll come up with a whole list of first world problems that make even the fussiest first world diva sound like a battle-hardened war hero: "I couldn't live without bacon"; "I don't have enough time"; "I don't like the taste of tofu"; "I don't want to have to read ingredients labels on things"—you name it.

Veganism isn't a first world issue—avoiding going vegan when you have the capability to do so, is.

Biology & Health

Protein tho?

Anna Charlton & Gary Francione[10]

Let us be clear and concise: there is no credible evidence- none- that a vegan diet cannot supply the same quality of protein as that from animal sources. The bottom line is clear: "Plant foods have plenty of protein.[15][10]

Nutritional arguments

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics[16]

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Humans need to eat animals

Edward Winters[6]

We’re living evidence that this simply isn’t true. ...The majority of people truly believe that animal products contain nutritional elements that we cannot get elsewhere and that we need for our health and longevity, after all, there has to be a real reason why we’re doing all of these horrific things to animals, right?

The American Dietetic Association and the British Dietetic Association, the largest bodies of nutrition and diet professionals in both countries, have both stated that a plant-based (vegan) diet is nutritionally adequate and safe for all stages of life, including pregnancy... The largest and strongest land animals in the world, the elephant, the rhino, the hippopotamus, what do they all have in common? They are all plant eaters.

Consuming animal products has been linked to our top diseases and illnesses. Heart disease, type-2 diabetes, many forms of cancer, strokes, hypertension, dementia and osteoporosis have all been inextricably linked to the consumption of animal products and many of them can be treated and even reversed by switching to a plantbased lifestyle.

Ask the non-vegan if there is any necessity for us to eat animals and their secretions, to which they cannot logically reply to with “yes” after receiving the information above about nutrition. Then say to them “does this not therefore mean that doing these things to animals is an act of unnecessary cruelty?"

Dan Hooley & Nathan Nobis[2]

If we need animal products for good health, this might justify harming animals. While common, this claim is not supported by scientific evidence. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, has an evidence-based 16-page review of this issue, with hundreds of references to the medical and nutrition literature. [17][2]

If it were true that we have to eat meat and other animal products, then there would be no people who abstain from doing do so because they would all be dead. But there are such people, alive and well, and medical science supplements common observations with evidence to show that they are often healthier than omnivores. This argument thus has a false empirical premise: it is not supported by science and medical research. [8]

Anna Charlton & Gary Francione

Dieticians have long known that animal foods are not necessary for optimal health. Indeed, mounting empirical evidence suggests that they are detrimental for human health. Even if there is disagreement about how harmful they are, there is broad consensus that animal products are not necessary. [10]

Plants feel pain & bacteria feel pain

Edward Winters[6]

...A plant lacks a central nervous system, pain receptors and a brain which means that anatomically they don’t have the ability to feel pain. If we also consider that the primary reason human and non-human animals feel pain is to alert us that we are in danger or are being hurt and that we need to escape the situation that we are in, a plant cannot move and thus any pain would be inescapable, making life torturous for any plant.

... it is true that they are alive and they conduct various activities at a cellular level, such as tilting to face the sunlight...but they do not conduct any activities at a conscious or cognitive level, in essence meaning that plants are not sentient...plants react but they don’t respond. This is why the venus flytrap will close around anything that triggers this response, including cigarettes butts. A cow on the other hand, won’t eat cigarette butts just because someone puts them in their mouth because a cow consciously responds.

[Additionally:]...It takes up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, meaning vastly more plants are killed in the production of animal products than they are vegan products... up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction is due to animal agriculture, meaning that millions of trees have been and continue to be destroyed because of our consumption of animal products.

You could ask...“If you were driving down the road and a dog jumped out in front of your car, would you swerve onto a bed of flowers to avoid hitting the dog?”...“For the sake of discussion, let’s say plants do feel pain, are you aware that it can take up to 16 kilograms of plants to create 1 kilogram of animal flesh, so vastly more plants are murdered for animal products than they are vegan products?”

George Martin[7]

Again, in a long list of things non-vegans only ever say when the conversation is about exploiting animals, we have the plants argument. There is absolutely no conviction in this argument, because the vast majority of people on this planet know that it is absolutely insane to compare cutting a plant to, say, cutting a puppy. Imagine if we used this logic for human suffering: let's say there was something on the news about a terror attack and hundreds of people being blown to smithereens, and someone in the room said, "What about cabbages? It's the same thing", what would your reaction be to that? Would you, perhaps, think it was maybe a slight trivialisation of human suffering that those victims were compared to cabbages? It's exactly the same principle when it comes to pigs, chickens, cows, etc.

Here's the thing though: if anyone reading this actually does think that 'harming' a plant is comparable to harming an animal, it only makes sense that they go vegan anyway, because it actually requires far fewer plants to feed a vegan than it does a non-vegan (up to 10 times fewer), due to the amount of crops used to raise livestock (copious amounts of crops are used to raise the 55 billion land animals and many of the 90 billion marine animals slaughtered every year). Veganism minimises land use, crop use, and lowers the amount of deforestation (1 acre of rainforest cleared every second worldwide in animal agriculture)."

George Martin[7]
Just like the "plants are also living" argument, it is a huge trivialisation of sentient animal life to compare animals to non-sentient life-forms such as yeast and bacteria. When one makes such an argument, they essentially compare animal life (and indeed human life, as humans are animals biologically) to a slice of toast.

Let's assume that bacteria actually were sentient though, which would arise the question of whether it would be ethical to use antibiotics if you had an illness: and the answer is, absolutely yes. Why? Because there is nothing ethically wrong with anyone using whatever force is necessary to defend themselves. So just as you would have the right to shoot dead a crocodile dragging you underwater to be savaged to death in their fearsome jaws, or a police sniper should have the right to squeeze the trigger if a terrorist has a knife to a hostage's throat, so too should you be able to use antibiotics or use soap in order to defend your own body from attack. There is a huge moral distinction between defending oneself from attack, and actually attacking others unnecessarily.

Animals don’t feel pain/Suffer/Are biologically different

Edward Winters[6]

As a society "We’ve had laws in place for a long time that require that we treat animals “humanely” ...we do recognise that if we abuse let’s say a dog, we will be punished for doing so because we understand that the dog feels pain and has the capacity to suffer… [also] we do have methods in place that are there to supposedly reduce the suffering of the animals that we kill, the reason that this is important is because that means we acknowledge as a society that the animals we kill have the ability to feel pain and suffer.

From a science perspective, non-human animals have the same or at least almost identical areas of the brain involved in processing pain and show similar pain behaviours to humans...Sentient beings need to be able to feel pain in order to survive as it allows them to escape from dangerous situations and minimise potential injury.

...We have established that animals feel physical pain but it is also well documented that they experience emotional suffering just like us humans do. Mother cows [and]... orcas as have been shown to mourn the kidnapping of their offspring and animals such as dogs have been shown to suffer from separation anxiety when their companion human leaves them on their own.

There is however no evidence to support the argument that we suffer greater than non-human animals -...You might feel less pain than I do but it wouldn’t then be acceptable for me to intentionally harm you... the fact that they can experience pain means that they have a preference to avoid it and by default, it is our moral obligation to ensure no unnecessary pain is caused to any living creature."[6]

[Ask them: Why else do we currently have laws in place to protect nonhuman animal welfare?... Do you think dogs and cats feel pain and have emotions?... Does differing experiences make lesser experiences?]

Dan Hooley & Nathan Nobis[2]

Perhaps most importantly, if we are justified in killing other animals because death is a less serious harm to them, then, at least in some circumstances, we might be justified in killing some humans (babies, individuals with severe cognitive disabilities, individuals with severe dementia). But, again, that is not an acceptable conclusion. So even if animals are harmed less by death, it does not follow that they are not seriously harmed by death.

Further, the claim that other animals are incapable of achieving the same quality or level of well-being as human beings may only illustrate our human prejudice for our form and ways of life. Why are things like human creativity, art, novels, and intimate friendships more valuable or ‘higher goods’ than the goods and activities that characterize the lives of pigs, cows, or chickens? [2]

Nathan Nobis[8]

Is it because animals are not biologically human that they lack the right to not be harmed for others? Interestingly, nearly all philosophers who have considered these issues reject this kind of theory: on their views, the fact that we are biologically human has little to do with what we are owed, morally. This hypothesis is confirmed, in part, by each of us asking us what it is about ourselves that, e.g., makes it such that it would be wrong to cause us pain and kill us. For most people, the obvious explanation is that this would hurt greatly, we would suffer enormously and our early deaths would prevent us from experiencing all the good things we (hopefully) would have experienced. It’s not because of some genes we have or where we are on some chart in a biology book that explains our moral status; rather, it is a matter of our vulnerability to physical and/or psychological harm.[8]

Food Chain/We are the dominant species/Superior

Edward Winters[6]

"What we do to animals...is about as far removed from nature as possible and does not resemble anything like a food chain.The food chain that we have created for ourselves is a human construct to try and conveniently justify an entirely unnecessary act - it ignores the complexity andinterdependent web of life that forms our ecosystems. It is an appeal to nature fallacy that overlooks our ability to make moral decisions and instead claims that our actions are predetermined for us entirely by biological determinism.

...Every human atrocity committed has come under the illusion of self-appointed power, whether it be Nazis believing they are superior to Jewish people, white people believing they are superior to black people, one religion believing they are superior to

another religion or humans believing that they are superior to animals. The food chain excuse adopts the ‘might means right’ way of thinking, with people believing that because we have the physical ability to enslave and exploit others we are then morally justified to do so.

But being in the position of power means that we have a responsibility to care for the vulnerable, we have a moral obligation to care and look after those weaker or less able than we are. The food chains in nature exist because they have to. The predator needs to kill the prey to survive. We don’t have to kill anyone to live, which means that we don’t have to use our dominance to kill others, we can use our power to look after others and create a better world - in fact, we have a moral obligation to.

As humans we have moral agency, which means that we can make decisions based on a notion of right and wrong and most importantly we can be held accountable for the actions that we make. Our moral agency dictates to us that when we are in a situation where we have the choice to not inflict unnecessary suffering we can and should be held accountable if we actively choose to inflict unnecessary suffering instead."

[Ask: “Does might make right?”... “Do we have a duty to protect the vulnerable?”..."Are you the top of the food chain?"..."What if a lion ate you?"...]

George Martin[7]

"Then by their own logic, there would be nothing morally wrong with someone killing and eating them, and then justifying it by using their argument of "It's the food chain". After all, if they're a part of this system, they don't get to be exempt from the rules—doesn't work that way. They can't just be part of a system which they're not even willing to comply with. And if they're off-limits, then the animals are off-limits too. If their argument is, "Yeah but that's cannibalism": other species regularly cannibalise each other as part of the food chain, e.g. black widows—so a human killing and eating them is behaving no differently from other members of the very system they claim to be part of. And appeals to legality (e.g. "But that's illegal") are not sufficient either—the laws of the food chain are the laws of nature, not the laws we abide by in human society. Also, excusing themselves from these rules by saying "But I'm top of the food chain" is what's know as a 'might makes right' fallacy, i.e. "I am in a position of power over the victim; therefore, it is okay for me to do what I want to them"—this is no different from a domestic abuser arguing that it is okay to beat his wife because men have evolved to be stronger than women.

"Actually, the opposite is true—humans are the only species on earth whose complete removal would benefit absolutely everything (the air, the oceans, the animals, the forests, the soil, etc.). So the idea that a species whose very existence is detrimental to everything is superior to the existence of those species who actually play a role in the ecosystem, is absurd. The idea that one's own kind is superior to another's own kind is the root of all the oppressions throughout history—hardly something we should be aspiring to. With regards to being the dominant species, and justifying our exploitation of animals on that basis, this is yet another might makes right fallacy. And if we are in a dominant position, why would we even want to rule with violence and cruelty? Why rule with an iron fist when we can rule with love and compassion? Our role as the most powerful species on this earth should be to protect our planet and its creatures, not destroy it and enslave them.

Dan Hooley & Nathan Nobis[2]

Notice, first, that all of us reject this argument when it comes to other human beings. The fact that one individual might be more intelligent, more rational, or more morally virtuous does not justify that individual in harming less intelligent or rational or virtuous individuals. So while this argument ‘justifies’ eating animals, the first premise also ‘justifies’ harming and eating human babies, seriously cognitively disabled human beings, and dementia patients. Any argument to justify eating animals that would also justifies eating vulnerable human beings is unsound and should be rejected.

But even if all human beings were morally ‘superior’ to all animals (or no animals were ‘equal to’ humans), that does not, in itself, justify harming animals. As Tzachi Zamir points out, superiority does not justify harming the allegedly inferior. Even if A is ‘superior’ to B, that does not justify A’s actively harming B. To illustrate this point, consider how we might react to Super Advanced Aliens who arrive on earth to raise and kill humans for food. Aliens who were intellectually superior to us in a variety of ways – perhaps they have powers of rationality and reasoning that far exceed our smartest computers, language abilities that put ours to shame, and moral self-control that far surpasses that of human beings – we would rightly deny that they are justified in raising and killing us for food. So even if humans are intellectually superior to other animals and on this basis matter more, morally, than other animals, this does not justify our harming other animals, especially for trivial ends. Human moral superiority might justify us doing more to benefit human beings, and to promote our welfare, but it does not justify actively undertaking efforts to harm other animals, especially when these harms can be easily avoided. [2]

We are more intelligent

Edward Winters[6]

"The idea that intelligence defines worth of life can often become one of the main driving forces as to why we justify raising and killing animals.

...pigs have been shown to be more intelligent than dogs and in fact have the same cognitive abilities as a three year old human,...Moreover, the animals that we eat, the cows, sheep, chickens, etc are vastly more conventionally intelligent than many other animals that exist with us on this planet, so if we did eat animals according to their intelligence we would instead be living off of insects.

...if we eat specific foods according to their intelligence then we should be eating the least intelligent species, which are actually plants. Plants are the least intelligent species that exist as they lack the cognitive abilities that animals have, meaning that if we truly believe in the intelligence defines worth of life excuse then we should all be vegan anyway.

...one of the other issues with this excuse is that intelligence is largely subjective, as Einstein famously said, “If you judge a fish on their ability to climb a tree they will spend their whole life believing that they are stupid.”.

When someone brings up the intelligence argument, ask them: “Does intelligence define worth of life?”...“Is your life worth more than someone who has learning difficulties?”...“If intelligence equals dominance does that mean that anyone with a high IQ can do what they want to someone with a lower IQ?”...“A pig has been shown to be more intelligent than a dog, does this fact mean that you will stop eating pigs and start eating dogs instead?”

George Martin [7]

"It has never been morally justifiable to discriminate others based on their intelligence—let's take the Nazi Holocaust for example, where thousands of mentally disabled people were murdered on that basis. Was that morally justifiable? And before you say that this is different: many animals do actually have a higher IQ than mentally disabled humans (let's take the pig, for example, who has the IQ of a 3-year-old human, thus making them more intelligent than those with a mental age of 2 who were murdered in the Holocaust). So what exactly can the justification be here?

Indeed, often, as humans, we are more inclined to protect the less intelligent. Let's take the human baby, for example—by far the stupidest creature on the planet. Unable to perform even the most basic of cognitive and physical tasks, it trails pitifully behind its animal counterparts of the same age in numerous areas.

So why, then, whenever animals are systematically harmed in the food industry, do the same people who are complicit in the litany of outrage whenever a human baby is harmed, use the justification of, "They're not as intelligent as us, so it's not the same"? And why do they not apply that outrage they feel for the harming of human babies to the harming of animals?

How, as a society, have we managed to make this gigantic contradiction and not even realise it? We pour our hearts out for the suffering of someone who is less intelligent than us when the victim looks human, but put feathers or fur on them and suddenly they become fair game. Perhaps if baby-killers put their victims in chicken costumes before they killed them, no one would blink an eye?"

They were bred for this purpose

Edward Winters[6]

"...just because we have decided what will happen to an animal doesn’t mean what will happen to them is morally justifiable. Many people breed dogs into existence with the sole purpose of raising them for dog fighting, does that mean that dog fighting is moral because those animals were bred for that purpose?

In some countries it is legal to have sex with an animal and there are even animal brothels, where you can pay to rape an animal. Using the ‘bred for a purpose’ excuse it must therefore be perfectly moral to have sex with an animal in a brothel as those animals were bred with that purpose in mind. This argument also completely avoids the fact that the animals that we exploit have a preference to live their life and wish to avoid feeling pain and fear, in their eyes they have no awareness of the reason they were bred and their desire to live is exactly the same as an animal that was born without a ‘purpose’ for humans.

If you are having a conversation with someone and they use this excuse, ask them “Is dog fighting therefore moral if the dogs were bred with the purpose to fight?”.

George Martin[7]

"Bringing someone into existence for the sole purpose of harming them cannot be justifiable under any circumstances. What's more, no one applies this argument for the animals we don't eat, e.g. dogs bred for dog fighting, and so on (apart from dog fighting racket owners themselves, who of course would use this argument). Whether an animal is bred for food or not, it is not in the animal's interest to slit their throat and eat them. So this argument, as per all the arguments used for exploiting animals, fails to address things from the victim's perspective. An animal does not care what they are bred for—they just want to live. And it is not our right to dictate a purpose for someone else's life.

If you are having a conversation with someone and they use this excuse, ask them “Is dog fighting therefore moral if the dogs were bred with the purpose to fight?”

We’re omnivores with canine teeth

Edward Winters"[6]

""The reality is, it is entirely irrelevant if we are natural omnivores or not, it provides no moral justification for us to exploit animals as just because we can do something, does not mean that it is ethical for us to do it.

If someone believes that we are an omnivore then by default that means that we are able to obtain energy and nutrients from plants and as such, we are able to sustain life from plants alone. Consequently, that means that there is no necessity for us to eat animals and because there is no necessity it cannot be morally justified.

The canine argument is that my canines made it acceptable for me to pay for someone else to kill an animal on my behalf. The quickest and easiest way of debunking this argument is to point out that a hippopotamus has the largest canines of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous. Our canines are not capable of tearing raw flesh or killing animals and instead are there so that we can bite into hard, crunchy plants (like apples!).

Also, just because we posses a physical ability that allow us to do something doesn’t make that action moral. So just because we can physically put animal products in our mouth and digest them does not therefore mean that it is an ethical thing to do. For example I can physically clench my fist but that doesn’t mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone.

Ask the non-vegan using this excuse, “do you think that because we posses a physical attribute that allows us to do something, we are therefore morally justified to do it?”....If they say yes you could then ask, “I can physically clench my fist, does mean that I am morally justified to then punch someone?”...Also, if we were naturally meant to kill animals we would be able to do so with ease, but the reality is, if we were given a pig that we had to kill using only our hands and teeth, at best we’d probably give the pig a tickle. But let’s say we did manage to kill the pig, how would we then butcher the pig and eat them?...True animal eaters don’t find the body parts of the animals they are eating abject, they see the body parts as food - and aren’t repulsed by the gore.

If someone you are talking to brings up the canine teeth argument, ask them, “hippos actually have the largest canine teeth of any land animal and they are entirely herbivorous, do you still think that canines grant you the right to pay someone to kill an animal for you?”. Ask the person, “if we are natural omnivores, which means that by default we can survive only on plants, how do we then morally justify taking the life of an animal as by your own admission it is unnecessary?"

George Martin[7]

""Having body parts that are simply capable of doing something does not mean that we should do it. To use an analogy, imagine if a man sexually assaulted someone, and then to justify his actions, pointed at his penis. Yes, humans can digest animal products, but why does that mean we should? Vegans are living proof that humans can live long, healthy lives without eating any animal products whatsoever, and they have the same biological makeup (teeth, etc.) of any non-vegan person, thus it is unnecessary to harm animals when there are alternatives.

With regards to the teeth, it turns out that our teeth are in no way carnivorous/omnivorous anyway. Humans have flat, blunt teeth, with a jaw capable of moving side to side, just like any herbivore. With regards specifically to our 2 pointy little teeth, these are commonplace in various species of herbivores, such as fruit bats, rhinos, hippos, gorillas, and musk deer (aka the sabre tooth deer), all of which have far larger, sharper canines than our 2 pathetic little apple-crunchers that are completely incapable of even tearing through a pillow, let alone someone's flesh and bone.

If humans even had a single omnivorous instinct, the animal rights movement wouldn't even exist because we'd be too busy drooling over slaughterhouse footage to even care. Rather, when we see slaughter footage, we are repulsed by it. A true omnivore or carnivore would salivate or get hungry.”

Animals lack moral agency/those animals would eat you

George Martin [7]

"This is pretty rich coming from the most morally depraved species to ever walk this earth—a species whose brutality and evil far exceeds that of any animal, and where stoning, beheadings, slavery, oppression, torture and terrorism are the absolute norm. But in any case, ethics are an evolved thing, and all species have at least a basic understanding of right and wrong, because without it, they cannot survive. Without altruism, a species fails, and would not be in existence today. The reason we, as humans, even understand right and wrong (or at least claim to) in the first place is because, biologically, we are animals. As with any other animal, we evolved understanding that good deeds to others often meant a reward in return, thus helping us to survive. Regardless, a being's understanding of right or wrong does not negate their capacity to suffer. A baby has no concept at all of right or wrong, yet if we used this justification to do to babies what we do to pigs and cows, there would be uproar."

George Martin [7]

"This argument is pointless, because you could literally just say that about any animal we don't eat as well, e.g. a cat or a dog. So if this rather bizarre justification can be used to talk about herbivorous animals like lambs, why isn't it used to justify killing and eating animals that, well, actually would eat you if they could, like the lions who get shot on hunting safaris that the world is always up in arms about whenever it happens?"

Environmental

Animals would overrun/go extinct/the world went vegan over night

Edward Winters [6]

If we stopped eating animals they would all just be released and cause havoc to our environment, or they’d all be slaughtered and then just discarded.

Animal agriculture works on a system of supply and demand, when we buy products we demand that more be supplied. Farmers only breed as many animals as they can sell, they’re not going to breed more because it quite simply would not be economically viable… Because the world isn’t going to go vegan overnight and it will instead be a gradual process over a long period, this means that as more and more people go vegan, less and less animals will be bred in proportion with the rise of veganism... once we apply the supply and demand logic to this excuse it becomes easy to understand why that statement is entirely disingenuous.

[In regards to species extinction]...the animals that we eat and exploit for food are not natural animals, they have all been domesticated, selectively bred and modified in some way that means they were never meant to exist... it’s very unlikely that any of these animals would be able to survive on their own in the wild...there would of course still be sanctuaries as well, where rescued animals would be allowed to live their life...Ultimately, we would really end up with a choice of whether or not we wanted to sustain healthy populations of these animals or whether we think it would be more ethical to allow them to no longer exist and instead replenish our eco-systems with their natural bio-diversity...We would also theoretically be able to reintroduce many of the natural wild animals back into their habitats as we would no longer require such huge expansive areas of land for animal agriculture.

[Ask them: “are you familiar with supply and demand?... “Do you think the world will go vegan overnight?”... “Do you think animal agriculture is natural?”...]

George Martin[7]

The idea of the world just magically turning vegan overnight and all the farmed animals being left to roam free is a nonsensical scenario. The world going vegan is a gradual process, by which the number of people boycotting animal products would increase slowly over time, thus meaning that farm animals were bred less and less to meet demand. The number of farmed animals walking this planet right now is directly relative to the number of people buying animal products. More people eating meat/dairy = more farm animals. More vegans = fewer farm animals. This is just supply and demand! So don't worry: cows aren't going to take over the world... yet (mwahahahaha!).

Soy production is bad/Veganism bad for environment

Edward Winters [6]

"a vegan diet is significantly better for the environment than a non-vegan diet. In fact, the United Nations stated not so long ago that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, everybody needs to shift to a plantbased diet immediately.[18] However, one environmental argument that many people often cite is that soya farming has environmental consequences such as rainforest destruction and habitat loss.

Now undoubtedly the environmental impact and destruction caused by soya is massive, but we need only consider that 85% of the soya that is grown is fed to livestock animals - and that’s a conservative estimate. This pretty much dispatches the argument immediately as we can sustainably produce enough soya for human consumption - the issue surrounding soya farming is that such vast quantities are produced to feed livestock animals, which is why it’s bad for the environment, not because vegans consume soya milk.

If someone brings up the soya argument say, “you’re right, soya farming is destructive for the environment, but did you know that over 85% of the soya grown is fed to livestock animals? It’s because of animal agriculture that soya is currently so destructive.”... You could also go on to say, “as you are worried about the environmental impact of soya farming, do you think you will give up animal products now that you know they are the main reason for the destructive elements of soya farming?”[6]

  1. https://www.eatlikeyoucarebook.com/book/eat-like-you-care
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Hooley, D., & Nobis, N. (2015). A moral argument for veganism. Philosophy comes to dinner: Arguments about the ethics of eating, 92-108.
  3. https://ea-foundation.org/blog/the-strongest-argument-for-veganism/
  4. https://philosophicalvegan.com/wiki/index.php/NameTheTrait
  5. V5. Accessed April 2019. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1tAjU2Bv1tsGbNLA2TfJesgbIh8JKh9zc
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 6.22 6.23 6.24 6.25 6.26 6.27 6.28 6.29 6.30 6.31 6.32 6.33 "30 NON-VEGAN EXCUSES & HOW TO RESPOND TO THEM," Ed Winters (2018). https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dMyS7mIrr4Fal8UKF900BbLMC11IwWRH/view
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 Carnism Debunked, George R Martin, referenced February 2019 https://www.carnismdebunked.com/general-ethical#1
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 Nobis, Nathan (2008). Reasonable Humans and Animals: An Argument for Vegetarianism. _Between the Species_ 13 (8):4.
  9. Amy Fitzgerald, Linda Kalof, and Thomas Dietz (2009), ‘Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates: An Empirical Analysis of the Spillover From ‘The Jungle’ Into the Surrounding Community’, Organization & Environment 22 (2): 158-184.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals. Exempla Press, 2013. ISBN 978-1-492-38651-3.
  11. Peter Singer (2011), Practical Ethics, New York: Cambridge University Press, Ch. 5, p. 101-103.
  12. Andy Lamey, ‘Food Fight! Davis versus Regan on the Ethics of Eating Beef’ (August 25, 2008). Journal of Social Philosophy, Vol. 38, No. 2, pp. 331-348, Summer 2007.
  13. "30 NON-VEGAN EXCUSES & HOW TO RESPOND TO THEM," Ed Winters (2018). https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dMyS7mIrr4Fal8UKF900BbLMC11IwWRH/view
  14. Matthew Halteman’s Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation (Washington, DC: Humane Society Press, 2008), at http://www.hsus.org/webfiles/PDF/religion/ar-halteman_book_lowres2.pdf .
  15. Joel Fuhrman, M.D., Eat to Live (Little Brown and Company 2011), at 184.
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704
  17. ‘Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets,’ Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2009; 109: 1266-1282. http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8357
  18. LIVESTOCK'S LONG SHADOW- environmental issues and options. Retrieved 16 August 2018.http://www.fao.org/3/a0701e/a0701e00.htm