The Complete Guide To EVERY Anti-Vegan Argument - Part III
Part Three (of Four)
25. You can’t be 100% vegan
This is also an “al tu quoque” fallacy. If a vegan says “it is wrong to mutilate pigs”, the argument tries to say “well you step on ants and use cars with tyres that have animal products, so who are you to speak?” This argument tries to invalidate veganism by suggesting that there is no difference between a vegan contributing 1% to animal abuse and a meat-eater contributing 100%.
The reality is that boycotting the meat, dairy, egg, wool, silk, fur, and leather industries alone already account for 99% of all animal abuse. In our modern world, where it is impossible to live a life without coming into contact with some sort of animal product or by-product, the fastest and most practical way to end animal abuse is by boycotting the big producers of animal abuse. Once the majority of the world becomes vegan, then it will become impractical for car manufacturers to use animal by-product in their tyres, because the only reason they use them is because it exists in large quantities and it’s waste that can be used.
26. Going vegan doesn’t make a difference
Veganism is both a matter of principle and a practical solution to animal abuse. If you’re against paying others to torture and kill animals, then you shouldn’t do it, regardless of whether you will actually change something. However, being vegan also has real effects because of supply and demand laws. If you buy vegan alternatives to meat products, every day, three times a day, for a year, you’ve reduced the demand for meat quite significantly for one person. If you combine the thousands of millions of vegans in the world that do this, you’re talking a serious drop in demand. The UK has seen a 360% increase in vegans in the last 10 years, and other indicators also show veganism is on the rise. If you want a large number of vegans to have an impact in the world, then you need to begin by becoming part of the group.
27. The whole world will never go vegan
It is very hard for the whole world to do anything. The world will always have some sexism, racism, homophobia and violence. That doesn’t mean we must tolerate these things when we see them and that we mustn’t fight to eradicate them. Even though there will always be people that abuse animals, we should still try to end animal abuse as much as possible. Having people in the world doing something unethical is no reason for you to copy them. You have control over your decisions and you can choose to be ethical regardless of what others do.
28. I only buy locally grown, free-range, organic meat
In all farms, regardless of how the lives of animals are before slaughter, the animals die at a fraction of their lifespan. Animals get killed as soon as their purpose is served, or as soon as they reach a profitable size. The definition of grass-fed / organic / free-range animals is very loose and can vary wildly. It doesn’t mean that the animals have any kind of quality of life necessarily, it just means the farm has to meet some arbitrary requirements to earn that title.
29. Humane slaughter
You can, in theory (and not at the large scale required to feed 7 billion humans), kill an animal without any pain. However, this does not make the killing morally acceptable. Killing animals, thus depriving them from their right to life, for no necessity, is wrong. The definition of “humane” is “having or showing compassion or benevolence.” Synonyms include compassionate, kind and considerate. Therefore, “humane” and shooting animals, are not compatible. No humane person would want to take the lives away from animals for no necessity.
"The world will always have some sexism, racism, homophobia and violence. That doesn’t mean we must tolerate these things when we see them and that we mustn’t fight to eradicate them."
30. Animal products are tasty
Animal products are the result of suffering and killing of animals. If you justify eating animals and their secretions by saying that you like the taste, this means you believe that unethical actions can be justified by the personal pleasure you derive from such action. This is clearly problematic. Using this line of thinking you can justify stealing because it feels good to have more money, or raping because you enjoy it. Harming another sentient being for your own pleasure is morally despicable.
31. Vegan food is tasteless
Most of the food humans eat is vegan. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, pasta, bread, potatoes and soy. You enjoy these foods every day and you don’t think they’re unpalatable. The food your prepare is as good as you make it. There are award winning vegan food products and restaurants all over the world. You can easily find online recipes to veganise your favourite meals. There are plenty of dairy milk alternatives in the market. If you don’t like soy milk, try oat, rice, coconut, hazelnut or almond milk.
And even if vegan food was tasteless, morality trumps personal pleasure. An animal’s desire to live will always be greater than your desire to eat a steak, and deep down you know this.
32. It’s a personal choice
Personal choices, by definition, only affect the individual making the choice. With eating animal products, there are other sentient beings involved. It is not a personal choice to harm animals for trivial and unnecessary pleasures. Your personal choice ends where someone else’s choices begin.
"...even if vegan food was tasteless, morality trumps personal pleasure."
33. Vegans are so judgmental
Some vegans are. There are idiots in every movement, and veganism isn’t an exception. But adherents to a movement don’t represent the validity of the ideology behind it. If you’re against animal abuse, you should be vegan. If you don’t like judgmental vegans, become a vegan and be the counter-example.
34. Morality is subjective
People are fast to use subjective morality to justify things they do when it’s convenient, but wouldn’t tolerate this argument if they were the victims. If I kill you, or your dog or a friend, by your logic this wouldn’t be unethical because in my subjective view of morality killing isn’t wrong. Morality must be based in facts and reason, it can’t be completely arbitrary, or else anyone can justify an atrocity by saying their morality is subjective. We must have at least some objective measurements of what is and isn’t ethical. Agreeing that killing beings for pleasure or convenience isn’t ethical is a good place to start to prevent violence towards humans and animals. Veganism follows from this.
Even if you believe morality is subjective, I think most people would agree that animals have some moral value, and that they shouldn’t be harmed for no reason. So by your own subjective morality you can agree that veganism is right because harming animals unnecessarily is wrong.
35. Not everyone can be vegan
That’s true, but you can. There are certain, extremely rare circumstances where individuals cannot be vegan due to uncommon medical conditions or life situations. Everyone that can be vegan, should. If you can’t there is nothing that can be done. Veganism is about doing what is practicable and possible to end animal exploitation. If you’re reading this, you can decide to stop harming animals at any moment.
36. Focus on more important issues / Human rights are more important
Veganism is a non-action. In other words, you don’t need to actively do anything to be vegan, so it doesn’t take more of your time. As such, you can continue to fight for human rights issues or other “more important” causes while eating a veggie burger or stir fry instead of a steak. You don’t need to harm animals while you fight against human oppression. Plus, if we wait until all human rights issues are solved before addressing animal suffering, we would never get there since there will always be human conflict.
It is also worth putting the animal suffering problem into perspective. Worldwide, 56 billion land animals are killed every year for food. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and Amazon deforestation. Nowhere in the world are humans being exploited in the magnitude and severity as non-human animals are. If they were, there would be a global uproar and the issue would be solved immediately.
Animal abuse is interlinked with human suffering, too. High meat and dairy diets are responsible for some of the United States’ leading killers, like heart disease and strokes. In areas where slaughterhouses are set up, the rates of domestic violence and crime go up. Many human rights violations occur in factory farms because of the high production rate required to meet the demand for meat. Some US factory farm workers wear diapers to work because of lack of bathroom breaks. Don’t you think the animal rights issue is at least as important as some human rights issues?
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