General Question

ninjacolin's avatar

Why aren't you vegan?

Asked by ninjacolin (13678 points ) May 27th, 2011

I don’t think it’s because some people “can’t” give up meat or whatever. I’m a carnivore myself. At the very least I know that’s not the reason for me.

I think it has something more to do with the fact that I’m lacking sufficient influence or information to make such a decision. What do you think?

Do you feel the vegan ideology has been sufficiently promoted to you? Enough that you feel you’ve been able to make a thoroughly examined and conscientious decision against that way of life?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

128 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

I don’t think it’s unethical to kill animals or to use their products for food.

jaytkay's avatar

It’s cultural. Living in the US, it’s a lot easier to eat animal products than avoid them.

Joker94's avatar

Because meat is….it’s just tops, you know? I couldn’t go vegan because I’d miss eating meat too much…I’d have no reason to give it up at all, really. The idea doesn’t sound appealing to me, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with eating meat.

Blueroses's avatar

1. I get very weak and moody when I don’t have meat
2. Meat tastes excellent.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I did the vegan thing and I was unhealthy. It just doesn’t work for some people.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’m afraid I’m going to get slammed for saying this… but I just don’t think it’s the way nature intended for us to eat.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf : I agree, and I proved it for myself.

everephebe's avatar

1. Eggs
2. Butter
3. I’m an asshole.

Luiveton's avatar

No one likes starving themself. Personally, I eat chicken, not meat. Not a huge difference.

DominicX's avatar

I think I know quite a bit about the vegan argument; there have definitely been some vegans I’ve come across on the internet who were adept at shoving their views down people’s throats. ;)

But like @the100thmonkey I don’t think it’s unethical to use animals for food, hence the main reason I’m not. Even so, I don’t eat that much meat and many things I like are vegetarian. But if I were to give up meat, it would be due to health reasons (not that I have any), rather than ethical reasons.

tom_g's avatar

Had way too many of these conversations to be under the impression this is a conversation that will go well. Let me just say that people face the prospect of the consequences of their diet at their own pace and for different reasons. Some people find they are an environmentalist. Some people come to it when they are facing some real unhealthy eating habits. Some people approach it when evaluating their ethics.

As long as someone is conscious of the environmental and ethical implications of their diet, I am ok with that. It’s difficult to listen to rationalizations and self-delusion.

Seelix's avatar

I’m pretty educated about vegetarianism and veganism, I think. I have a bunch of friends who are/have been either or both. I understand the reasons that a lot of people have for choosing that lifestyle – both ethical and health-related. But I don’t feel strongly enough to cut animal products out of my diet.

@Luiveton – Meat is the flesh of an animal used for food. Unless chickens are no longer animals, you can’t claim that chicken isn’t meat.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@JilltheTooth maybe I’m wrong, but it just seems like a vegan diet with sufficient nutritional value would be next to impossible to sustain if it weren’t for modern amenities. Not that I think there is anything wrong with those that try, or those that strictly adhere to a vegan diet. More power to ‘em. I just don’t think that it is what nature intended for us. I struggled on a vegetarian diet for years, and I’ve always been mindful of what I eat. I don’t think that I would do well on a vegan diet.
I’m not a vegetarian anymore, and I have never been vegan, but I do eat a predominantly vegetarian diet. Truth of the matter is, that I tend to be thinner and healthier overall when I eat more meat than I typically prefer. I know that may or may not be the norm, but in my experience, it’s just better for me to have some animal products in my diet.

Having said that, as an animal lover, I give kudos to anyone that does it. I just don’t think it is right for me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Payback for all the cows that kicked me and all the crap I had to do growing up on a farm

nikipedia's avatar

I’m not vegan because I buy animal products that were ethically and sustainably raised, and I think it doesn’t bother the animals too much to give up their eggs and milk.

I don’t eat meat, though.

AshLeigh's avatar

Because I love chocolate milk too much… I’m a vegetarian though.(:

WasCy's avatar

I can’t, obviously, because of the events that occurred during the Big Bang.

tom_g's avatar

Just to follow up on my post above (it’s related). All I am trying to say is that we make decisions all the time that have ethical implications. We shop at Walmart, we pollute the air with our cars, we demand air conditioning, we purchase throw-away crap that ends up in landfills, we vote for politicians that do terrible things to people all over the world, etc.
Awareness – or an honest attempt at awareness of the implications of our actions (or inactions) is, in my opinion, a great start. Once we are informed and truly aware of our impact, then we can make decisions.

It seems to me that most people just march along and pick up bumper-sticker slogan style arguments for or against something just to validate their lifestyle.

YoBob's avatar

Well, frankly, it’s because I believe that God/nature made humans omnivorous, which means that our natural diet includes items from both plant and animal sources. Besides, God/nature made meat taste good!

ninjacolin's avatar

@tom_g “Once we are informed and truly aware of our impact, then we can make decisions”

hard to tell when that saturation point has been reached.

the100thmonkey's avatar

Why is it ok to eat plants but not animals?

ninjacolin's avatar

For example, few none in this thread have mentioned how they expect the world to sustain the environmental impacts of the meat demand and supply.

ninjacolin's avatar

Without a proposed solution to that issue, how can anyone be considered to be informed on the topic and capable of making a justifiable, non-lazy decision on the matter?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@ninjacolin Eating meat does not entail eating a lot of meat. The fact that consumption is too high in certain places doesn’t mean the solution is to eliminate meat altogether.

laureth's avatar

First, I don’t think veganism is as ethical as people claim. Animals still die, just not the ones you eat. Also, agriculture is responsible for an immense amount of environmental destruction.

Second, you don’t need to feed animals grain, which is another vegan ethical objection to meat-eating. I buy grass-fed beef and pastured poultry as often as is realistic. They’re not eating “grain that could feed people.”

Third, as someone who shouldn’t be eating that many carbs, a starch-based diet is not good for me. Protein is more beneficial to my well-being. Yes, I know you can get protein from plants, but see reasons 1 and 2, and I also feel better after eating meat.

Fourth, eh, just read my answer here.

And here.

Yes, I think the vegan arguments have been presented to me in great deal. I worked at The Big Fancy Holier-Than-Thou Foods market for better than a decade.

Luiveton's avatar

@Seelix Hence I said, not a huge difference. I think I know the fact that they’re animals thank you very much. (:

ninjacolin's avatar

laureth, I’m almost certain your first answer linked is ill informed. lol

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

There’s another hole in the meat is wasteful arguement. Even the steers that are finished on grain in feedlots spend the majority of their lives on pasture land which is not really suitable for crop production. The land’s only suitable for grazing.

laureth's avatar

@ninjacolin – Please, if you would like to talk about it, read this book and get back to me.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m scared to honestly.. but who knows what I don’t know. I guess that’s how this conversation got started. :)

laureth's avatar

Then you may be ill-informed, @ninjacolin.

ninjacolin's avatar

true dat

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think (having re-read it) that there is a bit of confusion in the original question. Please correct me if I’m wrong, @ninjacolin , but do you mean to imply that if we were informed enough and it was presented to us in a more comprehensive way that we would be somehow ethically bound to adopt a vegan life-style? Maybe I’m just a little slow, today, but that’s kind of what I got from it.

ninjacolin's avatar

@JilltheTooth, not necessarily. Perhaps that fuller education would result in @laureth‘s opinion for example.

That portion of the question, rephrased, would be: “Are you as informed as possible or would you say that you’ve made a quick decision about whether or not to be a vegan?”

Coloma's avatar

I WAS a strict vegan for years, waaay back when. But, I like my killer spaghetti sauce with italian sausage too much these days. lol

I make up for my modest meat consumption in other ways. I keep a pesticide free 5 acres, a wildlife haven, have kept chickens and my beloved geese as cherished pets, ( yes, I did eat the eggs ) and feel I do my part for the ecology.

Pick your poison, there’s plenty of it, and don’t become neurotically militant about anything. The middle path is good enough.

Some people have the most twisted ideologies, I once knew a woman that wouldn’t let her kids eat a hot dog, but, she had no issue with them playing in her ceramic studio surrounded by toxic glazes, dusts, and chemicals.

Another that was a militant vegetarian but thought nothing about spraying her property with gallons of Malethion for pest control.

Go figure! lol

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ninjacolin : Oh, OK, thanks. I think being aware of what we eat is more important, having enough information to lessen the negative impact on the environment, avoiding factory farmed meat products, etc. Some of us just can’t do vegan without becoming unhealthy, even armed with the best of vegan choices and information.

ninjacolin's avatar

For me, I think mine has been largely a quick decision. I seem to detect some vegetarian/vegan leanings in me.. politically speaking anyway.. I certainly have no appetite for it. haha

everephebe's avatar

I am back to being mostly veggie these days. But I’d kill myself without eggs. I still go for cage free eggs though. And I would of course prefer to get eggs locally, from farmers that actually care about their animals.

Eating meat and animal products isn’t morally wrong. But knowingly aiding and abetting the meat industry could be. I like meat. I’ll eat it. But I’d prefer not to give my money to big corporate meat companies. I hope we gravitate to closed-loop farming. And you know, permaculture, in general.

ninjacolin's avatar

just wanna say, good discussion guys. I appreciate it

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am. When I wasn’t, it was because I needed a serious ass-kicking and because I pushed away all those thoughts I had about contributing to so much animal abuse and unhealthiness in general. Then I read “Eating Animals’’ by Foer, watched Food Inc. and that was all I needed of a push. @ANef_is_Enuf Perhaps we weren’t meant to eat in a vegan way (though that’s debatable) but the kinds of meat and dairy options presented to us these days isn’t the old-school (read: centuries ago) kind of option we had and we certainly aren’t meant to consume the inexecusable amounts of hormones and antibiotics that we do now, with these ‘products’ the food and meat and dairy industries pass off as food.

laureth's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – I agree with you. Ethically and sustainably raised meat is not as widely available as it should be, but it’s there if we care to look.

WasCy's avatar

@ninjacolin

I don’t try to study the sustainability of every product that I buy for whatever purpose, whether it’s to re-roof my house, burn in the furnace, finish a bathroom, plant in the garden, raise as a pet… or eat. Do you really think that living a “fully informed” life makes you in some way superior, or above the vicissitudes of the marketplace?

It doesn’t.

I buy what I like, what I can afford, and what is offered legally (for the most part) in my area or in areas where I can arrange transportation (again, mostly legally) and I save it for later use, use it on the spot, or make it part of a capital investment or improvement. And then I move on.

What informs me is “the market”. I’ve pretty much stopped buying NY strip steak (much as I love it) because it’s an expense that I can ill afford regularly. I buy flank steaks now, when I want beef, and prepare them somewhat differently. Or I don’t buy steak at all. If the market for steam production equipment was better, or if I were ambitious enough to seek out a higher-salary job than I currently have, then I might go back to better quality steaks, and more often. Alternatively, I can wait for meat producers to read the higher prices as signals to enter the market with more product and simply wait for the price to come down, which I also do. And so does the rest of the world, more or less.

But that, in a microcosm, is how “resource allocation” is done: supply and demand, market forces. They work, when they’re allowed to.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@laureth That might be true for some kinds of beef and lamb and stuff but in terms of chicken or fish, there is really no such thing (from what I researched). Additionally, it’s not that we don’t care to look, it’s that I don’t trust anyone I do find to actually deliver on what they say so I simply avoid all meat. Cynical, I know. And of course, I now fundamentally disagree with the notion that I must eat an animal that lived to be my food. But that’s a philosophical notion.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I don’t disagree about the quality of the food. I think there are issues all around on the way that food is produced AND consumed. This is just one tiny slice of the pie (no pun intended.)

laureth's avatar

@WasCy – Different consumers buy different things, and not all of them respond to price alone. Some people educate themselves on the costs of things vs. the value they get, which is why it’s sometimes smarter to buy a pair of $100 shoes (that will last years) rather than 5 pair of $20 shoes (which may last a few months each). Similarly, the more we know about the products we buy, the more we can avoid harm, either to ourselves, our wallets, the economy, or the ecosystem.

In other words, while you’re busy being informed by the market, I’m busy informing the market. ;)

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – It is true that ethical fish is hard to come by, but (at least in my area), chicken isn’t. As far as killing animals to eat, I would also consider all the animals (from bison down to prairie dogs) that are killed or displaced to farm the fields. Areas that were swamp, wetland, forest and prairie, all churned under, drained, and planted from fencerow to fencerow with monocrops of corn, wheat, and soy, sprayed with chemicals, and tons of topsoil lost to erosion from plowing every year. Fertilizers that are sprayed on midwestern farmland to restore that eroded away fertility eventually wash down the Mississippi and have formed a dead zone in the Gulf the size of New Jersey. Factory farming of the fields is not a wonderful thing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@laureth I have considered this and am certainly aware of evils like Monsanto and the such. Yet, between the environmental effects of the meat and dairy industries and the environmental effects of the plant-based industry, we figured we’ll take the lesser of two evils.

laureth's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – As do I. Knowing that agriculture mines the soil and destroys it long-term, where cattle that are fed on grass (not grain) build up the soil, was a big thing for me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@laureth I think both of these issues have to do with how much cattle and how much grain is being produced just for the sake of providing people with incredibly cheap food without having them understand what goes into eating. I feel like I am closer to the way some Native American tribes treat their food w/honor in that I can possibly get on board eating an animal (though it makes me cringe now) if I have personally taken care of it and made sure that its death was as painless as possible. The kinds of slaughter the animals go through even if they are raised in a sustainable manner is another can of worms since (again, from what I’ve read), small size farmers who DO care for their animals are finding it harder and harder to find slaughterhouses that agree with their values and that a few companies are monopolizing all. It’s complex.

laureth's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – It is complex, absolutely. It’s not just what food it is, but how it was grown, transported, packaged, marketed, etc. We all do the best we can, hopefully with what we have near us. :)

rooeytoo's avatar

I’m with @laureth – I can’t think of anything to add, you have covered it all beautifully!

WestRiverrat's avatar

Why am I not a Vegan? I like meat, especially meat I harvest myself. I try to subsist off the land as much as possible, that is much easier to do if you are willing to eat meat.

incendiary_dan's avatar

1) Because I’m part of a species that evolved eating meat. We can eat lots or little, mostly depending on the bioregion we live in, but we evolved eating meat.

2) Veganism as it’s generally presented is an incomplete approach to environmentalism and animal rights that is both predicated on uncritical and mistaken ideas about ecology, as well as filled with numerous outright falsehoods. Chief among them is that not eating meat reduces the amount of monocropping that goes on, where in reality the corn farmers grow based on subsidies and not demand.

3) I know how to live within the limits of my landbase. That requires meat eating on some scale.

4) Much of what I read and hear from vegans strikes me as supremely steeped in classism, white privilege, and anti-indigenous bias.

5) Because consumer choices and lifestyle change withing an inherently destructive system don’t do shit.

6) I have a mild digestive disorder that does a lot better when I eat Paleo, or something close.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I agree with @ninjacolin , this is a remarkably civilized discussion of this topic! Good on yer, Jellies!

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir If you had humane and sustainable meat readily available for you on a regular basis, would you eat it? Like if you were friends with a respectful hunter who had extra venison or something. I always want to ask certain vegans this, but most I talk to are not so, let’s say, smart or level-headed.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Hey, @incendiary_dan , if you’re offering, I love the stuff you kill!

WasCy's avatar

@laureth

I agree with what you responded to me earlier, but “the market” is seldom about “price only”. As you noted, it’s about “value” ... which can mean all kinds of “values”, from quality of production, type of product, durability, fashion… every attribute of the products and services in question, in other words.

It would be pretty simplistic to think that we all search only for “lowest price” for all food, or we’d all be eating algae or something like it.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’ve got a pretty good goat hookup right now. Unfortunately, my hunting forays have been rather lacking. I’m craving goat, now.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Frankly, I won’t give up cheese and ice cream. And leather shoes. I like them better than pleather shoes, which use up different resources and can be bad for the environment in their own way.

everephebe's avatar

Oh mon dieu! How the fuck did I leave cheese off my list ?!?!

amujinx's avatar

Great answers across the board. I wish I could add a well informed point to the discussion, but alas, my reason for not being vegan or vegetarian is just based on my perspective.

I choose to eat meat because even if you choose to go vegan, you still are killing something to survive. I understand it’s easier to sympathize and humanize something that has a face compared to a life form that is harder for us to identify with. However, think how we treat plants: we cut our lawns to keep them looking nice, we prune back plants if they are growing out of the confines we want them to stay in, we kill weeds just to keep a nice looking garden. If we do comparable actions to animals that we do to plants, it would be considered inhumane. That’s what humans are; we use other living things to ascribe social status, for food, for companionship. Doing this doesn’t even make us evil (as subjective as that is), it makes us part of the ecology. Stopping eating meat just stops one facet of humans consuming other life, and puts more strain on the other facet.

Brian1946's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

You look very healthy in your avatar photo.
What do you do for protein and vitamin B12?

tko7800's avatar

I chose to be a vegetarian about two years ago and I’ve never had a relapse and hopefully never will. I’m thinner and have more energy than before. It also wasn’t nearly as hard as I feared it would be which is the main reason I put it off for so long. As for why I did it, it was mainly for ethical reasons. I am a big animal lover – I frankly like them more than people – and found it hypocritical of myself to care so much about dogs and yet eat a cheeseburger at the same time. So after doing more research (the book “Fast Food Nation” was a big influence) I finally decided I couldn’t rationalize eating meat any longer. I am not against eating meat per se – I’m actually for ethical hunting – but I absolutely abhor the way the vast majority of meat makes its way from the factory farm to the dinner table. I believe it was Paul McCartney who said, “if slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.” As for me being vegan, it’s something I am seriously considering although I must admit I am a dairy fiend at this point.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@incendiary_dan I would eat it if nothing else was available and if perhaps I knew that more respect was put into the animal than usual. I was never a big meat eater though, anyway, it wouldn’t be something I’d choose first even when I wasn’t a vegan. @Brian1946 Thanks! I get B12 through a multivitamin but am looking to get some B12 fortified foods, it’s been a long transition journey. I get protein through protein shakes, grains, tofu, seitan, meat substitutes, soymilk, veggies.

Coloma's avatar

@tko7800

The dairy industry has some very inhumane practices as well, including the marketing of bull calves as veal. I don’t compute feeling hypocritical about keeping a dog as a companion, yet, consuming dairy products as a lesser ‘evil.’

Semantics if you ask me.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, each to his own, but, your argument is weak in this department.

Dairy cows are pumped full of medications and hormones and kept pregnant their entire lives. Milk doesn’t come from cows that haven’t recently given birth and then are milked for all their worth. Pun intended.

And what about your dog?
Dogs may do better than cats on a vegan diet, but they still need meat products for optimum health of their species.
Do you feed your dog commercial dog food or meats?

All ‘byproducts’ of the slaughterhouse, factory farm industry.

Bah…silliness, really.

Just enjoy your lifestyle for what it is, your choice.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I am a vegetarian. I will not go vegan because I am quite fond of cheese, yogurt, milk and eggs. I do not believe that is wrong to eat animals. I do think we are meant to eat animals, but not for the reasons that many think who hold that opinion. I do not think animals were put on this earth for us to eat. I do not think humans can’t live without meat. I think eating animals is the greatest aid to evolution. Simply put, when we hunt animals, we have to be strong and fast to get them. We kill the slowest and the weakest. Thus the herd is improved and we must be stronger and faster to catch them. Then they are further thinned and strengthened and we must again improve or die in order to catch them. The way we get most of our meat does not improve the evolution of the animals or ourselves.

I am also a vegetarian out of habit. I have not eaten red meat in nearly ten years, poultry in about eight and fish in four. I have considered both becoming vegan and re-integrating meat into my diet but I am, by nature, a lazy creature and making another large change to my diet would be too much work for me. :P

cheebdragon's avatar

I like food that I can eat without gagging….?

Coloma's avatar

I have to tell my little story, I’ve told it before in other questions

Of course, this was homegrown meat and not factory farmed, but, health reasons included, my great grandmother was born on a farm in Indiana in 1885. She was born at home, a 2lb., 7 month preemie, and was wrapped in cotton and lived in a cigar box the first weeks of her life.

She lived to be 98 and attributed her longevity to eating red meat 3x a day as a farm girl.lol

KatawaGrey's avatar

@cheebdragon: So I take it you don’t like baked potatoes or smoothies? When ordering Chinese food, do you throw away the rice unopened? Do you drink neither tea nor juice? When offered a side salad with dinner, do you eschew it in favor of raw meat? Are pasta and PB&J sandwiches just not for you? Do pretzels, chips and mixed nuts go uneaten in your home? Do you never cook with olive oil? Do you drink neither alcohol nor soda?

LoboDelMar15's avatar

I am not a vegan because meat is AMAZING !

incendiary_dan's avatar

@KatawaGrey A friend of mine who hadn’t had red meat in a decade broke that streak having venison adobo at one of my rewilding gatherings. He said that was the right way to do it. So if you end up going the way of reintegrating meat, that might be the way to do it. :)

In a story similar to @Coloma,‘s that digestive disorder I mentioned runs in the family. My pepere (that’s French-Canadian for ‘grandfather’) and his twin brother were the first twins documented with the disorder. Their case was full blown, and as the surgical solution hadn’t been developed, they were basically sent home to die. What saved them? Their grandmother, a Mohawk woman, gave them cod liver oil, i.e. pure animal fat.

Reason #7) My ancestors knew how to live healthily and happily.

tko7800's avatar

@Coloma Yes, I know the evils of the dairy industry which is why I said I was seriously considering going vegan. I also try my best not to pass judgment on meat eaters as well since I know there are vegans out there who could easily turn the tables on me for being “just” a vegetarian. So please don’t pass don’t judgment on me and I won’t pass judgment on you.

As for my dogs, I give them organic foods in which the animals are (supposedly) given a better life and slaughtered in a more humane fashion. As I mentioned earlier, I am not so much against meat (although I do believe the average person eats far too much of it), but I am against the way the livestock are treated.

Plucky's avatar

I am vegetarian ..have been for about 18 years. I have been considering going vegan for a couple years now. What’s stopping me, so far…mainly cheese.

Leanne1986's avatar

I don’t want to be vegan is the honest answer. I probably haven’t researched it enough to know whether or not it would benefit my lifestyle but it’s not something I feel the need to do. I could easily be vegetarian as I don’t love meat, I like it every so often but can take it or leave it.

Also, every vegan I know looks really unhealthy. I would imagine they are doing it wrong because I am sure there are plenty of people that are perfectly healthy on a vegan diet but I can only go by experience and I find, what I have seen, is off putting to me.

Plucky's avatar

@Leanne1986 I’m thinking the vegans you know are doing it wrong – like not getting enough nutrients and vitamins from other sources. I have only met one vegan that was really unhealthy (but he had very odd eating habits/disorders). The rest were extremely healthy (and healthy looking).

Leanne1986's avatar

@PluckyDog I know that you are probably right.

Nullo's avatar

I like meat, and can find no reason to stop eating them.

Coloma's avatar

@tko7800

No judgments, not at all, just making my point about not becoming overly militant about anything.

Unless we all grow our own everything and do not participate in any commercialized food industry, we all have a hand in the black pot of factory farming, one way or another.

Even if only through the pet food industry, organic or not, dead is dead.

Myself included.

I probably eat about 5lbs. of meat/chciken a year, but, I am a cheese-a-holic.

Like comparisons of vehicles, unless we all drive hybrids, a car is pretty much a car, and even the ‘economy’ models still burn gas and pollute the environment.

Coming full circle back to my original point…pick your poison. ;-)

KatawaGrey's avatar

@incendiary_dan: Eh, I’d have to re-integrate red meat very slowly. I get pretty violently ill when I eat red meat.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Coloma GA! And even the hybrid vehicles aren’t really all that different. My wife’s first car got better mileage than any modern hybrid. And our current (non-hybrid) car gets roughly the same mileage as a Prius. Pick your poison, indeed!

incendiary_dan's avatar

@SavoirFaire Yep, not to mention the environmental cost of production. No matter how fuel efficient a car is, it will always produce a lot more waste and destruction just from the production.

derekfnord's avatar

Because being “not vegan” is the natural state of humanity, and I have no compelling reason to differ from my natural state. This strikes me as a strange question. Normally, one would ask why someone does do something that’s clearly outside the norm… not why they don’t. It’s kinda like asking “Why don’t you dye your hair electric green,” when you’d think the question would be, “Why would I dye my hair electric green?” ;-)

jaytkay's avatar

Because being “not vegan” is the natural state of humanity

Using electricity, computers and the Internet is also not “the natural state of humanity”. Did you deliver your post to Fluther on foot?

Coloma's avatar

Then, as we define ‘horse power’, we could say that the internet is ” Homing pigeon power.”
The average speed of delivery might be 100,000 PP Pigeon Power lol

Of course, we have seriously exploited pigeons in the past. haha

jaytkay's avatar

we could say that the internet is ” Homing pigeon power.”

Well, kind of…

Coloma's avatar

@jaytkay

Hahaha..that’s hilarious, well, my silliness has already been invented it appears.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@jaytkay It doesn’t appear to me that @derekfnord said nobody should do anything “unnatural” (however that is defined), but merely that it’s strange to ask why someone wouldn’t do something that isn’t typical or default. I more accurate response, if you had clearly read the comment, would be to ask why @derekfnord didn’t hand deliver the message, or why the internet was chosen as a medium. But of course, that’d be too easy to answer, wouldn’t it? That wouldn’t fulfill the function of snide commenting.

jaytkay's avatar

@incendiary_dan My comment was not meant to be snide, it was meant to be a succinct way of making a point, and I guess I didn’t succeed.

So I guess I shall elaborate. Caution: Rant Ahead

If a wide variety of topics, people will invoke “natural law” or somesuch when they are actually invoking their own unrecognized bias.

Religion, homosexuality, food, government, economics, race – pick most any topic and you can find people who believe they don’t have an opinion but think they are merely telling you how “nature” works.

Do you spend all your days hunting and gathering naked, and you refuse all “unnatural” aids like fire and tools? If so, then never mind. I am not speaking to you

If that doesn’t describe your lifestyle, then you are simply picking and choosing what is acceptably “natural” to you.

Which is fine, but don’t pretend your personal choices are some universal truth.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@jaytkay I get the naturalistic fallacy bit. I get accused of it a lot. Problem is, most of the time when people call it out, it’s not applicable. This is one of those times, though it is closer to being applicable. Stating that you consider something natural is not the naturalistic fallacy, but rather it’s when someone says that something is “right” because it’s natural, particularly when not explaining/proving how it’s natural and how that natural state or action is preferable. For instance, I’ll often make arguments along the lines of “This is the way our species has adapted to behave, I think it’s the best things to do, and here’s why”. That last part is the key, because it means that the person making the point isn’t relying on “naturalness” as a reason something is good or right.

And not to be nitpicky, but our species did evolve already using tools and fire. Guess you didn’t expect to use that example with an anthropologist and wannabe hunter-gatherer? :P

And my personal pet peeve is when someone argues that something is right because it happens in nature, but their examples have nothing to do with our species.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I might’ve just thought up a new fallacy: the “not really naturalistic fallacy” fallacy. :P

jaytkay's avatar

@incendiary_dan Naturalistic fallacy, thank you. I did not know the term for the subject of my rant. And yes, I know your hunter-gatherer tendencies, I was bravely ranting at the person with the most “natural” skills:-)

SavoirFaire's avatar

Logic note:

The naturalistic fallacy is committed when one concludes that X-ness and Y-ness are the same property on the grounds that all things that are X are also Y.

The appeal to nature fallacy is committed when one concludes either that X is right/good because it is natural or that Y is wrong/bad because it is unnatural.

The moralistic fallacy is committed when one concludes that X is natural because it is right/good or that Y is unnatural because it is wrong/bad.

incendiary_dan's avatar

From wikipedia: “Alternatively, the phrase “naturalistic fallacy” is used to refer to the claim that what is natural is inherently good or right, and that what is unnatural is bad or wrong (see also “Appeal to nature”).”

I guess it refers to both concepts.

jaytkay's avatar

So the appeal to nature fallacy is one particular naturalistic fallacy?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@incendiary_dan What Wikipedia is noting is a common—but incorrect—usage. The article on the appeal to nature fallacy points this out as well. Perhaps the articles need to be rewritten for the sake of clarity.

@jaytkay No. They are distinct fallacies.

ddude1116's avatar

I’ve entered into this page with ninety-five questions, most of which I don’t feel like reading, so I may be making a redundant post, in which case, I apologize.

I don’t cook for myself, and I think that preserving the world by not eating meat or anything from an animal is unnecessary at this point, not to mention how difficult it is to keep a balanced diet as a vegan and that I’m desperately in need of gaining weight by the easiest means possible.

The human race has done enough damage to the world to the point that all, or at least most, cows and pigs are completely domesticated, thus voiding any point veganism makes. The point of veganism is to protest killing animals, but if everybody were vegan, the animals couldn’t survive much on their own because they’re domestic and have few places to go to since we took most of their land.

I tried it for a period of about a week and found that I had to go through a large margin more effort to cook because I had to do full meals just for myself, I dig cooking and all, but sharing the kitchen, and storage space, blew, but that was more an issue of how stubborn my family is. The real issue with its difficulties was that I had to spend more money keeping my meals balanced. It might’ve been the season, or whatever, but it was ridiculous.

Plucky's avatar

@ddude1116 Not everyone becomes vegan to protest killing animals. That’s not the point. The biggest animal rights reason is what the animals go through to get to your fridge. How they are treated ..domestication or not. It’s not about freeing domestic animals. It’s about having the decency to raise, farm, and kill these animals humanely. There are some farm businesses that practice humane methods but, sadly, most do not (especially the big companies).

Yes, there are vegans out there who, very loudly and rudely, protest against killing any animal and/or farming them. Those people are ones that usually have most of their facts from extremist groups like PETA (who have gone so overboard that it’s become a slap in the face to most). In saying that, not everyone who’s with the organization is like that. PETA has also done some very good work. But humiliating people and shoving their beliefs in others’ faces is very counterproductive. They should focus on educating the public in a way that doesn’t make people feel the need to lash out and repel the information.

People really need to realize that not all vegetarians/vegans are PETA extremists.

Any way, my point is that veganism, in regards to animal rights, is not about being against domestication of animals, farming them and/or killing them. It is how we go about doing these things.

Note: I was a PETA member for many years until about 8 years ago. I left the organization because of the behaviour I mentioned above.

ddude1116's avatar

@PluckyDog I’m completely aware, and I pondered over it for a while, but I came to the conclusion that we’ve damaged the species of these animals to the point where I wonder if they could even be considered animals. We’ve taken away the fundamentals and freedoms they had, any instinct they had is gone now. It depresses me, but they’re bred to fulfill the purpose of filling our stomachs.

Slaughterhouses are terrible places, the things that go on inside are terrible to an incomprehensible level, and while I hope that it could all be made humane, I’ve lost faith in that happening. But to be completely honest, I prefer vegan food, anyways. Actually, I think it tastes a lot better, and handling meat, cheese, eggs et cetera is downright disgusting.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Actually @ddude1116 Pigs go wild all the time. All of the wild hogs in North America are offspring of feral hogs. One of the reasons hogs were valued over cattle in Tennessee and Kentucky in their early years was they could be let loose and they would thrive. Whereas cows were mostly easy prey for the wolves, bears and mountain lions that preyed on buffalo(bison).

One of the exceptions is the Texas Longhorn. Even the Domestic ones are nearly as wild as the buffalo.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@PluckyDog I completely agree with you that the most important issue is how animals are treated on farms. But note that this is not a reason to go vegetarian or vegan. If it is possible to raise, farm, and kill animals humanely—and your response suggests that you think this is possible—then one can continue to consume animal products so long as one is careful about where one gets them. Since there are farms that do not abuse their animals, and since I can obtain everything I need from them, I have no reason to go vegetarian or vegan.

rooeytoo's avatar

Just saw a show on how the cattle live exported from Australia to Indonesia are tortured and abused heinously before they die, I would never eat meat there and am going to do all I can to stop live exports. I have followed the road trains going to the ports in Darwin and the cattle are packed in like sardines and are wild eyed and bawling, it is a horrible sight. As for any religion that condones and encourages such ritualistic cruelty, I am beyond words.

Plucky's avatar

@SavoirFaire I’m not saying it is a reason to go vegan or vegetarian for everyone. For some people, that’s enough of a reason. Not everyone is near a humane farm. Not everyone has the finances to go find, order or purchase these humane products (just as it’s not easy for poor families to eat healthier foods when the unhealthy stuff is so very affordable). I live in a province known for it’s beef. It is very difficult to find cruelty free animal products (not just meat); and, when I do find them, they cost a lot more. It’s really not that simple. I am not saying that meat-eaters must go vegan/vegetarian to end farm animal torture/exploitation. I understand your point ..I just wish it was that easy for the average person.

I choose to not eat meat, not only because of the inhumane practices of most of these farms, but because I am against eating animals in general (and I find it disgusting – seriously, I can not watch someone tearing off meat from a bone; it makes me ill). I believe that meat is not a food neccessity. Do I look down on those that do eat meat? No, I do not. The people that do bother me are the ones that refuse to learn where their meat/animal products come from (as if the very act of doing so is blasphemous). Those are usually the same people that are terrified of anything that might make them question their own values/beliefs. It reminds me of this quote by Albert Schweitzer: “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.” If only more people would do just that.

I do not lecture meat-eaters about my beliefs…unless, provoked to do so (ex: someone tells me it’s in the bible that we must eat meat ..I will reply with so much more than they bargained for ..with examples from their precious bible even). If someone is going to argue against my beliefs then I will most likely argue back. If it is asked of me, I will try to explain and/or educate the person on the subject. There are so many different branches of debate within veganism and vegetarianism. I have had pretty much every argument possible ..several times over in the last 18 years. Too many people assume that vegans/vegetarians are nutbars when it comes to confrontation on the matter ..but they forget just how adamant and nutbar-like meat-eaters can be when their beliefs come in question as well. Humans are pretty nutty ;)

laureth's avatar

Is the humane treatment of (domesticated) animals more important (that is, more of an ethical quandary) than the humane treatment of land, (wild) animals, rivers, and the like?

rooeytoo's avatar

@laureth – I feel that Animals, domesticated or wild, as sentient creatures, deserve humane treatment more than dirt or water. It really should not be an either/or situation though.

nikkiduq's avatar

No matter how empathic I am with animals, I just can’t give up meat. I watched ‘Earthlings” and I couldn’t even finish the whole documentary. It’s just depressing and disturbing. I haven’t ate for like 2 or 3 weeks when I watched it. I am, however, for humane slaughtering of animals (don’t make them suffer in pain too long, slaughter them in one blow, etc.)

I want to be a vegan badly, though. But my family, my boyfriend and friends – they all eat meat. Whenever I attend social gatherings, they always serve each and every dish with meat. In my country, every food here are served with meat. How can I possibly go Vegan?

laureth's avatar

@rooeytoo – I agree with you to some extent. However, we’re losing all of our topsoil here in the Great Plains to grain and soy agriculture. Where there was once topsoil several feet deep, it’s now scant inches, because every time we plow, it blows away. The big aquifer under it is running near dry from irrigation, and irrigation, over time, salts the land, rendering it lifeless desert.

I understand that killing animals for meat is mean. But I think using up all the water and making fertile land into desert has ramifications that go beyond the death of even several animals. Since it is basically mining the soil and fossil water that is only replenished over thousands of years, it will eventually be unable to feed people at all.

On the other hand, the Great Plains were built by being essentially a buffalo factory. A prairie covered with perennial grassland and fed by rain can support those huge beasts pretty much until the sun explodes (assuming no climate change). The grazers eat the grass, and the grass builds the soil, which makes more grass, which feeds more animals, who fertilize the grass with their poop (and their own kind, when they die). Individual buffalo die, yes, to feed predators and people, but Buffalo (capital B) lives on, as does the grassland. Keep up agriculture and nothing will be able to live there, not buffalo, nor grass, nor people, and certainly not grains and soy.

Plucky's avatar

@laureth Yes, over-farming the land is bad. However, most of that soy and grain that’s being farmed goes to feed the animals that are raised for meat. If the meat industry wasn’t so massive ..the soy and grain industry would be incredibly smaller. So…the meat industry is the culprit behind your Great Plains loss as well. :)

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog If you’ll see my link and explanation above, you’ll see that meat market demand is irrelevant to industrial agriculture. The amount of corn and soy grown has nothing to do with meat demands, as the amount of grain grown is dictated by subsidies.

Plucky's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yes, I am aware of the whole naturalistic fallacy thing. My last sentence was just a “fun” jab at what @laureth was mentioning (hense the smiley face). I forgot I was in the general section.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog Oops, my bad. I mean the link higher up in my initial comment. It’s an interview with Lierre Keith.

nikipedia's avatar

@incendiary_dan, I think @PluckyDog‘s main point stands: that it doesn’t really work to argue that eating meat is less destructive than eating plants because growing plants damages the environment. Industrial agriculture is problematic whether it’s omnivorous or herbivorous; whether it’s worse in one situation or another I’m not sure of, but I’d put my money on raising factory farmed meat.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@nikipedia Yes, that’s the point of the video.

Plucky's avatar

@incendiary_dan Yes, I know that subsidies are a big part of industrial agriculture. That doesn’t change my original statement though. Animal product (meat, eggs, dairy) industry still makes a massive footprint on agriculture production ..in my opinion. Subsidy or not ..the government pushes certain crop production. That resulting crop still goes to feed the animals that are farmed. I’m having trouble explaining it ..ugh.

I’ve read about Lierre Keith ..and read some of her work. I don’t agree with all her opinions.

Maybe this will explain what I’m trying to convey better. Oh, and this may explain it more technically.

I may need to leave this one for a bit and come back to it ..my brain isn’t up to speed at the moment.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog It does change the statement, in fact. Your claim is that crops are grown for animal feeding, but they are grown whether or not the animals are there to feed. That they are fed to the animals is almost irrelevant.

But yes, factory farms have other damaging effects, “footprints” if you will (I hate that term now). Again, I am more an opponent of factory farming than most vegans. But I don’t equate that opposition with lifestylist approaches because of the reasons I’ve stated above.

I recommend watching the video. A lot of the vegan opposition to Lierre’s book, such as the supposed vegan permaculture farms (some of my friends have visited them, and let’s just say they’re not so sustainable as they claim), prove to be fairly shallow or just incorrect. And, as I said above, often based on veiled ethnocentrism of the anti-indigenous sort.

Edit: P.S. Most permaculture methods account at least in part for wild animals, and to do so without factoring in their population dynamics would kind of defeat the purpose.

Plucky's avatar

@incendiary_dan I did watch the video.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@PluckyDog I agree that it is not always easy to obtain cruelty-free animal products. My point, which I take it you do not disagree with, is that the mistreatment of some animals is not itself a reason to go vegetarian/vegan. Cost isn’t really enough of a reason, either. You can always just eat less meat (something my wife and I, who are rather poor, already do anyway). Nor is the fact that meat is not a necessity a sufficient reason because nothing is a food necessity. There are diets that cut out all grains, and I know people who appear to have never eaten a fruit or vegetable in their lives (except, perhaps, in candied form).

The inability to obtain cruelty-free animal products, however, would be such a reason. So would personal distaste. My wife has been a vegetarian at two points in her life. The first was when she was younger after discovering how animals were treated in most factories and before finding alternative sources of meat. The second was a period of time when she just got sick of eating and preparing meat. These are both perfectly good personal reasons to become a vegetarian/vegan. Neither, however, is a reason to be an evangelical vegetarian/vegan. I’m glad you are not one of those. Like you, I’ve had this debate many, many times in my life. And you are quite correct: nothing good ever comes out of a conversation between evangelical vegetarians/vegans and evangelical meat-eaters!

laureth's avatar

@PluckyDog – I’m not speaking in favor of factory farmed meat, not by any stretch. I am, however, defending grass-fed beef as a sustainable and morally acceptable dietary choice (and buffalo even more so) – far more, actually, than the grain and soy based diet that vegans say is morally superior and more sustainable than any kind of meat whatsoever.

Plucky's avatar

@incendiary_dan I do not believe that crops are grown for feeding farm animals only. I am saying that much of the produce from these crops go towards feeding these animals ..not that the crops are grown specifically for them. My dad’s side of the family were farmers for generations (none of his, or his siblings’, children have taken up farming) ..they did not grow crops for feeding farm animals. They grew them for the money. I’m thinking most farmers don’t grow crops for the very reason of feeding animals ..it’s what the industry and government do with that produce afterwards (or, in regards to things like subsidies, beforehand as well).
Aside from all that, I understand your points and find them interesting. I agree with you but I also do not. It’s hard to explain.

@laureth To me, that is a different page of the debate. Of course grass-fed is better; I agree. But…I do not agree that all “vegans” say grain and soy based diets are “morally superior” ..etc. There are some vegans out there that do not think that ..if you can believe it.

@SavoirFairenothing is a food neccessity” ..I do not understand that. We are living beings and we need certain nutrients to keep us alive.
I still believe that people will have whatever reason they feel is enough for them to eat or not to eat meat. I feel I should not proclaim what is and what isn’t a good reason for anyone but myself. If someone only eats Kraft Dinner and water ..I will think it’s odd and will wonder why (and how they can function). But I am not going to argue whether their reason is a good one or not…that seems futile to me.

All in all, I feel like most of us are saying the same thing here…just very differently.

Interesting thread :)

Sometimes I wonder if I should stay out of these threads ..I am not good at intellectually explaining or getting my point across the way I initially intend to. Seriously, it looks different in my head, heh. But, it often comes out choppy or not the way I am aiming for. And, my vocabulary could really use some expanding. I would totally suck at debate, lol.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@PluckyDog I meant only that no single thing is a food necessity. You can live without meat, but you can also live without vegetables or fruits or grains. I’ve seen people do it, even if not always with the most healthy results. Obviously, you can’t live very long without eating any food whatsoever. Nor do I object to people deciding what is enough of a reason for themselves. If people want to be vegetarians/vegans on a whim, for fashion purposes, or just because they want to annoy their parents, that’s fine. I am talking about what reasons that could be given in the face of resistance. Not all reasons are equally suitable for the purpose of argument.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@PluckyDog Stay in the threads! :) No better way to get better at the intellectual explanations other than practicing and reading.

laureth's avatar

@PluckyDog – When I talked about people saying that a plant based diet (no matter how destructive to the environment) was morally superior to meat-eating, I was replying specifically to @rooeytoo‘s comment, “I feel that Animals, domesticated or wild, as sentient creatures, deserve humane treatment more than dirt or water. It really should not be an either/or situation though.” I understand that it is not a comment representative of all vegans, just @rooeytoo.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am not a vegan! I eat meat, I simply want it to lead a good life and die quickly and mercifully. Heck, that is pretty much what I want for myself as well. And if somone wants to eat my flesh when I am dead, then, it doesn’t sound good to me, I would probably be tough and stringy, but hey have a feast!

I don’t see eating plants to be morally superior to much of anything.

Plucky's avatar

@SavoirFaire and @laureth ..Yes, I understand. Thank you both for clearing those points up.

@incendiary_dan Lol thank you.

laureth's avatar

@rooeytoo – I didn’t intend to imply that you were a vegan – that’s just the way the sentence formed. ;)

flo's avatar

Are the products are too hard to find, too expensive, etc.? I don’t see anything in the supermarkets that is labelled “Vegan” whether it is a shelf, an aile or individual products.

Plucky's avatar

@flo It depends where you live. Natural food markets/grocers usually cater more to vegetarians and vegans (more than a regular grocer any ways). And, yes, these products can be expensive. Where I live, most of the major grocery chains sell tofu products and a small selection of veggie meats (depends on the area of the city). In some of them, there are very small sections that sell packaged dry vegetarian/vegan goods as well.

flo's avatar

@PluckyDog Yeah I guess it will take a few more years to make it close enough price-wise, to get it to the regular supermarkets.

Aster's avatar

Betty White , the American actress, just came out and admitted she eats one hot dog a day with fries. Age 90. I think we are all going to learn a lot about nutrition and our bodies over the next twenty years.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther