I am a vegie head, but I do not take it very seriously. I love animals, I’m not a fan of the texture of flesh, and quite frankly, vegetables are the boss.
So I don’t eat red meat, and haven’t for nearly five years. Poultry is off limits. Fish is my weakness.
Asides from these, dairy, eggs, grains, fruit and veg, and junk food are all good. I will knowingly scoff down lollies rich with the gelatinal goodness of horses feet, pick the ham off my food and eat the rest, I adore cheese and honey and eggs. My interpretation of my vegetarian lifestyle is that flesh is kind of gross and I’m happier without it.
And so be it.
So I have this friend who’s a pretty hard core vegetarian.
And good for him. Like my own choices, these are his.
However, very recently he’s started talking about going vegan, and thus we have the inspiration for this blog.
No offense is meant to be personally aimed at any vegans, I understand it’s all a matter of personal viewpoint and choice, but i have to say that I really don’t get it.
The whole concept of not engaging with any substance produced by an animal just seems bizarre. And the arguments don’t make much sense to me.
HEALTH- let me state this straight away. Cutting out an entire food group is NOT a healthy thing to do. One of the assumptions about vegetarianism is that it makes you healthier, or makes you lose weight or whatever. Sorry to burst the bubble, but no.
Meat is the richest and most practically accessible source of protein and iron out there. You can argue that, but it’s true. The most noticeable thing about first ditching meat is that suddenly this easy source of protein and iron is gone, and that creates problems. If you’re very clever, you can adjust to this and find alternatives, but most vegetarians would have at one stage popped a multi-vitamin or iron tablet to keep up with their body’s needs.
But beyond this, suddenly you’re faced with the predicament that without meat, you have to find some other way to make a satisfying meal. Vegetables are yummers, but unless you eat a shit load of them, they are not going to fill you up. So along comes the carbs, the bread, the pasta, the rice, the potatoes, the lentils, the chickpeas. These are what fill out a meal and these are severally going to hinder the chances of dropping those few kilos.
Being vegetarian makes good health a challenge. Veganism is just insane. Not only do you need to substitute for iron and protein, but also dairy, and one of your possible sources for protein (eggs) is gone. Yes there are substitutes, but in terms of getting a diverse diet (important for good health) you’re pretty much screwed.
Don’t use the health argument vegans. Cutting out one food group is bad enough. Cutting two or three is just ridiculous.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT- As a vegetarian, I can proudly boast that my not eating red meat is saving the atmosphere from a little more CO2. Woop de do. So surely vegans are doing the same, yes? Well yes, but think about this:
You don’t wear leather, or wool, or fur, or feathers. So the vast majority of easily accessible shoes, clothes and every day items are gone. The main alternative for leather, ‘vegan leather’, is vinyl, an artificial material that takes thousands of years to break down, that needs to be produced in a factory, and suddenly the environmental impacts are beginning to pile up. In addition, those animals that are eaten, what do you think happens to the rest of them? By using the wool and the leather and the feathers from animals, instead of letting these materials go to waste, you are preventing more waste being created!
I am strongly opposed to fur, just as a moral standpoint, and wouldn’t wear a leather jacket by choice, but without my leather boots and woolen jumper or feather quilt in the winter, i’d be bloody cold.
Alternatives to animal products are all well and good, but just don’t assume because it isn’t an animal it’s good for the environment. Vegans, there is more to this ‘environmental impact’ argument then you think. Really think about it first.
IT’S NATURAL- This is hilarious, because this argument is used by hardcore vegans, and hardcore meat eaters. Both are generally bigoted, and both are wrong.
There is nothing natural about cutting out several major food groups, no matter how ethical or moral your reasoning. Just as there’s nothing natural about justifying killing and eating animals just because you can.
What I don’t understand about vegans who are vegans because of animals is this: you are effectively cutting off all interaction with animals. The hippy trippy notion of not impacting a species is all well and good, but having absolutely no interaction with animals whatsoever is just strange and feels contradictory. What use is a cow if you can take nothing from it? It’s just a thing. You’re removing the purpose it’s been evolved to fulfill. The cow can’t run wild and free, it’s dependent on humans for survival, and by not taking anything back the balance is fucked.
If people didn’t take the eggs off chickens, it’s a massive waste. Unless the chicken’s gotten intimate with a rooster, the eggs are a natural discharge with no kind of life inside it. If people don’t milk cows, the cow suffers. If people don’t sheer sheep, the sheep suffers, and will eventually die.
This is called evolution, plain and simple. Getting the balance right is key. Animals are bred to be killed and/ or used for something. It’s not ‘nice’ but it’s become a necessary thing, and by not using the whole animal you’re fucking with nature again.
To achieve balance, people take what they need in such a way that the species is not impacted. If people don’t take enough, the animals and the environment suffers. If they take too much, the animals and the environment suffers. Nature is about balance, it’s right.
I’m sure I’m not doing a good job to persuade any vegans that what they’re doing is kind of bizarre, and that was not my intention. My intention is not to try and insult the views of others. It’s simply to point out that these so called reasons and beliefs surrounding veganism just don’t make a lot of sense.