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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What about the Paleo diet? Isn't that based upon how our ancestors, the original humans, ate?
Why take nutritional advice from people who knew nothing about nutrition, did not live past 30 years old, and basically grunted to communicate. We know more now than ever before. Advances in science and technology have allowed us to understand nutrition at the cellular level. There is enormous evidence that continues to grow, revealing that plant-based nutrition is healthiest and animal products carry many extreme health risks.
"Isn't killing okay because that's part of the cycle of life? Some animals eat other animals, it's natural. Everyone, every being dies."
From Ethical Omnivore Dilemma: Killing is Not Ethical
"It is easy to rationalize killing when the knife is not at YOUR throat. All beings die but none should be murdered by humans. Would you be equally rational and accepting of being killed by another for food – especially if there were other food options? Would you be acutely aware of the preciousness of life at that moment? Would you feel fear or great sadness at having your life ended by another who looks upon you as a lesser species?
"Do the beings who are slaughtered DESERVE this fate? At the time of death, ONLY the gift of life matters, and we cling to every precious moment.
"Those who's lives are taken by humans for food have the will to live. They fear death and tremble at violence. They cry, moan, howl, and beg for their lives. Anyone who has been in or seen videos of slaughterhouses knows this. Rendering a being unconscious offers no moral or ethical basis for killing.
"As human beings, we understand the value of life on many levels. We comprehend what it means to take a life, and take the life of a mother, father, sibling, or friend. If we can make any claim of superiority, it can be this: We can choose to show mercy, a component of being 'humane' - to live without exploiting animals or any sentient being for food, sport, research, or entertainment."
Animals are bred for the purpose of being eaten.
Therefore, aren't we justified in eating them?
"This argument is completely illogical; it assumes a fallacious cause and effect: supposedly, if the “cause”—breeding—is justified, then the effect—eating animals—is justified. But the “cause” itself is never actually examined. This is like saying
that slavery is justifiable because we breed people for the purpose of enslaving them.
"This argument assumes that breeding animals is an amoral, or morally “neutral,” practice — that somehow human choice and ethics play no role in giving someone life for the sole purpose of killing him or her. It suggests that breeding animals is a given, something that 'just happens,' an automatic process outside of human control. So, the argument goes, if breeding animals is
an amoral practice, then eating them must be, as well.
"But of course, breeding animals is not an amoral practice. Breeding animals is a behavior that causes extensive, intensive, and unnecessary harm to billions of sentient beings. And since we don’t need to eat animals to survive, we can make the choice not to participate in their exploitation, by choosing not to eat—or breed—them."
Isn't eating animals natural? Humans
have been subsisting on an omnivorous
diet for thousands of years.
"Whether humans are naturally omnivorous (versus herbivorous) is the subject of much debate today. There is ample evidence suggesting that an omnivorous diet is in fact harmful to human health, while a plant-based diet promotes health. Regardless,
if humans are in fact omnivores, that means we are able to obtain nutrients from plants as well as animals—not that we need to eat animals.
"It’s also important to differentiate between natural and justifiable: infanticide, rape, cannibalism, murder, and slavery are arguably as old as eating animals, and yet we don’t invoke the history of these acts as a justification for them. And virtually every form of exploitation has been defended as “natural” (e.g., some people were “naturally” designed to be slaves; women were “naturally” inferior to men).
"The longevity of a behavior says nothing about the ethics of that behavior. Put simply, today we do not need to eat animals to survive, so eating animals is an entirely ethical issue. As author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau asks, 'Do we really want to use Neanderthals as the model for our ethics? Can’t we do better than that?' "
Animals eat each other, so why
shouldn’t we eat animals too?
"It’s true that some animals eat other animals, but many animals do not. Nevertheless, those animals who consume flesh do so in order to survive; they do not have the luxury of reflecting on
the ethics of their behaviors as we do. And other animals also sometimes kill members of their own species — does this mean humans would be justified in doing the same? Is it really appropriate to set our moral compass by the behavior of
flesh-eating animals in the wild?"
If eating animals is so unethical, what about people who do so to survive in extreme arctic and desert climates, where no plants grow?
Parts of this section are from Common Anti-Vegan Arguments.
"This illogical argument implies that it’s ethical to continue eating meat from one’s local supermarket because the Inuit would starve if they didn’t eat seal blubber. Such a line of reasoning is like suggesting that because villagers in the Congo have had to kill in self-defense during the massacres, Americans have the right to walk out the door and start killing people just because they want to.
"Since I don’t live in the Arctic or Death Valley, I have a choice when it comes to what—or whom—I eat. And when eating animals is a choice rather than a necessity, it takes on a greater ethical dimension. We cannot equate killing an animal for survival and killing an animal for pleasure; just because a few people in a few places in the world need to eat animals to survive, this doesn’t mean we have the right to eat animals simply because we like the way they taste."
Don't you kill countless animals, such as field mice and rabbits, when you harvest plants for humans to eat?
Excerps from Common Anti-Vegan Arguments.
"Yes, wild animals die in the machine harvesting of crops.
This is unfortunate, but it also happens with the grains grown
for livestock, which constitute 40 percent of all grain produced worldwide. Given that it takes far fewer crops to support vegans than it does to support non-vegans, if people stopped eating animals, the numbers of these kinds of wildlife deaths would
Trivializing death also trivializes life.
When we minimize what it means to kill another because 'everyone dies anyway,' we lose perspective of the preciousness of life. If death
is no big deal, then what's life? Death comes to all, yes. That is what makes life truly precious and why we need to honor and protect all lives.
More questions answered at
"Veganism: A Truth Whose Time Has Come."
Heart-Centered Humans for Animals' Rights and Protection