Monday, November 24th, 2014

Being Vegan Sucks

Published on August 18, 2009 by   ·   97 Comments Pin It
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Guest Blogger and Girlie Girl Army Boy Sgt, Ari Solomon (creator of our – and many big time celebs – absolute favorite candle line A Scent of Scandal )   sounds off on what he should of said to the chick who told him vegans suck;

My husband and I were invited on a day trip recently for an old friend’s birthday. About 30 of us loaded up in a bus and went to wine country. It was a surprise actually. You should’ve seen my friend’s face when a busload of his nearest and dearest pulled up outside his apartment building at 9 AM. So fantastic!

Anyway, his girlfriend organized the trip, and asked all of us beforehand what we wanted for lunch. She was planning to have a local restaurant prepare meals for us that we would pick up once we got to the second winery. I told her that my husband and I are vegan and she was excited to let me know that the restaurant she chose had a bunch of vegan options. We found an amazing grilled veggie sandwich with vegan pesto that was truly delish!

Now, truth be told, most of my close friends are vegan or vegetarian but the birthday boy was not, nor any of his friends. I actually love being in situations like that because you automatically become “the vegan in the room.” You’re usually flooded with questions, and have an opportunity to speak to people about veganism, animal issues, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great talking about this stuff with my vegan friends, but there’s that element of preaching to the choir. Talking to a bunch of meat-eaters, you have an opportunity to inform. Most people have no clue where their food comes from. In my experience, people are respectful and at least act like they’re paying attention. And even if no one commits to leaving meat off their plate after a discussion, at least I know I did my best to plant a seed. At this winery lunch, however, I wasn’t prepared for the bullshit that went down.

During the meal, a girl sought out my husband and I after overhearing we were vegans. She came right over to us and said in a condescending tone, “So, you’re vegan? Yeah, I used to be vegan. Too bad it sucks.” It was pretty clear her intention was to mock us and she snidely laughed, which of course got a round of chuckles from the people around us who were all eating their chicken and turkey sandwiches. It’s always easier to scoff at a vegetarian when you have a dead animal in your mouth. At the time, I think I made some funny remark about her cooking skills probably just being dreadful, and the conversation quickly moved on. Usually something like this doesn’t bother me for too long, but I’ve been thinking about that moment for some time and now I know why.

I should’ve responded differently. We all have those moments, times when we’ve looked back and wished we could’ve said something witty or brilliant but we were put on the spot and our brain wasn’t working quickly enough. But if I could go back in time, this is what I would say:

Being vegan sucks? Sucks for whom? It certainly doesn’t suck for the environment. I mean, you’d have to be from Wasilla not to know by now that animal agriculture is the number one cause of global warming. Even the dimmest CFL bulb in the drawer knows that the best thing you can do to combat climate change (or as I like to call it, The Apocalypse) is to go vegan. In fact, a study done at the University of Chicago found that a vegan in a Hummer leaves less of a carbon footprint than a meat-eater on a bicycle. How’s that for being vegan sucking? You know who else being vegan doesn’t suck for? The animals. That’s right, the billions of animals who are being caged, tortured, and slaughtered in the most horrific ways as we all just go about our days. If what happens to farm animals were happening to cats and dogs, we’d have riots on the streets. And what really is the difference between your dog or cat from a cow, chicken, or pig? Most Americans are completely ignorant or in total denial of how the meat they’re eating gets to their plate. Speaking of eating, you know who else might not think being vegan sucks? The one billion starving humans on the planet who could be fed, if we weren’t feeding more than half of all the world’s edible crops to “food animals” instead of people. It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. Seems like quite an inefficient, if not downright criminal, use of food while people are starving, doesn’t it?

Poor vegans... we have to eat delicious food like this.

Poor vegans... we have to eat delicious food like this.

So who exactly does being vegan suck for? You? Oh, of course, it sucks for you. I forgot how important you are. Well, I’m terribly sorry you couldn’t be “inconvenienced” for the sake of the planet, the animals and your fellow human beings. I know how painful it would be to go out and buy a cookbook and learn some new, delicious recipes. Oh, wait — you live in LA? Yeah, it must’ve been a real bitch to find a vegan restaurant, or two, or three or forty. You know, being vegan actually doesn’t suck, it’s you who sucks for not being vegan.

I feel much better now!

Foxy & Compassionate Guest Blogger Ari Solomon

Foxy & Compassionate Guest Blogger Ari Solomon

Ari Solomon is the President and co-creator of the celebrated vegan candle line A Scent of Scandal . After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ari first worked as an actor in New York and Los Angeles, and later hosted the wildly popular ARI’S HOLLYWOOD UPDATE on Miami’s Y-100FM. Now a prolific activist and writer for animal and human rights, Ari’s letters have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald, and The Advocate.

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Readers Comments (97)

  1. What a story. Sometimes our first reaction is to say a snide remark back, so don’t feel so bad that you did, it happens. What this girl said in the first place was so uncaring! Good to see you had a great time in wine country. I live up in Solvang and I know that with the wine tours up here they get food for vegans/vegetarians at the healthfood store New Frontiers. Even non-vegans eat here for lunch, it’s always busy at that time.

  2. SG says:

    I love it! I tend to be a shrinking violet in those situations and would love to say something like that.

  3. Allison Tray says:

    Hi Ari,
    Thanks for sharing your story. People will ask me about why I have chosen to change my diet and not eat animals and then they get defensive when I answer. I am very sensitive about not preaching because well…I have been accused of it before and it just turns people off or tunes them out. I have some “friends” on FB who have UNfriended [ boo fuckin' hoo ] and said they are sick of me posting recipes and “sad” stories about animals in need and that if they wanted to hear all this, they would join PETA or something. Even one gal who posted MEATATARIAN and PROUD. I was just floored by the ignorance and lack of compassion. I reminded her of where her roast beef sandwich that she proudly shows in her photos comes from. She has 3 dogs that she talks about all the time and I told her to picture them sitting on a bun. Thanks toinspirational Diva’s such as Chloe Jo, Josh K. and YOU, I have been asked by 2 friends this month to help them go veg. Thanks to you all!
    xoxoxo

  4. Natalie says:

    I am not a vegan. But I think it is overly rude that she came up to you and judged you right off. I think that everyone has a right to what they believe in regardless of what it may be. I am sorry you had to deal with the ignorance that constantly evolves from bad seeds.. Peace and love..

  5. Gary Smith says:

    Great article, Ari. Thanks to you and Mikko for all you do for animals!

  6. Heather says:

    LOVE IT!

  7. Rhea Parsons Riker says:

    I love it! Great article, Ari. How rude she was and how wrong!! Being vegan is wonderful!!

  8. JoKells says:

    CHEERS TO THAT!

  9. Kristin says:

    Great article! I often wish I could go back in time and switch conversations where I’ve said the wrong thing…SO many times :D Now, we are better prepared for whatever comes our way, eh :D

  10. What a great response. You may also add the the bloodlust you lack from being a vegan is about all that kept you from clocking her in her flesh-tearing mouth.

  11. Jason says:

    Great blog, Ari! I know I’d respond with something catty if that happened to me (for better or worse). One day, our omnivorous, leather-clad fellow humans will learn that their choices have only contributed and are only contributing to a lack of balance in their lives. Glad you feel better. You should. ;-)

  12. Suasoria says:

    I liked your response about her cooking skills. Honestly some people aren’t worth the time and effort to argue with. I can have a more insightful conversation with my houseplants.

  13. jackie poper says:

    Ari, I have tears in my eyes and am so proud to be your friend. That is best, most well-written, pithiest, article on veganism I have ever read. You are a gift to the planet, I hope you write a book. It’s so hard to watch the humans around causing such damage and destruction and not being aware of it. Or looking the other way. Or joking about it, making fun of us when we’re doing such a serious thing.

  14. Carrie says:

    For real! That woman was probably never a vegan in any real sense of the word. A vegan is someone who doesn’t want to contribute to the suffering of animals, not someone who gave up milk and eggs on an experiment in weight loss. Next time you see, her you should say, “omg, you’re hetero? I used to be hetero. Too bad it sucks.”

  15. Sonia says:

    This world has screwed up food so violently. If meat and dairy were produced and harvested locally, as well as the in-season vegetables, I imagine the harsh effects of our food chain would virtually disappear. If being vegan makes you feel better about yourself and your place of privilege in the food chain, then more power to you. I personally think it is a luxury diet, and also a socially-sanctioned eating disorder that is bad for most people. I was vegetarian after reading “The Jungle” bu Upton Sinclair, among other excellent books about food and the meat industry. Eventually, I became too hungry and just needed to eat the wonderful food that my friends were lovingly preparing for us to feast upon. We are so privileged in this country, the least we could do is understand that food is a highly personal issue for most everyone, and judging people we don’t agree with serves no one. Many vegans come off as thinking they are better than others who make different choices. Its a real turnoff, and stinks of privilege and self-righteousness. What do vegans think about poor communities who can barely keep the family fed? Are they gonna preach and fight with folks who raise and kill their own chicken, goats, etc? Instead of trying to convince people that what you eat is superior to what other people eat, thank goddess you don’t live in a place where you have no options and you’re lucky if you get rice. Matter of fact, maybe the more militant types of foodies ought to go live in a 3rd world country for a while. Everyone has food issues, and one way is not good for everyone. So stop thinking you know it all, its obnoxious. Especially if the vegan is “skinny and beautiful.”

  16. Vanessa says:

    Amen Ari!
    Brilliant! ‘Nuff said!

  17. Vanessa says:

    Sonia… poor misguided Sonia,
    Please do not come down on vegans for the guilt you harbor inside as you eat the rotting flesh of tortured animals. Do your research and then just shut it. :)

  18. Ari says:

    Sonia,

    With all due respect, your argument that veganism is a luxury diet doesn’t hold water. Rural parts of Asia and India, where money is scarce, are primarily vegetarian/vegan.

    No one is talking about survival. Obviously, if the choice was eat animals or die (like if you were starving in an impoverished village), a person has the right to live. However, that is hardly the case for the 300 million people living the US and the countless others in the first world who have access to nutritious and wholesome plant foods. In fact, in the US, the choice is more eat animals AND die when you consider that heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer are our number one killers (all are spurned by consumption of animal foods). Meanwhile, we’re contributing to starvation and death in those third world countries you speak of, by using food crops to feed animals instead of humans. During the famine in Ethiopia in the 1980s, Ethiopia was exporting its soy crop to Europe so that Europeans could feed their livestock and dine on steak while millions of Ethiopians starved. How’s that for luxury?

    And while we’re talking about death, don’t you think that “raising animals for food”, only to cut their lives short by slaughtering them, when there are other healthful alternatives available is cruel? Should animals really have no say? Should we pretend like they don’t feel pain, that they can’t suffer, that they don’t share are willingness to be free and to live? Bringing life into the world, just so you can slaughter and eat it when there is no reason to? Come on, we can do better than that.

    In short, I don’t know what your “food issues” are and I’m not going to ask as that’s your business. But let me suggest that if you felt hungry eating a veg diet perhaps you simply weren’t eating enough. Vegan fare is definitely less calorie dense than a diet of meat, dairy, and eggs. Perhaps you just needed to consume more.

  19. Dani says:

    An entertaining and overall enlightening read. As a Vegetarian who is only two years on the right bandwagon, I am still slightly unconvincing when asked why I avoid meat. These are great facts to use and even have me researching the reality of me going Vegan in the near future. Thanks!

  20. Mikko says:

    Dear Sonia,

    Sorry, but you must live in some through-the-looking-glass world where black is white, and white is black. Meat and dairy only seem cheap in the Western world because of massive government subsidies, which come from billions of tax dollars.

    Further, meat and dairy production are among the world’s most cruel, wasteful and polluting industries, and you have the gall to call a simple diet of vegetables “luxury.”

    Then you parrot the same tired excuses… but what about the people who live in remote areas… what about goat-herders living amidst piles of rocks where nothing grows… YOU’RE NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. You can HELP THEM by stopping blindly consuming wasteful food you think is cheap.

    And what was your other excuse again? Feeling hungry? Learn to cook! Learn about nutrition! Google things. Jesus. Does everything really have to be handed to you on a silver platter by smiling friends before you’re willing to lift a finger?

    You claim vegans are self-righteous, but do you hear us constantly complaining about how “hard” it is to be vegan, how “hungry” we are… martyring ourselves, wanting the world to praise and pity us for our… “luxurious” choices? Please at least pick consistent excuses.

    You know who really wants to be pitied? Meat-eaters like you, who instantly cast themselves as starved, unhappy vegans just *thinking* about giving up animal foods. Kick the addiction. Because you really need to. Because meat and dairy are killing the planet in addition to the animals.

    I’d love to hear you and others explain yourselves to your children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews when they ask you how come there’s no planet left. What will you say? I didn’t know? You did. The question is: what will you do? The luxury you don’t have is to do nothing.

    Sorry for being self-righteous and rude and whiny in caring about the other inhabitants of this planet. It’s not all about you, Sonia.

  21. Sonia says:

    “This world has screwed up food so violently. If meat and dairy were produced and harvested locally, as well as the in-season vegetables, I imagine the harsh effects of our food chain would virtually disappear.”

    Hello? I get no cred for what makes perfect sense to you. I just get vitriol from angry defensive people. And I know it makes sense, i don’t need reassurance from virtual strangers.

  22. Sonia says:

    I am not ignorant to the cost of meat in this world in this day and age. i have done the research, all that. I get it. stop tearing into me because the facts are there – we are on a runaway train on this precious planet. we didn’t start it, we aren’t gonna stop it. pain and cruelty happen everywhere. i’m not making excuses for bad behavior, or laziness. but neither am i going to delude myself into thinking that the weight of the world ought to be on my shoulders if i eat meat and dairy. I do my part by eating local, organic. And that includes meat and dairy. I don’t feel responsible for drought, famine, war, scarcity, poverty … it is nothing short of tragic and criminal the way agribusiness has globalized and depleted everything for the sake of money. It will take global catastrophe to get us back to basics: growing and eating local and organic. I get it, I’m on the same page. what really sucks is angry judgmental people who feel their expression of anger is justified because they think they have THE answer, and watch out if you have an opposing viewpoint.
    And really, I am articulating my point of view. Isn’t that what this forum is for? Why would anyone tell me to “shut it,” besides that I have hit a raw nerve.

  23. Mikko says:

    Sonia,

    Animal foods, locally grown or not, are still incredibly wasteful and cruel. Why would you take 16 pounds of viable food and feed it to an animal, only to get 1 pound of edible flesh in return? Is that really fair to the 1 billion starving people on this planet? Is killing without need ever justifiable?

    I don’t know what to say about you not feeling “the weight of the world” on your shoulders, except that such an attitude is unlikely to impress future generations who look back at us in shame. Perhaps it’s time that you did start feeling it.

    Yes, cruelty and pain exist, but they only stop when people stop partaking. You should consider yourself lucky that you can actually choose foods that don’t involve bloodshed. Giving up on doing the right thing solves nothing.

  24. Larry says:

    Sonia,

    “I do my part by eating local, organic. And that includes meat and dairy. I don’t feel responsible for drought, famine, war, scarcity, poverty ”

    There’s always more to do. And one easy step for you to make, if you wanted to do your part and more, would be to cut out the animal products in your diet. Because we CAN make a difference. YOU can make a difference.

    My favorite quote:
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

    It’s up to you how much you’ll do.

  25. Kim says:

    Ari, what a great blog!!! :) xoxo

  26. Melissa says:

    great blog! while you may not have put her in her place the way you wish you had, i’m sure your response was gracious and respectable. you still set a good example for how others should respond to obnoxious people. :)

  27. Shirley says:

    Actually, you responded appropriately to a rude remark. It is rarely appropriate to preach to people or to tell people off. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Your initial impulse was fine. A birthday party is not the place to put someone else in their place, no matter how appropriate or rude their comment was. The friends are also something that matters in this. Don’t berate yourself too much.

  28. Ari! Great post!
    That happens so often. I think you handled it well, and that woman had no other reason to ridicule you aside from making herself feel better about supporting the industries that turn living animals into dead meat.

    Let’s be honest. It’s so easy to not be vegan. It takes almost no effort at all. It requires almost no willpower at all. It requires almost no education at all. On the other hand, being vegan requires an educated, informed, and empowered individual who can stand up against the status-quo.

    I can’t tell you how many times I hear people say “I used to be veg but I got sooo sick and HAD to start eating meat again. puh-leeezz. The only bad side affect of veganism is having to deal with people like that. People who are just too inconvenienced by making consistently compassionate choices.

    Our best weapon is to look great and feel great and eat amazing food and share our experiences. No one can argue with that.

  29. Chloe says:

    The “you vegans are so angry” response is what always makes me laugh the most. The vegans I know are the funniest mo fo’s on earth… and are only angry about the suffering of our fellow sentient beings. Perhaps, Sonia.. you should be a tad MORE angry. Oh.. but wait.. ignorance is bliss.. right?

  30. brook says:

    this is such a GREAT PIECE! i love it. thoughtful, provocative, and honest. well done, ari and cj! xoxo

  31. Knit-Picky Vegan says:

    Hmmm, seems to me it sucks to be in the company of a rude person,…a rude, boorish, smarmy person.
    I LOVE being a Vegan. It opens doors of awareness that otherwise would have remained closed…and the recipes!! Choosing a plant-based way of living is much more friendly, and not just for our palettes. I enjoy cooking and baking anyway, and Vegan cuisine is much more interesting, diverse, – and creative.
    Right, it’s definitely NOT rude to care about the voiceless ones on our planet, and the planet itself…I call it Compassionate.

  32. Susan says:

    Ari, you make me so happy! Love this one….xx

  33. Sara says:

    I would like to encourage everyone to exercise the very same compassion that we ask others to have for our own food choices. I for one commend you for not being an ass in return to her rude behavior, but it sounds like you would have been a jerk in response if you’d had the presence of mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always important to bitch and let it out, but the vehemence of this particular response is reactionary. Most of the people I know who look down on lifestyle/dietary choices such as veganism aren’t turned-off by the relationship to food but by the attitude that comes with it. On the other hand, I’ve seen life long hunters and cattle farmers get excited about cutting down on meat when they’re respectfully addressed rather than villain-ized.

    I’m dismayed by the number of rude responses to Sonia’s posts. She’s sharing her opinion, which is the entire point of a format such as this. On a personal note, I think she’s right on with something important: it’s unreasonable for the weight of the world to fall on an individual’s shoulders. If we *need* to place blame, try looking at giant corporations that are responsible for more environmental damage in a day than any one of us could reach in a year. Yes, let’s do what we can as individuals, but skip the blame game in favor of a conversation.

  34. Michelle says:

    Funny, I begin to feel as if Vegan is some sort of new religion. While I don’t subscribe to this particular religion, I agree with others that the woman was incredibly rude. Imagine you’re the only Muslim in a room full of Christians, and one of them comes up to you and says, “I used to be Muslim but I converted because it sucks!”

    By the same token, however, a sensible, polite individual would not turn around and slam the person for converting.

    I prefer to avoid the topic of vegan/vegetarianism for the same reasons I avoid the topics of politics, money, and religion in large groups of no-so-close friends. It rarely ends well.

    Kudos to you for making positive choices about food AND sharing your views in a respectful, tolerant way.

  35. Dietary choices are about as visceral as arguments on politics, race, and religion. All the things your mom said never to discuss at the table ironically. So, this blog is the perfect place to discuss matters of the table. And everyone thinks they’re right. Like the religious right!

    I think it is safe to say, this a place to air OPINIONS. There are very few facts that can’t be thrown in both directions.

    It’s true, that not one diet works for everyone. It is not true that a Vegan diet is the diet of the privileged. In fact, I developed my entire Vegan menu based on food I discovered while backpacking around the world. Rice feeds the world – not McDonalds. Step outside of the eating habits of this country to get the real scoop.

    Glad to see – Sonia and others – people passionate enough about their food to stand up for what they believe in.

  36. Jessica says:

    Great blog, except for bagging on Wasilla. They’re not all Palins, believe me.

    XOXO,

    Alaskan Veggie

  37. Anna Dunn says:

    You are so awsome! She was clearly an idiot.

  38. [...] Being Vegan Sucks: “I’m terribly sorry you couldn’t be ‘inconvenienced’ for the sake of the planet, the animals and your fellow human beings. I know how painful it would be to go out and buy a cookbook and learn some new, delicious recipes. [...] You know, being vegan actually doesn’t suck, it’s you who sucks for not being vegan.” read the whole thing >> [...]

  39. Daniel says:

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Go vegan!

  40. Sonia says:

    Thanks folks for the spirited debate! Thank you Sara and “the real vegan”

    Food is not “one size fits all” neither is religion, and they are very similar. Our bodies are temples, correct? Our individual relationship to food is first and foremost, personal. Even if a person has no consciousness of it, how we nourish our bodies or not impacts everything. Not everyone would even acknowledge this fact, they don’t wanna think too much, or its too far-reaching and complicated. We needn’t judge people for their choices.

    And lastly, life feeds on life. If you don’t believe it, watch animal behavior in the wild. the Planet Earth video series is beautiful, impartial, and real. Or just look at what fertilizers go onto the plants from which we get our vegetables. Bone meal, anyone?

  41. Joan says:

    Thanks Ari for ‘ speaking your truth’ and saying what’s in you heart — and mine. I, and the animals, love your candor, your heart, and your compassionate soul.

  42. Cara says:

    I hate when people attack me for doing something, like sticking to my vegan diet, that shouldnt bother them.
    In my opinion it is because to these people I am like a light bulb flashing in the back of their mind saying “you would be like me if you had a conscience!” that they cant ignore.
    so they insult and harass me when I havent said a word to them about THEIR diet.
    My normal response to these people is “I dont preach to you about why I live my life the way I do and I expect the same respect in return. I think the only reason anyone chooses what animals are “food” to them is based on religion, geographic location and their particular culture while i prefer to make my own decisions.”
    No one usually knows what to say to that…

  43. Sonia says:

    Food is not “one size fits all” neither is religion, and they are very similar. Our bodies are temples, correct? Our individual relationship to food is first and foremost, personal. Even if a person has no consciousness of it, how we nourish our bodies or not impacts everything. Not everyone would even acknowledge this fact, they don’t wanna think too much, or its too far-reaching and complicated. We needn’t judge people for their food choices, just like we shouldn’t judge or hate on people for their religious beliefs, or who they sleep with.
    And lastly, life feeds on life. Watch animal behavior in the wild. The Planet Earth video series is beautiful, impartial, and real. Or just look at what fertilizers go onto the plants from which we get our vegetables. Bone meal, anyone?” …Our violent human nature and the fecundity of everything around us takes us aback, and we have a real love/hate fascination with sex and food in this culture. Being that there is so much in this world that we cannot control, some folks rigidly obey an ideal and exercise restraint over what is willingly absorbed into the body.

    Ok, I was really hoping that I would be able to have an intelligent philosophical discussion about food at this site. I am perfectly willing to implicate myself in the first-world privileges so many of us take for granted. But is this only a place for “preaching to the choir?”

    Ms. Chloe Jo was so rankled about my statements she fired back in a rude and condescending tone, then “un-friended” me. That’s fine, clearly she’s not up for the intellectual discussion. I don’t need everyone to agree with me, and I am always interested in someone else’s thoughts on a subject, especially food and our place in the world/society.

    Apologies if I offended anyone, it wasn’t my intent.

  44. Mikko says:

    Sonia, not all choices are victimless choices, as you already well know. Pretending otherwise is hardly philosophizing, it’s just cowardice. You know you can do better, I guess you just choose not to. That’s sad. But as they say, the hardest people to wake are those only pretending to be asleep.

  45. Ari Solomon says:

    Sonia, I really doubt Chloe was rankled by you. Quite the opposite. I’ve noticed that you’ve posted not once, but five times to this piece so methinks it’s you who’s rankled. As you should be. I would think anyone with a heart would be shaken after learning how farm animals are treated. Notice how none of the vegans on here have to defend or make excuses for their food choices.

    And regarding your religion comment, I couldn’t disagree more. Religion is based on faith, veganism is based on the hard scientific fact that animals can suffer and feel pain. Big difference there.

  46. Ari Solomon says:

    Sonia, I’d also like to address your Planet Earth rationale. Yes, the world contains natural carnivores such as lions, tigers, and wolves. When you watch documentaries on these beings, please spend extra attention to how they hunt and eat their prey. Firstly, they do so out of survival. A true carnivore needs meat to survive, unlike humans. Secondly, they rip open their prey, while they’re still alive, with their claws and teeth and feast on the raw flesh. Is that how humans eat cows? Do we look at a living pig and say yum? No, that’s not our reaction. And I’d love to see a human try to rip open a cow with their bare hands and then eat it. Not only would they be unsuccessful, but chances are if they ate the raw meat, they’d most likely be sick. Human beings don’t contain the strong stomach acids that true carnivores do. These acids prevent those animals from getting sick from the bacteria and parasites that are present in raw flesh. Yes, humans can consume and digest meat, but that doesn’t mean that they should. Cows (herbivores) were being fed cows as feed for many years and digesting it. This is how Mad Cow’s Disease started. Again, just because it’s possible to digest something, doesn’t mean we should. Meat has been linked to many health issues: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. Not good things. You don’t hear of broccoli causing any of these things do you?

    And finally to address your point on bone meal being used for fertilizer. There is such a thing as veganic gardening. I’m not an expert on the subject but I’ve spoken to many farmers at the Hollywood farmer’s market that don’t use animal-based fertilizer. I know quite a few people that make their own by composting.

  47. elaine says:

    Nice blog. Having just returned from a vacation where the rest of the family only *kinda* tolerates my food preferences, I’m a bit jealous that you have enough like-minded friends to be able to eat vegan while traveling. (I find it hard to do, unless I go out and buy all my own food and beg to use somebody’s kitchen.) I end up being vegetarian when traveling, but almost 100% vegan when at home. We all make compromises; I think conscientiousness is an important part of this movement…

  48. Ariela says:

    Just got back from Cali so this is my first chance to comment on this post! Ari- this is truly amazing! Being under the impression that veganism “sucks” is a result of a comlete lack of research, effort, will power and creativity. OF COURSE it is not always easy- life is not easy! (I learned this first hand trying to find a vegan meal in 4 different airports this past week!) But in the end I know that I would not want to live any other way for the animals, the environment and myself.

    thank you!!!

  49. Frankie says:

    I’m going to copy this response and keep it somewhere dear (I won’t claim it as my own, I promise). There are times when I am put on the spot, and all my research, opinions, etc. go right out the door and I feel like a knuckle-dragging neandrethal.

  50. Sonia says:

    Native American hunters used to eat the heart (and other organs) out of the buffalo they just killed, while it was still hot. Many cultures still eat organ meats, as they have been part of traditional diets for thousands of years.
    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, i’ve been saying that for years.
    There are always consequences for the choices we make. Do we always know what they are? No. Do we think we know everything, absolutely. I could tell the vegans they should be Buddhist, many probably already are if animal/environmental cruelty is their personal motivation, but why would I do that? There are also no guarantees in life. YOU Ari could still get a cancer that is completely unrelated to any (like breast cancer!) personal choice that you’ve made. Some people get lung cancer who have never smoked. And some smokers will live into their 90′s. Why? No one really knows. There’s evidence that goes both ways on the subject of diet and health.
    As far as the problems of the world and the earth, its an oversimplification to say that we are saving the planet by eating a salad rather than organic locally grown steak. There are so many avenues to making environmental and personal improvements. Like going solar, using rain catchment systems, or not driving a car (see how these choices might be totally unrealistic for some and perfect solutions for others?) When i was referring to a vegan diet as a privileged one, I wasn’t referring to poor people in other countries, rather to poor communities in this country. Would you go into a poor black ghetto and start preaching to folks about veganism? Would you dare judge them for the food choices they make? I’d love to be a fly on the wall when you tell a big black dude or dudess who dislikes white people thinking they are authorities on everything, that they really shouldn’t eat BBQ pork, or chitlins, or whatever else grosses you out personally.
    When I made my comment about “i-have-all-the-right-answers” attitudes coming from the most privileged among us (white skinny educated)
    its a real turn-off. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, or white-looking, or any shade of brown. If you are on-line, educated, accomplished, paid for what you do, if you travel, then you are among the most privileged on the planet. And for these folks (i’ll include myself, because I am white and skinny and educated) there’s a really fine line between educating folks who want more information, and passing judgment on other people who don’t share your cultural experience or privilege. I hope that you and your friends and readers have a grasp on the privileges we enjoy as educated elite.
    And I do appreciate being able to share/exchange thoughts. Can you please stop bashing me for my ideas? This is a thought forum, and I am expressing thoughts intelligently, not trolling.

  51. Ari Solomon says:

    Sonia, You are all over the place in that last post. Some of it really borders on racist. “Poor black ghetto”? “Some big black dude who dislikes white people”? Jesus. I know plenty of vegans who come from all sorts of backgrounds. In fact, there is a huge vegetarian movement amongst African Americans. This is not a white/black issue. Compassion doesn’t stop and start with how much money you make or what color your skin is. How presumptuous you are.

    Yes, it’s sad and shitty that fast food operations target poorer neighborhoods but it wouldn’t be as easy for them to sell their awful garbage if it wasn’t completely subsidized by our tax dollars. Millions in subsidies goes to the meat and dairy industry every year. I’m not judging anyone for their choices, merely pointing out the obvious fact that animals suffer and feel pain. There is no arguing that point. You want to contribute to animal suffering? Then go ahead and eat your steak.

    Regarding health, it’s true that you may not smoke and still get lung cancer, etc. but that doesn’t change the scientific fact that meat and dairy have been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It’s no coincidence that the countries with the highest level of animal food consumption also have the highest level of these diseases. I sincerely hope you check out The China Study and get the facts. Dr. Campbell did the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever done, over 40 years of research. It’s well worth the read.

    Other than that, I really don’t think there’s much more to say on the issue. I know you really love your grass-fed, locally grown, organic cow flesh but please understand that it’s still taking a hell of a lot resources (water, electricity, food) for that animal to become your food. I hope one day you choose to open your heart to the plight of animals and leave them off your plate. Culture, tradition, or desire should not be an excuse for killing sentient beings when other and better means of nourishment are available to us. Since you classified yourself as a skinny white person of privilege, you really have no excuse.

  52. Chloe says:

    Sonia: “Chitlins” and other animal-bi products (aka “foods”) that are considered traditional soul foods are actually the foods that slave owners considered not even worthy of their dogs.. so that’s what they allotted to their slaves. It’s literally the crap off the floor… and it’s killing America’s African American community with heart disease, high cholesterol, and cancer. There is a HUGE growing group of Black folks who are embracing veganism (see “Soul Veg”, numerous world wide Black Veg Society’s, Raw Restaurants all over Harlem, and the 7 African American vegan women who submit regularly to this here site with their recipes and advice) full throttle.. both wealthy folks of color in the limelight and in the “ghetto”. As Alice Walker says: ” “The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.”

  53. Mikko says:

    Sonia:

    It’s funny that you’d try to call others out on looking at the world from some elitist perch, when your comments about the African-American community are about as condescending and uninformed as can be. Have you ever even been to the “ghettos” you describe? Your “big black dude or dudess who dislikes white people” remark is more illuminating about your personal lens toward people of color and the poor than anything else.

    Also, I’m not sure what the hunting practices of Native American tribes or the nutritional plight of poor communities have anything to do with choices YOU make about regarding nutrition — you yourself said you’re a white person of privilege. Eating a healthy, whole foods-based vegan diet should be no object. Your whole line of reasoning makes no sense. You may pretend it does, but I think you know you’re only pretending. Is the taste of meat really that important to you?

  54. Claudia says:

    Great post, Ari! Excellent. Really enjoyed reading that, especially since it fell close to my one year vegan “anniversary” :-) And it hasn’t sucked even slightly. Imagine that!

  55. JC Gonzalez says:

    People become terribly rude and feel threatened by vegetarians or vegans. I never understood why. With a man as handsome and fit as yourself, she was most likely jealous that she didn’t stay vegan for it’s healthy benefits. Silly people.

  56. Ivy says:

    Rock on! I’m going to memorize your response and quote you the next time someone gives me a hard time about being vegan. Obviously the meat eater was feeling guilty – and probably like a total loser – because she couldn’t sustain a vegan lifestyle. She knew she was weak and took her frustration out on you. Your first response was gracious and kind and you should feel good about that. After all, being a vegan is tantamount to being kind. But I do thank you for taking the time to come up with the second response as well. And I’m sure it made you feel better! Way to go!

  57. Melanie says:

    That is an AWESOME response. I will definitely use that nexst time I am challenged by a carnivore!

  58. Jes says:

    Word! Can we get the recipe for the delish dish?

  59. Elizabeth says:

    This was SO inspiring in SO many ways. Thank you for posting! I hope we get to read more of your columns here… :)

  60. Megan says:

    Great inspiring post Ari!! :D Would love to see more from you!

  61. Katie Henricks says:

    Thank you for that. I’m a vegetarian who only eats cheese but no other dairy. The cheese is a rarity, but I empathize with this exact scenario. I’m from Oklahoma where people cling tightly to their guns, religion and meat. Seems ironic doesn’t it…a bunch of Christians who are supposed to believe in fairness and compassion for others, but somehow missed translating that into ALL creatures (hmmm…I wonder why I moved to LA).

    Being from Oklahoma, I’ve often been confronted with these questions and share your thoughts about “planting a seed” and educating people on things I find important for our future…blah blah blah.

    This is a fantastic rebuttal. I hope you don’t mind me using the University of Chicago study as part of my rebuttal the next time I’m confronted with ill educated people.

    I appreciate your honesty and commitment to being vegan. You’re changing the world at every meal.

  62. Rina Deych says:

    Dear Ari,

    Don’t get mad, get even! I think you should try to get her email address and copy and paste what you wrote! It’s an awesome response!

    Rina Deych, RN

  63. LaRisuena says:

    Oh My!!!!!! The response was good Ari. What I can’t understand is Sonia. Why would you think you could even speak on behalf of another race or country when you describe yourself as white and educated? Personally your posts sound not only uneducated but, racist. I’m not going to say any thing about any other country but Mexico where I have roots and my own situation. I can honestly say that health wise I am no longer borderline diabetic, I no longer have intestinal issues, I have more energy now than I ever have, I don’t get sick as much anymore, and I spend way less on groceries than I ever have since going vegan. Mexico is not really 3rd world but, where I am from eating meat is not an everyday and sometimes not even every week occurence. The diet there is mainly vegetarian with occassional meat and dairy. To buy meat and dairy in Mexico is as expensive as America. So why would you say that this “diet” (it’s really a way of life) is only for privilaged people? I’m sorry but it’s cheaper to eat grains, legumes, and vegetables than it is to eat animal products. Can’t everybody just respect everyone elses personal choices and not try to talk about things they don’t really know about?

  64. [...] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Being Vegan Sucks girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20090818/being-vegan-sucks – view page – cached Guest Blogger and Girlie Girl Army Boy Sgt, Ari Solomon (creator of our – and many big time celebs – absolute favorite candle line A Scent of Scandal ) sounds off on what he should of said to the chick who told him vegans suck; — From the page [...]

  65. Sonia says:

    Waaaa. Waaaa. Just leave me alone! You’re all jerks.

  66. kimsy says:

    Love. It. I encounter silly, rude remarks on a regular basis. I usually kill ‘em with kindness. I’ll say something like, “You don’t think you can be a vegan? You should try it sometime; it’s amazing how wonderful it is.” I hate to say it, but it kind of shames them a little for acting like a jerk. And perhaps it will challenge them, as well. “What, are you chicken? Not if you try vegetarianism! You are what you eat, you know!”

  67. Svollen says:

    Who knows if anyone will read this as it looks like the discussion has stopped but… I’ve read that the meat and dairy industries are subsidized as has been mentioned, but I’ve also read that some crops like soy and corn are subsidized as well. So, I’m wondering if that’s such a good argument for veganism.

  68. shadesofgray says:

    I often find, people bring up the subject (perhaps out of awkwardness), but don’t really want to have an intelligent conversation. It’s not a joyous subject matter. People say stupid things sometimes. It’s also difficult for those that have fallen off the cart, they try to reaffirm their own beliefs/practices.

    Luckily some of us are privileged to make an informed choice about what we eat. I’ve been a practising vegan for 15 years now. And my personal challenge is to eat more fresh local food.

    Meat is a luxury product. And perhaps people would see it as such, if they ate less, and valued food more so. If everyone cut down on their intake, perhaps there would be enough food to go around.

    It’s not always easy being vegan, I miss some foods and I hate being the awkward one when eating out with friends. Sometimes you are made to feel selfish, but really it’s more likely you are being selfless.

  69. barfburger says:

    But you DO suck, right? You know that. I’m sure you must.

  70. barfburger says:

    …and it has nothing to do with your being vegan.

  71. Leo says:

    I became vegan nine months ago and feel a lot healthier. In fact I feel happy! If anyone tries to make fun of me as a vegan (and they do), I not just don’t care, I am proud to be vegan. I know it’s very good for me to be vegan. People mock vegans usually due to their inner problems or jealousy (you chose what you eat, and they can’t stop eat any junk), and they mock not just vegans, it’s in their character.

    Meat is a disgusting thing now for me. It’s nothing but cannibalism. Animal flesh or human flesh is no difference.

  72. layla cunningham says:

    I wish i could say something like that to people who judge me for being a vegetarian! (hopefully will become a vegan!) Been one my whole life and i’ve never stood up for myself when they judge me! God i really should start.

    I hate it how people wont accept where their food comes from and how if they can eat a cow why not a dog or cat?

  73. Ashley says:

    Wow, agreed.
    This condescending shit gets pretty annoying.

    I had a person ask me something so ballsy and disgusting recently:
    “So, Ashley, why are you even vegan? It’s not like you’re making a difference to anything.”

    I just ignored this person, because they near-constantly harassed me for my beliefs for weeks (including rude comments from his mother when I brought a delicious cake to an event that everyone was shocked to hear was vegan).

    Basically, vegans steal the show for their compassion and integrity, as well as their confidence and willingness to not “fit in” all the time. People envy that, and they are defensive oftentimes due to their guilt for being reminded of the hell they support with their dirty dollars.

  74. Davidson says:

    The personal choice of what you consume does not make you a some sort of eco-champion. I am perfectly happy knowing that a cow was brutally slaughtered to make it’s way between two sesame seed buns. Oh, and layla, I don’t eat cats or dogs because I choose to, just as you choose to eat grass shavings instead of cheese.

    The next time someone attempts to make you ashamed of being vegan, just tell them to go eat a dick. I’ll be doing the same for those who attempt to make me feel inferior for eating meat.

  75. Meatlover says:

    I eat sausage for breakfeast, Meatloaf for lunch and a ham sandwitch for dinner. I eat meat all day long, maybe some salad inbetween. Why would i want to change that? I tried eating vegan food but i think it just tastes like crap, i dont like it, in fact i hate it, how would i ever become vegan if the food doesnt taste good? And dont think i dont know what im talking about i tried 50 different vegan foods and none of them tasted any good. I dont see why i should painfully stuff that sometimes expensive crap down my throat when i can eat a cheap, delicious meat sandwitch!

  76. KJ says:

    I just had the painful experience of a few vegan dishes. The pumpkin cheesecake pie was horrible. If a pumpkin could shit that’s probably what it would taste like. And seitan? No wonder it’s pronounced “satan”.

  77. Chloé Jo says:

    Yo KJ…
    Perhaps you had some BAD dishes cooked by crappy Chef’s.. they exist in vegan and non-vegan food. In fact, the worst food I’ve ever tasted has been non-vegan. So I’d highly recommend trying vegan food again at an acclaimed restaurant or by someone who can really COOK before making such massive statements.
    Thanks!

  78. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chloé Jo , Chloé Jo , Ms. Michelle, Sammy Brace, Sammy Brace and others. Sammy Brace said: RT @GirlieGirlArmy: Why being vegan sucks: http://girliegirlarmy.com/blog/20090818/being-vegan-sucks/#comment-5672 via @VeganAri [...]

  79. Chris says:

    Yay!! We need more Ari and less Sonia!

  80. Lori says:

    Ari, you rock! Great post!!

  81. Lucas says:

    Do you know how a combine works and how vegetables are harvested? A field isn’t an empty lot devoid of anything except the food being picked. All sorts of animals reside in them and if they are unfortunate to be in the path of the machinery are mangled to death. Visit a soybean plant and watch all the pieces mostly frogs but also pheasant, rabbit, dog and cat washed out of the product used to make tofu. Vegans should really now how their food is collected before they condemn others.

  82. Ari says:

    Lucas,

    Defending the consumption of factory farmed animals by saying that wild animals in a field of fruits or vegetables may be caught in farming equipment is absurd. Also, with regards to the number of animals killed, it makes no sense. Here are the number of animals killed to produce one million calories of food in eight food categories (via http://www.animalvisuals.org/data/1mc/):

    chicken: 251
    eggs: 92
    beef: 29
    pork: 18
    milk: 4
    vegetables: 2
    fruits: 1
    grains: 1

    If you really cared about how many animals are killed to produce the food you eat, you would most certainly be vegan. Your argument holds no water, sorry.

  83. Moira Lynn says:

    There is no defense for cruelty…ever!

  84. A Critic says:

    “It takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat.”

    If you do it right, it takes 0 pounds of grain to make a pound of meat.

    People can’t eat grass – and you can’t grow grain where you can grow grass. It’s also a lot more effective to eat squirrels than acorns – and they taste a lot better!

    “Most Americans are completely ignorant or in total denial of how the meat they’re eating gets to their plate.”

    I’m not. From the woods to my plate!

    Off to go hunt for more delicious nutritious good for the environment meat!

  85. D-idara says:

    Yes, you Vegans DO have to eat sucky food, that vegetable dish would look amazing if it wasn’t for the ugly purple thing and the pasta was covered in Bolognese sauce.

    Yes, people enjoy having a dead animal in their mouths because IT IS TASTY, so shut up and fuck off, damn Koala.

  86. GirlieGirlArmy says:

    D-idara,
    Your colon probably looks like your vitriol. Good luck with all those diseases your dead animal food gives you. And your karma in the next world. Ouch…

  87. Tapion says:

    Watch this video, it is not hateful of Vegans and vegetarians, watch the whole thing through, it may surprise you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns5TauOM46A

  88. Darren says:

    I think its admirable that you are a vegan because you beleive its helping animals and that it is envrionmentally friendly but i think your argument is a bit narrow.

    You have used the term environmentally friendly when infact Environmentally appeasing it much more applicable. The planet does not need saving, It is the Human race which does. The planet will survive, when it gets too hot for us and we die out the plants will just take back the planet. Our cities will crumble and all the CO2 we have produced will be reabsorbed. What you need to be concerned about is Sustainability. This is commonly mistaken for environmentalism and yes it does include environmentalism but its much more focused on the continuation of the Human species. which is what we really need to be concerned about. To be sustainable you must take into account 3 things, (Sorry if anyone already knows this, i dont mean to patronise) These are:
    1. The envrionment
    2. The economy
    3. Society

    To be truely sustainable and to reach a perfect balance where in humans can continue to develop without any dangers from the environment or financial collapse all three of these must be balanced out.

    If the whole world turned vegan it would be the must unsustainable thing you could do! For starters what happens to all the “Billions” of animals which are currently kept as livestock? These animals would i presumme be kept alive, and if you against population control which i presume many people are then these Billions of animals would be left to multiply at will. So now with have ALOT of livestock roaming the countryside. This presents several issues, not least of which is space. Land is the one thing that we are not makign any more of, If we have to dedicate additional feilds to this ever growing population of former livestock where do you intend to grow the vegetables which are now in astronmical demand because there are now 7Billion Vegans on the planet? as well as the food which must feed the ever increasing livestock population. It may take 16Pounds of grain to make 1Pound of meat but that cow still needs to eat if its killed or not. By giving this 16pounds of grain to a human instead you’re depriving this animal of food.
    So lets catch up quickly, we now have 7Billion Vegans all demanding Crops which must be grown on land which is either being roamed by free moving livestock, who can eat the crops and reduce human food supply or can be assigned their own land which in effect is the same as organic or free range farming. The second option removes land which could be used to grow crops for all these hungry Vegans.
    Aswell as the loss of land due to feeding these free livestock.

    Lets take a look from another angle? Employment. There are Millions of people both skilled and unskilled who work within the meat trade, Farmers / Butchers / meat salesmen and delivery drivers to name but a few. Where do these people go when no-one else wants meat? The farmer could start growing Crops to feed the world of vegans now, thats a whole new trade for many farmers and theres a substantial learnign curve, not to mention new costs such as fertiliser and pesticides (Ow and we ofcourse have to account in the Embodied energy and Carbon footprint of these cehmicals! But atleast there is an excessive amount of fertiliser, what with ever increasing cow population) Perhaps the cows could directly fetilise the crops, but then that would damage alot of them. I Digress.
    So now Mr farmer has to buy new equipment, learn new skills and still tend to his old livestock, dedicating time and money for no Profit or return. Its most likely lookign pretty tempting for him to kill them and be done with the problem! But in a vegan world thats not likely, so he continues to divert some of his crop profit both in crop and cash to the care and housing of these animals. Life in a vegan worlds not lookign too good for him. Hes down on cash and has an icreased work load. thats the Economic and social pillars of Sustainability massivly skewed!

    So what about the others? The butcher, You dont need to be trained to know how the get the best cuts of a carrot, so what happens to his job?
    What about the delivery Driver, well actually he’s looking good, an increase in vegans means an increase in vegetables and it doesnt matter if its meat or veg in hsi van a loads a load, and presuming that people want fresh veg rather than GM or preserved veg (who wouldnt!) He’s got more deliveries per week as the Veg goes off faster than meat.

    That links us quite nicely into the increase in transport. Vegatables taste better fresh! everyone knows that! GM and preservatives are definatly not good either, so you buy veg in smaller amounts, maybe weekly. That means more trips to the shops. More deliveries to the stores and sadly more wasted food when it goes off before being bought.
    So thats a pretty big increase in Carbon footprint, unless you cycle to the store. but how do you get 5 peoples worht of veg home on a bike if you live 10 miles down a motorway from the nearest Supermarket.

    So now we live in a world full of either free roaming cattle, or an increasing call for cattle storage areas! 7 Billion hungry vegans all demanding fresh un altered veg regularly, so higher demand at higher frequency, more waste and so higher prices to offset the expense of stock loss. Mass unemployment, decrease land availability and so cities start getting denser and denser, taller and taller. thats all very dificult to build and produces alot of CO2!

    Ow and we must not forget the supplments that many vegans and vegetarians have to take, the factories which produce those arent exactly eco!

    I’ll sumarise now for fear that i may have lost some of you due to the length of this reply,

    The meat industry is an established and sustainable way of feeding the masses, yes it takes alot of crop to feed the animals but thats recycled when you eat the meat! Its employment for millions and is finacially viable! Its socially accepted by the mass because Humans are designed to eat meat, our bodies crave meat, we have digestive systems with specialist enzymes just for meat! Teeth designed to tear through MEAT. Instead o becoming a vegan and just tryign to cut out meat why not rally together for more ethical treatment of livestock! Buy eggs from free range farms only! Get organic milk from cows that live on larger farms and are organically fed! Buy meat from butchers who kill their animals in a rapid and humane manor, a dignified and simple nail to the brain. Instant and fair, much more so than cave men beating their animals to death which is how nature intended it!

    Look around, animals eat other animals, its how the life cycle works! You arent savign the planet by being vegan! instead why not try to make the things you use more sustainable. How many vegans here have a smart phone? Where were the metals in your phone sourced? How many vegans here have eco homes? And i mean real eco homes, using passive design and minimising thermal bridging rather than just putting solar panels on the roof and a wind turbine at the end of the garden?!
    If you dont want to eat meat, thats fine but you arent anymore eco than the next person because of it. Take a step back and look at the big picture! Sustainability is the key, not your carbon footprint. Carbon Dioxide is naturally occuring, all of you are right now as you read this! you cant be Zero Carbon and its futile to try! Be sustainable and find a way of balancing the planet so that civilization can continue to grow whilst preserving the environment!

    I dont think i’ll have stopped any of you from being Vegan but perhaps i have made you think twice about how you approach it and maybe next time you wont fall to the default “we’re environmentally friendly” come back!

    Thank you for reading. have a good day

    • Darren! You’ve only made me think twice about your sanity! Are you for real? The entire premise by which you attempt to debunk environmental veganism is balanced quite wobbly upon the most unlikely, comical, and radical fantasy where everyone globally would suddenly go vegan overnight leaving billions of farm animals to roam free.

      This would NEVER happen – but it conveniently suits your argument.

      It is nice, however, that you admit to how unsustainable feeding an increasing livestock population is, which is on a dangerous rise due to increased global demand for animal products in places like China. Supply and demand.

      Even if this ridiculous fantasy did happen, do you really think all of these new vegans would simply let all these animals go roam free without spay, neuter or euthanasia systems in place? We have such unsustainably large numbers of livestock consuming resources at a losing ratio of water/food to meat/dairy, not because they’re having sex (most of these animals are so genetically mutated to be huge that they can’t reproduce naturally, they need to be inseminated) but because we continue to breed them.

      A more likely scenario, and one that is actually the current trend we are seeing is that as demand decreases, so decreases the number of livestock that are bred. Last year, there was a decline in the number of animals as low as the 1950s. (source) http://southeastfarmpress.com/livestock/kentucky-us-cattle-numbers-decrease

      I just don’t buy your bull-crap. Har har. But, quite literally – there are plant-based fertilizers and organic methodologies for growing crops that do not require livestock or chemical pesticides. (Source) http://www.goveganic.net/rubrique16.html

      You clearly haven’t done any research, and for someone that is attempting to make a scientific argument about ecology, society and economics, I seriously challenge your evidence, your research and ask for some citations at the very least.

      • Darren says:

        Ok, well firstly, yes it was meant as a joke, obviously the world isnt going to turn vegan over night, however the amount that vegans try to convert people it probably wouldnt take too long if you found the perfect argument / statement.

        Secondly, euthanasia?! What a horrific waste of life! These animals have every right to live and if you are going to insit on not eating them out of fairness to them then you cant kill them or prevent them from reproducing simply because its awkward for you! if you were to put in place this scheme of population control where does it end? You’ve said yourself that theres a trend in demand and supply, (which any idiot could point out) and so if theres no demand then why does there need ot be a supply? Effectivly you are suggesting the end of cows? Why keep them aroudn if you arent going to eat them. And if intend to euthanise them then why waste the meat?! you may aswell eat them!

        As for your sources, id di not include sources because this is a comment on a website called “Girliegirlarmy” no offence to the site but its hardly an academic journal! For someone so quick to call for sources you have failed to provide any of substance yourself! the first is simply an article stating the quantities of cows within a small section fo the USA after an economic depression! Ofcourse the amount of livestock will decrease when people cant afford to keep or eat them! This is irrelivent! If the world turns vegan, no matter how slowly, you will have zero demand for meat and eventually zero demand for cows which takes us back to the end of cows!

        Your second source is from a website called “Go Veganic” This should really be all i need to say but just to be sure, this is far from an impartial source, its also far from a reliable source. its effectivly a blog with no academic basis and the url alone displays what appears to be a user name. Meaning that like this post it could be written by ANYONE without things being checked!

        For that reason both of your sources are moot!

        I however do know how to reference correctly, so lets see if these will suffice?

        Within the UK, the 10th largest producer of CO2 (1) the largest contributer of CO2 is Buildings, both construction and occupation. this accounts for nearly 50% of the CO2 produced (2) (3) (4). When you also consider that there are emmisions from cars, factories and other types of construction, you are left with a percentage which is far from the largest for agriculture, let alone a sub division for just Meat farming.

        I feel sorry for the animals where ever you are from and clearly you hve made the right decision in going vegan is the cattle where you live are too mutated to mate by themselves! i live in Devon in the Uk and frequently see livestock going at it in the nearby feilds withouth any help from a farmer! The use of artificial insemination is to increase the gene pool and to allow cows and bulls to mate without having to be moved. Its a dangerous, and unsettling experience for the bull, to either sedate it and hoist it into a transport or lure it in just for a days mating when the bulls sperm can be transported in smaller more efficient containers where they need to go! Artificial insemination is a more animal friendly and human friendly method of controlling and diversifying the population! it does infact reduce the cows from becoming insestuos and mutated. (5)

        I am a graduate in envrionmental architectural technology and have studied sustanability, in particular source to structure effects and embodied energies for the past 3 – 4 years! Its somewhat of a curse that my mind comes up with these extreme scenarios but he logic behind them is sound! there is consideration fo the wider affect on all aspects of society within my arguemtn, its just been exagerated to capture peoples attention! i notice you havnt said a thing about the changes in employment? Or how about the difference in landscape which means the starving third world people cant actually grow their own crops? is the rest fo the world supposed to grow excess for them and then ship it over? thats hardly envrionmentally friendly! You didnt mention anythign about transport increase? Storage demand increase or even about the fact that theres more to sustainability and envrionmentalism than eating low carbon foods! If you were to introduce Hydrogen powered trasnports with wind or Photovoltaic powered farms then the CO2 emmissions are actually very very minimal! yes you have methane from the cows backsides but thats naturally occuring! the world was doing fine before with cows farting! Its humans that are causing this! not the cows, eating meat is a ntural thing, all animals do it! thats not what needs to change! our excessive use of electricty needs to be changed! our excessive use of fossil fuels needs to change! you arent gunna save the planet by eating only carrots! eating meat is a sustaimable method of food production which in places has lost its way! Organic farming, using grass fed cattle and onsite slaughter in a humane manner is much better for society than just turning vegan!

        1 – International energy statistics, Guardian newspaper UK (2011)http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2

        2 – Zero Carbon Hub (Part of the British governments Code for sustainable homes programme)
        http://www.zerocarbonhub.org/resourcefiles/1101177.pdf

        3 -Innovate UK. Building peroformance analysis. Page 2.

        http://www.innovateuk.org/_assets/live%20from%20proofing%20300311/tsb_buildingperformanceevaluationcomp%20t11_024_final.pdf

        4 – Written by Harrabin R, BBC News “Buildings and climate policy ”
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4837008.stm

        5 – Artificial insemination definition
        http://www-naweb.iaea.org/nafa/aph/resources/technology-ai.html

  89. Ella says:

    I grew up on a farm so I know where my food comes from. I eat meat. I’ve seen steers get butchered, cows get milked, chickens get beheaded and I eat meat and drink milk. It wasn’t cruel, and I am aware of factory farming. I try to keep that out of my food supply. I care deeply about the environment, and I walk most places. I use stainless steel straws. I don’t use freezer bags, but I use stainless steel airtight containers. I pack waste free lunches. I have very little waste, and most of what I have/use is reusable. I bring my own bags to the grocery store. I only replace the head on my manual toothbrush. I even bring my own bags to buy in bulk, and I have my own bags for produce which I’ve had for 6 years. In the summer I get most of my groceries from the farmer’s market. I buy milk from glass bottles that I return to the store to be reused. With that milk, I make my own yogurt and cheese. If I have far to go (23 blocks plus) I take the bus or train. Some of my oldest clothes are over 10 years old and still look good. I take care of all of my stuff and mend/fix them if they get broken or tattered. If they get too small or too big I get them tailored. I don’t buy chocolate bars, pop, chips or juice anymore because I don’t like the plastic packaging. I grow my own tomatoes year round. The meat I do get is from the local butcher who lets me bring my own containers instead of wrapping it in polystyrene/polyethalyne. I live in a small apartment. I save every piece of tissue paper and I save it in a box for future gifts. I save/reuse gift bags. I have never bought safety pins because I keep them from clothes tags. I use cloth napkins, and handkerchiefs. I clean with baking soda and vinegar. I get my handsoap, dishsoap, and laundry detergent containers refilled from bulk so I use less packaging. I recycle. I can understand being a vegetarian. I have even cut down on my meat consuption and probably eat vegetarian meals once or twice a week. But vegans eat fake food wrapped in plastic which can’t be that healthy or that eco-friendly. I seriously doubt a vegan in a hummer has a lower carbon footprint than I do.

  90. Ella says:

    I also forgot to mention that I compost. It also takes me about a month to fill up one garbage bag, and most of that is from when my parents come to town twice a month and sleep over for the weekend. I also use a divacup, and I don’t use pads or tampons.

  91. Ella says:

    I just wanted to add, that you must be delusional by thinking that going vegan helps feed the world’s population. We have enough food to feed the world’s population already. It is just poorly distributed. This is thanks to corrupt government and farmers in poor countries growing cash crops for the west instead of food crops. Poor countries have the potential to feed themselves and Africa should be the bread basket of the world! If you really want to feed the world’s population I would suggest getting involved in politics. This would help more than a vegan diet. Also vegans are deficient in a lot of vitamins, and nutrients from their natural diet. To supplement this, they take vitamin pills. There isn’t anything wrong with vitamin pills but it sure as hell doesn’t seem natural or eco-riendly. Especially since the capsules come wrapped in plastic. I wonder if they took that into consideration from their vegan hummer/bicycle meat eating study. I seriously doubt it! Veganism also has a lot of propanganda and lies to convert people. I don’t know what it is about these vegans wanting everyone to become vegan, but after researching it carefully the lifestyle simply isn’t for me. I’m not trying to criticize vegans, I believe it’s their choice to eat the way they want. I just don’t like it when they have a holier than though attitude like the one above.

  92. Ella says:

    Believe it or not humans are apart of nature, and do you think a carnivore cares if it’s cruel to eat the herbivore? Hell no it doesn’t. We are animals and we eat other animals and their by-products. Get over it!




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