Uh oh, another fucking vegan! I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that some vegans seem pretty damn extreme. What is their problem? Why can’t they keep their bullshit fad diets to themselves and let me eat my meat and dairy in peace? Why don’t they just shut up and eat a goddamn burger?
This was me too. I get it.
These types of new diet crazes seem to be everywhere. Whether it’s the Paleo diet, suger-free diet, low-carb diet, gluten-free diet or even the cabbage-soup diet there always seems to be some asshole pushing their new breakthrough health scheme onto their friends and family or whoever is willing (or unwilling) to listen.
I’m here to tell you that these people aggravated me. Who were they to preach to me about what I should or should not be putting into my body? It didn’t make any sense, nor was I willing to do any type of research because I was afraid I would discover one of them was telling the truth. I was wilfully ignorant, which is nothing to brag about, but it was okay because I could continue eating the way I wanted without having to put up with the little voice in my head telling me I should be feeling guilty. What did I care anyway? I felt healthy and was in decent shape so I must have been doing something right.
It was around 8 months ago things began to change. I was coming to the end of one of the most enjoyable adventures of my life. By enjoyable I mean traveling from country to country, drinking my weight in alcohol, eating a tonne of delicious yet disgustingly unhealthy food and meeting thousands of people. It was great, however my body was beginning to seriously hate me.
I began to realise I wasn’t going to be young forever. 30 was just around the corner and smoking cigarettes, daily binge drinking and unhealthy eating wasn’t exactly a sustainable option. I didn’t much care for absolute sobriety, but something had to change.
Anyone that really knows me will tell you that once I put my mind to something I become obsessed. I didn’t want to half-ass it. If I was going to get healthy I didn’t want some bullshit craze diet that seemed all hype with no long-term research. I wanted something well thought out, something holistic, something that didn’t have some evil corporation up their ass telling them what to say in order to protect their all-important profit margins.
I began researching everything I could. I would stay up for hours reading the pros and cons of seemingly a gazillion different ways of fuelling your body. “Eat sugar, don’t eat sugar, coconut oil is good for you, no it’s not it terrible for you! Meat is bad! No, trust me, it’s good!”
Who the fuck do I believe?!
Confusing was a definite understatement. Doctors with completely conflicting opinions was enough to have me wanting to throw my little laptop off of my hostel’s third story balcony.
What was the truth? Does it even exist anymore with having some type of money driven agenda attached to it?
I think it does.
During my time of research I could only really come across one style of diet that had a very holistic approach. A diet that not only had you in its best interest, but also the planet and all the beings that dwell on it. It was the vegan diet. Shit.
I went through a period of denial. There was no way I was going to give up cheese, eggs or bacon…mmmm crispy bacon. You seriously couldn’t pay me to forever deprive myself of burgers, chicken sandwiches and omelettes. These were the reason I ate food! How could this diet be the best option for both myself and the planet? No fucking way! I began tirelessly searching for rational arguments against a plant-based diet. I found nothing.
“Alriiiiight, I’ll just try not eating meat and see where this takes me.” I remember thinking to myself. Still not overly happy that all my research had lead me to having to implement such a drastic change into my life. I mean, what the hell am I suppose to tell my friends when they invite me over for a mens only barbecue?
I soon discovered that these types of changes don’t just come from simply not physically putting bad food in my mouth, my mindset had to change. I had to scare myself into adopting a meat-free diet by deliberately confronting the hard truth head-on. I watched countless documentaries containing many agonising scenes of ‘standard’ slaughterhouse practice and discovered that eating today’s version of meat didn’t just clog your arteries, it was actually unnecessary and mind-numbingly brutal.
The sight of meat on the supermarket shelf was a constant reminder of all those disturbing youtube videos. It angered me that someone could be blindly contributing to the daily slaughter of 150 million farm animals without even a small amount of guilt creeping into their thoughts. Oh no…I was becoming one of those angry, tree hugging, animal welfare freaks! It was too late. What had learned could not be unlearned, what I had seen could not be unseen. Oh man, it was just a matter of time before I became one of those nutcase ‘vegans’.
Below are a list of the most common questions that I would’ve liked answered if some stupid vegan began preaching their ridiculous ‘save the animals’ diet to me:
But where do vegans get their protein from?
This is a super common question and one that I’ve definitely asked a few vegans. Contrary to what seems to be taught in health class, it’s very easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, lentils, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often a lot of protein. There are also numerous studies that have found animals protein to be an ON switch for cancer.
My ancestors eat meat so why can’t I?
Prehistoric humans and their ancestors ate some amount of meat along side plants, there’s absolutely no question about that, but we are in a lot of ways different to people who lived thousands of years ago. For one, we have a choice whether or not we need to eat meat, they weren’t lucky enough to have the convenience of a supermarket every few kilometres. Meat was also not commercially produced and didn’t have the added dangerous levels of hormones and antibiotics found in the modern day version.
If we’re not meant to eat meat, why do humans have canine teeth?
Nearly all mammals have canine teeth, and having canine teeth isn’t an automatic translation that we are meant to eat animal meat. Many herbivores and primary plant-eaters have ridiculously long, sharp canine teeth that look very different to the canine teeth that humans have. Our “canine teeth” are actually “canine” in name only.
It took only a 5 minute google search to realise that by definition we are 100% herbivore due to our jaw type, location, motion and major jaw muscles. WTF, right?
But plants have feelings too!
Not something I ever asked, but has surprisingly come up quite a bit. As unconscious entities, plants have no subjective conscious interest that would be morally relevant to whether we kill them for food or other sufficient reasons. They also have no central nervous system so, no, chopping up a tomato is not equivalent to slaughtering a pig. Even if it was, it doesn’t automatically make the murder and torture of innocent animals okay by default.
Isn’t eating animals just part of the cycle of life?
I suppose the same thing could be said for other things that exist in the cycle of life. For example: murder, rape, slavery, war and/or genocide. Just because something comes naturally to us, or has been done for a length of time, or is part of a tradition, it does not automatically qualify as ethical or moral. I’m sorry, but 55 billion farm animals slaughtered every single year isn’t exactly what I’d call a ‘natural cycle of life’.
If everyone was vegan the world would become overrun by animals!
On a global scale, nearly every single animal eaten is bred into this world by artificial insemination. Simply put, if the world evolved over a period of time into eating entirely a plant-based diet, the breeding of farm animals would decrease over time and eventually cease.
But isn’t it impossible to be 100% vegan?
Yes, this is totally true. However it’s not about being perfect, it’s about reducing your impact. Can you imagine trying to watch where you step as to make sure you didn’t crush any innocent ants? This, I think, is a little unrealistic.
But what about the animals that are killed humanely?
Killing humanely is kind of like raping humanely. It doesn’t exist. The killing of something or someone against its will, even if it’s painless, is by definition inhumane.
What about dairy? There’s no animals killed during the production of diary, right?
Most people believe that dairy isn’t a bad thing because an animal doesn’t have to die in order for you to get it. But the real truth is that an animal does have to die – in fact, many animals have to die – for the sake of that slice of cheese on your sandwich, milk in your cereal or that egg on your toast. Just spend 5 minutes googling this and you’ll find out exactly why vegans have eliminated dairy from both a health and a moral standpoint.
Some people get weak and ill when adopting a vegan diet!
Anyone can have a poor diet and terrible health when they do not understand nutrition. In fact, it is quite easy to become unhealthy and unwell by eating a poor selection of foods, regardless of whether you are vegan or not. I could eat nothing but potato chips all day and call myself vegan, this is not something that could be blamed on the vegan diet, rather on the lack of knowledge about nutrition.
It’s fairly common for people to focus solely on those consuming a vegan diet who become ill, but purposely fail to mention the unbelievable amount of meat-eaters around the world who suffer from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. These problems are sometimes insanely passed off as something that is “just life” when if studied can, most of the time, be directly linked to diet.
So yeah, It’s not that I want to be annoying to cook for or unnecessarily judgemental. I don’t wish to be one of those people that preach a new better way of living or try to make people feel guilty. I also don’t think I’m better than people who don’t choose to become vegan, I just refuse to believe that being a little more conscious and compassionate about what I eat should be made to be such a huge fucking deal.
Feel as though you have a question about veganism that hasn’t been answered or just want to tell me that I should stop being a pussy and eat a steak?
Write it in the comments section below…
For anyone wanting to know which documentaries made me make the switch to a vegan I would recommend the following:
Earthlings (This one is pretty damn harcore)
Forks Over Knives
Before The Flood