Why the vegan philosophy fails as a “social justice movement”
Before we get started with this article demolishing the vegan philosophy, I want to apologize in advance to my vegan friends – all five of you ;) – who actually are emotionally balanced and sane. This article is not aimed at you. For whatever reason, perhaps because your body can convert nutrients better than most – all five of you do seem to be thriving on a vegan diet. Unfortunately, your emotional balance and normal brain function make you the far outlying exception in my now vast experience with vegans. I hope you will not be offended by this article.
For the 99+% of other vegans, who are clearly suffering from cognitive deficiency and emotional imbalance … and look, we’re just basing this on your own ridiculous behavior in response to my last few articles … I have a few tips before you read the rest of this article. First off, hold your fire and actually listen to what’s being said before launching into personal attacks at the author. Oh wait! You’re not going to be able to do that, because deficiencies of DHA/EPA, B12, and other nutrients have lowered your brain function and made you impulsive and irrationally angry. Right.
So here’s a hint. Before you attempt to tackle this article, it would probably best if you spend a few weeks eating fatty fish, eggs, and other animal products every day. This will help to alleviate the deficiencies of critical brain nutrients that regulate cognitive function and emotional balance. Of course, if you fail to follow this advice, and attempt to tackle this article with your emotions all in a tissy and your brain functioning on “low” … well, don’t say I didn’t tell you so. The tiny little logical leaps we take in this article … which will be obvious to most omnivores who are not nutritionally deficient … are going to feel like climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen. And then the ridiculous comments that you post here are only going to serve to prove the thesis of the article. And further undermine the vegan “movement.”
All right, now that we’ve got our disclaimers out of the way, let’s get started demolishing the vegan philosophy. I spent over a year deeply immersed in this “social justice movement.” The contradictions and hypocrisy were beginning to become clear from the very beginning. Yet, because I cared about the animals, I stuck it out. Until my health started rapidly declining on a vegan diet. Then, like so many other ex-vegans who are rational and sane, I ended the disastrous experiment.
Veganism as a “social justice movement”
According to most vegans, veganism is not a “diet.” It is a “social justice movement.” The premise of the movement is “do least harm.” The definition is:
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
Most vegans construe this to mean not eating animals, not wearing animals, and not using animals for “entertainment” (e.g., going to Sea World to see the dolphins).
We can already see in the definition of veganism where our problems begin, and it’s with this tricky little phrase: “as far as is possible and practicable.”
Ummm, yeah, who gets to define what is “possible and practicable”? The leaders of the cult? Each vegan on his high-and-mighty soapbox declaring that his personal preferences define what is “possible and practicable”? Where is your objective definition of “possible and practicable”? Already, this movement is collapsing on its own definition.
Another problem with the definition is how it applies to human welfare. Humans are animals, so by definition, veganism should exclude “all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, humans for food, clothing or any other purpose.” You will notice, however, that many vegans could not care less about human welfare generally. Except their own, of course, which brings us to our next problem.
The Logical Outcome of a Strict Definition of Veganism Is Human Suicide
Many vegans were horribly offended that I suggested that the logical outcome of veganism is human suicide. I don’t know why they were so offended. I’m simply extrapolating from their own insane arguments.
Either the definition of veganism includes human welfare, or it doesn’t. If veganism is all about protecting “non-human animals,” then human welfare cannot be a factor in the calculus. And this means that reducing harm to non-human animals as far as is “possible or practicable” would mean the end of the human race. Because you cannot “do least harm” while continuing to exist as a human. Every single thing we do is killing and exploiting animals.
To give just one banal example, most vegans just LOVE their almond milk. Not only are almonds a highly water-intensive crop (thus destructive to our environment) … but also the production of almonds results in the killing of mass numbers of honey bees:
And then many vegans, simple-minded as they are, will say “but I don’t even drink almond milk.” Doesn’t matter. A large number of “vegan” crops are industrially pollinated. Most vegans don’t eat organic food, and the pesticides used to grow their food are responsible for killing billions of bees, other insects, bats, birds, and fish. Organic food probably fares better but relies on livestock fertilizer to produce nutritious “vegan” food.
So you see, it’s not possible to be truly vegan in this world. There is actually no such thing as “vegan” food and therefore no such thing as a “vegan.” And only someone who is cognitively deficient as most vegans appear to be, could think that they are somehow “innocent” of the mass destruction of animals … just because they don’t eat the bees that they killed.
What Is Possible and Practicable?
Now see, here is where many self-righteous, “holier than thou” vegans will angrily declare that of course it’s okay for them to drink almond milk because they are not exploiting or harming animals as far as is “possible and practicable.” It doesn’t matter that vegans are killing bees and other animals by the billion in order to eat their vegan food because … they’re not eating the bees. And they are doing the “least amount of harm.”
Well, I beg to differ. If you ended your existence via suicide, you would be doing less harm. So what is your objective standard for suggesting that you are following the dictates of the philosophy as far as is “possible or practicable” if you, instead, choose to keep living? You have no objective standard. You’ve just created a totally self-serving standard of what is possible or practicable, based on your own personal preferences. And that cannot stand up to any scrutiny whatsoever.
One cow can feed a huge number of humans. How many bees were killed for one glass of almond milk? Per serving, it would not surprise me at all, if more bees were killed than cows. So how do you justify almond milk being somehow “morally superior” to a hamburger?
And of course, vegans being cognitively deficient, will make some lame ass reply here. The usual underlying but unspoken assumption being that they care less about bees than they do about cows.
Hey wait, isn’t that speciesism? Don’t all lives count the same? How then can you justify killing so many bees for almond milk, when one huge tuna or one huge cow results in only one death and provides a huge amount of food for many humans?
(Don’t worry, those vegans who failed to bone up on their fatty fish and double up on vitamin B12 supplements won’t be able to comprehend the obvious logic here. Their brains are not functioning properly.)
We could go on and on here. Deer in many areas of the world overpopulate unless they have natural non-human predators (like wolves) or human predators. If deer do overpopulate, they fall prey to starvation and disease, surely more painful ways to die than a quick hunter’s kill.
But see, for vegans it’s perfectly okay if a wolf or mountain lion kills a deer. (By the way, ever seen a cat play with its prey. If I were a deer, I’d take a hunter’s bullet over a natural non-human predator any day of the week.) Yet it’s not okay if a human hunter kills a deer.
Why not? What’s the difference?
Here, the only thing vegans can come up with is that “humans don’t need to eat animal products.” Indeed, at the end of the day, the entire vegan philosophy depends on this premise. Because when we go back to the definition of “as far as possible or practicable” … while there are many vegans who hate humans so much that they wish humans were exterminated … most vegans realize that extermination of humans cannot be justified morally under a philosophy of “do least harm.”
So everything about the vegan philosophy then hinges on the flawed premise that “all humans can thrive on a vegan diet.” Which is why you will see vegans so angrily and irrationally denying any and all evidence that undermines this premise. Which leads us to our next point …
Human Welfare and the Vegan “Social Justice Movement”
Vegans cannot have it both way. Either human welfare must be factored in to the definition of “as far as possible or practicable” … or it cannot be factored in.
If human welfare is not factored in, then your only option is mass suicide. That’s just simple logic.
Most vegans will scream in horror when faced with the logical outcome of their own philosophy … so let’s assume they will retreat to the position that human welfare should be factored in to the definition. Well, then, folks, we have a problem.
How much does human welfare factor in? Yesterday I was attacked by a vegan couple who, ironically, are pregnant. Oh, yes, here were rabid vegans attacking me for salvaging my health with animal products … while they are BRINGING ANOTHER HUMAN INTO THIS WORLD. The husband, suffering from cognitive deficiency, of course – attempted to argue that this is the difference between “giving life” and “taking life.” In other words, he on his soapbox is “giving life” to a new human. While I am “taking life” by eating meat.
Ummm, hello. First of all, I’d like to see your test results on vitamin B12 and DHA/EPA because your brain is not functioning properly, sir.
“Giving life” to a human is equivalent to taking the lives of countless animals, and I don’t care how strict a vegan your child may turn out to be. (See above, our example about the honey bees.) So how the hell can you justify bringing another human into this world to wreak further havoc on an already overly populated planet – and then turn around and attack me for salvaging my health with animal products? The hypocrisy and contradiction is almost beyond comprehension. Yet vegans just don’t get it. Their brains are not functioning properly. Never mind that the kid may come to his or her senses and choose NOT to be vegan.
So just wow. Not only is this man not taking his own life, he’s “creating” another human life that will destroy more animals. And he has the nerve to lambast me for eating fish and meat. All the while having no clue how ridiculous he sounds. Just wow.
So let’s face it. Any vegan who truly practices “as far as possible or practicable” will not procreate. Period. And don’t even try to argue that you can use abortion, either. What? Clams and mollusks are sentient beings but not your unborn child the size of a lime? Puh -leeeze.
How many vegans do you see agreeing not to procreate in order to save the animals? Umm, not very many. A few. But not many. Thus, they are not vegan.
Yet they will kick and scream and cry if you call out this hypocrisy because, of course, “as far as is possible or practicable” is entirely subjective. They “need” to have children, I would be depriving them of a fundamental human right … blah blah blah. Let the chorus of whining begin.
Sorry, folks, if you are truly vegan, you do not procreate. Period. Moreover, you don’t do much of anything. Because “as far as is possible and practicable” also means you don’t drive a car unnecessarily. You reduce your caloric intake to the absolute bare minimum needed for survival. Etc. etc. etc. You would have to eliminate all pleasure and entertainment from your life, because all of it ends up killing animals one way or another. And how many vegans do you see who actually practice this? ZERO.
A Vegan Diet Is Not Adequate for Most Humans
Now let’s get back to that key issue. We’ve already established that vegans are not en masse committing suicide, which they would have to do in order to “do least harm.” So clearly the vegan definition has to take account of human welfare.
Of course, basic human health (such as I was deprived of on a vegan diet) would have to be considered.
Which is why vegans scream and cry and attack whenever one of us ex-vegans provides evidence that NOT all humans can be healthy on a vegan diet. Because once you establish that, in truth, most humans do need to consume animal products to be healthy, the entire vegan philosophy collapses.
On my last few posts, countless vegans wrote in to claim how they are “thriving” on a vegan diet. Some of these people I’ve seen their photographs, and let me tell you, “thriving” is not a word I would use to describe the emaciated skeletons pictured. Some of these vegans expressed irrational anger and personal attack in every sentence of their comments. Obviously these folks are not thriving mentally or emotionally.
Countless vegans also wrote in to cite various “scientific” studies that claim that vegans enjoy great health and so forth. Yet we have a large and growing population of ex-vegans and ex-vegetarians who will tell you … we were were NOT thriving on a veg diet, no matter how many different ways we tried to make it work.
So what gives here? Well, it’s pretty easy to figure out, if your brain is functioning properly.
There is, as far as I know, not one single valid scientific study proving that ALL humans can thrive on a vegan diet. And here’s why.
First of all, it is well documented that nutritional deficiencies are widespread in vegan communities. For more on that, see this excellent article by Chris Kresser:
But there’s another, more fundamental reason why the vegan argument that all humans can thrive on a vegan diet is invalid. And that is that, as far as I know, every study claiming better health among vegans studies only SELF-SELECTING VEGANS.
People who cannot sustain a vegan diet, either never become vegan because they know they can’t do it. Or they are like me, and abandon the diet when serious health issues arise. This means that we would not be studied as long-term vegans. Which means that any study I know of that claims better health for vegans has excluded the very evidence that would prove it’s not true.
Boom! The entire vegan philosophy that “everyone should be vegan” debunked right there.
In order to have a valid study, you would have to FORCE a randomly selected population to be vegan and stay vegan for a lengthy period of time. Nutritional deficiencies often take years to show up. Blood tests are often inaccurate because the body is cannibalizing itself to obtain nutrients (for example, sucking calcium out of bones and teeth). You could not exclude dropouts from the data, because many people would probably be dropping out when their health suffered. To get accurate data, you would literally have to FORCE all randomly selected participants to stay vegan. And such a study would be unethical. As far as I know, no such study exists.
What we do have is plenty of evidence that a vegan diet has NOT worked for many people. And that even self-selecting vegans have plenty of nutritional deficiencies. I would bet a lot of money that the vegans who claimed their “blood work is great” in the comments on these posts and my other pages … never got tested all across the board for all of the nutrients. Most standard blood testing fails to test for the wide range of nutrients that are lacking in a vegan diet.
So … lacking any valid scientific study proving that “all people can be vegan,” and seeing plenty of evidence that this premise is false … and since vegans don’t want to commit mass suicide … then we must take human health into account.
We already know that many people cannot convert ALA to EPA/DHA, that widespread supplementation is often ineffective and absolutely impractical, that some people cannot create taurine (we had a guy send in a comment that he ended up in the hospital six weeks into his vegan diet for this very reason), that some people cannot produce enough vitamin K2, and so on and so on and so on … Therefore, not all humans can thrive on a vegan diet.
And guess what, folks? Under the definition of veganism, I AM STILL VEGAN. Can you believe it? Yes, I am declining to harm animals to the extent that is “possible and practicable” for me. And yes, I get to define that standard for myself, because as vegans have demonstrated over and over again with their ridiculously hypocritical claims, being vegan is WHATEVER THEY WANT IT TO MEAN.
My body needs animal products to thrive, and my health is a relevant factor in the analysis, so I am still vegan under the definition. Wow, what a relief. Now all these raving lunatics will have to stop attacking me for not being vegan. I’m as vegan as they are!
So … you see what I mean? This vegan philosophy simply collapses under the weight of its own hypocrisy and contradictions.
We could go on and on about this, so perhaps we will write more articles :D
Always in your service,
About the Author:
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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