The reasons to live a vegan life are endless. But often times we can find ourselves being challenged by others due to our choice to live as cruelty-free as possible.
During these common moments, it is great to be armed with as much knowledge as possible, as every question someone asks, is an opportunity to spread vegan awareness and truth. It’s an opportunity to educate others and help them wake up and start their vegan journey… Or it’s simply a way to shut them down.
The following is a list of responses to the most frequently asked questions and comments that vegans face when being challenged about their choice to be vegan.
These should help you respond to any argument against this important and unstoppable movement and it should help give meat-eaters answers to many of their questions and concerns about veganism ~
Question: Where do vegans get their protein from?
Response: Vegans, much like most sentient beings, get their protein from plant sources. The animals that you eat, eat plants which supply them with a sufficient amount of amino acids to then be able to provide you with sufficient amounts. Vegans are simply eating protein from its original source and most natural form for human consumption.
Plants can provide you with all the essential amino acids that your body doesn’t produce naturally on its own. In order to be deficient in protein, you would likely be under-fed, malnourished and at risk of being deficient in most other nutrients. As long as you are eating a balanced diet of a variety of plant foods, you will consume enough amino acids to get more then enough protein. Everything you eat is a protein source. Some are even better than others, like nuts, seeds and beans, to name a few.
Eating in Moderation
Comment: Everything is good for you in moderation.
Response: Eating in moderation shouldn’t be a concern when eating the right foods. You don't need to worry about having too many vegetables on your plate, but you should worry about having too much animal protein on your plate. Something that is natural for you to consume shouldn’t need to be limited to moderate amounts in order for it to not cause or contribute to diseases. Eating in moderation with regard to meat and dairy, doesn’t mean it is good for you when eaten in moderate portions. It simply means it’s less bad than consuming too much of it.
Eating in moderation for dietary purposes is not an instinctive quality for any species.
Question: How do you explain our canine teeth? Those tell us we're meant to eat meat.
Response: We don't have large canine teeth. We have tiny, dull homosapien size ones.
Comment: Well that's because through evolution our physical traits changed with our eating habits and our canines shrunk.
Response: That is incorrect. Humans have never had carnivorous or omnivorous size canines. Humans have always had the same oral traits as a frugivore. Small mouths and rotating jaws for chewing fruit, not large mouths for chomping on fatty flesh. Our mouths are full of molars for grinding leafy plants. They aren’t full of sharp, jagged teeth that can tear through bones.
Question: What about B12?
Response: B12 isn't a vegan issue, it's a dietary issue that can and does affect anyone that isn't getting enough of it in their diets. When consuming a diet of fresh organic foods grown in nutrient rich soil/manure - also known as nature's way - people don't tend to have a B12 issue.
Many plant foods have trace amounts of B12. The ones with the highest are some of the more commonly edible algae, like dried green laver and purple laver. Some edible mushrooms also contain higher amounts of B12. Trumpet mushrooms being a very good source.
Many people live in areas where they may not have such readily available access to organically grown foods just yet, but they can also supplement for their B12 if necessary. It may not be the most ideal way to obtain nutrients, but the pros of supplements far outweigh the cons of unnecessary animal cruelty and environmental devastation.
Question: Where do vegans get their calcium from, if they don't consume dairy?
Response: Those eating a proper whole plant-based diet will consume enough calcium and will reduce their chances of developing osteoporosis drastically, simply by eliminating dairy from their diets.
Comment: But dairy is the best source of calcium. It helps bones grow.
Response: Yes, dairy contains calcium and it is scientifically proven to help bones grow. It is after-all meant to make a new born calf grow over 500 lbs in a year's time, so absolutely, cow's milk will make your bones grow… rapidly...
This is not necessarily a good thing and it isn’t the calcium in dairy that actually makes your bones grow, it's the increase in hormone levels of
IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor -1) stimulated by dairy consumption, that contributes to abnormal rapid human tissue growth. We'll get back to that in a moment...
Let's first start with the calcium myth. Calcium in dairy has absolutely no benefit to humans. The reason is because dairy contains almost 90% casein protein, which is highly acidic and requires more calcium than milk can provide to help neutralize its own acidity. Therefore, cow’s milk actually leeches calcium from our main source, our bones. Making dairy the leading cause of osteoporosis worldwide.
Just one glass of cow’s milk is enough to raise your IGF-1 levels by 10%. This not only increases normal tissue growth, but also abnormal tissue growth, contributing greatly to hormone-dependent cancers, like breast and prostate cancer.
It takes about 10 lbs of milk to produce just one pound of cheese, making cheese one of the most toxic foods a person can eat.
The Human CONsumption of Dairy
Comment: Dairy is essential for human health.
Response: Dairy is one of the most toxic and unnatural ‘foods’ that humans eat. It is highly acidic with an excessive casein protein content of almost 90%. Cows’ milk is hormone-laden, regardless if it is organic or not, as all dairy comes from nursing, hormonal cows. Not only are you drinking excessive amounts of estrogen, you are also drinking excessive amounts of blood and puss.
No other species consumes the milk of another species and certainly not as adults. Only humans. Cow’s milk is for calves, just as cat’s milk is for kittens, just as human milk is for baby humans. Milk is meant to provide nutrients for infants of the same species and then to ween off as toddlers.
Dairy is so unnatural and unhealthy for human consumption that it has been completely removed from Canada’s Dietary Food Guide. There is still some meat in their protein category, with an increase in plant sources, but removing dairy completely is a huge step in the right direction and speaks volumes about it's negative impact on health.
The Whey Myth
Comment: Whey is an a excellent protein source in powdered protein shakes.
Response: Whey is the waste product of milk. It’s the leftover sludge that is too toxic for ground disposal and therefore disposed of into our food supply and sold as a health food option. Acid whey in particular, the kind used for making many cheeses and Greek yogurt is highly toxic to the environment and can’t be disposed of into the ground at the risk of it polluting our water systems and killing marine life. So naturally something this toxic would instead be redirected back into our food system.
Farmers have used whey to feed their cows and increase what they believe to be protein production, but cows commonly develop stomach issues when consuming whey, so they feed it to you instead. This should all be enough to give up whey and dairy altogether if you take a moment to think about what you’re actually consuming and contributing to.
The Family History of Disease Misconception
Comment: Some people have health issues that require them to eat meat or dairy. Lots of people have a genetic predisposition to something that may not allow them to eat certain vegan foods.
Response: Often times the diseases that we link to family genetics, can be attributed to a family history of poor dieting; and can be avoided or treated through plant-based nutrition. We already know this about heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers. Even if it goes deeper than diet, most conditions, even with a genetic predisposition to them, won’t become a factor unless proper diet and lifestyle are a factor. Even failing that, there is no illness on this planet that a human can have that would require consuming flesh over plants, in order to heal.
Our Digestive Tract
Comment: The human digestive tract is designed to process meat.
Response: Our digestive tracts tell us everything we need to know about what our most natural diet is. For starters, as mentioned above in the Canine Teeth section, humans have dull canines, molars, small mouths and rotating jaws. This is opposite of natural carnivores, with mouths that are larger than their heads when open and teeth like a serrated knife.
Our digestive tract itself, which is identical to a frugivore, spans approximately 10 times the length of our torsos. That is a long way down and a lot of opportunity for flesh to rot and decay in our bodies. A natural carnivore or omnivore’s digestive tract spans about 3 times the length of their torsos, allowing for quick digestion. Their pH remains at a level so acidic it can dissolve bones, whereas ours needs to remain alkaline for optimal health. Aside from our digestive system, physically we are designed to graze and pick fruit from trees with our arms, hands and soft fingernails. True meat-eaters have hard, sharp claws, great endurance and usually four legs or a set of wings, with incredible speed for capturing their prey.
Humans are the only “hunters” that remain stationary while aiming an artificial weapon from a distance to catch their prey.
There is very little about our digestive system and anatomy that is consistent with that of a carnivore, whereas everything about us, right down to our small canines and molars, tells us we are natural frugivores.
The ‘Different Diet for Different People’ Myth
Comment: There is no ‘one diet fits all’. Everyone is different and we all have different dietary needs. Some people do well on a paleo diet and others need more vegetables, or dairy and some are sensitive to gluten.
Response: Although some people may have different sensitivities to certain foods, there is still only one natural diet for humans. A plant-based one. Just as every lion is a carnivore by design, every bear an omnivore, every bunny an herbivore – every human is a frugivore by design.
The Part-Time Vegan
Comment: I go meatless on Mondays. That’s my vegan day of the week.
Response: Veganism isn’t a diet, it’s a way of life triggered by an awakening and understanding that we are all connected and everyone has the birth right to live peacefully on this planet that we all share. It’s about making the connection that animals feel pain. They have emotions. They have families that they belong with.
Veganism goes beyond compassion and simply “loving animals”. You don’t have to be an animal lover to be vegan and to not participate in animal cruelty. It’s just a matter of having respect for all life and the demand for equal rights to a peaceful world for all sentient beings.
There is no such thing as a vegan diet or to be partially vegan. Veganism is simply the choice to live as cruelty-free as possible and is the absence of animal products in one’s food, wardrobe and anywhere else. It’s the opposition to animal enslavement and the refusal to support animal abuse of any measure, as well as the demand for animal liberation. It’s the truest meaning of the words 'to live and let live'.
Top of The Food chain
Comment: If we weren’t meant to eat meat, we wouldn’t be at the top of the food chain.
Response: We aren’t at the top of the actual food chain. We are only at the top of a chart we created with a diagram that we refer to as the food chain. In reality, we are not superior in strength to lions or other aggressive predators, but rather extremely inferior to them. Put us unarmed and face to face with most wild animals, and humans wouldn’t stand a chance.
The Vegan Superiority Complex
Comment: Vegans think they’re better than everyone. They make me not wanna go vegan.
Response: Veganism itself is the understanding that no one is above anyone. We are all equal and advocate for the right to peace for all beings. It can be argued that people who support animals being slaughtered for their own personal gain, believe they are superior to others.
Vegans themselves have nothing to do with your decision to not be vegan. There are people that fall into any category that might not be your cup of tea, but that should never be an excuse to continue to contribute to animal suffering. Why blame the animals for a person you may not like?
The Food Scarcity Myth
Comment: But if everyone went vegan, there wouldn’t be enough food to feed us all.
Response: There are already millions of people dying of starvation around the world and that is in part because the world isn’t vegan, as well as vast human greed and misplaced ethics. If everyone went vegan, we could save the planet, as animal agriculture is responsible for more than 70% of worldwide deforestation, partly due to the amount of grains and genetically modified soy that are produced in order to feed almost 90 billion animals each year that are bred for human consumption. All of that food could be grown organically for humans and solve world hunger many times over.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, as it is the worst producer of methane gas, deforestation, water pollution and consumption.
It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef.
Comment: If we didn’t eat animals, they would take over the world.
Response: There are many species of animals that we don’t kill for food and they aren’t taking over the world and neither would the cows, chickens or pigs. These animals are bred by humans to reproduce by the billions each year. Female cows raised in factory farms are artificially inseminated to continually reproduce calves and remain pregnant, or nursing their entire reproductive lives. This is all for the purpose of providing humans with her milk and then her body parts when she can no longer produce milk.
Male calves are removed from their mothers very shortly after birth. This is so they don’t take the milk from their mothers, that is being reserved for humans. These male calves are typically sent for slaughter and sold as veal, or dumped alive in garbage containers and discarded like waste products.
The 'My Food Poops on Your Food ' Statement
Comment: Haha, my food poops on your food…
Response: Well actually, the animals you eat, eat the same food they poop on. They also eat their own puke. If the animals you eat are factory farmed, then not only are you eating their poop and puke, you’re also eating the genetically modified soy, added hormones and antibiotics they were raised on. So as a meat-eater, you're eating poop and puke, as well as food that your 'food' poops on, should there be any trace of vegetables in your diet.
Sugar Vs Meat, The Diabetes Discussion
Comment: People with type 2 diabetes need to stay away from sugar. But they can eat steak and cheese.
Response: High fat foods, such as animal products like steak and cheese, raise blood sugar more than diets rich in sugar. Fat particles accumulate & build up and store themselves in the liver and muscle cells, which contribute to insulin resistance and cause type 2 diabetes. Refined sugars contribute to making it worse, which is why it’s important to maintain a diet that consists of fruits in their natural form.
Eating fruit in its natural high fiber state and not juiced, can actually help regulate blood sugar.
The Egg Debate
Question: Why won’t vegans eat eggs?
Response: Vegans don’t eat eggs because to be vegan means to refrain from any animal exploitation. Hens don’t lay eggs for human purposes. They lay a specific amount of eggs to fill their nest. Once their nest is filled, they stop producing until their next cycle.
Hens in the commercial egg industry spend their lives continually producing eggs at unnatural rates through various methods of torture forced upon them by farmers. Starvation being one of them to induce more egg production. They are forced to lay hundreds of eggs in one year, instead of the average 6-10 they normally would. This completely destroys their bodies and depletes them of calcium and other nutrients. When they can no longer reproduce, they are slaughtered.
Male chicks are considered a waste product of the industry and are disposed of through mass suffocation by being stuffed together alive in garbage bags, gassed, or dropped in a meat grinder alive. This is typically the most common practice.
Eggs offer nothing of benefit to human health that can’t be obtained through plant sources. Eggs are also among some of the unhealthiest ‘foods’ humans can consume, being high in both cholesterol and fat.
The Fish Debate
Comment: I need to eat fish for omega 3 fatty acids and they have no feelings anyway.
Response: Fish too are sentient and feel pain. They have a central nervous system and a brain. They are also an important part of our eco-system. Commercial fishing is unsustainable and all fish contain levels of mercury or other highly toxic pollutants thanks to human interference and negligence in our oceans.
There are also excellent plant sources that are easier to digest that are great sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp seeds, walnuts, chia seeds… to name a few.
The 'Plants have feelings' Concern
Comment: Plants have feelings too though.
Response: They don't have feelings. Plants have sensory receptors and respond to sunlight, air, water, sound and climate. Plants don’t have a central nervous system or a brain and therefore can’t register a feeling like pain.
Plants also thrive on being harvested. No sentient being thrives on slaughter. Once a limb is cut and a life is taken, it is gone. Plants however in the right conditions, will re-bloom for the next harvest.
Question: Why can’t vegans eat honey?
Response: Vegans choose to not eat honey because honey is made by bees and meant for bees. Aside from that, commercial production of honey, entails trapping the queen bee and clipping her wings. When harvesting, many bees are killed in the process. Personal production is still not vegan as it still involves capturing and exploiting the queen bee and her workers. It also involves taking what the bees need for their own survival.
Comment: Mmm bacon.
Response: The best response to this comment, is no response at all. Don’t waste your energy. A comment as such is an indication that the person making the statement is vibrating at too low a frequency and may need another lifetime of lessons before reaching a point of basic compassion. Simply walk away from this one and reserve your words and energy for those you can potentially reach.