by Ben Hunt and Karin Lindquist
Veganism is often presented as the solution to our environmental, health, and animal welfare problems. But is it?
We have written elsewhere about the other failures of veganism when it comes to sustainability and health.
- There is no scalable model for sustainably producing enough food to feed the world’s population that does not include large animals.
- A diet devoid of all animal products is extremely detrimental to the health of most individuals. That’s a big reason why 84% of people who go vegan quit within the first twelve months.
We believe that, while the movement may have fine intentions, it is not only misguided in its approach, but also dangerous to its followers’ mental health. This article focuses on those psychological dangers.
Many of the psychological risks stem from the fact that (in our opinion) the vegan movement shares many features in common with cults. We’re writing it in the hope that at least one person, wherever they are in their relationship with veganism, may be encouraged to look at it with a more critical eye.
Please remember, it’s not our place to tell anyone what to think or what to do. Our objective is only to present some information, which we don’t feel is discussed enough, for your consideration so you can make up your own mind.
We should start clarifying that veganism as an all-encompassing lifestyle is not the same as simply following a plant-based diet. Some people choose to exclude all animal products from their diets, whether for reasons of ethics, health, or environmentalism. That is not the same as veganism, which goes beyond diet into politics and identity, and into the realm of cult, as we hope to explain.
We are also not talking about everyone who identifies as vegan. Many of them do a great job of getting on with their own lives without preaching to everyone else what they should be doing, without breaking into farms and harassing people in restaurants. Here we’re talking about militant, fundamentalist veganism exclusively.
(Ben) I have some experience in this area of psychology, as I spent several years in a cult myself in my early twenties. The group I was in was made up of passionate, energetic people with massive integrity, and yet we were all duped into a control structure that left us unsure what to think. I recognise many of the same factors that were going on in that group evident in the discussions I have online with people who are part of the vegan movement. Below we’ll describe each of the factors in turn.
Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies
There are risks to a person’s mental health in any fundamentalist group, but for vegans this is compounded by the fact that following a totally plant-based diet carries significant risks for the brain and nervous system due to its being naturally deficient in several essential nutrients: Vitamins A, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, D3, and K-2, cholesterol, iodine, heme-iron, zinc, and the fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Without very careful dietary management (which will certainly include supplements), this will already put an individual at a disadvantage when it comes to thinking clearly. (More info here.)
Powerful Sense of Identity
Veganism is an “ism”, which means it’s presented as a belief system, like Marxism or capitalism. Like a religion, an ism offers the individual a complete worldview that you can use to make sense of life.
Another factor that gives the movement power is the fact that vegan isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. It gives you an identity within the group “you are one of us now”, and that you wear in the world.
Becoming something can be particularly appealing to those who have suffered abuse and may be dealing with identity and confidence issues.
Once a person comes out as “a vegan”, that makes it harder to revert, because it means abandoning an identity, both in your own mind and in all your relationships.
Like all cults, veganism offers a hard-line worldview with a set of extreme beliefs. It seems to me that the more polarizing the belief system, the stronger the hold it has over people.
The promise of veganism is powerful. This is the ONLY way to save the planet. It is the ONLY way to save the animals. And what’s more it’s 100% guaranteed better for your health. It’s veganism or nothing, failure, turning your back on everything that’s wrong with the world.
It is also a fundamentalist ideology, which means that followers must agree to a set of absolute beliefs, with no room for interpretation.
In veganism, it is not only wrong to take the life of any sentient being, but wrong to keep or use any animal for our own benefit (which is presented as akin to human slavery).
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as possible and practicable – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
We call this extreme because humans have coexisted with farm animals for most of our evolution. It is as natural for human beings to live alongside poultry, pigs, and other animals as it is for ants to “milk” aphids. This is not an appeal to nature, it is actually evident in our physiology. Homo sapiens evolved from a primarily plant-eating ancestor by consuming meat and animal products, resulting in bigger brains and shorter guts. In fact, our digestive physiology is closer to a pig’s or a dog’s than it is to any herbivore’s.
Veganism has two responses to these facts. The more extreme response is to deny the science. Some vegans will claim that we are physiologically herbivores, and refuse to engage with the plentiful evidence to the contrary. This is simply gross cognitive dissonance.
A less extreme viewpoint will acknowledge our omnivorous history and claim that we are now able to evolve to live without animal flesh and products. This sounds more reasonable, but it is still a dangerous ideology. It is a fact that many people cannot be healthy on a plant-only diet. (Many people in the Ethical Omnivore Movement are recovering vegans and can attest to their own experiences of negative health impact from the diet.)
We are convinced the plant-only diet is also extreme, at least for many people, if not the majority. Apparently, people can feel a sense of euphoria, lightness, and energy in the first few months of the diet. This may be due to the body actually starting to reabsorb the nutrients it needs for organs to function from its own muscle and fat.
Following any extreme diet could actually be considered a kind of eating disorder called orthorexia:the addiction to “correct” eating. Like other eating disorders, it is more attractive to those of us who are vulnerable or insecure. Combine that with an initial high, which disappears after a few months – never to return – and you could have a recipe for disaster.
A bigot maintains that they are right and everybody else that doesn’t agree with their views is wrong. It is essential to any cult.
Bigotry is found everywhere in militant veganism. Followers will proclaim their own rightness as a given and simply write off any alternative view as foolish, uneducated, unevolved, or conspiracy.
There is simply no room or tolerance for facts or beliefs that conflict with veganism’s inherent, inalienable truth, leading to horrendous cognitive dissonance.
Many vegans will argue (wrongly) that it’s possible for everyone to thrive on a plant-based diet, because they have to believe that, and must find a way to invalidate any contradicting evidence. They must believe that “most crops are fed to animals” (false) and that it’s easy to feed the world’s population on a plant-only diet (also wrong).
The more the vegan community repeats these (and many other) falsehoods as factual truth, the more it reinforces its members’ feelings of self-righteousness. They are making a real difference to the environment, to animals, and to their own health, and what’s more, one day everyone could be vegan. It’s the only right way for humanity.
Warped Sense of Reality
With their bigoted mindset and repeated rhetoric that many cult members have no doubt been taught to repeat as “undeniable truths” reveals their warped sense of what is reality with the world, particularly when it concerns animals and the environment.
Vegans strongly believe that they are saving animals by not purchasing anything that has anything to do with an animal, and by advocating that others do the same.
They believe that, by their advocacy and actions, animals will be free to live their lives as they see fit, or to be released back into the wild where they belong. To take this to the extreme, their ultimatum is for animals to “never be born into the cruel and inhumane world” which animals alive currently live in.
In other words, they advocate for the complete extinction of all domesticated animals. This is what is called an abolitionist ideology. And it is a very dangerous ideology to hold for humanity.
What many vegans do not realize is that there are billions of products, from pharmaceuticals to construction materials, that contain animal products of some form, whether it’s leather (skin or hide), bone, gelatin or a hormone derivative. The consequences of advocating for and enacting upon abolishing the use of all form of animal products, not just the eggs, milk, and meat, is that there will be a significant increase in reliance of using petroleum-based products and man-made chemical compounds that need to be created in a factory and/or a laboratory. There are many unintended, unseen consequences to our own bodies, and to the environment that many of us still cannot comprehend that can – and already have – come about as a result of industrial-scale activitites.
Vegans also strongly believe that they are saving the environment with their advocation, boycotting, and buying habits. Many openly believe that crop or plant agriculture is much more environmentally beneficial and sustainable than any form of animal agriculture, including grazing. There is usually no mention about their increased indirect reliance on the fossil fuel industry.
They believe that it is very easy for the crops that go to animals can be fed to humans; they also believe that land that is used for raising animals can be “re-wilded” by completely abandoning it and letting it go back to nature, or simply planting trees.
The bigotry and zombie-like rhetorical thinking about the vegans’ “benefits” to the environment reveals an ugly testament to their lack of awareness of the real world around them. Very, very few understand the damaging effects of tillage, pesticides, and fertilizers from these often-monoculture cropping operations have on the soil and soil biology itself.
Animal agriculture is usually blamed as being the primary cause of such damage. But this merely is a half-truth. Many also don’t realize how unsustainable current crop production practices are, with the need to utilize fossil fuels for everything from building farm equipment, to developing fertilizers. There are still some significant unintended consequences that have not been scientifically studied regarding the use of pesticides, or even the effects of GMO crops, on everything from soil biology to pollinator insects.
Many of these realities, and more, are simply ignored. This is directly linked and sure-fire proof to the vegan movements willingness and deliberate attempts to make itself as pure and holy and right with everything in the world.
(Karin writes…) The ability of the vegan cult to create such a warped sense of the world is primarily due to the background of most of its followers. From the many interactions I’ve had with many vegans, it can be safely estimated that around 99% of all vegans have an urban upbringing. In other words, their interactions with anything related to agriculture and the environment has primarily been through the media (television, newspaper or on-line articles, etc.) or from the safety of the car travelling down the highway.
Their only and closest interactions with animals are only with urban-friendly companion animals, from dogs to gerbils. Perhaps they have a short interaction with a farm animal at a petting zoo, but that type of interaction is a far cry from the kind of relationships farmers have with their animals.
I have known many vegans to be dishonest about their real knowledge and understanding about animals and the natural world around them. This bigotry that is pushed into them naturally also pushes for this level of dishonesty with not only other people, but also themselves.
This is a certain recipe for animosity; and these vegans don’t even have to try to create such tension.
Create an Enemy
Every cult needs an enemy. It has to be “us against the world”. Having an enemy gives you a cause to fight for, and something to fight against.
So vegans have created their own, and have even coined new terms. They call “the world” they’re against speciesism or carnism (more isms).
- Speciesism is the supposed belief system that supports discrimination against animals, giving humans the right to use animals for food, work, and other products. The word is clearly intended to parallel racism. Where racism validated treating people differently (often cruelly) because of their race, speciesism extends the same concept to discrimination on the grounds of species. The argument often follows that, at some point in future, we’ll look back on these times with the same sense of shame that we look back on the history of slavery.
- Carnism is supposedly the mental conditioning that people go through that leaves us believing it’s okay to eat the flesh of other animals. It is set up as the opposite of veganism. The concept of carnism only exists within vegan logic, where it is often presented as the gateway to other forms of discrimination, such as racism and homophobia.
These arguments reveal another insidious mechanism that positions veganism as not just about ecology and animal welfare, but fundamental to any rights movements. Because carnism is presented as the foundational discrimination, the most basic abuse of our minds that opens the door to every other one, proponents can then position veganism as THE single radical solution. So people will say you cannot be a feminist, anti-racist, anti-homophobia, etc. unless you are also vegan.
What is probably most disconcerting about their creation of enemies is that it gives followers leave to carry out real attacks.
Attacks in the Name of Activism
One of the types of people they consider “the world” are those people who actively farm or ranch. They particularly target those farmers and ranchers who own and raise livestock, no matter if they are horses or chickens or cattle. Militant vegan strikes against these farm families often occur on social media platforms, such as Facebook.
The vegan cult of deliberately delivering such animosity towards those individuals or farm pages is most notable when they report back to their secret or closed groups, telling all their cult members about this particular farm or farm page, and then showing up in droves for the sole purpose to post often spiteful, vitriolic and even malicious comments.
Many of these comments will contain death threats, threats to do bodily harm, and other types of harassment and abuse. The purpose behind these attacks is to completely terrify and unnerve the people behind the page. The militant vegan hope is that by carrying out such attacks, the farmer will delete the page (okay), stop farming and go vegan (great), or even commit suicide (often a cause for celebration in the vegan cult).
One of the most insidious behaviours of a cult is victim blaming, which is a common byproduct of any rigid ideology.
This is where people’s issues or struggles are used to disempower them. In religious and political groups, any weakness can be framed as a lack of faith or commitment to the cause.
A common psychological response is for the victim to blame her/himself for what may well be a valid doubt, and to commit to go deeper into the cult, papering over their issues and potentially making their problems worse, even leading to addictions or to violence against the self or others.
I and others have experienced many examples of victim blaming within the vegan community.
Those who report health issues are criticised as, “not doing it right” (because, as everyone knows, a plant-based diet is right for everyone).
People who “lapse” (or whose bodies force them to consume some nutrients they desperately need?) can be shamed or ostracised from their vegan circles.
And anyone who abandons the plant-based lifestyle (usually due to chronic health issues caused by malnutrition) can be excommunicated from the vegan cult. They were obviously “never really a vegan” if they abandoned the faith. I have been told several times, “There is no such thing as an ex-vegan.”
But of course there are. There are a LOT of ex-vegans. In 2014, research by Faunalytics estimated that, while 2 percent of the adult-age U.S. population described themselves as vegetarian or vegan, ten percent were “former vegetarian or vegan”. So it is likely that vegans have a lower than 1/6 probability of sticking with the lifestyle (matching the 86% drop-off rate in the first year).
It is also interesting to note that the analysis includes…
a large majority of former vegetarians/vegans (63%) said that they disliked that their diet made them stick out from the crowd; 41% of current vegetarians/vegans also agree with this statement. Similarly, a majority of former vegetarians/vegans (58%) did not see the diet as part of their identity.
We could speculate from this that veganism may have a stronger long-term appeal to those people who are looking for an identity.
It is not for us to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t eat, or should or shouldn’t be. We offer these thoughts because our personal views is that veganism in many ways shares features with cults, and to encourage anyone involved in it, or considering becoming involved, to make decisions from an evidence-based position.
If you choose to follow a plant-based diet or to exclude all animal products from your life, fair play to you. Our hope is that, whatever choices you make, that you make them with clarity and strength and from your own personal truth, not one that is imposed by anyone else.
This is well informed and well argued without being judgemental. Thanks for publishing it.
Salam. I have followed a vegan diet 6 years. My wife snd son are vegetarians. Everypne healthy. It can work for a lot of people but mot all.
Many vegans are idiots who think not eating meat but replacing it with processed crap is ok. Processed crap is snack not meals lol. Plant based diet should be fruits and veggies fresh or frozen legumes beans lentils greens some corn or snacks. Real food.
I went to an event called veganfest snd the other vegans disliked me because i cook fish for my wife and wouldn’t renounce sacrificing animals at hajj.
Also raw vegan is only good for short periods like 40 to 60 days for detox or weightloss in extreme cases.
What I disagree with vegans, is they encourage their pet animals to change to vegan – and share advice on that – and feel really bad for giving them food that they actually need.
They also say things like, supervise your cat whilst outside, in order to not give them an opportunity to chase and kill mice.
I don’t like that, it’s kinda pushing your morals, your choices onto an animal whose will be to have the best diet suitable to their needs, and also, I’m really against people keeping their cats indoors all the time, so not keen on cats being supervised outside either.
Pets I don’t have a problem with, as most have a very luxurious life without much stress, dogs get a warm home with central heating (I live in the UK and we have to keep our houses warm year round!) don’t need to go hungry and get constant belly rubs, and some dogs get worshipped by their owners and they love it (well my mum’s dog does anyway).
But I’m really opposed to forcing our diets onto them, and really opposed against not letting cats do what is natural to them.
Nature is nature, and we have to allow animals to hunt and kill as they wish, because if we try to prevent that, are we not infringing on their rights – as the abolitionist approach is supposed to be about (animals have rights).
I see to that the wild hedghogs that come to visit my garden each night get fed on dog meat and cat biscuits, but they have a predator fox also, and it bothers me, but what can I do? I’m not gonna enclose them in my garden and force them to have a miserable life, or give them food that will shorten their lives, forcing them to become vegan.
I have found, the best part of the year for a hedgehog is spring and summer, as they will spend all night exploring (I’m not gonna take that away from them). It puts them at greater risk of death, but an even greater risk is them suffering from boredom.
So that’s why I think it’s bad advice for vegans to encourage each other to stop their cat, or restrict what it does when it goes outside. That’s just too oppressive.
I’ve experienced vegan extremism, Ben.
To a vegan: ‘It may be that you’re sacrificing both your health & the environment, while promoting the extinction of farm animals’.
Reply: ‘oh lord, you should have come out with the fact that you are anti science right off the bat. I wouldn’t have wasted my time debating’.
My “anti-science” background is that of a qualified physics teacher.
Thanks for sharing Ed.
Ed, I have the same experience today on Twitter! A famous Brazilian vegan posted a joke about a professor from Spain that was talking about our system not being like the herbivores’ one and all the followeres (the flock!) also scorning the Spanish doctor. And so I have asked some questions … and no answer. I insisted and he had no scientifc answer. I insisted again and he said “better discuss inbox, it is too long to talk here”. I said: “make a thread”. No way. Then he told I was toxic and another vegan that I was intolerable. He told me I was throwing stones on him and I only answere: they were not stones, they were questions. They hate good questions and the way they are using, at least in Brazil in the social media, is to print our comment and publish again in order that their followers came to “cancel” us. Really sad.
In Brazil the movement is really a sect and the worst is to see all that young people being brainswashed. Famous and very rich artists and youtubers show they new diet (supplemented by all kinds of pill and a cook and a dieticien 24-hours-7-days-a-week behind then) and low middle class following then without the same resources to eat correctly. I guess the fact that Brazil is one of the biggest animal protein on Earth – and I don’t agree with the way the ranchers are doing it, for sure – is not helping.
Thanks for your comment, it makes me realize I’m not alone in dealing with this new sect. By the way, I’m an engineer, food engineer, with a good background in nutrition and studying food antropology and sociology for quite some time.
Sandra, this is very interesting to take the approach from food anthropology this is my passion! And as I have studied Somatic Experiencing (quite known in Brazil as the founder Peter Levine went a lot to Brazil) and Transformational Social Therapy, it is very interresting to add facts from how works the ANS. Veganism is for me a form of PTSD…
I am pushing 60 and have followed a vegetarian, vegan, and flextarian diet most of my adult life. Presently, I am quite ill. I developed such severe iron deficiency anemia from my diet, which really was mostly vegan, that I have developed polyneuropathy. I am a foodie and ate all the healthy and iron rich vegan food items, cooked from scratch (no vegan junk food for me) and I cannot believe I have placed my body into such a precarious state. I do not know if I have permanent damage to my nerves….I am fearful I will not recover. My entire body burns with this neuropathy and my Ferritin level was a 6 when a low normal range is 30. Watch your iron if you follow this diet. If your yearly CBC levels are flagged, insist on further testing. Do not end up like me.
Thank you for this article. I have multiple people in my family that became vegan 3 years ago, and a lot of your article describes what we are dealing with. The saddest thing is that they won’t even have family Thanksgiving anymore, they have their own vegan Thanksgiving. 🙁
What strikes me is that the “Whole Food Plant Based ” doctors use so much epidemiology to prove their arguments and sometimes say the opposite of what low carbohydrate doctors say. They say they “own” the science. How unscientific is that! Science is not about consensus. It has never been that way.
It really frightened me that these American doctors have the nerve of criticizing our authorities on the opinion on healthy food for baby’s in our country (Belgium). Their influence is so far reaching and they have such a big fan club. They are considered to be “hero’s”.
To me no doctor should be honored that much. Science is all about being open-minded and skeptical which they are not at all. So many lies circulate about food : e.g. we all need 30 grams of fiber per day. Where does such nonsense come from? To me a diet is something individual. I read a lot of books on health and foods because it is interesting especially if you want to restore your health. I think there is more than one way to do it. I think it is criminal though what young parents do to their children in the name of “the science”. How about responsible parenting? I have to agree that most vegans are living in cities and are alienated from agriculture. This is sad because their ancestors were surely farmers. In Belgium we do not have these large feedlots and most cows are pastured in summer. But it strikes me and is heartbreaking that the hard core vegan activists always attack small farmers, not the really large factories. They commit crimes , violate properties and the police are watching doing nothing.
Thank you for this thoughtful take on veganism. My opinion is absolutely the same. I will include a link to this excellent article in my post to come.
THIS IS A GREAT ARTICLE. VEGANISM IS A CULT. IT IS DANGEROUS TO MENTAL HEALTH and so on. I have known this for years.
Sigh… I just had a conversation with one of “those kinds of vegans”. It all started with me commenting that “eating food is not killing animals, that’s slippery slope fallacy”. This girl (I don’t know her personally) brought up “supply and demand”, and I said, “I see where you’re going… but economics doesn’t work like that”. I say this because I grew up in mainland China, and let me tell you the Chinese will eat ANYTHING to survive, and most of them can’t imagine the cushy lifestyle in the west. As soon as she started talking about how the human body was not built to eat meat I knew where her mindset was at: she will stop at nothing to make everyone vegan, even if it means classifying humans as herbivores. Eating a plant-based diet is great for some but not all, depends on the individual.
The human body was built for us to be able to hunt, as that was what we were in early civilisations, and statements such as ‘how the human body was not built to eat meat’, is a bit naive.
I enjoyed reading the book by Yuval Noah Harari, ‘Sapiens’. Who is actually a vegan. But he is realistic, he said that when the agricultural revolution came in and many in the middle east was harvesting wheat, people would be bent over all day, every day, and it wasn’t good for us. It’s unnatural for us to be over a desk all day on our laptops too.
He did say, evidence found by bones, that people were dying younger in the agricultural revolution, as there diet was many wheat, that the early hunter gatherers died later on with healthier bones. But he said the hunter gatherers would have access to range of food, not just meat. (I have to be honest, but an abolitionist vegan would comment on that fact I’m sure.) However, it might be due to meat consumption in the early days which helped us to survive especially in cold climates (as we explored America from the top to bottom, Sapiens did, rather than from bottom to top – and they have found this out due to extinction of certain animals – so yes we created mass extinctions whenever we found new land, and their bones, and the age of the bones.) For the early sapien, it would have taken them quite some time to get from the Arctic to the the bottom of America, so we only managed that, due to meat and fish. As we know, it’s not possible for plant life to grow when the ground is thick with snow.)
But nowadays, we can make choices of what we choose to eat, if there is plenty of different food about (not in all places in the world),
Wow, Karin…I stumbled across this article by chance, and I must say that I admire your effort. Just by reading the argument from both sides exhausted me, typing them must be even more. Thanks for sharing. I have several people who are vegans, but they leave me alone. I only attack the militant ones, and they have a hard time defending those people, so they have to tolerate me.
Im impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog thats both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the net.
I am going to highly recommend this web site!
Bless your heart! Your comment made my day! ~Lana Joe Salant (EOM Founder)
Hi Karin, You really. do seem to know your stuff, I am loving your very detailed responses. I am presently writing a paper on this very subject (showing that veganism is definitely not going to save the world), and would love to use your piece about methane – do you have any documents to bag,k this up?
Thanks for your comments! The best place to look for such sources is from this blog post that I wrote that contains various sources for you to use, when you scroll right to the bottom. https://www.ethicalomnivore.org/dear-fcrn-no-were-not-confused-about-grazing/
Hope this helps,
I would like to add more points in your comments veganism is ethinocentric and disrespectful to other cultures, a new form of colonialism. I see that many of you guys are from America or Canada, maybe these people are common where you live but they are almost non-existent in other areas, my country for example. Here it’s seen as a “elitist trend” .They are not conquering the world as they say. There’s no such debates and concernings beyond their progressist bubble and you can find in Latin America many ecological agriculture production projects, including cattles with planted forests and similar stuff.
So veganism is pure bull*t that can’t be applied in the real world. It’s not difficult to see it when you are not in areas where the vegans are concentrated.
I can write more (with better grammar, now I am in a hurry) to contribute with the site if you adms wish.
Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to get a different perspective from a different part of the world. You’re right, most of the vegan concentration is in the “first world” countries, primarily USA, Canada, parts of Europe (Germany, U.K., Ireland, Sweden, and Spain for example), Australia, and New Zealand, and most certainly is a form of neo-colonism. I’m also glad to hear that at least for your part of the world, they’re seen as to have very little to no influence. Unfortunately for where I am, their the squeaky mouse that’s getting too much cheese, metaphorically speaking; too much attention than they deserve to have. Fortunately people get people like us who are willing to fight back and show the world that veganism is, as you say, pure bullshit that is impractical in its worldly (environmentally, human health, animal welfare, food sovereignty) applications.
As an admin I have the ability to edit your comment to be better grammatically than you first wrote. I hope you don’t mind.
Karin Lindqvist – fantastic!!
I try to be an ethical omnivore, to the point I don’t buy eggs anymore: having your own chickens really pays for itself in terms of money and the quality of the eggs. But these militant vegans make me want to eat a tortured dolphin! They are so militant and dogmatic in this moral argument of killing. You don’t see their outrage when a tiger or a shark eats a human! Or when a human tortures an orange tree picking off an orange. Or murdering potatos and onions by pulling them out of the ground! If they want a vegan utopia, why don’t they start convincing carnivores (including dogs and cats) to stop eating human flesh? Humans are omnivores, that is a fact. You vegans resort to things like supplements, and things made from soy and other crap that tastes terrible to get your health up to par. You don’t see many vegan athletes out there. The only athlete I remember being vegan was fake WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan. Wrestling is not even a real sport and even he gave up the vegan diet because he wasn’t getting what he needed out of that soy garbage.
That was sooo informative Karin thanks! And this is a really good article. It’s well written and unbiased 🙂
Thank you very much Storm! 😀
We really need to push more the soil, and how grazing animals are part of the climate solution, not the problem. So if you are vegan for climate reasons that is not the way to go! Walter Jehne says it all when he discusses this, saying that we need to encourage the soil sponge, using animals regeneratively, so that fungi are enouraged, and roots grow deeper to absorb more water, rather than run off. Carbon is sequestered this way, and if the temperature of the soil is lowered then we can cool the blue planet, which is far more important tnan just cutting carbon! We have to get back to rebuild balance of fire versus fungi. We are now at the razor’s edge in terms of survival. Walter says we have five years to do it, but its not difficult.. Have to use all the tools available and that must include grazing animals, which also feed us.
It was a lightbulb moment when I was part of Walter’s webinar recently, and that is despite the fact that I am already writing a book of stories of my journey round the world looking at farmers who use holistic management, ie animals moved before overgrazing, to heal the soil, and the planet! Its cooling the oceans that we should be focusing on. And yes to do that we need livestock for the soil!.
When it comes to ethics about eating meat, I look to indigenous people, and the spiritual connection they have with the animals they depend on for survival, and the gratitude they express. A long way from where we are, sadly.
As Someone who largely falls into the Biocentrist camp and not a Vegan, I would say that all of the above comments are of little value unless you can halt carbon emissions and dramatically reduce the population i.e. one child policy worldwide, it won’t make much difference which diet you follow, life beyond the end of this century in its current form is highly unlikely. If the human race were able to get its act together and achieve these two aims agriculture would have to be broadly as follows. Removal of CAFOS system and supplementary feeds (except bi-products of human foods), an assessment of each area of land as to its suitability (livestock or crop) and as the population begins to reduce, a return to mixed organic farming. In the interim, with the removal of CAFOS there is going to need to be a greater reliance on plant protein. This is not victory for Vegans rather a sad reflection on the greed of the human race and their inability to control their populations. If you break the laws of nature you pay the price.
I wonder why you guys waste so much time with those idiots. veganism is pure bullshit. Every native comunity all over the world,native americans,samis,inuits,etc all them hunt and fish,without destroying Nature. None of them promotes animal abuse. Why the hell those morons think there´s a link between eat meat and animal abuse?
In AMAZONIA here,place that those monrons love to say they “want to save”, ALL INDIGENOUS ARE ONIVOROUS. and use animal feathers as decoration. I wonder how those idiots would deal with it. Besides I wonder what authority vegans have to travel to other countries saying what people should eat or not. Not even in India this insanity exists,on the contrary: the ayruvetic medice does recommends you meat if you need so for your health.
So as you can ssee,they are only acultured idiotic cult members as many said here, an ethnocentric bullshit as i read somewhere. It might be a serious problem in Canada for you guys to create a page like that. Don´t worry,they are only strong n the Frist World,i think…nobody takes them seriously out there.
excellent article with a very complete summary of vegan movement.
I would add a economical aspect of it.
There are a lot of vegan promoters who use veganism as a form of good income. They sell some very expensive “organic” vegan supplements, various beauty products “not tested on animals”, various “vegan burgers” and promotion of “exclusive” vegan restaurants.
It’s a huge business which basically misleads brainwashed customers into thinking how they are noble rescuers of the world and also doing the healthiest decision ever by purchasing their products or use their service.
Excellent article Karin, the best one on the vegan cult I’ve ever read.
It’s a movement pushed by the anti-human agenda, the United Nations agenda 21 and agenda 2030. It’s all part of the population reduction plan, which is ludicrous to even consider. All the people on earth can fit into the state of Arizona, everyone standing in their own square yard. We are not over populated at all.
People starving has more to do with political and economic inequality rather than overpopulation. Large cities are overcrowded for sure, but there are still vast spaces unoccupied by any human.
Veganism is a part of the cult that hates humanity; it’s anti human specie in general. That’s the main thing wrong with it, it promotes annihilation of our species. Makes one wonder who and what the rulers of earth really are since they hate humanity so much.
The ignorant and uneducated look at the commercialization and mass production of food and see something wrong. They blame humanity rather than looking at the ones at the top, the mega corporations that produce food in very toxic ways yet fail to see their own complicity by participating in the system. Those urban vegans who have never lifted a finger to produce their own food. I find them to be the useful idiots of those that wish us harm.
I want to propose we fight to promote a better system, one that has built in self sufficiency and sustainability. Why not have a garden out back or mixed in with the shrubbery? Edible and sustainable landscaping? I have started doing this and it’s amazing what the earth can produce, it’s beautiful too 🙂
Build houses and public spaces in harmony with the earth. Homes with thick walls, straw bale insulation, built with adobe brick or natural earth make sense. They’re easy to heat and cool. You’re basically building a cave which will maintain a pleasant 70 degrees year round. If I were younger, I’d do this.
Electricity and power should come from everyone’s solar panels And batteries in their own home? Why should power come from a company? And why not hydrogen fuel cells for cars, (oops, we have a petro dollar) Aaah, but there’s no profit in that!
I think it comes down to the individual to push back against these agendas and choose to live differently. And educate others as well.
Hi Lisa, I agree with you about your suggestions about sustainability, and perhaps in the future.
Thing is, the reasons why haven’t done this and no where near is because of greed. Someone said to me, when I couldn’t understand why we are a long way of from the obvious, I asked a Green Party councillor – his reply was quite simply, ‘if there is money underground, they want it out (i.e. oil),’
so whether it’s the UK leaders pacifying oil rich countries, i.e. Saudi to avoid a war, in which we know the Saudi Royal family are complete monsters (I don’t like using the word Saudi’s as it’s not fair on their citizens), or it’s the greed for all the big corporations such as Esso and all the energy companies.
One positive note Drax, a big UK power station, is going green completely soon. So that at least is one small step in the positive direction. will be fuelled by wood (so still problematic), and will use carbon capture and storage. I think they will be planting trees.
Is it actually true that we would all fit in Arizona, I’ll have to investigate that myself. I personally do think we are at risk of becoming over populated, if you compare to how many of us are now since the industrial Revelation, and as we keep going as we are, we are in trouble, things do radically need to change at some point.
I have no problem with veganism, its the Gary Franciphone abolitionist approach which is the problem. It’s a fundamentalist small group, who seem to appear bigger than they are, as most are only in the cliche temporarily before they wake up or get bullied out by shame and ridicule.
Gary Franciphone himself, only came up with the approach, as he’s a professor, and of course, he will have the inspiration to say something different that no one has said before, but he criticises anyone who says something different, so that’s every organisation and other scholar who takes about veganism or animal welfare. Given that no one else can say the same as he can, due to copyright, and no other scholar probably want to anyway, plus most organisations involved with animals are concerned about their welfare.
If you are only concerned with welfare, and not abolishing of using animals, that, in his view, you are not vegan. So you cannot stop eating meat and dairy, and avoid use of anything to do with animal products, but donate a small amount of cash to an animal shelter, then that is fundamentally wrong, as that animal shelter is not campaigning for abolishing the use of animals. So that’s why it’s very extreme.
GF doesn’t really go on the net commenting and arguing his point, as he is a professor, so he will spend his time in lectures, and conferences I imagine. As far as I am aware, he doesn;t affiliate himself with any of his supporters, nor does he monitor how they enforce his abolitionist rules on others. So he doesn’t take accountability for it.
I cannot really comment on GF and who he might be as a person, as there must be some good about him as he has got as far as he has in the academic world. (but I know that isn’t a guarantee, that might be naivety on my part, but I like to give people a chance).
However, there are a very small number of abolitionists who are very bullying to other unsuspecting abolitionists, and I don’t think how they operate is to encourage others to become vegan, rather it used as a platform to shame emphatic and caring individuals, just trying to be better vegans, into feeling terrible about themselves, which results in them departing from the group.
I feel it has attracted, because it is a fundamentalist ideology, people who are very assertive and have a superiority complex, and anyone who can be belittled easy, and shows actual empathy and compassion get bullied away. They cannot win in their arguments, and usually it will be a minor thing, such as donating a small amount of cash to a rescue centre.
In reality, I met one of these abolitionist bullies, and I don’t even think he is a vegetarian, and has a complete contempt for everyone unless you are stroking his ego.
So at the end of the day, I do think GF had some valid points, but the rules don’t give anyone any leeway, and therefore it is fundamentalist, and it attracts people who eventually turn into a victim, and people enforcing his ideology which are pretty abusive, given what I’ve read on the internet.
“You cannot be a feminist if you are not vegan”
No, Natalie, NOOOOOOO!!!! Don’t become one of them too!!! Also, you went to an ivy league, so you should be smart enough to know that veg[etari]anism still involves killing a lot of animals anyway!!!
Hey, regarding all the nutrients that you mentioned under the “Risk of Nutrient Deficiencies” section, we do know that all of these nutrients (in addition to protein as well) are found a LOT more commonly in animal-based foods compared to plant-based foods. And we do know that cholesterol and heme-iron are pretty much exclusive to animal-based foods completely.
But just curious – are these nutrients commonly found in animal-based foods, when the animals themselves are wild-caught (as opposed to farm-raised)? If so, then obviously it’s more justifiable for people to eat animal-based foods. I’m just asking to make sure though!
Disclaimer: I’m a vegetarian myself, but I figured I might as well ask this anyway.
Actually, you can disregard my comment above. I eventually realized that it doesn’t matter whether the animal is farm-raised or wild-hunted/wild-caught. The nutrients in the animal’s carcass or secretions still remain the same. And I do know that an animal doesn’t necessarily have to eat plants that are high in Vitamin B-12 for example, to have a lot of edible flesh or byproducts that are high in Vitamin B-12 as well.
I am an ethical vegan. Yet I found your article very absorbing and interesting.
However, to each his own. Like you rightly said, every one should make their food choices with full clarity and of their own volition.
I do agree, I am vegetarian, but I will not force any one to eat anything, or hate anyone for eating what they do.
I hope you are a vegetarian that turns their back on all forms of Industrial Agriculture like we Ethical Omnivores do
I am a flexitarian, I have roast dinner on a Sunday with my family. I have found that my body suits the flexatarian diet, as I had a blood test (unrelated to my diet) and the nurse said ‘whatever you are doing now don’t change it.’
So I think, different people, need different balances of foods, so I don’t like to be judgemental about people’s choices.
However, I knew some abolotionist vegans (I feel this article was correct, but I felt that the militant, vegans are coming from the abolotionist ideology created by a Professor called Gary Franceophone.
Before this, people were allowed to call themselves vegans, if they quit dairy alongside meat. Now due to this cult of the abolotionists, which is a fundamentalist group, with very strict adherence to rules and if someone falls slightly short (and this will be a minor ‘fault’ such as you aren’t allowed to donate a little bit of money to say a hedeghog rescue centre, because the centre gives them dog meat and cat biscuits, whilst in their care). So, in this cult, even if you don’t eat meat nor dairy, all the members gang up on you online, to explain why you are not a vegan, and call you a welfarist.
Being concerned and supporting the welfare of animals makes you a non-vegan, in the eyes of an abolitionist. They also get angry with people who say ‘I am vegan because I love animals’, they will say that you don’t need to love or even like animals, and that animal rights is a moral baseline. Therefore you cannot be a real vegan (abolitionist) if you are only doing it out of love. The explanation they give is that you don’t have to love people to abolish slavery.
So as you can see, it is extreme black and white thinking with no grey areas.
So, the only disagreement I have with this article is implying that all vegans are part of this cult. However, most vegans do not belong to this cult, but it’s just that this cult refuses to acknowledge anyone outside of their cult vegan, unless you do and say whatever the rules are.
Gary Francophone is a professor who created this ideology. There are many criticisms about him in the vegan community (which abolotionists called welfarists, denying them the right to call themselves vegans).
Prof Francophone provided the rules, however, its the abolotionists online that enforce them, provide the intellectual arguments that are based around comparing murderers or rapists to vegetarians who drink milk. They back up everything they say by quoting only one person, and that is prof F (from now on I’m going to only use his initials GF, as the abolotionists don’t like it if you refer him to Gary, (people have been viciously attacked online for doing this – and I’m too lazy to keep typing Francophone (as I cannot be bothered to spell it correctly anyway).
Yeah I agree, it is a cult. However, the slight difference is that GF is probably not exploiting people for money or sex, as he will earn enough as a professor I guess. I just think he’s got enough supporters (which are dwindling in number), to carry out their attacks online.
GF’s slogan is ‘make the world vegan if you want it’. But in reality this cult is there to belittle and shame people, and will not accept any other scholar, or organisation concerning animals, as basically no other scholar or organisation is as fundamentalist as GF – and therefore that makes them welfarists, which is a no-no by GF.
So Veganary is immoral by this group, and they say this is like asking rapists to stop raping, and given them a personal choice to do so. Which is complete rubbish as rape is illegal, and if you get caught you go to prison. Whereas eating meat and consuming dairy is not illegal, so we can have the personal choice to choose vegan.
So basically, anything, any campaign or organisation that GF hasn’t created himself, is to be ignored and ridiculed by his fellow abolitionists (have you noticed that I’m now calling vegans ‘abolitionists’, if they are not abolitionists but don’t eat meat or dairy, I call them ‘well-meaning vegans’ which of course is not allowed by the abolitionists.
The issue I have hear, is that young impressionable people are more likely to get involved with abolitionism, and most probably leave in a flood of tears. There have been comments on ‘well-meaning vegans’ websites of people’s experiences such as ‘cold and calculating’, ‘I was in tears for hours and hours’ ‘narcissistic’, etc.
So yes, this is how people get treated if there opinion slightly differs (only slightly such as ‘I donate to a rescue centre’, or ‘I have a pet cat’. or ‘I give the wild hedgehogs dog meat’.
Basically, in reality, I have met few abolitionists, one was a ‘well-meaning vegan’ and didn’t last too long but is still a vegan. And the others are very very cold and calculating people in real life, highly manipulative, not quite sure if one them is even a vegetarian, but they enjoy very much, feel very smug and ensures their superiority complex is fed, by attacking and belitting almost everyone who comes on their websites, and it’s usually very emphatic people, very compassionate, that these few people have an intense hatred for and will do their utmost to take that person down.
The thing is campaiging against eating animals and dairy attacts people that are actually compassionate and emphatic, but a cult such as this one, attracts very complex characters who have no desire, whatsoever, to ‘make the world vegan.’
Veganism itself is not the problem I feel, it’s this fundamentalist cult and the personality types it attracts, due to it’s fundamentalism. They are not bothered about the cause, it’s the fundamentalism that they like.
And yeah, that’s the dangerous part of it, and young impressionable people don’t catch on to that until they are reduced to tears by the group in which they felt they belong to and gave them an identity. It’s really really bad, so bad, that I’ve felt the need to contact the police on a couple of occasions, so I hope someone somewhere is monitoring it.
This exactly how terrorist groups begin and form.
What’s legal or normal doesn’t necessarily make something moral, it’s was on legal to own slaves, currently still legal to treat women poorly in the middle east and also slaughter dolphins in japan.
Vegans just want a world where we aren’t unnecessarily torturing and killing animals for food or any other purpose when we have other sustainable alternatives, it’s been proven that we can survive off a well planned vegan diet, I agree there are some cases that does not apply but if you can go vegan then it’s a moral imperative to do so, all vegans do is align our morals that we already believe in (animal abuse is wrong) and our actions
We’re far from ‘anti-human’ since we are promoting peace and compassion around the world, of course I condeme violence to anyone no matter who it is.
If I killed as many animals and destroyed as much of the environment as vegans do by way of their total reliance on Industrial monoculture I would have the decency to feel shame. Do you as I do only eat locally, seasonally and regeneratively? When you do (impossible as a vegan by the way) let me know.
The problem with Gary Francophone’s ideology is that it is racist as one, it hasn’t got the permission from the black community to use the abolitionist theory, 2. he hasn’t asked if it was ok with other cultures that see meat eating as spiritual, nor has he asked if it is ok with people who realy on catching wild animals for food due to poverty. Two he has created his own word for racism, which is deeply offensive towards people that have experienced racism, as you cannot hurt the feelings of a bird if you rescue an injured hedgehog/
I cannot believe this man is a professor. Plus if you are a vegan, you are not allowed to support anyone else but Gary – making him God like with his followers.
I know Lincoln uni has got rid of him, hopefully Rutgers will wake up soon too.
Pretty much EVERYBODY in the “ethical omnivore” community knows who Gary Francione is. (I figured that you probably kept calling him “Gary Franciphone” on purpose, haha.) Another relatively famous abolitionist vegan is Edward “Earthling Ed” Winters. In fact, I do look forward to the day that EOM finally writes an amazing rebuttal to the following long sham of an article written by him:
Hell, even Tobias Leeanert openly criticizes Gary Francione as well. Of course, I’ve never actually read Leeanert’s “How to Create a Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach” book myself, but I have heard that it’s similar to ethical omnivorism. (Don’t quote me on this though, of course.) From what I remember, Leeanert’s view of a “vegan world” is NOT everybody on this entire planet permanently adopting a plant-based diet, but simply causing minimal harm to animals, the environment, and human health – which of course, can only be done if people significantly REDUCE their current consumption of animal products, compared to today. Yes, the factory farming of livestock particularly is horrid; it is our biggest food source of animal cruelty, environmental damage, and human employee safety problems. Also, over-hunting and over-fishing is bad too, because that can lead to species extinction. However, local/sustainable/pasture-raised livestock farming is generally fine, because it’s better for livestock animals to have GOOD lives and deaths (especially compared to their wild counterparts who have worse lives and deaths) instead of having no lives at all. Similarly, hunting and fishing in moderation is good, because it can help to prevent wildlife overpopulation.
Plus, while it IS true that the majority of people can live at least RELATIVELY healthily on a well-managed vegan diet, the only people who have the healthiest lives PERIOD are those who eat their fair share of both plant products and animal products as well. Even so, there are still quite a few people out there who cannot even SURVIVE on a vegan diet, no matter what – either because they a) suffer from a natural bodily deficiency of nutrients that appear much more frequently in animal products, b) have a severe allergy to certain plant products, or c) live in geographical regions with a lot more available fauna than flora. (Obviously, “c” here particularly refers to tribes like the Inuits for example, who have limited access to crops and instead feed primarily on wild, grass-eating fauna.) I still remember when former EOM author Ben Hunt documented this list of ex-vegans as well:
^^^ The Psychology Today article titled “84% of Vegetarians and Vegans Return to Meat. Why?” written by Hal Herzog particularly, is pretty famous too. His end conclusion is right though: Animal rights activists should be more focused on convincing us as a society to REDUCE our current consumption of animal products, instead of insisting that we should all permanently stop eating them all together. Also, both Tobias Leeanert and Hal Herzog do share one common philosophy – which is that people in general, are MUCH more likely to adopt a plant-based diet if they take baby steps to get there AND if they are NICELY encouraged by people to eat more plant-based foods, than if they are BULLIED by people to PERMANENTLY adopt a plant-based diet.
And yes, I am very well aware that the most-harm vegan diet (industrial arable crop harvest to feed humans) ironically does a lot more damage to animals and the environment, compared to the lowest-harm animal diet (local/sustainable/pasture-raised livestock farming, or hunting and fishing IN MODERATION). The problem of though, is that the most-harm vegan diet comprises the majority of all vegan foods, and the lowest-harm animal diet only comprises a small fraction of all non-vegan foods. So sadly, even if being a “locavore” is a THEORETICAL replacement for being a vegan, it is certainly not a practical replacement for being one…
Thanks for posting this!
I was looking for a group like this and finally today I have found you. I’m from Brazil and the vegan movement there is one of the strongest nowadays.
What I realized is that they don’t like – actually they hate – good questions that need a real scientifc background. They don’t have the answers and so they attack. In Brazil the technique is to try “to cancel” (linching on the social medias) the ones to dare to question then. But the worst is to see a lot of people earning money with this and nourishing their egoes and hatred. Today one vegean said to make that I was a “good person doing really bad things” in a moralistic and patternalist way that was almost unbelievable.
Thanks again for the group and letting me be part of it. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot with you all.
I have been called morally inferior by vegans before. It was because I complained that “most” vegans only go off of emotion and not logic (i.e. actual scientific fact and data).
The problem with veganism was co-created by Peter Singer and Gary Francophone. Both are very extremist in their demeanor. Both are fundamentalist atheists and both are racists. So, for me there’s no surprise where the cult-ish part of veganism does come from.
Remember that fundamentalists atheists hate the S-word (Scientism), as they think that anybody who uses this word is like removing some sense of authority from them, and they, like any other fundamentalist person,
–whether is metaphysical positions (yeah, atheism is a metaphysical position and fundamentalist vegans deal with such positions constantly in very stupid ways, and don’t even get me started with fundamentalists from agnostic and religious bent either), diets, political orientation, etc.– just love their comfort zones with huge doses of groupthink. Let the human herds be, they may be really dangerous in person and not different than a mafia mob.
Thank you for this article….many articles on the Internet do not talk about these negative aspects of plant-based agriculturally farming.
Thank you so much for spreading the truth. I unfortunately got into this cult and while at first I felt great, the more I tried my best, the more vegans got angry and rude. Even dead threated me in many occasion. That started to feel like a cult to me, like religion. I felt a bit bad quitting veganism but I followed what my body needed. I made my own research, I now eat locally , organic and the most sustainable way possible.
I understand some of these points made and a lot of vegans will come across as rude and bigoted but with regards to the fertilisers for crops it shows you do not actually know too much about fertilisers and how soil ecosystems work. A documentary called kiss the ground does good in explaining how we don’t need to use all of these harmful fertilisers and harmful chemicals if we had a different approach. We have actually turned a third of the worlds land into dessert like land due to most farmers not understanding how to keep their land soil ecosystems thriving, and it then turns to dirt as the bacteria die, and then they need a shit tonne of fertiliser and the process continues needing more and more everytime, so consider this when referring to fertilising of crops.
Also how can people really think that animal farming for a population of 7 billion humans going onto 10 billion will be “sustainable” do people even realise how many animals are in production around the globe and its constantly increasing due ever increasing demand as the population grows which is causing mass deforestation in areas such as the amazon. We have more animals in production than humans on the planet which need food, water, land or shelter. Also the more sustainable models of animal farming are the factory farming, putting more and more animals into smaller spaces and making the process much more efficient so it seems although when people say they choose sustainable they mean they choose more factory farming. Also the increase in factory farming leads to an increase in diseases such as mad cow disease, swine flue, ebola and corona. The more animals put together in cramped conditions the more diseases and then some transfer to humans, then antibiotics are used so they end up in your food, either way its not good. So as much as some vegans seem very naive and uneducated I guess they are the equivalent of the uneducated omnivores that want to justify stuffing their face with all their pasture fed, organic sustainable animal products that make up less than 3% of production and would never have enough land on this earth for all animals to be raised like this, so it just not logical.
Regenerative animal and crop agriculture is not only sustainable it’s all that will save us. Veganism is a meaningless word
I am going vegan until the farming industry becomes less wasteful and starts treating animals humanely. I understand that animal products can be better for the environment (if they don’t have chemical treatment, which is rare in this day and age) and I grew up in a rural environment so I understand that animals are an important part of agriculture. I just do not like the cramped living conditions, animal abuse, brutal killings ect. that take place in factory farms or even large scale farms. Its obviously bad for the animals, its wasteful (many animals die before they even make it to the slaughter house), and its terrible for the environment because the animal waste is not used to fertilize the soil. Farm animals can be great for the soil, but when they are in cramped conditions, their waste destroys water systems. I don’t want a farm animal genocide, I just want to stop animals from being abused and tortured.
Also, I think that it is good that some people are choosing to be vegan because many people eat more than their fair share of meat and animal products. The Mediterranean diet, which has been found to have many health benefits, only recommends eating meat 3 to 4 times a week. There are too many people who consistently eat meat multiple times a day. If all people ate meat in moderation, and if farms treated their animals properly maybe we wouldn’t need a vegan movement.
As an ethical omnivore, I really hope that you are not eating meat more than 3 to 4 times a week. I also hope that you are avoiding indirectly supporting factory farms by checking where your meat came from or buying locally from family farms. If you have already taken these steps, in my mind, we are equals. Thank you for your help in creating a better world!
Also, the type of vegans that you are criticizing are extremists. They are an outspoken minority. Most vegan people are not like this, you probably formed this stereotype because the people who are advertising their vegan status the most are probably really polarized and have the most extreme mindsets and actions. This is an extreme example but this article is kind of comparable to racist people being wary of all Muslim people because some people who happen to be Muslim are terrorists. Muslum people hate terrorists just as much as anyone else. I think it is extreme to force veganism onto pets. I am all about giving animals dignity (like almost all vegans) and forcing a carnivore to be a vegetarian is not in line with that, so I am guessing this practice annoys the hell out of most vegans just the same as it annoys you. Please don’t stereotype all vegans based on the very vocal and misguided MINORITY.
So going vegan and supporting monoculture, jet fuel, third world poverty and child labour is a good choice compared to being an Ethical Omnivore and supporting Local, Season and regenerative agriculture, all while destroying your body on a dangerously inferior diet sounds like a good plan to you? Have fun. See us when you actually figure things out.
Actually, I don’t disagree with Emma’s views, for the most part. In both an ethical and environmental perspective, even the worst type of veganic farming is still better than factory farmed animal products (which comprises like 90% of all modern-day animal ag, especially in the Western hemisphere). Is a vegan diet the 100% healthiest diet? Of course not, but I know many people who can still survive on it. I agree that it’s middle-class arrogance to say that EVERYBODY can survive on a vegan diet, but that’s not what Emma is arguing.
I thought the whole point of this website was to criticize “militant/extremist/fundamentalist vegans” particularly, rather than to simply chastise people for their dietary choices, you know? Also, my other LONG comment to this article (from 08/28/2020) in response to Cautious’s post above it, speaks for itself tbh.
“(Karin writes…) ” Karin is nothing more then stuck up, selfish piece of trash that isn’t worth a thing.
Old hag with head in her ass. Ass that should be kicked back to deepest pits of hell.
Your not “farmer” karin, your nothing more then self-absorbed bitch who abuses animals for profit.
You and that kinky stuck up barbie named Lana.
Truth is truth, you can say whatever you want but people like you are worst kind of trash on our planet. Even worse then these who rape and do worst possible crimes.
“Bad ass bitch” no love, your not any of it. Far from it.
I feel sad for your family that has to be related to you.
LOL we seem to rent a lot of space in your empty head and soul for absolutely free. Why do you call everyone stuck up? That’s something a social outcast would say.
Wow this article is eye opening. I suffer from IBD and have been vegan for 10 years. A few months ago I became really ill I went to see my doctor. I had no idea why I was the way I am. My doctor said I was very malnourished and weak. A few weeks later I had an appointment with another doctor. He told me I was anemic and very weak and I could die if I don’t start eating a balanced diet that included meat. He told me that the human body wasn’t designed to digest vegetables every day and that’s why eating vegetables every day and only vegetables probably caused me to develop IBD. He asked me why I am vegan. I told him I became vegan for moral reasons and he told me that what you eat doesn’t make you good or bad person. Eating food nourishes you, how you act with people everyday determines if you’re a moral person.
After I left the doctors office I was very angry with him. I couldn’t believe he told me to start eating meat and said all those things.
But coming out of this I realized that veganism is a cult. I realized if I did not start eating meat that I would die. I was that radical vegan that at one point would only want to marry someone who was completely vegan and raise my future children only on a vegan diet.
It is really hard to leave. I feel like I have an eating disorder. It’s hard to describe but it feels like I’ve been sheltered with the same vegan thoughts, isolated myself from the non vegan world, and disliked everyone who was not vegan one way or another that now as I prepare to leave the vegan world feel like I know nothing on the outside of the non vegan world. Taking the blinders off scary. I feel like those people that have to leave those religious cults. Escape and hope to not be captured. I’ve always been told by the vegan community that doctors who tell their patients to eat meat are uneducated and wrong. That they are payed by the meat industry to say those things. But that’s not true. When my doctor talked to me I could tell he was coming from a place of compassion and he really cared about me and he only wanted me to be healthy. But vegans will tell you otherwise. They will say things like, oh but your doctor is lying to you. They are acting etc. That’s not true. At the end of the day I am where I am because I never listened to my body. I never listen to my body over the years when it was crying out for help. When in reality I just needed to eat a more balanced diet that contained meat.
I’ll end with this. Please take care of yourself. Don’t fall into this trap like I did. Listen to your body and your doctors. Be healthy and be wise. No one knows your body better then you do. Be kind to it.
Thank you so much for sharing your story! Stories like your help so many people. Our EOM community is filled to the rafters with recovering ex vegans with similar stories… me include.
Lana Joe Salant (EOM Founder)
I’m assuming that when you attempted to go vegan, you also tried taking dietary supplements as well, right?
DISCLAIMER: I am not defending “militant/extremist/fundamentalist vegans” at all. If you read the rest of my comments to this article, you’ll see that I disagree with them just as I disagree with “factory farm carnivores” too. Instead, I support this EOM, as well as the Friendly and Pragmatic Vegetarian and Vegan Activists too. My view is basically that people should spend more time convincing us as a society to REDUCE our current consumption of animal products (and in a polite manner, rather than in a bullying manner) – rather than permanently stop eating them completely. Note that I myself am neither a vegan nor am I a complete “omnitarian” either – hence I’m either a flexitarian, pescatarian, or vegetarian…and I’ll leave it up to you guys to figure out which one it is. 🙂
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