Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lame Excuses People Use to Continue Eating Meat

Lifelong vegan - Jehina Malik

This blog post may possibly get "fine-tuned" and be submitted to a local online magazine.  It has some parts taken from my "Sermon," but a lot of it is new!

Lame Excuses People Use to Continue Eating Meat

What do you think of when you hear the word “vegan?”  Someone who eats mostly green food, looks like a skinny bohemian, and is no fun to be around?   

I have been vegan for 4 years but I remember what it was like to be a meat eater, since I ate meat and drank milk most of my life.  I can remember what it felt like to think there was nothing wrong with eating meat.  About 20 years ago, I have a memory of my mother handing me a book about animal rights.  The book was probably Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation, but as you can see, I paid so little attention to it I am not even sure of the book.  I kept it for a reasonable amount of time to make it seem like I had read it, and then I gave the book back.  The next Thanksgiving, as I opened my mouth wide to cram it with a huge fork full of turkey meat, I caught sight of my mother glaring at me.  It was so out of character for her that the image has stuck in my memory for life.  I guess it was that important to her, and I just wish she could have known that I became a vegan.  It would have made her proud, but she died nine years ago. 

Nowadays, I try to educate people about what is going on in factory farms and fur farms.  I usually ask people simply to cut down on meat and dairy, and sometimes, after hearing their myriad defenses, I just beg them to drink a glass of juice instead of milk for one meal.  It seems to be way too much to ask.  I always wonder then, whether the words “sacrifice for others” is ever put into practice, or is it something that is just talked about in churches and claimed but never done.

I plead for people to watch a few factory farm videos, but my pleas are met with refusal.  “Oh, I just can’t watch them; they’re too horrible!”  Well, if they know it is so horrible then why do they continue eating meat and drinking milk?

Since my pleas have been met with so many defenses, I thought I would list them, and my responses, so that perhaps the conversation can move beyond giving these defenses again and again.

1.  “We are carnivores. See, right here on the side – this pointier tooth?  This proves we are carnivores!” (Also “We are omnivores.”)
Actually, there is more evidence that we should be herbivore.  But it really doesn’t matter whether we are supposed to be carnivore, omnivore or herbivore.  We have a huge choice in what we eat and if we know we cause suffering, pain and sadness to animals, then we should make a choice to eat something else.  By the way, hippopotami, camels, and gorillas have huge canine teeth and they are vegan except for when they are stressed, so it doesn’t matter whether your teeth look like Dracula, you can be vegan.

2.  “I am a predator.”
My favorite defense is seeing a person who sits at a computer all day and then goes home and sits and watches T.V. telling me he is a predator and is comfortable with his status in the animal world. 

3.  “Plants have feelings too!  You’re killing plants!” 
The answer to this is obvious to any thinking person and any non-thinking plant.  Plants have no brain, no spinal cord, no highly evolved nervous system; in fact, no nervous system.  Which emits less pain, cutting a cow’s throat or cutting a blade of grass which grows back?  

4.  “I would rather help starving children than animals; I think helping humans is more important.”   Look into your heart, and then ask yourself this:  Why is this an either/or statement?  Why only help humans when you can help both humans and animals?  If you really want to help humans, then go vegan, because we can use all this cropland that is currently for animal consumption and grow food crops for human consumption instead.  The environment will be better off, and if everyone were vegan, we could feed the world.  (Once I tell people that being vegan helps humans, they seem to no longer care about helping humans.)

5.  “The farmers will suffer.”
It is sad that we would put the livelihood of farmers over the suffering of animals.  Truly, many farmers want to get out of the factory farm business and hate the toxic ammonia in the barns, but as long as people eat meat and dairy, they have a lucrative business they feel they can’t move away from.  Changing this country to a vegan diet will not happen overnight, so the farmers will have plenty of time (perhaps several generations) to learn how to grow other crops.  

5.  “Animals are here for our use.” 
The last time I checked, humans are not here for another animal’s use.  Take the mountain lion who would love to make us his meal.  Is our only purpose in life to be eaten by a mountain lion?  It seems to be more our purpose to avoid being eaten!  If animals can live to reproduce, it keeps the species going, which can be seen as a purpose, but for humans, our purpose is to fulfill our lives, so an animal’s purpose is not to be food for us. They are here to live. When I read or see videos of foxes being electrocuted anally, baby chicks being ground up alive, baby cows taken away from their mothers and the mother’s milk given to humans with the baby cows never getting a drop of their mother’s milk, and chickens squished eight to a cage with cages stacked on top of each other so their urine and feces drops on those below, I cannot agree that “animals are here for our use.”  This is not as nature intended!  I think the animals are here to live their lives with minimum interference from us, unless we help to make their hard lives better for them.

6.  “The Bible says we have dominion over animals.” 
Humans have used this word, dominion, to mean they have the right to treat animals any way they want, and usually it means poorly.  Dominion means being the caregiver and ruler, but that does not mean being abusive. We have dominion over our children; but none of us would ever force feed our children, operate on them without anesthesia, or send them to stand in the slaughter line.  If we would not do this to a human, why would we do it to an animal? 

7.  “It is the way of the world.”
This is probably the hardest excuse to overcome, because people really believe they are stuck in one culture and one way of eating and that the world must be this way.  They resign themselves into accepting violence against animals, because they think it is necessary for the world.  In fact, with animals as circus entertainment, bullfights, horse racing, dog racing and other ring entertainment involving animals, I am not sure we have come very far from gladiators fighting lions in the Coliseum.  If we did not eat animals, it would not be the “way of the world” for humans.  It’s that simple.

8.  “I only buy humane meat.”
With a few exceptions, I have found this to be a bluff.  Most people do not buy humane meat all the time and they never eat humane meat out at restaurants.  People who claim they eat humane but do not research humane meat farms do not realize that even recently certified humane meat farms contain abuse.  Any male calf born to a mother cow will be taken away and made to become a veal calf, or sold or killed if they are extra.  Chickens in most cage free farms have had their beaks painfully burned to a shorter length and might not even be allowed out of doors.  All breeders have been artificially inseminated, and no one addresses what happens to the male chicks.  Allow me: At one day of age, the male chicks on most factory farms, humane farms and organic farms are either ground up or thrown into a bin to be crushed by the weight of other male chicks.  The egg laying industry does not need male chicks and these chicks aren’t worth raising because they were not bred to be meat chickens.  We have not even talked about the breeding farms that artificially inseminate the chickens that will become the egg laying chickens on factory farms and on many mom and pop farms.  Still think there is such a thing as humane meat?

9.  “We need meat.”
I find this so sad.  Just look at long-term vegans such as Robert Cheeke, Torre Washington, life-time vegan Jehina Malik, and 160 mile World Champion extreme runner Scott Jurek. (Go ahead – Google them please!)  My own total cholesterol is 120, I am 57 years old and I am the same height and weight as in high school, 5”4 ½” and 115 so I really think we can disprove the “We need meat” statement without even bringing up scientific studies and statistics.  I do eat some vegan chocolate (Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips) every day and usually a little Tofutti sour cream!  I eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and then cereal before bed, so never think a vegan suffers!
Scientific research shows that saturated fat and cholesterol clog arteries.  X-rays show that giving up meat and dairy and adopting a low fat plant and starch based diet can re-open those arteries. The x-rays results are amazing.
We know that nitrates in meat can cause Cancer, that a recent sampling of chicken in grocery stores showed 85% of the chicken to have feces on them, that girls are hitting puberty earlier with a meat and dairy diet which will cause them to have more of a chance of breast and ovarian Cancers and rob them of childhood, that three year olds have striations of fat on their arteries from the typical high fat, high protein American diet, and that Type II diabetes can be cured on a low fat starch and plant based diet.  Meat is a very dangerous food.  It floors me that people are not eager to ditch meat and dairy, but I don’t think they know how to cook anything else, and they would rather look up another diet that allows meat and is similar to what they are already eating.    

“It is my personal choice!”
Finally, people who want to continue eating meat and dairy claim it is their personal choice and they have a right to eat what they want, and that is technically true because there are very few laws to protect animals.  But this personal choice has victims.  Is an animal’s life less worthy than a few seconds of taste? 

I look at what I used to eat – gooey glue-like cheese, skim milk that looked like it had a tinge of urine and tasted like it too, and meat that had slimy lines of fat in between the grains of meat; and can’t even imagine eating that food. 

I would say, just try it.  Try some soy milk or almond milk.  Go on sites like “; and  There are so many great sites for vegan recipes! Also, check out “I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan” to find out what is already vegan in your grocery stores.  Contact a local Vegetarian Society and maybe attend a meeting.  The pot-luck meals are wonderful for discovering new recipes.  Eat more starch, and more fruits and vegetables and that will push meat out of the diet.

There will probably be comments against my article, such as “She’s arrogant, she thinks only her way is right, how dare she tell me what I can or cannot do with my life?”  It’s common.  I speak for the victims in a desperate plea for people to help.  Animals on factory farms have no choice and no voice. We must be their voice.  The strongest compassion can be for those innocent beings we do not see because they are hidden away.  The greatest compassion is when we do not personally get rewarded for it, but do it from our hearts. 

If you eat meat and dairy you are the reason for the enslavement, the torture and the killings.  Immediately, people try to divert from this idea by blaming individual grocery stores, claim they always eat “humane” or just get angry, but it is the truth.  If you eat meat, animals are being tortured and killed for your food.  Most of you have now read my responses, and my guess is that I made sense but will have no influence on your actions or may possibly have a counter reaction. 

1 comment:

  1. Peopleeasy is the leading destination for online grocery shopping which provides the wide range of products. Buy online baby care products, patanjali products and many more. online grocery noida