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Is Veganism extreme? + 6 responses to vegan objections

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  • Judith Gottesman
    http://freefromharm.org/veganism/how-do-you-respond-to-veganism-is-extreme/ How Do You Respond to ‘Veganism is Extreme’? By Free From Harm Staff Writers
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2013

      How Do You Respond to ‘Veganism is Extreme’?

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      How many times have you heard the dismissive phraseveganism is extreme? Even if you’re not a vegan and the subject comes up in conversation, you’re bound to hear this knee jerk reaction from someone. Veganism is dismissed as extreme in our culture only because veganism challenges the dominant classes disconnection between what they say they believe about respect for animals and their actions which support unnecessary exploitation and violence to animals.

      What is extreme is not veganism but its polar opposite, carnism, which remains largely invisible and unexamined;

      • What is extreme is the fact that a species of 7 billion kills 120 billion land and aquatic animals every year for a food source that is not necessary for survival or health.
      • What is extreme is the delusional belief that we are the only species that matters and the manner in which we live as if “the inferior others” have no interests.
      • What is extreme is the notion that we are somehow “above” rather than an integral part of the natural world.
      • What is extreme is that we act on the principle of might makes right in our exploitation of other species to serve our own ends.
      • What is extreme is the level of violence and oppression that fuels the current meat eating culture.
      • What is extreme is the endless moral acrobatics and irrational defenses that we use to justify our use of animals.
      • What is extreme is the epidemic of denial that blocks the reality behind our food choices, a reality that we have a strong aversion to when we face it.
      • What is extreme is the charge that veganism is irrational and purely emotional when the phrase “Veganism is extreme is simply a knee-jerk response with no rational or logical basis.


      Six Common Objections to a Vegan Diet that Keep People from Making the Changes They Say They Want to MakeHome » Animal Products and Psychology

      Six Common Objections to a Vegan Diet that Keep People from Making the Changes They Say They Want to Make

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      Illustration courtesy of Bizzaro Comics

      In developing my new workshop series on Overcoming Objections to a Vegan Diet, I am researching the most common objections out there. Here are six of them with some short responses. More to come in the future.

      1. Habit: “I’m a busy working mom who doesn’t have time to adapt to a whole new way of feeding my family.” Response: Once you get past the initial learning curve, it will become second nature to you. It’s time to break the “hand-me-down” habits we inherit, and replace them with habits aligned with our values of respect for animals, the environment, and our own well-being.
      2. Direct Denial: “I don’t want to know.” Response: Humans are natural truth-seekers. We especially want to knowwhen something is being concealed from us — and why. The truth about eating animals is a classic Matrix challenge. The message of the Matrix is that the truth can be initially painful but is ultimately liberating. For a great perspective on this, see social psychologist Melanie Joy’s presentation.
      3. Pseudo-ethical: “I only buy cage-free eggs.” Response: Is cage-free anything more than marketing hype? A closer examination of the life of cage-free hens reveals  suffering on many levels. Here’s a good overview of so-called “humane” farming.
      4. Convenience: “I don’t see any non-animal-based options where I shop.” Response: Look closer. The options are out there. If you learn more about your true nutritional needs, you might discover that you can fulfill them with what you already eat, minus the meat, dairy, and eggs, and with the addition of a few plant proteins. Check out Norris and Messina’s wonderful plant-based nutrition handbook, Vegan for Life, for answers to all of your health questions.
      5. Culture: “I come from a farming family where these foods are part of our cherished traditions.” Response: Some traditions are better left in the past. Tradition can and has been used to justify every atrocity done to our own kind and to animals alike. 
      6. Nature: “Animals eat other animals.” Response: The animals you refer to are carnivores, while humans are not. So it’s not a just comparison. Besides, why compare ourselves to other animals only when it is convenient to do so? According to this misguided logic, it’s okay to behave like nonhuman animals when it serves to justify our ends. Instead, the power of our free will and our humanity should determine our food choices.


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      1 COMMMENT

      1. Vegany on January 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm said:

        I like the part about the Direct denial and how you compared it to the matrix. Since a lot of people like that, I may have to use that to get people to connect and not be so afraid of the truth :)

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      Judith Gottesman, MSW
      Matchmaker and Date Coach
      Soul Mates Unlimited®

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