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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.