There some interesting and bizarre arguments on this node about how humans are meant to eat meat and how it's all fine and dandy to meat 'cause hey animals eat meat, don't they? However, even assuming that everyone agrees that eating meat is natural and that we should model our behaviour after animals (which is pretty stupid, animals don't use computers, either, do they? Look, look, our long legs weren't designed for sitting in chairs all day! Let's all go hide in trees in the savanna! (*cough* err...) there remain several compelling reasons to pursue veganism:
- The environment. Farming animals for food consumes many times the land and resources that farming plants for food does to feed the same number of people. Farming cattle in particular has led to widespread deforestation and pollution. For environmentalists veganism makes a lot of sense.
- Health. Factory-farmed animals are often fed really gross shit, not to mention huge doses of antibiotics. But even if you eat free-range organic-fed animals, animal flesh still loads you up with fat & cholesterol. A vegan diet is cholesterol free and it's extremely fucking difficult to have too much fat in a vegan diet unless all you eat is potato chips. Eat meat and dairy products if you will, but the vegans will be laughing their asses off at you when you die of a heart attack at 50 and they're still bicycling around to their activist rallies at age 90. Veganism makes a lot of sense for health freaks. (Yes, even vitamin freaks. Yes, you can even get vitamin B12 in a vegan diet; synthetic B12 has been around for decades.)
- Cruelty. Even if you don't mind at all eating animals and animal products from farms where animals are lovingly cared for, perhaps you object to the overcrowded, abusive and cruel methods of factory farms, from which a large portion of the meat and dairy products come from here in North America. Veganism makes a lot of sense for people who care about animals, even if they're not extremists.
- Religion. Many religions, notably Buddhism, preach respect for all living things, which teaches the way of Ahimsa, and Jainism, whose adherents go a step further from veganism in to fruititarianism. Veganism makes a lot of sense for hardcore religious types in certain religions, and hardcore compassionate folks in any religion or lack thereof.
- Punk points. Veganism makes a lot of sense if you're a wannabe str8 edger punker who wants to impress that cute vegan riotgrrrrl you met at last's weeks all-ages show in the basement of the community centre. This is a pretty vapid reason, but hey, the animals love you if you don't eat them even if it's for bizarre, hypocritical, idiosyncratic reasons.
Now, obviously veganism isn't for everyone. I'm not a vegan. (Anymore, anyhow.) But there are lots of good reasons to be a vegan. Rational reasons. Don't go bashing them because you don't agree; veganism is NOT an intrinsically stupid act. Just eat meat, it's probably just as offensive anyhow.