Every vegan has heard them before … the arguments against veganism or that vegan is nonsense.
The rainforest is cleared for the vegans’ soy, soy is unhealthy, we have always eaten meat, chickens lay eggs anyway, substitute products are garbage. Niko Rittenau and I talk about how to debunk all these common counter-arguments and back up our statements with scientific foundations. Why it is not true and arguments that disapprove it.
Vegan is nonsense – what are the arguments? Niko Rittenau and I talk about the most common ones:
Argument 1 – Soya destroys the rain forest:
True, growing soy in the rainforest is responsible for monocultures and land clearing. What is wrong is that people think vegans’ soy is responsible. Because: the substitute soy products have no origin in the rainforest – because most producers cultivate in Canada and Europe. Of the soy production in the rainforest, only 2% goes into human food. 80% goes into animal mass (which is ultimately eaten by humans) and about 20% goes into the production of cosmetics.
Fact Check: Meat eaters therefore actually have a greater impact on soy cultivation in rainforests, because the soy cultivated there is used for the feed production of the food meat and destroys rainforests. So on average, Europeans indirectly eat 60 kg of soy per year because they ingest it through the animals for which it was given in advance as feed. No vegan eats 60 kg of tofu per year.
So it is correct: Soy destroys the rain forest. But not the soy for the vegan substitute products. But the feeding to farm animals.
Argument 2 – Laying eggs does not harm the chickens:
Wrong, because of the industry there are many more eggs today than in the past. Hens used to lay around a hundred eggs, but today they lay up to 500 eggs a year. This leads to enormous bone stress, because the high egg production demands a high calcium consumption. As a result, the hens quickly become ill. In addition, the animals are crowded into too small a space. Automatically and out of stress they start biting each other. To prevent this, the beaks are cut off, which causes great pain to the animals.
Male chicks are often killed because they do not lay eggs. Their “leftovers” are then fed. One good thing: chick shredding is to be banned. However, and this poses another problem: this means that a substitute for the feed must be created. Correct would be: A step in the right direction is not enough. We must change the complete system.
Often we think that by raising brothers the problem of male chicks will be solved. However, the animals only experience a few terrible weeks in a confined space. The keeping conditions are demanded by the cheap production measures, without consideration of the animal welfare.
Fact Check: Eggs can also be produced differently, independently of the chicken, through cell-based agriculture – without torturing an animal.
Argument 3 – Cheese is too tasty to do without:
It is often argued: milk production is normal for cows. Unfortunately, this is wrong. Because cows only give milk when they were pregnant. The calves are taken away from the cows in agony after birth and usually killed. Also the life span of cows in animal husbandry is reduced from a possible 30 years to four to six years, because then the milk production decreases.
Husbandry conditions are undignified and reminiscent of mass abortion. By the procedure in the milk products vegetarians are just as responsible for the torture of animals as meat eaters. Which raises the question of ethics: Animals that are not pets are treated worse and are often considered of lesser value than, say, dogs or cats. An ethical advance would be: If animals are treated better, we will also have a more social society.
Fact Check: abolishing social injustice would be a great step towards a more just society and would reduce inequalities.
Argument 4 – In the Stone Age we ate animals:
Humans go through a constant evolution. We have different conditions and ethics than back then. Since then, we have a wider choice of food that provides us with all the necessary nutrients. Fact is, we wouldn’t evolve backwards if we didn’t eat meat – in fact, we couldn’t (through evolution) eat the way Stone Age people did back then.
In fact, our brain development is based on glucose, which is not found in meat. So meat is not responsible for brain development. Fact Check: evolution is explained by the cooking hypothesis. Humans started cooking. Root and other carbohydrate foods were cooked and eaten. This is proven to be responsible for the evolution of humans and gave us an advantage over animals. Also our digestive system adapted to cooked and digested raw foods harder.
Fact Check: at that time also not socially but painfully dealt with each other among humans. However, we have learned with advancing ethics that this is wrong. We should apply these ethics to animals as well.
Argument 5 – Vegan substitutes are bad:
Tofu, tempeh, and plant milks are higher in protein and a faster source of protein than unprocessed foods, such as the soybean. When it comes to taste, producers make use of evolutionary preferences reminiscent of meat and high-protein foods. Often, people are not concerned with the meat itself but with the flavor of the spice.
These taste lines were ethically implemented in vegan products. No animal had to suffer for this, but the consumer gets the same taste. At the same time, these products simplify the transition from meat to vegan.
Fact Check: If substitute products are well made, they are not unhealthy. But rather healthier than meat. So the products are not bad but only increase the portein content of the food. Often they are also easier to digest than pure raw foods as well as more calorie dense, which means we need smaller amounts of food.
Let the arguments nevertheless gladly times in the next discussions over Veganismus with to flow and see like your Gegenüber reacts. As a vegan, what arguments have you heard most often? Feel free to leave a comment.
You can read more in Niko’s new book “Vegan ist Unsinn”: https://www.nikorittenau.com/vegan-ist-unsinn/.
You can also listen to the whole conversation again in my podcast Conscious Gangster: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Z348IRLTt3HGg3qeRLPkZ?si=ri2aybrHSQyj4_PfnEMwCA&dl_branch=1
Every vegan has heard them before … the arguments against veganism or that vegan is nonsense. Listen in and learn how to make the right arguments next time.