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You know what they say opinions are like, right? Ahem…well, in any case, everyone has one.
For some reason, the opinions people have about vegans and veganism are more outlandish – and more strongly held – than most others.
Here’s our top 6 list of the most annoying…
1. Vegans are weak from protein deficiency
If only I could move my feeble fingers enough to type…oh wait…
This myth has come about due to the idea that you can only get protein from animal sources. WRONG. In fact, while animal sources do include protein (aka the ‘building block’ of life) they also tend to contain saturated fat and cholesterol.
There are plenty of plant-based protein sources, including tofu, beans, quinoa and nuts among others. And on top of that, most medics agree there is no benefit to having a very high protein intake.
2. Hitler was a vegetarian, ergo vegans are terrible human beings
This is one of those stupid things that people have repeated enough and now believe.
The smallest amount of research instantly shows that Hitler did, in fact, eat meat. Robert Payne (the authority when it comes to Hitler biographies) has specifically noted his fondness for Bavarian sausage.
In any case, the Hitler argument is what’s known as a logical fallacy. Comparing an activity to the Nazis in order to render it invalid is so frequently the last refuge of those who are losing an argument, the tactic actually has a name – Reducio al Hitlerum.
3. Vegan diets are dangerous for children
I’m just going to leave this statement from the American Dietetic Association here (my italics):
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.
“Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”
4. Vegans think they are better than everyone else
This is simply untrue: it is the very fact vegans DO NOT think they are better than everyone else that often makes them go vegan in the first place. Think about it: it’s no secret how much animals suffer in the industrial farming system.
If you know that, and choose to eat animals’ bodies and their secretions anyway, that means you think your tastebuds are more important than someone else’s life.
Who’s the self-important one now, eh?
5. Vegans don’t realise humans are at the top of the food chain – lions eat meat, so should people
A lion will chase down his (or her) prey, then rip it apart with his bare claws, before sinking his canines into the raw flesh.
Your average westerner will stroll into a supermarket, pick up a cellophane wrapped piece of animal which has been handily skinned and butchered, and douse it in a range of condiments before cooking it – because we don’t have the teeth or claws needed to tear through hide, and we couldn’t digest say, chicken, raw.
In addition, lions are obligate carnivores; humans are not.
While nature can be brutal, lions certainly shouldn’t stop eating meat: we cannot compare the natural cycle of life with the totally flawed, wasteful and incredibly cruel industrial farming complex.
6. Vegans are eating too much soya – and it’s destroying the rainforest
So you see herbivores chomping down on their soya burgers and slurping their soya lattes and you assume they are the biggest consumers of the stuff.
Turns out you’re wrong. The major factor in deforestation is actually livestock farming. Yep, the vast majority of soya – around 83 per cent worldwide – is actually fed to animals destined for the dinner table.
Soybean is the largest source of protein feed in the world – and is generally used to feed animals. So it’s fair to say non-vegans indirectly consume more soya than vegans consume directly.
In addition to that, there is research to suggest that if the consumption of animal products consumed in the EU was halved, the use of soymeal in the EU would decrease by 75 per cent.
Want to stop deforestation? Go vegan!