The 60 Most Common Arguments Against Veganism [Debunked]

As a vegan, you’ll be hit with various questions and criticisms from non-vegans in your life. Some of these questions will be asked sincerely. Other will be said defensively. Some may even be meant to attack your diet and lifestyle choices.

This post shares my personal answers to 60 common questions, objections, and critiques you’re likely to hear as a vegan. They’re not necessarily the “correct” answers. You may disagree with some of my responses. If you do, you may want to think about your own answers or even write them out.

Many of my answers make use of utilitarian ethics, which is explained more in Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation. But I don’t consistently apply that ethical theory to the exclusion of others.

My view of ethics is also a bit more lax and relativistic compared to many ethical vegans. So I am less aggressive in some of my answers than others would be.

Adjust your answers to your own style, personal beliefs, and values. At the very least, you can use the list of questions and objections to brainstorm what your own answers might be!

Table of Contents

  1. “Where do you get your protein?”
  2. “Don’t you need fish for omega-3 fats?”
  3. “You can’t get vitamin B12 from plants.”
  4. “You can’t get enough iron from plants.”
  5. “You can’t get enough calcium without milk.”
  6. “Soy products aren’t healthy.”
  7. “Veganism relies on monoculture farming of grains—that’s not sustainable.”
  8. “Veganism requires supplements. That proves it’s not healthy.”
  9. “Vegans can’t gain weight/muscle to excel in sports like football.”
  10. “Vegan diets have too many carbs.”
  11. “Vegan diets have too many ‘anti-nutrients’ from grains and legumes.”
  12. “My body craves animal products because I need the nutrition in them.”
  13. “Veganism is a type of consumerism—it reinforces capitalism.”
  14. “Being vegan is impossible if you live in a food desert.”
  15. “You can’t be 100% vegan. All medications are tested on animals. Even roads contain animals.”
  16. “Humans are omnivores. Our bodies are made to eat meat. We have canine teeth.”
  17. “Eating meat is a personal choice.”
  18. “Eating meat is natural.”
  19. “Humans are at the top of the food chain.”
  20. “It’s the circle of life.”
  21. “Eating meat is what helped humans evolve to have such big brains.”
  22. “Plants feel pain, too.”
  23. “Even plant farming causes the deaths of field mice and insects.”
  24. “Farm animals only exist because we bred them for food—so they don’t have rights or lives without us.”
  25. “If everyone went vegan, what would happen to all the farm animals already alive?”
  26. “It hurts cows not to milk them. Cows like being milked.”
  27. “We are smarter and naturally superior to animals.”
  28. “Farm animals would never survive in the wild—so why should they have rights?”
  29. “If you eat every part of the animal, that is respectful and ethical.”
  30. “Animals would gladly eat you—so why not eat them?”
  31. “I only eat humanely slaughtered and humanely farmed animal products.”
  32. “Animals cannot enter into ethical or moral contracts with us.”
  33. “The animals are already dead. Why not eat the meat, so it doesn’t go to waste?”
  34. “We shouldn’t focus on animal rights until all human rights issues are handled.”
  35. “Medical conditions don’t allow everyone to be vegan.”
  36. “Only privileged people can afford vegan food. Veganism is expensive.”
  37. “The vegan community is just full of white people.”
  38. “The world will never be fully vegan.”
  39. “You buy other things that are made with unethical labor, like clothes from sweatshops.”
  40. “Veganism is boring—the food lacks taste and variety.”
  41. “There is no such thing as objective moral truth.”
  42. “Hitler was vegetarian.”
  43. “Sustainable vegan farming isn’t possible—animal manure is needed to fertilize plants.”
  44. “If everyone went vegan, so many people would lose their jobs.”
  45. “Vegans are preachy and pretentious.”
  46. “Meat tastes good.”
  47. “God put animals on earth to be food for us.”
  48. “If it’s wrong for humans to own and use animals, why do vegans have pets?”
  49. “So, do you force your cat or dog to be vegan, too?”
  50. “There has never been a vegan civilization in human history.”
  51. “Don’t force your beliefs on me.”
  52. “I don’t have enough time to be vegan.”
  53. “Meat and animal products are part of my culture.”
  54. “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism.”
  55. “What if you were on a desert island or had to survive in the wild?”
  56. “What about mushrooms, yeast, and bacteria? They’re alive, too.”
  57. “Animals do not suffer when they’re slaughtered.”
  58. “Aren’t you projecting human desires and suffering onto other animals?”
  59. “I read a news story about a nutritionally deficient vegan baby…”
  60. “PETA is an offensive, racist, sexist organization.”

1. “Where do you get your protein?”

I get my protein from plants. Just like elephants and gorillas do. There are plenty of plant foods that have a good amount of protein: Beans, peas, lentils, peanut butter, quinoa, and many other veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains.

There are also plenty of meat substitutes and soy foods even higher in protein: Tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein (TVP), seitan, Beyond Meat, the Impossible Burger, Tofurkey, and all the other “mock meats.”

There are also vegan protein powders. Pea protein specifically is a complete protein with similar muscle-building effectiveness as whey. And there are many other vegan “protein blends” that are also complete proteins.

Most Americans eat far above the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein, while a vegan diet naturally falls closer to the RDA.

And even if you want to eat a lot of protein as an athlete or bodybuilder, you can do it on a well-planned vegan diet using the high-protein foods above.

2. “Don’t you need fish for omega-3 fats?”

Fish are not the only source of omega-3s. There are also plant sources, such as flaxseed, chia seed, hemp seeds, and walnuts.

Even when looking at the specific kind of omega-3s found in fish—DHA and EPA—those can be obtained from a vegan source, too.

Many companies now make vegan omega-3 supplements that contain DHA and EPA sourced from algae (“algal oil”). This is the original source that fish get their omega-3s from.

So another benefit of choosing vegan omega-3s from algae is that you’re getting it straight from the original source (algae), without the mercury or PCBs often found in fish.

3. “You can’t get vitamin B12 from plants.”

That’s okay—vegans can easily, affordably, and safely get vitamin B12 from supplements. B12 supplements have been shown to be effective, and there’s no need to eat animal products for B12.

All vitamin B12 is actually made by bacteria, which is found in soil. In the past, humans were able to get more B12 from plants, but due to sanitation practices and modern industrial farming today, our plant foods don’t provide as much contact with this B12-producing bacteria anymore.

The way animals are raised on factory farms, they must be given B12 supplements, too. That’s because their plant-based feed doesn’t contain much B12 anymore, either.

So even when you eat animal products for B12 today, the original source of the B12 is typically a supplement given to the animals. It’s not actually “made” by the animals or anything.

4. “You can’t get enough iron from plants.”

There are plenty of high-iron plant foods, from beans and lentils to pumpkin seeds, cashews, tofu, chia seeds, and quinoa.

In addition, if you eat those foods along with foods high in vitamin C, then the iron absorption is boosted even further. Getting enough iron is not a problem on a well-planned vegan diet.

Read more on vegans and iron here.

5. “You can’t get enough calcium without milk.”

Most plant-based milks like soy milk and almond milk are now fortified with the same amount of calcium as in cow’s milk. So if you just replace cow’s milk with plant milk, you’ll typically get the same amount of calcium.

It’s also possible to get enough calcium from low-oxalate dark leafy greens like kale, as well as other plant foods, fortified foods, or supplements. Milk is not necessary by any means.

Read more on vegans and calcium here.

6. “Soy products aren’t healthy.”

Most credible sources, including Healthline.com and the Harvard Health Letter, state that soy foods are either neutral or beneficial—especially when eaten in less-processed forms like tofu, tempeh, and unsweetened soy milk.

However, there are conflicting studies and theories about soy, for sure. Many sources argue that you should limit isolated soy protein, like what’s found in many soy-based mock meats.

Luckily, a vegan diet does not require soy—so you can avoid soy as a vegan if you choose.

There are plenty of vegan protein sources besides soy, including beans, peas, lentils, seitan (wheat meat), nutritional yeast, peanut butter, hemp seeds, and more.

You can also buy vegan protein powders or protein bars made from pea protein or others. Many of the most popular “mock meats” today, like Beyond Meat, are made with pea protein—not soy.

7. “Veganism relies on monoculture farming of grains—that’s not sustainable.”

First, there are many ways to eat vegan—and not all of them include grains or soy. There are ways to eat low-carb vegan, vegan keto, or other grain-free vegan diets if you wish.

Second, animal agriculture also typically relies on monoculture farming. Most animals are grain-fed, and it takes a whole lot of grain to raise a cow to the point of slaughter. The leading driver of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest is the cattle industry. (source)

So if you’re opposed to monoculture farming, you should also be opposed to eating the meat or other products of grain-fed livestock.

Third, there are forms of vegan farming out there that are more focused on sustainability. Look up “veganic” farming and “vegan permaculture” for two different approaches to sustainable food production without using animal products at any point in the process.

8. “Veganism requires supplements. That proves it’s not healthy.”

When it comes to vitamin B12—the most important supplement for vegans—there’s an interesting fact about that, which most people don’t know. First, vitamin B12 is actually made by bacteria—not plants or animals.

Humans used to get B12 from eating plants and drinking water from streams, because there was plenty of B12-producing bacteria in our soils.

But due to today’s industrial farming methods and sanitation practices, we no longer get much B12 through plants or water. So the main food source of B12 today is animal products.

However, what most people don’t know is that the B12 in most animal products actually got there because animals on farms are fed B12 supplements. That’s because the grains they’re fed don’t naturally contain much B12 anymore.

So even if you get your B12 from animal products, it’s most likely coming from a supplement originally anyway. And that’s necessary due to today’s farming and sanitation practices.

And it’s not totally unwarranted. Many physicians recommend that everyone take a vitamin D supplement, for example—because our modern lifestyles simply don’t include as much sunlight as our ancestors’.

Almost 20 million people in the U.S. take omega-3 supplements, too—because most of Western society has an imbalanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio… not just vegans.

9. “Vegans can’t gain weight/muscle to excel in sports like football.”

Tell that to the “300-Pound Vegan,” former NFL lineman David Carter.

Or tell it to a good bunch of the Tennessee Titans defensive line. As they explain in the documentary The Game Changers, something like a dozen players on the TItans went plant-based in 2018. They partially attributed their playoff run to the diet change.

Or tell it to vegan strongman Patrick Baboumian, who was declared “Strongest Man of Germany” in 2011.

There are plenty examples of people gaining muscle, size, and strength on a vegan diet. It takes some extra focus on protein and calories, but it can be done. And there are benefits as far as quicker athletic recovery, as well.

Even one of the strongest and most powerful animals in nature—the gorilla—eats a diet that is 97% plant-based or more (the exact percentage depends on the subspecies of gorilla).

10. “Vegan diets have too many carbs.”

There are a lot of misconceptions around “carbs.” They’re often associated with refined sugar and processed foods like bread, pasta, chips, pastries, and other low-nutrient foods. But carbs from whole foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and beans are generally very healthy.

For most people today, their problem is not “too many carbs,” but too many processed foods of all kinds, in combination with too much saturated fat from animal foods.

That said, if you want to eat a low-carb diet for a specific reason, you can do that as a vegan. Simply focus on vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, and mock meats as your major calorie sources. You can even be vegan keto if you choose.

11. “Vegan diets have too many ‘anti-nutrients’ from grains and legumes.”

This has become a more common argument against veganism in recent years. People warn of the lectins and other “anti-nutrients” in beans, grains, and other plant foods.

Based on the best science I’ve seen, these concerns are overblown. Lectins are mostly destroyed by soaking and cooking. Yes, if you eat raw, uncooked, dry beans, you would have an upset stomach and digestive problems to say the least.

But beans must be soaked and cooked for many hours. When you buy canned beans, they’re already cooked. Studies have shown that lectin activity is virtually non-existent after cooking. (source)

Also, as it happens, these “high-lectin foods” are typically high in fiber, antioxidants, and other protective nutrients. So there seems to be very little actual cause for concern with lectins.

Population studies have also shown that people eating lots of whole grains and beans have better health and longevity. If the lectins in these foods were a serious health concern, we wouldn’t see this.

No major health organization promotes the dietary restriction of lectins. In fact, restricting lectin-containing foods goes against the advice of the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Diabetes Association. (source)

12. “My body craves animal products because I need the nutrition in them.”

Cravings are rarely based on the nutrition you need to be healthy. Millions of people routinely crave cigarettes, drugs, ice cream, pizza, and chocolate cake.

So what explains cravings for animal foods? Our bodies evolved for survival in an environment where food was scarce. This has resulted in a human psychology that is very easy to tempt with high-calorie foods.

Meat and animal products are rich sources of calories and fat that would’ve been very beneficial to us in the evolutionary environments we evolved in.

But today, for the vast majority of us, we don’t need extra calories. What we actually need is more micronutrients—vitamins, minerals, antioxidants—and we need more water and fiber. That is, we actually need more colorful, healthy, whole plant foods. Not meat and cheese.

Luckily, if you stop eating animal products for a while, you will generally start to crave them less. Your taste buds will adapt and be able to appreciate vegetables, fruits, and other more subtle tastes again.

13. “Veganism is a type of consumerism—it reinforces capitalism.”

First, veganism isn’t just a consumer activity to the most committed, ethical vegans. It often involves other forms of action for animals and the earth, too—and many vegans are involved in other activist movements.

Second, consumer boycotts don’t inherently “reinforce capitalism.” Many people who oppose capitalism use boycotts as a tool to achieve their ends. Take the Palestinian movement for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS), which is supported by many socialists and anarchists.

Boycotts do not inherently “support” capitalism—they just use capitalism and market forces to achieve a specific effect in the world.

Third, even if veganism did “reinforce capitalism,” which is a stretch… once could argue that that’s okay, as it is supporting a more ethical form of capitalism. [Only add this point if you’re interested in trying to defend capitalism. Because it will probably lead to a broader debate about it!]

14. “Being vegan is impossible if you live in a food desert.”

Being vegan may be harder in a food desert, as any kind of specific diet might be. Saying it’s “impossible” is not precise, though, and it’s potentially condescending to people who live in food deserts and take great care to select the best food options from what they have access to.

Also, if it is harder to be vegan in a food desert, that’s not really a strike against veganism. That’s more of a strike against the food distribution systems in our society.

It may also be a strike against capitalism because it’s an example of free markets failing to meet the needs of people in those areas. But you can be vegan and also care about these other food justice issues.

There are vegan organizations like the Food Empowerment Project that are actively involved in food justice issues besides veganism itself, including programs to improve healthy food access in food deserts.

15. “You can’t be 100% vegan. All medications are tested on animals. Even roads contain animals.”

Are painrelievers vegan? See my whole other post about that.

This statement assumes that “100% vegan” means “not ever consuming or using any animal by-products whatsoever.” But the most widely accepted definitions of “vegan” don’t suggest such perfection.

Here’s a quote from the Vegan Society’s definition of “vegan”:

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

This definition contains an acknowledgment that veganism is about doing what’s “possible and practicable.” For most vegans, yes, you’ll need to use some products that contain animal by-products or were tested on animals. That’s just a fact of the world we live in.

But it still makes a difference to mostly avoid animal products. It still makes a difference to seek out non-animal alternatives when possible.

Being vegan is not about being perfect—it’s about making the impact we can each make.

16. “Humans are omnivores. Our bodies are made to eat meat. We have canine teeth.”

Many of our anatomical features are actually closer to those of herbivores than omnivores:

  • Our intestines are long like an herbivore’s.
  • Our canine teeth are tiny compared to a true omnivore like a dog. (And there are other herbivores with much bigger canine teeth than ours—like gorillas and male musk deer.)
  • We lack claws.
  • We drink water like herbivores—sipping, not lapping.
  • Uncooked meat is disgusting to us.
  • Killing an animal is disturbing and uncomfortable for most of us.
  • Our closest animal relatives are chimps and bonobos, both of which eat a diet of primarily fruit. Meat is less than 2% of the chimpanzee diet.
  • Our color vision, sense of smell, and hands are perfect for finding and grabbing fruit.
  • After years of eating meat and saturated fat, our bodies tend to develop atherosclerosis. That doesn’t happen to true omnivores like dogs—but it does happen to herbivores like rabbits that are fed meat.

So there’s a good deal of evidence that we’re closer to herbivores than actually being full-on omnivores. That said, even if you want to say we’re omnivores since we can eat meat… that doesn’t mean we should eat meat. It just means we can.

So eating meat is an option we have, physiologically. But we also have the option to be vegetarian or vegan. And this leaves us with a responsibility to choose our diet based on our values.

For more about the food that humans are meant to eat, refer to this post.

17. “Eating meat is a personal choice.”

You can call it a personal choice, but the fact is that it has an impact on other people and especially on other animals besides yourself.

If it’s a personal choice, then it is a personal choice that has the power to hurt or help thousands of animals over the course of your life, and to make life better or worse for future generations on this planet.

In my opinion, it is a choice worth making carefully, and in an informed, values-driven way.

18. “Eating meat is natural.”

This is the naturalistic fallacy. Just because something is natural, that doesn’t mean it is good. There are many aggressive, selfish things we may get impulses to do—but we understand they are harmful, so we don’t do them.

19. “Humans are at the top of the food chain.”

First, it’s actually debated whether humans are at the “top of the food chain.” Academics have debated whether humans count as “apex predators” or not, and it’s far from agreed upon.

Just think about it: There are many incidents where humans are prey for larger predators like bears or sharks. And we don’t routinely eat these big predators, either. We mostly kill animals from lower “trophic levels.” So it’s a stretch to say we’re at the “top.”

If you want to say humans are at the “top” because we could kill any animal… Remember we’re only capable of that because of tools like guns. And most humans are not capable of actually building a gun. Many of us don’t even understand how guns work.

So it’s only a small number of humans who have invented the tools that allow us to kill bigger animals… and it’s only a small number of humans who actually hunt or raise animals today.

Also—this is a bit of a circular argument. How do you know that human beings are at the “top” of the food chain? Because we can kill other animals? And you’re saying that’s also the reason we should kill other animals? Because we can?

Lastly, this is another example of the naturalistic fallacy. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is good.

20. “It’s the circle of life.”

Our modern industrial food system is very far from being a “circle of life.” Animals on factory farms typically only live a small fraction of their normal life span. They are typically kept indoors for their entire lives. They’re fed loads of antibiotics.

Their bodies are often mutilated with practiced like tail-docking (pigs), debeaking (chickens), and castration without pain killers. It’s the least natural, least “cyclical” thing you could imagine.

Instead of living naturally off the land and animals, what’s happening today is pure exploitation: Everything is optimized toward producing the most meat, dairy, and eggs at the lowest cost possible.

Also, a “circle” would suggest that our own dead bodies will become nutrition for the soil, plants, and other animals in turn. But animals in our industrial food system are fed grains like corn and soy, which are made using monoculture farming and typically many pesticides and even GMOs.

Meanwhile most of us dead humans will be planted in coffins, away in specific graveyards. To call this the “circle of life” just seems really naive.

21. “Eating meat is what helped humans evolve to have such big brains.”

Eating meat may have helped early humans survive and spread across the globe—as did the consumption of starches like hard tubers, which also increased with stone tool usage.

But that doesn’t mean we should keep eating meat.

The truth is that today, we have large brains because we now have those instructions in our DNA. And your brain does not shrink if you stop eating meat!

On the contrary, a diet full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can help optimize brain function and promote brain health, even reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. (source)

22. “Plants feel pain, too.”

I don’t actually buy that. There are ways to describe plant “behavior” that make it sound like plants experience pain… but plants do not have nerves or a central nervous system. So there is no known way they’d “feel” anything.

Also, most plants are sessile—rooted in one place. This suggests there would be no evolutionary purpose for sensations of pain. Pain in animals helps motivate us to run away from the painful stimuli. But plants can’t run away—so why would they feel pain?

The truth is that plants have entirely different ways of being than us.

There is no reason to believe that plants have consciousness, that they experience sensations of pain, or that such sensations are ethically relevant to which foods we eat.

Also, this is a completely separate point, but if you wanted to minimize the amount of plants you kill, a vegan diet would still be better than a diet including animal products.

This is because many more plants are killed in order to feed and sustain livestock on farms than are killed to actually feed humans directly. So if you want fewer plants to die, eating meat will not help!

Read more about how vegans justify killing plants here.

23. “Even plant farming causes the deaths of field mice and insects.”

This is similar to the argument that it’s impossible to be “100% vegan.” And my response, again, is that you don’t need to be perfect to have a massive positive impact.

Also—causing some unintentional deaths while doing what we need to do to survive (harvesting plants), is not the same as needlessly slaughtering animals.

We will probably always cause some harm to small creatures with our food production methods, even if we ate food solely from little gardens. But a vegan diet is comparatively less violent, less harmful, and more sustainable than other diets.

It’s most efficient for humans to eat plants directly, rather than feeding those plants to an animal and eating the animal. Less land, fuel, and water are needed when we eat plants directly.

24. “Farm animals only exist because we bred them for food—so they don’t have rights or lives without us.”

Regardless of how we’ve bred and raised farm animals, they fact now is that they exist and they suffer.

Imagine if we “bred” a new kind of human to become bigger and more docile, as we’ve done to farm animals. That wouldn’t give us the right to enslave or kill these new kinds of humans.

Animals are “subjects of a life.” They have preferences about what happens to them. They experience pain, and they’d prefer to avoid it. This means that how we treat them is ethically relevant.

It doesn’t matter that we gave them their life… Once they have that life and are capable of suffering, their suffering is ethically relevant.

25. “If everyone went vegan, what would happen to all the farm animals already alive?”

First, it’s not realistic that everyone will go vegan overnight. A much more likely scenario is that we would gradually become more and more plant-based, and meat could be phased out over time.

Second, if we ever decided to be vegan as a whole society, there would likely be support for allowing the remaining farm animals to live out their lives at animal sanctuaries.

These types of animal sanctuaries already exist, and they would find much more financial support in this hypothetical future where everyone is vegan.

26. “It hurts cows not to milk them. Cows like being milked.”

Yes, I’ve been told that cows seem to enjoy being milked when their udders are full of milk.

But that is different from a cow actually wanting to be confined indoors, artificially impregnated, separated from her calf, milked for 10 months, then artificially impregnated again, separated from her calf again, milked for 10 more months, then one more cycle of this—then killed around age 3 (even though their natural life span is 20 years).

So even if cows “like being milked,” that doesn’t mean they like being used as dairy cows overall.

The dairy industry is also intimately connected to the veal industry. The baby calves killed for veal are generally male calves from the dairy industry.

The dairy industry also emits a lot of methane, a greenhouse gas that contribute to climate change. Animal agriculture contributes 6-7% of the US’s total greenhouse gas emissions every year. 20% of that emission is methane from dairy cows (mainly from cow burps, actually).

So you have to look at the broader context of the cycle of impregnation and separation of mother and calf, as well as the broader impact of the dairy industry in the world.

If you do that, it’s easy to see why vegans don’t support dairy.

27. “We are smarter and naturally superior to animals.”

Animals don’t have to be smart for us to care about their pain, fear, and suffering. The fact that they can’t read books or do math, has nothing to do with the fact that they do suffer.

Most people would agree that it’d be wrong to hurt or kill unintelligent humans. We still care about the rights and welfare of people with lower IQs or mental disabilities. So how could you use a difference of intelligence to justify harming other animals

Arguably, being “higher animals” as humans is exactly what’s allowed us to develop ethics and morality that transcends our base instincts.

28. “Farm animals would never survive in the wild—so why should they have rights?”

Because they are conscious beings capable of suffering.

We don’t judge the moral standing of our fellow humans by whether they could survive in the wild, so why would this be relevant in our consider of other animals? (Many humans today wouldn’t survive in the wild, either!)

29. “If you eat every part of the animal, that is respectful and ethical.”

I would agree that seems more respectful than killing an animal for no reason. And I respect that some tribes or individuals may have ways of hunting or killing animals that feel much more wholesome compared to factory farms.

But here’s why I still don’t think it’s ethical:

Just imagine you’re a deer walking through the woods with your family. Then suddenly, someone shoots you or your family member. You’re terrified. You may be in horrible pain. Maybe you witness your family member die. And then maybe you’re alone after that—an orphan.

Now just imagine, after you experience this, the hunter explains to you: “Hey, sorry—but don’t worry about it—we’re going to eat your family member’s whole body, with the utmost respect.”

Would you be relieved? Does that make everything okay? Or would you still be terrified, alone, in pain, missing your family member, etc? Being hunted is bound to be terrifying for animals, even when it’s done “respectfully.”

And with the knowledge and technology we have today, it’s just not necessary. At least not in the developed world. So it’s a choice we make. And it’s a choice we make at the expense of those animals who have to feel that terror.

30. “Animals would gladly eat you—so why not eat them?”

First—most of the animals commonly eaten as meat are herbivores: Cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, deer, etc. So in fact, those animals would not “gladly eat me.”

Second, that’s not really a sound ethical argument. We don’t hold animals to the same standards of morality and ethics that we hold our fellow humans to. Animals don’t have the same power of reason as we do.

But when it comes to how we should treat animals, Jeremy Bentham said it well: “The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

We seek to spare animals suffering because we, too, know what suffering is like. And we know we don’t like it. And we don’t want to inflict that on any other sentient being if we don’t have to.

31. “I only eat humanely slaughtered and humanely farmed animal products.”

I appreciate that you care about the humane treatment of animals, and you want to choose humane options. But many of these labels are very misleading.

First—most terms like “humanely raised” are not legally defined. So depending on the exact term, it could mean different things. Many such terms are empty—they’re more about marketing than actual animal welfare.

“Grass fed” cows can still be fed grass indoors, for example. “Cage free” chickens are often stuffed by the thousands into sheds. The actual farms don’t necessarily look like the commercial with happy cows in a meadow.

Second—even when you see the best animal welfare certifications on a product, like Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) or Certified Humane (CH), there are still some cruel practices allowed.

One example is castration without pain relief, which is allowed on both AWA and CH products. So even the best certifications do not guarantee a complete lack of cruelty.

Third—there is just inherent exploitation in animal agriculture. One example is the heart-breaking separation of mother and calf in the dairy industry—it can’t be avoided, even on the most “humane” farms.

Also, farming animals pretty much necessitates keeping them confined and then eventually killing them. Even when those actions are done in less-cruel ways, it’s still confinement and killing.

For all these reasons, I’m personally not satisfied with “humane meat,” and I think the term is a bit of an oxymoron.

32. “Animals cannot enter into ethical or moral contracts with us.”

There are plenty of ethical frameworks that don’t depend on any kind of moral contract or agreement to be established between both parties. The fact that animals are conscious and capable of suffering is enough reason for us to care about reducing their suffering.

33. “The animals are already dead. Why not eat the meat, so it doesn’t go to waste?”

There are actually some contexts in which some vegans actually do agree with this logic.

There are “freegans” who are fully vegan except that they’re okay with eating meat if it’s just being thrown away otherwise. Often, freegans participate in “dumpster diving” behind grocery stores to retrieve this discarded food and take it home before it goes to waste.

But in most contexts, it’s not so clear that meat is going to be thrown away if we don’t eat it.

Usually, when we eat meat, we increase the total demand for meat. Most often, we are paying for meat, which sends financial signals to companies that they should keep producing more.

Even when we aren’t paying for meat, eating it usually sends a signal of demand at some level.

If you eat meat at your family dinner, your parents will be more likely to keep buying enough meat to feed you on an ongoing basis, for example. This also applies at big parties and gatherings, although the signal may be less clear.

But there are other reasons not to eat meat in such contexts, too.

By refusing to eat meat, we’re often increasing demand for vegan alternatives. Then we’re sending signals to companies that more people want vegan options. When they get enough of these signals, they’ll be likely to offer more vegan options, which will make it easier for others to go vegan, too.

Another valid reason not to eat meat is that some people just feel that it’s gross or wrong… and it just doesn’t feel good to participate in it! And it’s as simple as that.

34. “We shouldn’t focus on animal rights until all human rights issues are handled.”

There will always be multiple issues that demand our attention.

Most of us, including vegans, do value human life more than animals. So on a gut level, we understand that impulse. But when animals are suffering so badly on factory farms, it just becomes hard to ignore.

In many cases, human rights violations today are at least restricted by laws—and people are at least sometimes prosecuted for breaking those laws.

In contrast, there is not even one federal law protecting animals that live on factory farms. Billions of animals are raised each year—in incredibly cruel conditions—specifically to be killed. And it’s all legally protected.

So, it’s not that vegans think animal rights are more important than human rights overall… it’s just that animal rights are being so brutally violated on such a mass scale.

Also: You can be vegan and still focus on human rights. Going vegan only really takes time during the initial learning period. Once you’re used to it, being vegan doesn’t really take up time or energy.

In fact, being vegan will likely give you more health and energy, which you can put toward fighting for human rights issues. Countless people who fight human oppression have also made a choice to eat a vegan diet—including famous feminist and anti-racist activist Angela Davis.

35. “Medical conditions don’t allow everyone to be vegan.”

I’ve actually researched this issue quite a bit. And while I respect that everyone’s body is different and you should listen to your doctor, I can tell you it’s very rare that a vegan diet would actually be impossible based on a medical condition.

That said, a vegan diet can certainly be much harder any time you have to “stack” multiple diet requirements on top of each other.

So yes, if you need to eat a very specific diet for a medical condition, it can get quite restrictive to stack veganism on top of that. And when a diet becomes very restrictive, there can be worries about getting all needed nutrients.

But it can pretty much always be done, if you really want to do it. You can be a gluten-free vegan, soy-free vegan, low-carb vegan, nut-free vegan, and so on.

One of the most difficult medical conditions to pair with veganism might be kidney failure. If you’re on dialysis, you typically need high protein while keeping potassium and phosphorous lower. That can be a challenge with vegan foods.

But even in those “tricky” cases, a good dietitian could usually figure out a vegan meal plan that is safe and hits the needed targets. So in most cases, it just comes down to how much you actually want to be vegan and how much you actually care about figuring it out.

For more on this topic, see “Can Everyone Be Vegan? 13 Medical Conditions That May Prevent It.”

36. “Only privileged people can afford vegan food. Veganism is expensive.”

Having more money and better grocery store access can make veganism easier, as it can make any specific diet easier. But veganism is possible at pretty much any budget.

Many common vegan staple foods are cheap and widely available: Potatoes, rice, oats, pasta, corn, beans, peanut butter, bananas, apples, frozen vegetables, etc.

Heck, there are even some vegan ramen noodle brands. (Last I checked, the Oriental flavor by Top Ramen is vegan—and that’s just one example.)

You don’t need to buy vegan cheese, Beyond Burgers, or expensive non-dairy desserts to be vegan. In fact, you will be healthier if you don’t buy them.

If you’re on a budget, don’t go to places like Whole Foods Market or natural foods stores. There are plenty of vegan options at Wal-Mart and other big chains, or discount places like Aldi.

If you’re short on money and short on cooking time, it can be harder to find cheap vegan convenience foods… but they exist. Look into fat-free baked beans, pasta, bananas and apples, peanuts and peanut butter, cereal or oatmeal, and ramen noodles like I said above.

It’s potentially quite condescending when people say poor folks can’t be vegan. Yes, being poor could be an extra hurdle as a vegan—just like it’s an extra hurdle in many endeavors—but if you’re committed to being vegan, you can do it.

37. “The vegan community is just full of white people.”

This is one of the more harmful stereotypes of the vegan movement, because it could become self-perpetuating. And most of us agree that we want vegan spaces to be inclusive.

The truth about veganism and whiteness, as far as I can tell, is that the media simply chooses to promote white vegan speakers, authors, and figureheads more than vegans of color.

Black vegans exist. Latino vegans exist. Asian vegans exist. Native American vegans exist.

The idea of veganism as a white people’s movement is not true and never was true. There have been important vegans of color and a prominent tradition of “vegan soul food” all throughout the history of veganism.

Many of the most vegan-friendly cuisines are traditionally eaten by people of color around the world—Ethiopian food, Indian food, and various other Asian cuisines.

When people say veganism is a “white person thing,” that’s erasing the contributions of countless vegans of color. And this makes the vegan movement a less inclusive place for vegans of color going forward.

I’ve heard from many vegans of color who say it’s the most frustrating thing to hear people say veganism is “a white people thing.” They’re just like standing there like, “Hello?”

38. “The world will never be fully vegan.”

First off, the world could be fully vegan someday—it’s not impossible.

Moral judgments about others issues, like human slavery, have dramatically changed across the world in the last 500 years or so. There’s no reason that moral values around animals couldn’t change, too.

Second, the world doesn’t need to be fully vegan in order for vegans to have an impact. Every animal that’s saved from suffering matters—and over a lifetime, each vegan saves thousands of animals.

Every person who goes vegan also decreases their carbon footprint and environmental impact, which helps keep our planet habitable for future generations.

39. “You buy other things that are made with unethical labor, like clothes from sweatshops.”

I’d like to do a better job with my other purchases over time, too. It’s not easy to remove ourselves from every single unethical practice or industry in the world… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do our best.

Going vegan is one of the most high-leverage, impactful changes we can all make. That’s because it not only helps the animals, but it also helps the environment and it’s good for our own health. So I started there.

But I don’t claim to be perfect or done with my journey to living a more compassionate life.

40. “Veganism is boring—the food lacks taste and variety.”

Maybe you’ve had a few bland vegan meals… but this certainly doesn’t apply across the whole spectrum of vegan options out there.

Some of the most vegan-friendly cuisines are Indian food, Thai food, Ethiopian food, and Mediterranean food. And from those four cuisines alone, you have such a wide variety of different flavors, spices, and types of food you can get vegan.

Then, add everything you can do with vegan Mexican food, vegan Chinese food, vegan pasta and pizza dishes, and so many more…

Most people find that going vegan pushes them to explore different cuisines and foods that they never tried before. Often, vegan foods like nutritional yeast, Soy Curls, and seitan become new favorites.

If vegan food seems boring, you probably just haven’t had that much yet.

41. “There is no such thing as objective moral truth.”

Depending on your view of things, this might be true. But even in that case, I’m sure we can agree: Personal values and following your own morality is an important part of being fulfilled and proud of who you are.

So I would just ask you to be honest with yourself: Do you actually feel that it’s okay to hurt animals, and like that’s something you want to contribute to?

Most people might say, “Yeah it’s okay, I don’t care about animal rights.” But if you really make yourself look at what’s happening… and if you see how it’s hurting these animals… you might start to feel some empathy for them.

I know that’s what changed it all for me. When I saw the videos of animals suffering in factory farms and slaughterhouses, I just had a feeling deep down that I didn’t want to support it anymore.

It wasn’t based on “objective morality,” logic, or what anyone else told me was wrong. It wasn’t based on a commandment or a specific moral theory. It was based on what I felt in my gut and in my heart about it.

42. “Hitler was vegetarian.”

It wasn’t Hitler’s vegetarianism that caused him to do any of the violent things he did. And that’s so obvious, I’m not even going to say anything else about it.

43. “Sustainable vegan farming isn’t possible—animal manure is needed to fertilize plants.”

Animal products like manure, bone meal, and blood meal are not needed to fertilize plants. There are nitrogen-fixing plants that can synthesize plenty of usable nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria and fungi.

For examples of this, just look up “veganic” farming. (Vegan + organic = veganic.)

Veganic farmers plant nitrogen-fixing crops into their fields during the off-season (as a “cover crop”) or even at the same time as their main crop.

There is no magic ingredient in animal manure that you can’t get from nitrogen-fixing plants and fertilizers made from them. The animals got their nitrogen from nitrogen-fixing plants in the first place.

Vegan permaculture also provides some interesting agricultural ideas for working with nature, harnessing natural biodiversity, and using predator-prey relationships to balance pests and control yields.

But vegan permaculture would also be a drastic departure from today’s monocrop farming. It may be unlikely for us to realistically see it widely applied in our lives.

Veganic farming overall, however, is not limited to personal gardens or community plots. One Degree is a profitable company whose cereals or breads you may have seen in grocery stores—especially if you ever shop at Whole Foods or health-food stores.

One Degree has a network of veganic farmers around the world who have successfully adopted the model. These include sizable farms (thousands of acres) that harvest their crop with combines and semi-trucks full of grains.

44. “If everyone went vegan, so many people would lose their jobs.”

First, everyone won’t realistically go vegan overnight. So if it ever happens, it’ll only happen gradually. That means the industry will have time to adapt. Very likely, some companies that currently make animal products would just switch to making plant-based versions.

Second—many of the jobs in animal agriculture are horrible. For example, workers at slaughterhouses often experience physical injuries, along with PTSD and other emotional, psychological issues from killing animals all day, every day. (source)

Also, I personally believe the intense, life-long suffering of animals on factory farms is worse than the temporary issue of people losing their jobs. Most people who lose their jobs would find new ones just fine.

Many developments in human history have made old jobs obsolete. It happens all the time due to technology. But does that mean we should stifle our technology and stay in the past, just to allow people to keep their jobs?

People will adapt. People have to adapt. That’s just a fact of life, and specifically, it’s a fact of capitalism. You’re not entitled to a job if it’s no longer contributing value that is in demand.

45. “Vegans are preachy and pretentious.”

Honestly, I’d agree that some vegans can be preachy… But most of us are just passionate. We feel strongly that animals are suffering, and we really want to help. In order to do that, we have to convince others to go vegan, too. So we try to spread the message.

But don’t let a few preachy people ruin veganism for you. Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to love and agree with all other vegans. Honestly, I find some vegans obnoxious—but that’s okay.

I’m vegan for the animals and for myself. So it doesn’t really matter what the rest of the vegan movement is like. If some of them are obnoxious, that’s their own problem.

What I care about is eating and living in a way that feels good and right to me. I like how I feel eating plants and being vegan. I feel good about the impact I’m having, and it makes me healthier.

If you really dislike vegans and the vegan movement, you can always just call yourself “plant-based.” That’s a more neutral term with fewer associations.

46. “Meat tastes good.”

Yes, meat does taste good. And human meat would also taste good, I’m guessing. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to kill humans to eat them.

And I’m saying the same about cow meat or chicken meat. Whether it tastes good is irrelevant to the question of whether it’s morally okay to kill an animal for it.

There are many things that would be pleasurable to do, but we don’t do them because it would cause suffering and harm to others. I’m saying that cow suffering also matters.

Plus, if you think about it, it’s not actually the meat itself that really tastes so good. Have you noticed that pretty much every meat is seasoned with salt (a mineral) and plant ingredients like tomato-based ketchup and BBQ sauce, mustard, herbs, olive oil, and so on?

47. “God put animals on earth to be food for us.”

See my separate post on veganism and Catholicism.

I know many Christian vegans who would dispute that! For every passage in the Bible that seems to label animals as food, there are other passages that contradict it.

Many Christians would agree that God wants humans to be “stewards” of animals. But stewardship is not domination. Being a steward of animals means looking after them and taking care of them. Not building factories to exploit and kill them.

Many Christians believe that it was in God’s plan for us to out-grow the killing of other animals for food, and that veganism is perfectly in line with the values of mercy, compassion, and caring for God’s creation.

At the least, the Bible seems to be neutral on whether humans eat animals. It certainly doesn’t dictate that we should eat animals.

48. “If it’s wrong for humans to own and use animals, why do vegans have pets?”

This is actually an issue that’s debated among vegans. Some vegans do see an inherent ethical problem with pet ownership and the status of animals as property.

That said, most of us are practical enough to see a difference between providing a loving home to a rescued dog vs raising animals specifically to kill and eat them. So most vegans are okay with having pets.

Still, there are issues of exploitation and cruelty in the pet industry. Puppy mills churn out dogs to sell, while unwanted strays are put down at shelters. Many pets are neglected, mistreated, and generally lack freedom.

Most vegans just try to be conscious of these issues, and they do the best for their pets that they can.

49. “So, do you force your cat or dog to be vegan, too?”

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they cannot survive on a fully plant-based diet. Some vegans may try to get around this with supplements, but most vegans respect that their cat needs to eat meat.

On the other hand, dogs are actually omnivores—not carnivores. Since evolving from wolves, dogs have become more capable of digesting starches and carbohydrates, and getting vitamin A from plants like humans can, too.

All this means that dogs can be healthy on a well-planned vegan diet. In fact, there are several dog food brands and supplements specifically made for vegan dogs.

One of the oldest dogs ever on record was actually a blue merle Collie in the UK named Bramble. Bramble lived to age 27 in good health, eating a mostly vegan diet of rice, lentils, and vegetables.

In practice, some vegans feed their dogs a vegan diet, but others don’t because it’s more expensive or they’re not confident about how to make sure it’s healthy.

For more on whether cats and dogs can be vegan, refer to this post.

50. “There has never been a vegan civilization in human history.”

That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be one today or in the future. And it doesn’t mean a vegan diet is unhealthy or unsustainable.

We’ve only really started to deeply understand the science of human nutrition in the past 100 years or so. The word “vitamin” didn’t even exist until 1913.

So it makes sense that we’re better positioned to safely eat a fully vegan diet today than in the past. That said, there has been a rich history of people experimenting with vegetarianism throughout history.

Did you know that Pythagoras started a vegetarian movement back in ancient Greece? (Yes, the guy from the theorem!) Followers of Jainism have a principle of “ahimsa” that calls for non-violence towards all living beings. So most Jains have always been vegetarian.

Buddhism also has ties to vegetarianism. Some scholars argue that the Budhha was a strict vegetarian, while others say he only ate meat when it was offered by a host. Meat-eating was also even banned in Japan for a period of ~1,200 years, from 675 A.D. to 1872.

The word “vegan” was only coined in 1944. But modern science is discovering that there are many benefits to a plant-based diet. And our modern technology makes it safer and easier than ever to be fully vegan.

For more on this kind of vegan history, refer to this post.

51. “Don’t force your beliefs on me.”

I’m not trying to forcing my beliefs on anyone. I’m just asking you to question your own beliefs.

Most of us grew up eating animals, and we never really questioned it. Since meat-eating is the norm in society, most of us just keep doing it without really looking into the facts.

But when you take the time to look at the impact on your health, on the animals, and on the planet… many people decide it’s more in line with their goals and values to eat plant-based.

All I’m trying to do is prompt you to ask these questions, and consider for yourself, what you really want to be doing with your diet—instead of just falling into the norm.

52. “I don’t have enough time to be vegan.”

It can take a little time to figure out veganism at first. But I’ve found that once you’re accustomed to it, veganism doesn’t take extra time at all.

There are so many quick vegan meals and snacks. Fresh fruit and nuts are some of the fastest foods of all. Many packaged snack foods like chips and cookies are “accidentally vegan”—you just need to learn which ones.

It’s also simple to carry trail mix with you, or quickly pack a vegan sandwich and carrots or fruit for lunch.

Chipotle is quick and easy to make vegan. Falafel places are great for a quick vegan lunch. There’s even a growing list of fast-food restaurants that offer the Beyond Burger. (See my full selection of vegan restaurant guides.)

If you want to be vegan, you can find the time to figure this stuff out.

53. “Meat and animal products are part of my culture.”

Increasingly, veganism is a global movement. More and more people of all cultures and cuisines are coming up with vegan versions of their diets.

Yes, cultural ideas about meat may vary—but there’s also a biological component to having compassion toward innocent creatures, and caring about our health and the Earth.

Food is emotional and social, so going vegan may seem very “against the grain” in some cultures and families. But all traditions and foods can be reimagined in a plant-based version.

As a vegan in a traditionally non-vegan culture, you can even be a part of building bridges between your culture and a vegan future. Create the vegan recipes in your cuisine if you can’t find them.

This can potentially make your culture that much more relevant to an up-and-coming generation that cares about food justice, health, and animal welfare.

If you’re confused or feeling lonely about going vegan in your culture, search and find others who have already done it. You should be able to find them online. Hear their perspective and the challenges they overcame, and know you’re not alone.

54. “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism.”

Depending on your view of capitalism, this may be valid to an extent. There’s certainly a level of exploitation in most major industries, including “vegan” industries like the farming of grains and fresh produce.

That said, most of us would agree that it’s still good to boycott the worst industries and brands—even if the other ones aren’t perfect, either.

And animal agriculture has to be near the top of the list of “worst industries.” Not just for animal abuse, but for the abuse of human workers, too.

Workers at slaughterhouses commonly experience trauma and PTSD, becoming desensitized from killing so many animals and witnessing so much suffering. Workers are also frequently cut and injured themselves from the line moving so quickly.

As depicted in the movie Fast Food Nation, many workers in these facilities are also undocumented immigrants. As these immigrants often have no legal recourse to report unsafe working conditions, they may be regularly mistreated and hyper-exploited.

Angela Davis is just one of the many anti-capitalist figures who promote a vegan diet as a sensible, compassionate choice—even if it doesn’t solve every ethical problem in our economy today.

55. “What if you were on a desert island or had to survive in the wild?”

Well, I’m not on a desert island. And neither are you. We’re in modern human civilization.

Maybe meat was helpful in our species history. Maybe it was necessary back when we didn’t know much about nutrition and we had fewer food options. But it’s not necessary now.

Ethics is contextual. For example, most people agree that some violence is okay in the context of self-defense. But that’s different from initiating violence for no good reason.

So, asking if I’d still be vegan in a very different context (a desert island)… It’s just not the same question at all as whether I should be vegan in modern human civilization.

56. “What about mushrooms, yeast, and bacteria? They’re alive, too.”

Vegans aren’t against killing things that are “alive.” We’re against killing individuals who suffer, have preferences, and are subjects of a life.

Bacteria and fungi are “alive,” and so are plants—but we have no reason to believe that they suffer. Mushrooms and yeast do not have central nervous systems.

Some of these organisms may react to stimuli… but that’s different from feeling pain. There’s no reason for us to believe that these organisms have consciousness or a capacity to actually feel suffering.

Even when it comes to oyster and bivalves, which are animals, some vegans are okay with eating them because they don’t have central nervous systems. That’s a separate debate, though. Read this post on “ostrovegans” for more on that.

57. “Animals do not suffer when they’re slaughtered.”

There has been plenty of documentation of cases where animals visibly suffer in the process of slaughter.

Some animals are fully conscious when their throats are cut. This is still practiced in some parts of the world according to Jewish and Muslim rules of slaughter. It’s debated whether it is actually painful to the animals, but I imagine it is at least quite scary…

Most places in the world, animals are knocked unconscious before slaughter, using tools like a “captive bolt gun.” But these stunning practices don’t always go properly.

In 2019, the US Department of Agriculture deregulated pig slaughter. This has resulted in faster line speeds, less oversight, and more pigs that are still conscious as their throats are slit.

One USDA inspector found that, after deregulation, more pig carcasses were found with water in their lungs—a sign that these pigs were still breathing when dropped into scalding hot water tanks (that comes after having their throats cut). (source)

Even in the majority of cases when animals are knocked out properly, videos show the animals expressing clear fear and stress as they’re transported, corralled, and then sequentially knocked out.

And even if slaughter were somehow totally painless… there is typically suffering inflicted at many other points in the animals’ lives.

Many animals undergo procedures like tail docking and castration without pain relief. And they’re often held in tiny indoor cages for their whole lives, living in filth and their own waste.

Some animal products are produced more humanely than others—but even the strictest animal welfare certifications are still considered inadequate by many advocates.

58. “Aren’t you projecting human desires and suffering onto other animals?”

This is a fair question to be asking. Certainly, animals don’t have all the same awareness as we have… so we could expect their fears and concerns to be different. There are likely situations that would be distressing to a human but not to another creature.

That said, there is quite a bit we can gather about animal experience by observing how they react to things. Many of us know from having pets, just how deeply animals can bond and feel. (I’d personally guess that my dog is more needy and emotional than most humans!)

We also have a scientific understanding of which animals have a central nervous system, and a fair bit of understanding about that stuff.

Also, the kinds of abuse that animals experience on factory farms is pretty blatant. It’s not just a little boredom or lack of freedom. It’s being castrated without pain relief, being separated from your mother at birth, and not even having space in your cage to turn around—things like that.

There are some animal rights conversations that could get a little more complicated… but when it comes to factory farms and slaughterhouses, we know that animals don’t want to be there.

59. “I read a news story about a nutritionally deficient vegan baby…”

Yes, it’s possible for vegan babies to become nutritionally deficient—just like this is possible for non-vegan babies. News outlets often latch onto vegan malnutrition stories, as the anti-vegan crowd is guaranteed to share the article far and wide.

But experts agree that babies and children of all ages can be healthy vegans. This has been stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the British Dietetic Association, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It just requires proper planning.

So if you’re planning to be pregnant or have a child, look up resources on those topics—such as the relevant chapters in Brenda Davis’s book Becoming Vegan. Perhaps seek out a registered dietitian to help plan the diet.

But a few cases of poorly planned vegan diets doesn’t mean the lifestyle isn’t sound when it’s done right.

60. “PETA is an offensive, racist, sexist organization.”

PETA does not speak for all vegans, and not all vegans support PETA. Some vegans are very against PETA, in fact.

PETA tends to use controversial campaigns to drive publicity. Some make comparisons between animal oppression and the oppression of women or people of color. Or they compare factory farming to the Holocaust.

Various PETA campaigns have been referred to as racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, fat-phobic, and more by critics. Many compassionate people have likely been turned off from veganism by these campaigns.

But again: Being vegan doesn’t mean you support PETA. As a vegan, you can be supportive, neutral, or opposed to PETA.

More on Vegan Ethics

For more discussion of vegan ethical arguments, check out my big post on vegan ethics here.

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.

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