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Know The Facts



noun: a thing that is known or proved to be true. information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article. the truth about events as opposed to interpretation.

Facts seem to be something that you can pick and choose between. If you don't like something that is known to be true, something that has been proven to be true you can choose a different truth, an "alternative fact". When you tell people that you're vegan you will hear a lot of alternative facts and people will use these alternative facts to argue with you. The problem then comes when you then tell them the truth, the verifiable truth. People can become defensive, angry, oppositional, they stop listening, you need to tread lightly when you get into a situation like this, try not to make things worse, but always be armed with the facts.

I'm going to go through some of the arguments that I'm often, too often, approached with. I hear them so much that my rebuttal is memorised, I just have to wait for the right buzz words or triggers and the script flows out of me.

Alternative fact in British English noun 1. a theory posited as an alternative to another, often more widely accepted, theory 2. facetious a statement intended to contradict another more verifiable, but less palatable. Alternative fact definition and meaning - Collins Dictionary

Humans Are Meant To Eat Meat

Humans have been eating meat for centuries, but this does not mean that it is necessary. Our digestive systems can cope with a small amount of meat, but eating the amount that can be found in a standard American, Australian or British diet is harmful to health, leading to raised cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes, cancers and more. Our teeth are not made for eating meat, this is why meat has to be cooked before people can eat it, raw meat cannot be broken down by human teeth. Then there's the ethical argument, if it is so natural why are animals selectively bred to grow more muscle mass, kept in confined spaces and fed an unnatural diet, given hormones and antibiotics to make them grow larger, faster. What was natural was humans hunting animals to feed themselves and their families as there was no alternative, the agriculture system, as it is today, is not natural.

Plants Have Feelings Too

Plants don't "feel" pain, they can't, they do react to stimuli that we would consider painful, when a stem is broken sap will come from the broken limb, in the same way that we would bleed. This is a defensive mechanism, it seals off the damaged area, preventing more damage to the plant, but the plant can't feel it. Plants have no brain, no central nervous system, there are no pain signals being sent through the plant. Plants make themselves attractive to humans and other animals as it works for them, they spread their seeds through their tasty, brightly coloured, fruits. Animals eat the fruit, walk, climb or fly away and poop the seeds out with ready made fertiliser, the perfect situation for the plant. Plants that don't want to be eaten will have thorns, they will taste bad or be poisonous. Also, if we're going to be so concerned with the feelings of plants, killing plants, etc., most of the plants harvested on the planet are grown to feed animals that are then killed for meat. It takes far more food to grow an animal to get 100 calories than it takes to give 100 calories worth of non-animal food to a human. If the argument that plants feel pain were valid it would only be another reason to go vegan.

Cows Make Milk Anyway

Cows, like all mammals, including humans, produce milk when they have given birth. The milk is for their calf and the milk production stops when the calf is weaned. In the dairy industry cows are forcibly impregnated, when the calf is born it is taken away so that it doesn't take any of the milk that the farmers want to sell. The calves are taken away for slaughter and the cows are hooked up to milking machines. When their milk starts to dry up the are impregnated again, the baby is taken away, again, and on it goes until the cow is producing too little milk to make it worth keeping her. At that point she is taken to slaughter, so no, cows don't just make milk anyway and even if they did that wouldn't mean that we have right to take it. There's also the lactose argument, but that's for another day.

If We don't Sheer Sheep They'll Die

Wool comes from sheep, alpaca and other animals that can grow a fleece. In the wild these animals do no need to be sheared, they will shed their fleece when the weather gets warmer. Domestic sheep need help, though, as they have been bred to grow unnatural amounts of wool; enough to be hazardous to their health. Because of this they need to be sheared, however, if they weren't selectively bred to over grow their fleece this wouldn't be a problem. We are not doing sheep a favour by shearing them and wearing wool, we would be doing them a favour by not forcing them to breed, forcing them to grow more wool than their bodies can cope with, then pinning them down to remove the heavy and uncomfortable fleece when there's enough to be sold. Sheep dying from not being sheared is very rare, though it can happen. It is usually caused by the sheep not being looked after, if it is hot and the sheep have a full fleece, they can succumb to heath exhaustion. They can develop skin conditions that lead to infections, the weight of the fleece can make it hard for the sheep to move, making them unable to get to food and water. These causes are related to maltreatment than not being sheared as the sheep are not being cared for correctly in their confinement.

Vegans Are All Deficient

There has, for a long time, been the idea that vegans are nutrient deficient, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, vegans are, apparently, dying a slow death. Except this isn't true, there are plant based sources of iron, calcium, omega 3, vitamin A, and for vitamin B12, it has been found that most populations of developed countries are deficient. In this case supplements will fix this, there is no need for vegans or anyone else, that doesn't have a medical reason, to be B12 deficient. So, Vitamin D, this is made in our skin when it is exposed to UV light, it has nothing to do with veganism. There are studies that have found that vegans are, not only, not deficient in essential nutrients, they are healthier than their meat eating counterparts.

What About Protein

Almost everything that we eat as food contain protein, but there are many protein rich plant based foods, including tofu, seitan, beans, nuts and seeds. Many of the meat substitutes are high in protein as they are made from plant proteins, pea, soya and wheat protein. Vegans that are slim are slim because they are not carrying excess fat, not because they are protein deficient.

cognitive bias

The way a particular person understands events, facts, and other people, which is based on their own particular set of beliefs and experiences and may not be reasonable or accurate.


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