The Vegan Conversation Guide

The Vegan Conversation Guide

“The root of all evil and oppression is the idea that some lives matter more than others.”

Ed Winters

Imagine a world where all children on this planet grow-up being told that the life of a fish which you never meet should be treated with the same amount of respect as the life of a dog.

And that a pig or a chicken should be allowed to live a life without any human exploitation or oppression.

Now, do you think that those children will grow up and ever suppress another human being if they think that all species or all beings are equal regardless of how they look or if they have feathers or wings?

Do you think our children would learn to respect all life including the life of humans?

This thought exercise motivated me to create this article. Below you find 38 objections against veganism and how to break & re-build them inside a non-vegan’s mind.

Welcome to my Vegan Conversation Guide. If you prefer to download a beautiful designed book, you can download it below. 

And with that…

Let’s get started.

38 objections about veganism and how to break them.

Starting now…

1) Humans need to eat animals to survive.

How you could answer this:

  1. At the beginning of a vegan discussion, it makes sense to ask the following question: “Do we need to eat meat or any other animal products in order to survive?”.
  2. If we don’t eat meat or animal products out of necessity, then the next question that comes up is “Why do we eat it then?” And the answer is simple, “pleasure”. If we don’t need to, then we do it because we want it or desire it. It’s pure pleasure for humans.
  3. If it’s only for pleasure, the next question could be: “Do you think you taste buds are worth more than life?” Now usually the answer is “no” which usually leads to new objections for you to handle. The same is true if they say “yes”.
  4. Let’s go deeper now: Humans don’t need to eat any animal products in order to survive and we vegans are living proof that this is true. Otherwise, the many vegans around the world would already be dead. If both conversation partners agree on that, you can base the next few arguments on this mutual agreement.
  5. You can not only survive without animals products but you can actually thrive on a vegan diet and live a much healthier life. You can even prevent and reverse diseases.
  6. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases”. They also say that “these diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes. Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable than diets rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources and are associated with much less environmental damage.”

Sources:

  • The American Dietetic Association : Link
  • The Academy of  Nutrition and Dietetics : Link
  • Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth : Link
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! Link
  • This Speech Is Your WAKE UP CALL! Link

2) Eating meat is natural! Animals eat other animals too.

How you could answer this:

  1. Yes, some animals eat other animals but the majority of animals are actually vegan. What do you think the strongest animals eat? The strongest and biggest animals like elephants, rhinos, hippos, and horses all eat plants.
  2. The teeth of a lion (carnivore) are very different to cow’s or human’s teeth which makes it difficult for them to chew plants. They can only chew with an up-and-down motion and are not able to do the side grinding motion required for chewing plants (what humans and cows do for example).
  3. Let’s consider the anatomical biology of carnivores compared to humans. Just compare a carnivore animal like a lion with a human. Lions have razor sharp teeth & huge claws to rip of flesh from living beings. Humans, on the other hand, have very small teeth and hands. Carnivores (like lions) have very short intestines which makes it ideal to digest animal flesh compared to human’s intestines which are very long and not so good to digest animal flesh.
  4. The acid found in carnivores and omnivores is very strong hydrochloric acid (Salzsaure). However, in humans, it’s very weak hydrochloric acid which is why we are subject to food poisoning if we eat raw meat.
    You don’t see a lion checking if his meat is all the way cooked, do you? In fact, you don’t see a lion checking at all what part of the body he’s eating. A real carnivore would eat every part of an animal up without any disgust or hesitation (like a lion). Humans, on the other hand, are disgusted if they would have to eat a brain, bones or intestines.
  5. If you were locked into a room with a living chicken and an apple, what would you eat? Of course, the apple because we don’t feel hungry if we see living creatures. But we do feel hungry if we see fruits. If you cut an apple in half you feel excited about the smell and the colour. On the other hand, if you slice up a dead pig, cut off its head and slice its stomach, you feel disgusted and think it’s horrific and awful! We want to distance our food as far away from a dead animal as possible.
  6. If you would put a small child with a living rabbit and an apple in the same room, what do you think would happen? The kid will eat the apple and play and pet the rabbit.
  7. We don’t need to eat meat in order to survive. And that’s all the difference. We eat meat for pleasure and selfish desire. Lions, on the other hand, don’t eat it other animals for pleasure only. They eat it to survive.
  8. Ask yourself this: What does the animal behavior has to do with the behavior of humans? Animals don’t have a moral agency which means they can’t take actions based on differentiating between right and wrong. We humans do have a moral agency. Lions rape and kill other animals. Is that a moral justification for us to do the same? Obviously not. Which makes the argument “animals eat animals, so we can too” not viable.

Sources:

  • The Single Reason The Biggest Animals Are Herbivores : Link
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)
  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)

3) Humans are on top of the food chain.

How you could answer this:

  1. Ask yourself this question first: “Just because we humans have the power to be dominant, does that mean we should use it?” Just because men are stronger than women, do men have the right to suppress them? Of course not.
  2. The problem with the food chain is that any being which is not at the absolute top of the food chain will get objectivised and de-personalised!
    1. Objectivised means that we treat living beings as commodities. Example: “This is just a chicken”
    2. Objectivism puts beings into different draws
      • This is a dog (dogs get into the dog draw -> we don’t eat them)
      • Pigs get into the pig draw -> we eat them
      • This de-personalises the living being – a living being with a unique character (just compare the personality of different dogs).
  3. Let’s have a look at this example: Cows only live so that humans can eat them. There are no wild cows. Their life’s purpose is to serve humans. They first get exploited by humans and then killed. Their only reason for existence is so that we can eat them.
  4. The opposite is true for the animals on top of the food chain – humans for example. Animals that don’t serve any other animals who are higher than themselves, just serve themselves. Which means they can actually live a life. Humans can live a life because we don’t live for anyone else. We can start families etc .. Cows, for example, don’t have that privilege (female baby cows get separated from their mums and baby boys usually get killed). They can’t live the life they would live because they have to live for us.
  5. The concept of the food chain allows us to play god – self-appointed gods. As we are on top, we can take whatever we want. We can drink the cow’s baby milk which was meant for the baby. We take their skin. We steal their eggs. We separate baby cows from their mothers. We kill them. We do all of this for pure pleasure as there is no need for us to do all of this. And just because we can, should we do it? If yes, how can you morally justify it? (you can not morally justify this).
  6. Industrial farming and what we do to farmed animals has nothing natural and has absolutely nothing to do with a food chain.
  7. The food chains within nature are extremely important, they are natural systems maintaining healthy populations of animals and ensuring the balance of our natural world.
  8. The food chains in nature exist because they have to. Predators in nature kill prey to survive. We kill torture and kill animals for pleasure.

Sources:

  • Food chain : Link
  • Best Speech You WIll Ever Hear (Updated) -Gary Yourofsky (source)
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)

4) This is the circle of life. The strongest survive!

How you could answer this:

  1. Let’s use  Gary Yourosky’s example :
    • A hiker is killed by a bear while hiking in the mountains.
    • The bear is clearly the stronger of the two. Are we now supposed to praise the bear to be part of the circle of life? Should we tell the hiker’s family “He was just not strong enough to survive ..” Of course we would not say that but instead, we would label that bear as a bloody murderer and send a group of people with guns and kill that bear. This is an example to illustrate the “circle of life” argument.
  2. The circle of life is always viewed from the killer’s point of view. Never from the victim’s point of view. Always (always, always) see it from the victim’s POV!
    • It’s funny how the circle of life never comes into place when humans get killed. Right? It only comes into place if either humans kill other animals or if stronger animals kill weaker animals. But never when humans get killed. Think about this for a second…
    • The concept of “the circle of life” is created and produced by us, the killers. It is an excuse to justify torture and murder.
    • The victims of the circle of life are not willing to participate in the circle of life. Just think about when a lion tries to kill a giraffe. The giraffe doesn’t want to get killed. She wants to live, right? She is not willing to participate in the “circle of life” concept because she doesn’t want to get killed. She is the victim in the equation.
    • We always need to consider the victims and evaluate the situation from a victim’s point of view.
    • Do you want to be the giraffe and get killed by the lion? Do you want to be the hiker who gets killed by the bear? Do you want to be the pig that gets killed in a gas chamber by humans?
    • Let’s consider this: A stronger human kills are weaker human. Now you imagine you are that weaker human. Do you want to be the victim? Is it morally okay to kill the weaker one just because he’s weaker? Of course not. Always consider the victim’s point of view.

Sources : 

  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)
  • Best Speech You WIll Ever Hear (Updated) -Gary Yourofsky (source)

5) Humans are carnivores! That’s how nature wants us!

How you could answer this:

  1. Humans have a side-to-side chew motion (like cows) instead of an up-and-down chew motion like lions have. Lions can only chew up and down. They can’t chew side to side.
  2. Humans sweat through their pores to cool themselves down while carnivores pant to cool themselves down (they use their tongue).
  3. Carnivores usually sleep and rest 18-20 hours (just think about your cat).
  4. Carnivores have strong claws (look at tigers for example) to hunt game and eat raw meat. Humans only have their hands.
  5. Carnivore’s stomach acid (hydrochloric acid to digest meat) is at least 10 times stronger than that from a human (or any herbivores) to digest raw meat. If humans would eat raw meat we would get sick.
  6. If carnivores smell other animals their instincts tell them to hunt and kill it. Humans on the other side are disgusted by seeing dead animals in slaughterhouses and try to distant themselves are far as they can from it.
  7. Humans have long intestinal tracts just like cows and other herbivorous animals. Lions, cats etc which are carnivores have very short intestinal tracts:
    • Humans’ intestinal is around 9 meters long (12 times its torso).
    • Carnivore intestinal is only 3 times its torso.
  8. Humans are plant-eaters just like our closest relatives, the Bonobo, and the chimpanzee
  9. But what about the Canine teeth? Looks pretty similar, right?
    • Human teeth are almost identical to cow’s teeth and most omnivores have Canine. Sometimes, herbivores have actually bigger Canines than meat eaters. Guess who has the biggest Canines? Hippos. And hippos are 100% vegan.
  10. Carnivores have fewer teeth than humans. Because they don’t chew their food but instead they just swallow the food. Humans actually chew their food.
  11. If you really think you’re carnivore then eat like real carnivores would do: They eat raw.
  12. Let’s face it: You hate meat. You only like the taste when it’s cooked, fried, baked, marinated and salted. A real carnivore eats his meat raw. Prove me wrong: Go to the next pet store and bite into the rabbit. Eat it all up. A real carnivore doesn’t care what he eats. They eat eyes, brains, tongues bones .. everything.
  13. Here’s an easy test to see if nature wanted us as meat eaters or plant eaters:
    • If you would put a small child, an apple and a rabbit into a room, guess what will happen?
    • If you think humans are carnivores then the kid would eat the rabbit, right? But instead, the kid will eat the apple and pet the rabbit. Eating meat is a learned behavior. It’s not natural to us.
  14. Scientific studies show that humans are 100% herbivore. By nature, humans are Herbivores and not Carnivores. Otherwise, we would not have so many crucial similarities with animals that are Herbivores (like monkeys and cows)
  15. Humans are not carnivore or omnivore. Humans are Herbivores.

Sources:

  • Are Humans Carnivores? Are We Meant to Eat Meat? (Graphic): Link & Link
  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)

6) I love animals but I also eat them..

How you could answer this:

  1. If you ask someone if they love animals, they will say “yes”. So far I have never had a situation where someone says “No, I don’t like animals”. That’s very rare. Everyone loves animals. It’s good to establish this agreement during or at the beginning of a debate. Because you can use that for other objections they throw at you later on.
  2. If someone says they love animals then ask them: “Can you love animals but still eat them? Can you love something but still want it killed?” The answer is clearly no. That would be the same as saying “I love women” but then you rape them. These two things don’t go along.
  3. Do you love your family? Probably yes. The absolute last thing you would want is that your mum, dad, sister or brother gets hurt. The last thing you would want to happen to them is to be kidnapped, raped, put into cages, abused, tortured or murdered. You wouldn’t want to pay someone to torture your boyfriend/girlfriend, would you?
  4. Because if you love someone or something, you want to avoid bad things happening to them. So by default, the argument “I love animals but I still eat them” is not valid.
  5. To be an animal lover you need to show love, compassion, and respect for every animal on this planet.
  6. You need to make a choice: You are either an animal lover or an animal eater. It’s that simple. You can’t be both.
  7. And if someone says they just love certain types of animals, like dogs, cats, horses etc .. Does that morally justify the killing of animals they don’t love?
    • Consider the following examples: If a rapist would say that he only loves women with dark hair and thus only rapes women with blonde, black hair etc .. Would that justify the act of raping? Of course not!

Sources :

  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)
  • Can you love animals and eat them ? : Link

7) Eating meat is a tradition. It is part of our culture.

How you could answer this:

  1. Let’s consider that keeping black people slaves was once considered a tradition. Or treating women as objects was also considered as “normal” and being part of our culture/tradition.
  2. If humanity would have been too ignorant & arrogant to evolve and instead keep specific traditional behaviors or habits, then mankind would still have black people slaves and women would have no rights. We would still consider homosexuals as perverts or accuse women to be witches and execute them.
  3. Or if we look at a modern day scenario:
    • Bullfighting in Spain is considered a tradition. Every year 250,000 bulls die. Is it justifiable to kill these innocent bulls only because it’s a tradition? Clearly not.
    • Or if you look at Japan: Every year from September to March thousands of dolphins (22,000 dolphins) are hunted to death & slaughtered. They justify these hunts as being part of Japanese culture. Do you think this is justifiable?
    • Or female genital mutilation, which is the process of removing some or all of the external part of a vagina. This happens to 200 million women every year and takes place in 30 countries today (African countries, Indonesia, Yemen ..). This is considered a tradition in these countries. So if it’s okay to eat animals because it’s tradition, I could also argue that it’s okay to remove the external parts of a woman’s genital part. Would you say this is justifiable only because it’s a tradition?
  4. Tradition is a tool to keep the status quo the same and avoid change (no one likes to change and adapt). Tradition is the tool for the scared & weak people among us. People who think they are not strong enough to adapt to change.

Sources:

  • The Cove documentary : Link
  • Bullfighting : Link
  • Female genital mutilation : Link

8) Respect my personal choice! It’s my personal choice to eat meat!

How you could answer this:

  1. Ok, so it’s your personal choice to eat the dead flesh of an animal. It’s the same personal choice of a racist to be racist or the personal choice of a rapist to commit rape. Right?
  2. Your personal choice had a victim. This victim had a life. This victim had a personality and character. This victim had a name and a family. This victim wanted to reproduce itself. This victim wanted to live. But because of your so-called personal choice, you just took away everything that victim had. You took away life.
  3. Because of your personal choice, 57 Billion animals are killed every single year. Because of your personal choice, 2.7 Trillion fish are killed every year. Because of your personal choice, animals are skinned alive only that you can wear their skin. Because of your personal choice, children in Africa and all around the world need to die every couple of seconds because their food is fed to the animals that you eat. Because of your personal choice, living beings that don’t want to die, get tortured, beaten to death, raped and murdered.
  4. When you declare that “it’s your personal choice to eat animals”, it doesn’t work. ‘Your personal choice ends where someone else’s body begins’ and supporting animal agriculture cannot be a personal choice, because it affects other living beings.
  5. A personal choice would be your favourite music, book or movie and not who you choose to oppress and kill because you want to.

Sources:

  • Eating meat and the illusion of personal choice : Link
  • Is eating animals a personal choice ? : Link

9) I love meat and cheese too much to stop eating them.

How you could answer this:

  1. Let’s shine some light on that statement: “You’re claiming that we shouldn’t be held responsible for our immoral desires because our selfish impulses are too strong to be suppressed.” Is it that what you’re saying?
  2. Would it be justifiable to say for a rapist “I would give up rape but I just enjoy it too much”?
  3. What do you think would happen if a child murderer would say “I could never give up murdering children” … Do you think the judge would say “Oh well that’s okay because ethics don’t matter when it comes to personal desires. If he really enjoys killing children that much, then we should just leave him to do it.”
  4. It’s grotesque to even draw parallels to the inconvenience you would have to go through giving up your favorite animal-based foods, compared to the pain & suffering of the animals who get raped repeatedly, exploited, caged (many never see daylight or fresh air), tortured and murdered.
  5. The pain and suffering you have to go through for giving up any of your favorite animal-based foods is minimal compared to the pain and suffering the animal has to go through to provide it for you.
  6. The food that you claim is so hard to give up only last for around 15-20 minutes. But the death of an animal is eternal. Think about this.
  7. What food could possibly be worth more than life? A life that felt fear. A life that felt pain. A life that had a character. A life that had a family. A life that had a mother. A life that wanted to live. The fear of death is not unique to humans. Most of us are fearful of death. We don’t want to die. But if it happens we want to die surrounded by the ones that we love. One of our biggest fears would be to die in pain .. to die being tortured or gassed. We even create horror movies about these concepts because it gives us nightmares and scares us to death. But yet that’s exactly what you do if you pay someone else to torture & murder animals for you on your behalf. Put yourself into the animal’s shoes. The pain it must feel. The confusion it must feel. This isn’t a horror film or nightmare they will wake from. The pain is real. The suffering is real. The murder is real. This is what trillions of animals that are slaughtered each year have to go through.
  8. So explain to me again how your taste buds are worth all of that? Explain to me what makes you worth so much and them worth so little. You’re not better. You not have been given some divine rights.
  9. Would you say you’re equal to all living creatures? Because we are. We are equal to every living creature. So if you don’t want to die, how can you say that it’s okay that other humans murder animals on your behalf?
  10. And by the way: It’s not like you have to give up all of your favorite foods. You can veganize pretty much anything! There is vegan ice cream, vegan milk, vegan sausages, vegan meats etc .. When you go vegan, the only thing you give up is cruelty
  11. And once you go vegan, you will suddenly explore natural foods and ingredients you have never heard of before.

Sources:

  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)
  • Best Speech You WIll Ever Hear (Updated) -Gary Yourofsky (source)
  • Dr. Michael Greger: “How Not To Die” | Talks at Google (source)
  • 101 REASONS to GO VEGAN – Presentation (source)
  • This Speech Is Your WAKE UP CALL! (source)
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)

10) I only buy organic food. I know exactly how my meat was raised and killed.

How you could answer this:

  1. So you’re only buying humanely killed, organic, regional, local, BIO, free range, kosher and grass-fed animal products, right? Let me ask you this: What’s the definition of “humane”?
  2. Definition of “humane”: “having or showing compassion or kindness”
  3. There is no such thing as humane slaughter or humane slavery. This means humane produced meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, honey or shoes do not exist. That means killing animals is always evil regardless of how it’s done. It doesn’t matter if you buy regional, local, BIO, organic, hormone free or GMO-free products .. all animals go into the same slaughterhouse. Even if they had a “nice” life, they all end up in the same slaughterhouse to be killed.
  4. If I tell you that there are organized dog fights in Thailand, where they let the dogs play outside in the backyard (without a cage) during the day, feed them every single day with the best food. They are perfectly taken care off with love and medical support. But then in the evening, they let the dogs fight against each other for the entertainment of humans who bet on the dogs. Would you support that? It doesn’t matter how well you treat an animal before you torture or kill it. In the end, they all die.
  5. If a rapist would first take his victim out for an expensive dinner and then rape her, would that be okay? Of course not. In the end the act of torturing, raping, killing occurs and it doesn’t matter at all how well the victim lived before he/she got abused
  6. Labels like organic, BIO, local, regional are invented by the food industry and are here to trick us and distract us from the reality that all animals get killed regardless of how they were raised.
  7. Marketing labels don’t justify the killing of animals in the end.
  8. Here are some more definitions:
    • Definition of “organic”: “Farming method to produce without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals.”
    • What is “BIO”? BIO is used in EU countries but is the same as “organic”.
    • Definition of “kosher”: “Animals must be killed by a single cut across the throat causing the animal to bleed to death”.

Sources:

  • Land of Hope and Glory (UK’s “Earthlings” Documentary) : Link
  • What Humane Slaughterhouses Don’t Solve: The Last Pig Problem: Link
  • Let’s Face It: There Is No Such Thing as Humane Meat : Link

The first 10 objections are down!

Let’s continue with the next 10 objections.

11) But B12 deficiency is a real problem if you’re vegan!

How you could answer this:

  1. Did you know that B12 doesn’t come from animals but it comes from bacteria?
  2. Why do we need B12? What is B12?
    • B12 is important so that the brain and the nervous system can function correctly
  3. How can we get B12?
    • B12 naturally exist in our mouth and intestines (our small intestine produces B12)
    • B12 is found in untreated water (rivers & lakes) and soil (that’s how elephants and tribes who live in nature get their B12 from). In the past, we used to get all of our B12 from drinking from some mountain stream but today we are chlorinating our water to kill all the bacteria so we don’t get a lot of B12 anymore from our water as it is sterilized
  4. Did you know that B12 deficiency is actually not a vegan problem? It’s a problem also meat eaters face. In fact, everyone, and especially people over 50 years of age have B12 deficiencies. It’s a specific problem that touches a specific part of the population and has nothing to do with veganism.
  5. If someone says that only a meat-based diet gives you enough B12, here’s what you could answer:
    • Herbivorous animals have B12 because they eat from the ground and drink from water streams.
    • Factory-based meat does not contain B12 (as these animals don’t get the chance to drink the water from mountain streams) and as a result, farmers need to give animals B12 shots so that they can market their meat as B12 rich. So instead of giving B12 supplements to animals, then pay someone to kill that animal and then eat their flesh to get your B12 .. Why not just eat the B12 directly through a B12 supplement?

Sources:

  • “Safest Source of B12” from Dr Michael Greger : Link
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Just A Vegan Problem?: Link

12) Vegans don’t get enough protein.

How you could answer this:

  1. Here’s some information about proteins:
    1. Protein is important for maintaining muscle and bone mass, for keeping the immune system strong and to prevent fatigue.
    2. Proteins are made out of chains of amino acids. Some amino acids can be made by the body (generally from other amino acids), but some cannot. The ones that cannot are known as “essential”.
    3. It is easy to get enough protein on a vegan diet if you eat multiple servings of high-lysine foods each day. High-lysine foods include:
      • If you meet lysine requirements on a vegan diet, you will most likely meet protein requirements. Tofu, tempeh, soy meats, lentils, and seitan have a lot of amino acid lysine.
      • Plant protein can meet requirements when a variety of plant foods is consumed and energy needs are met. Research indicates that an assortment of plant foods eaten over the course of a day can provide all essential amino acids.
  2. Do you know any person who is sick or died of protein deficiency? It’s unheard of! Protein deficiency is only possible if you are planning on starving to death. Protein is in every single piece of food you eat. Only if you don’t consume enough calories, you won’t be able to get enough protein.
  3. The average requirement of daily protein is around 42 grams of protein or if you want to be precise then it’s 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight. So if you weight 74kg, your daily protein requirement is 60g (59.2g).
  4. It’s very easy to hit your daily protein requirement, in fact, 70% of people consume too much protein on a daily basis.
  5. If you’re a gym person and do strength training, then you should get around 1.5 grams proteins per kilogram (which is around 110g of proteins daily if you weight is 74 kilograms).
  6. If you eat enough calories you get enough proteins. Unless you hit your daily calorie requirement by eating junk food or lollipops. If you’re vegan, eat a whole food plant-based diet and eat enough calories and you will never have a protein problem in your life
  7. Make sure you eat a variety of healthy food (not vegan junk food!)
  8. Here’s a list of common protein sources and how they compare to animal-based products:
    1. Protein sources: (per 100 grams)
      • Seitan = 75g proteins (water+wheat flour)
      • Seaweed (Spirulina) = 57g proteins
      • Beans = 20g proteins
      • Tempeh = 19g proteins
      • Chia Seeds = 17g proteins
      • Edamame = 11g proteins
      • Lentils = 9g proteins
      • Tofu = 8g proteins
      • Soy Milk = 3,3g proteins
    2. Proteins in meat (for comparison)
      • Chicken = 31g proteins
      • Beef = 26g proteins
      • Pork = 27g proteins
      • Eggs = 13g proteins
      • Milk =  3,4g proteins

Sources :

  • Protein by Vegan Health :  Link
  • Vegan protein status : Link
  • How to Prevent Deficiencies on a Vegan Diet: Link
  • Where Do You Get Your Protein On A Vegan Diet?: Link
  • Protein: Link

13) Vegan food doesn’t have enough vitamins and nutrients

How you could answer this:

  1. First of all, all nutrients come from plants. Not animals. There are only two exceptions: B12 which is a bacteria not found in animals neither (but in water & soil) and vitamin D (which is actually not a vitamin but a hormone created by your body when you’re exposed to sunlight) which is produced by all animals (including humans).
  2. Nutrients you get from animals are the nutrients the animal first received from the plants it eats. You basically filter plants through an animal body to get your nutrients instead of eating the source itself. So why not eat the plants directly to get your nutrients?
  3. If you eat animals you also get lots of things you don’t want like:
    • Cholesterol
    • Huge amounts of fat
    • Trans fats are basically found in only one place in nature: animal fat. (source)
    • Saturated fat
  4. Do you really think the trillion dollar pharma industries got rich from a few vegans? No, they get rich from the billions of animal eaters.
  5. Let’s have a look at the most common nutrients and where to get them from as a vegan:
    1. Iron:
      1. Iron is generally associated with red meat consumption
      2. But you also get iron from beans and greens (what the animal also eats)
      3. One portion of beans is 50% of your daily iron requirement. Spinach is 80% of your daily needs
      4. Sources of iron:
        • Broccoli
        • Spinach
        • Bok Choy
        • Beans
        • Dried fruits
        • Tofu
        • Cashew Nuts
      5. No need to supplement Iron if you eat a healthy & diversified vegan diet (whole foods)
    2. Calcium:
      1. Your daily requirement is around 600-800 mg.
        • It’s easy to get it from your daily meals if you eat enough proteins
        • No needs to supplement calcium
        • 100 gram of sesame seeds  has 975 mg
        • 100 gram of tofu has 350mg
        • 100 gram of broccoli has 50mg (47mg to be precise)
      2. Cow’s milk contains calcium but also contains all the unhealthy stuff like saturated fats, antibiotics, and pus which you don’t find in green vegetables (like broccoli)…
      3. Milk actually removes calcium from bones (learn more about in the milk chapter!)
    3. Omega 3:
      1. Omega 3 is an essential fat meaning we have to get them from our diet (we don’t produce omega 3)
      2. Omega 3 is divided into short chain omega 3’s & long chain Omega 3’s
      3. Short chain omega 3 is found in food sources like:
        • Flax seeds
        • Walnuts
        • Chia seeds
        • Hemp Seeds
        • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce, kale, broccoli)
      4. Long chain Omega 3’s (called DHA & EPA) is not found in food but only in algae (where fish get it from). So vegans can supplement that through algae-based supplements. Our human brain also consists of DHA (long chain omega 3’s) but it’s scientifically unclear if the human body can create enough DHA and that is why it’s good to supplement it through algae-based pills. (250 mg of algae-based DHA every day)
      5. People always connect omega 3 with eating fish. Fish don’t have omegas (3 and 6) inside them but instead, the omegas come from algae, which fish eat. So why not cut out the middle animal (fish) and go directly to the source?
    4. Vitamin D:
      1. Vitamin D is not a vegan-related problem. Most humans have vitamin D deficiency as they sit inside most of their time (working in an office in front of a computer or watching Netflix at home).
      2. Solution: Eat mushrooms to get vitamin D and stay in the sun
      3. Vitamin D comes in two forms: D2 & D3
        1. D2 supplements are always vegan
        2. Usually, D3 supplements come from Lanolin which is from sheep’s wool (so it’s not vegan). But there also D3 supplements derived from Lichen. So make sure to ask for vegan D3 supplements in your pharmacy.
        3. DR. Michael Greger (from nutritionfacts.org) recommends to get vitamin D from supplements and to take 2000 International Units (UI) a day. He recommends to particularly get vegan D3 as most studies were done with D3.
    5. Zink: Eat pumpkin seeds and you’re fine.

Sources:

  • Got Calcium? Dairy Free Vegan Calcium Sources: Link
  • Is A Vegan Diet Vitamin D Deficient? Link
  • How to Get Omega 3 On A Vegan Diet: Link
  • Iron: Link
  • How to Prevent Deficiencies on a Vegan Diet: Link
  • Omnivore vs vegan nutrient deficiencies :  Link

14) I’m not sure what to eat as a vegan. I’m lost!

How you could answer this:

  1. You could give an example of what to eat in order to meet requirements as a vegan. Here’s a daily food plan example.
  2. Breakfast:
    • Porridge with fresh oranges, bananas, agave syrup, chia seeds, coconut oil, walnuts, and a plant-based milk and soy or coconut yogurt if you want.
    • If you want more: bread with avocado and tomato and olive oil. You could also add some soy-based cream or (coconut-based) cheese or hummus.
    • Or: Make some tofu scramble with curry, cumin & paprika, sesame seeds (to get your calcium) and some fresh tomatoes and cashew nuts. Maybe add some spinach, cilantro, and mushrooms!
  3. Lunch: 
    • Tempeh or seitan with quinoa, broccoli (get your calcium – squeeze some lemon on the broccoli to make the calcium better absorbable), spinach and mushrooms. Instead of quinoa you could take some pasta and add some tomato or coconut-based or cashew-based or rice-based sauce. Add some pumpkin seeds (to get your zink).
      Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, kale, broccoli or legumes, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Marinate tempeh pieces with soy sauce, coconut butter, lemon, and agave syrup. Add some cilantro. Have some figs, bread, and hummus on the side.
  4. Dinner:
    • Tofu curry with rice and beans or lentils, broccoli, spinach, cashew nuts, coconut milk, coriander, and lime juice.
    • Other options: Carrots, sweet potatoes, bok choy, edamame etc..
  5. Supplements: Take B12 supplements daily
  6. Take an algae-based DHA supplement to get your omega 3s

Sources:

15) We should improve the treatment of animals but eating meat every once in a while is not too bad.

How you could answer this:

  1. If a rapist would take his victim to a really nice and expensive dinner before he rapes her, would that justify the rape? Of course not! Regardless of how nice is before, it’s wrong and can never be justified.
  2. If the owner of a dog fighting place would treat his dogs really well before the dogfights (there is a dog salon, unlimited food, a playground & private beds) would that justify dogfights in general? Of course not!
  3. It doesn’t matter what treatment or privilege you give to an animal if the animal, in the end, ends up in a slaughterhouse. Organic meat is just as bad as conventional meat. Both animals end up in the same slaughterhouse.
  4. The only happy cow is a cow that lives free from exploitation.
  5. Humane slaughter is an oxymoron which means it is contradictory. Humane slaughter is impossible. Remember humane is defined as “having or showing compassion or benevolence”. How could you compassionately murder someone?
  6. Terms like organic, BIO, grass-fed, GMO-free are words used by the industries to make people not feel bad about their choice to eat dead animals. Terms like the above marketing devices to pay more for organic or free-range products than for conventional products. Free-range, for example, doesn’t actually mean that they are outside (more about this later).
  7. Even if we ban factory farming and only allow family farms to feed the population, then this would first of all never be environmentally sustainable and second of all, we would still kill innocent animals.

Sources:

  • Land of Hope and Glory (UK’s “Earthlings” Documentary) Link
  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 Link
  • Cowspiracy Link
  • This Speech Is Your WAKE UP CALL! Link
  • Food Choices Link
  • Forks Over Knives Link

16) But what about plants? They are also living beings and feel pain!

How you could answer this:

  1. Let’s approach this answer first from a scientific point of view: In order to be able to suffer you need to have a functional central nervous system connected to a brain.
  2. Plants don’t have a central nervous system like humans and animals. This means that plants are unable to feel pain and emotions.
  3. Think about the primary function of pain. It allows the person who feels the pain to be alerted and escape (run away) from the situation they are in.
  4. A plant, on the other hand, can not move. They are rooted to the ground.
  5. Plants are indeed alive and they conduct activities on a cellular level like turning towards the sun. But they do not do any activities on a cognitive or conscious level.
  6. Example: The Venus flytrap plant traps insects not because it’s conscious about it but because the insect triggers the stimulators of the plant. It will also trigger if you put a cigarette into the plant because it’s a reaction and not a conscious decision to eat the cigarette. What would happen if you would put a cigarette into a cow’s or dog’s mouth? Well, they won’t eat the cigarette as they consciously respond.
  7. But let’s say we do believe that plants feel pain – let’s just imagine this for a second. Now, there are even more reasons to eat plants. Because the best thing you can do to plants is actually to eat them. And here’s why:
  8. It requires 16 pounds (7.2kg) of grain to make 1 (0.45kg) pound of steak. Or to make 1kg of steak you need 15kg of plants. One cow holds around 200 kg of retail meat. To produce that we need 3000 kg (3 tons) of grain. This doesn’t sound very efficient to me. So instead of letting the animal eat all these plants, eat them yourself and you will harm far fewer plants. If you want to save plants, eat them.

Sources:

  • “Can plants feel pain” : Link
  • “Do plants feel pain ?” (answer and comments) : Link

17) But soy is really bad for the environment

How you could answer this:

  1. Yes, soy farming is having a devastating impact on the environment. It is the second largest driver of deforestation especially in South America as the United States, Brazil, and Argentina together produce about 80% of the world’s soy. Unique ecosystems rich in biodiversity such as the Amazon (the world’s largest tropical rainforest), the Gran Chaco, (the largest dry forest in South America) and the Cerrado (the continent’s largest savanna) are being destroyed to make room for soy production.
  2. The destruction of those habitats causes wildlife extinction, accelerates climate change, leads to more water and soil pollution, and affects people with the displacement of farmers and indigenous communities who rely on these ecosystems for their livelihoods. Most soy productions are monocultures which means there is only one plant species on the entire crop and that the farmers rely heavily on GM soy plants (genetically modified soybean). Using monoculture plants is risky for the farmer as they could lose their entire crop if anything was to happen (disease) which is why they use strong pesticides and other chemicals on their productions.
  3.  Toxic chemicals (fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides) used for GM (genetically modified) soy production contaminate soils and forests, poison water systems, rivers and thus our oceans, and endanger the lives of local people.
  4. But the truth is that all of this soy is not (read: not) produced for vegan hippies. But more than 85% of all soy is actually produced for livestock feed.
  5. 1kg of beef needs around 10kg of soy plus a lot of water to be produced.
  6.  Most of the soy is consumed indirectly in the form of chicken, pork, beef as well as eggs, milk, cheese, and even farmed fish.
  7. But it can also be found in the form of vegetable oil, protein isolate, chocolate bars, bread, sauces, and all types of processed food… it’s basically everywhere.
  8. So vegans cannot be blamed for the negative impact of soy.
  9. Especially as the meat industry is by far the main driver of soy farming, thus responsible for deforestation, habitat destruction, wildlife extinction, as well as health and social issues.

Sources:

  • The story of soy (WWF) : Link
  • The Surprising Way Your Diet can Fix the Soy and Deforestation Problem: Link
  • Soybean cultivation as a threat to the environment in Brazil : Link
  • What’s driving deforestation ? : Link

18) There are more important issues than animal rights.

How you could answer this:

  1. The root of all evil and oppression is the idea that some lives matter more than others. While we have violence on our plates we will always have violence on our streets as well.
  2. We could always say “Don’t you think we should focus on fixing Syria first?” “And then the homeless problem in our city”…
  3. But by de-valuing one of the issues we’re basically doing nothing about any of the issues as you’re too busy figuring out what problem to fix first.
  4. Here’s the good thing though: This is not a binary decision. Not this or that. You can be a vegan and still be careful about where you buy your clothes. You can be vegan and still build schools in Africa. You can be vegan and also stand up for human rights or women rights. One doesn’t exclude the other.
  5. Veganism is very simple: It’s about not contributing to any animal suffering whatsoever. But by becoming vegan and helping others to change as well, we not only help the animals and stop their suffering but we also help solve many other problems! Here are a few other problems that get automatically solved when the world turns vegan:
  6. If you raise every child on this planet and you tell that child that the life of a fish which you never meet in your life should be allowed to live its life in the ocean without human exploitation and oppression… And if you would also tell that child that a chicken should be granted with respect and they should be allowed to live their life as well… Now, do you think that child will grow up and ever suppress another human being if they think that all species or all beings are equal regardless of how they looked or if they had feathers or wings or whatever form they took? Do you think that child would learn to respect all life including the lives of humans and animals regardless of race or species?
  7. This could help solve discrimination against humans, women, blacks, gays etc.. because humans grow up with the idea that all is equal regardless of how they look.
  8. Food: We’re currently growing food to feed 10 billion people. The planet has 7.5 billion people and yet every 3 seconds someone dies. Many due to a lack of food. Food that we have but currently feed to the animals to grow and eat their flesh. Going vegan could theoretically help to end world hunger.
  9. Plastic: Are you trying to save the planet by avoiding plastic straws? That’s a good start but did you know that at least 46% of ocean plastic pollution is because of fishing nets? If you want to be strategic about reducing plastic pollution start by stopping to eat fish. By going vegan and not supporting the fish industry you say no to plastic pollution.
  10. Ocean Cleanup, an organization working to develop technologies to reduce ocean plastic, found that at least 46 percent of the plastic in the “Great Pacific garbage patch” (an area the size of France made up of plastic) comes from fishing nets. It’s worth noting that miscellaneous discarded fishing gear makes up the majority of the rest.
  11. While ditching plastic straws may make you feel good inside, the best thing we can do to help marine life and the planet is to leave fish off our plates and switch to a compassionate vegan diet.
  12. Workers: Slaughterhouse workers show one of the highest rates of depression, suicide and violence, and crime. No wonder as they need to murder every single day.
  13. Workers: If you went vegan we could end the exploitation of Indian clothing workers where their children are born with heavy disabilities as they need to deal with poison and chemicals to create leather sold in the west.
  14. If you went vegan, we could end the exploitation of the indigenous people in the Amazons as we destroy the rainforests (their homes) to make room for animal agriculture (to grow food for the animals).

Sources:

  • Evidence that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is rapidly accumulating plastic: Link
  • The harrowing psychological toll of slaughterhouse work : Link
  • 9 Ways Veganism Is Helping the Planet : Link
  • Human Rights Issues are More Important Than Veganism : Link

19) Vegan food is too expensive for me.

How you could answer this:

  1. Since when are apples, bananas, rice, broccoli, beans, carrots etc more expensive than meat?
  2. Meat and fish (filet mignons, salmon fillets, steak, spare ribs etc ..) will always be more expensive than vegetables or fruits.
  3. Yes, there are expensive vegan things out there. Raspberries are expensive. But you can buy bananas for $1.
  4. What do you think the poorest people on this planet eat? It’s definitely not meat. The cheapest food on this planet is rice, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits. Meat is a luxury food.
  5. The only reason why some meats in the western world are so cheap (think cheeseburger from McDonald’s which is usually around 1 euro) is that meat and dairy products are heavily subsidized by the government through tax money
  6. Vegan food is expensive if you shop in fancy supermarket chains and eat out in trendy restaurants. But if you would do the same on an omnivore diet, it would also be expensive (as these places are trendy & fancy).
  7. Here’s how you eat vegan without spending more – in many cases, you will even end up spending less (it’s how I do it personally):
  8. Buy your vegetables & fruits, rice, potatoes, quinoa etc from the normal supermarket in your city (this is all the food you would eat on an omnivore diet anyway).
  9. But there are a few things a normal supermarket won’t sell at the moment (2018 – in the future this will change a lot). Stuff like tempeh, fermented tofu, seitan, coconut or soy yoghurt, agave, rice-based or soy-based white sauce, vegan cheese, processed vegan dishes (like seitan-based sausages or quinoa-based veggie-baddies) – this is the stuff you would buy in a more expensive supermarket as these are the supermarkets which currently (2018) only sell that stuff.
  10. Let’s compare prices now: Vegan cheese usually costs between 3-4 euros which is pretty similar to normal cheese. Tempeh you get between 2.5 – 4 euros and tofu between 2-3 euros. This is pretty much the same price you would also pay for meat or fish.
  11. The reason why people think that vegan food is more expensive than the standard diet is that vegan restaurants or supermarkets usually target people that enjoy eating healthy. And healthy quality food is always more expensive. I wanted to explore this myself and did the following test: I looked at the price of a chicken breast in Barcelona (Spain) at Veritas (health supermarket with lots of vegan products) and it costs around 20 euros. If you want to buy the same size chicken at Mercadona (a very popular supermarket chain for the average person) you will pay around 5 euros. The difference between the two chicken fillets is, of course, the quality of the meat. You will always pay for quality regardless of if you eat vegan or an omnivore die

Sources

  • Vegan Food is So (Not) Expensive: Link
  • Vegan on a budget : Link
  • Vegetarian food on a budget : Link

20) Animals are killed humanely and don’t feel pain when slaughtered.

How you could answer this:

  1. It’s important to understand that the end result (death) is always the same regardless of the slaughter method. As we don’t need to eat animals in order to survive, there is no valid justification to murder other living beings who want to live.
  2. What does “humane” actually mean? What’s the definition of humane?
    • Definition of “humane”: “having or showing compassion or benevolence”
    • Now that you really know what “humane” means, please explain to me again how you can compassionately kill a living being that doesn’t want to die?
  3. It’s impossible to kill humanely.
  4. Watch the videos below which show how cows, pigs, sheep, poultry & fish are killed. After watching these videos, you will see in how much stress and pain these animals are. It’s absolutely cruel.
  5. Have you ever been at a slaughterhouse? Because I have and I have seen how cattle stand in their own shit for a 9 hours transportation during the winter. I have seen 700 sheep in one truck screaming for space and being stressed to death (literally sheep die during the transport (video I took from a slaughterhouse in Barcelona)). It’s a terrible place and it’s no wonder why the food industry tries to hide them from the public as best as possible. If slaughterhouses would have glass walls, no one would consume animal products anymore.
  6. Let’s have a look at how animals are slaughtered. I broke down the method for each animal separately. The videos you will see below show standard practice in Austria, Europe. Keep in mind that slaughter methods and standards change from country to country. These are the steps they go through:
    1. Cows (cattle):
      1. Video: https://youtu.be/rQQeBifWEr8
      2. Steps: -Unloaded from the truck
        • Workers herd them with electric shockers and sticks to move to the holding area
        • Cows are moved to stunning boxes with electric shockers. They see how the other cows collapse. They are stressed (put yourself into their position)
        • As the cow is in the stunning box, they get stunned with the captive bolt method where a gun fires a metallic bolt into the cow’s brain which should make them unconscious and should prevent movement.
        • If the cow is not unconscious (25-50% of the time), then the worker needs to re-fire the gun one or two more times.
        • They collapse
        • They hang upside down on one leg
        • They are killed by slicing up their throats with a knife
        • They die by bleeding out
    2. Pigs:
      1. Video 1: https://youtu.be/o1PsOt6CB9w
      2. Video 2: https://youtu.be/0cHcpYimqGk
      3. Steps:
        • Unloaded from the truck
        • Workers herd them with electric shockers and sticks to move to the waiting area
        • Next, a group of pigs is herded into a steel cage called a gondola (another method exists but the gondola is meant to be the “most humane” method), which is then lowered into a gas chamber (no oxygen, just CO2). The pigs are typically frightened and reluctant to enter the gondola, so electric shockers are often used to shock the pigs. Impatient workers frequently abuse resistant animals by burning them in the face or beating them.
        • Pigs scream extremely loud as they are trying to fight for air. Watch this video (no graphics but you can hear the pigs as the scream in the gas chambers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOJCqDiJ84M)
        • They collapse
        • They hang upside down on one leg
        • They are killed by slicing up their throats with a knife
        • They die by bleeding out
    3. Sheep:
      1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlihoOiad5I)
      2. Steps:
        • Unloaded from the truck
        • Workers herd them with sticks to move to the waiting area
        • Sheep is stunned with an electric stunning method
        • They collapse
        • They hang upside down on one leg
        • They are killed by slicing up their throats with a knife
        • They die by bleeding out
    4. Poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, goose)
      1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1nfXx3_jg4
      2. Steps:
        • Unloaded from the truck
        • They get hanged upside down fully conscious on the slaughter line
        • They get bathed in an electrical bath with the goal to lose consciousness
        • Their throats get sliced
        • They die by bleeding out
    5. Fish:
      1. Video:
      2. Steps:
        • Catch the fish
        • Get them out of water (onboard)
        • Let them suffocate (the opposite of drowning) (this is the most used method worldwide)

Sources:

  • Land of Hope and Glory (UK’s “Earthlings” Documentary) Link
  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 Link
  • Dominion  Link
  • Earthlings Link

Well done for crushing the first 20 objections.

Let’s continue..

21) But animals don’t feel physical or emotional pain like we do!

How you could answer this:

  1. In many cases, animal and human brains look the same and work the same.
  2. In order to feel pain, you need to have a central nervous system connected to a brain. And animals have exactly that .. Just like humans.
  3. Living beings need to feel pain as it tells them to escape dangerous situations and minimize injury.
  4. When dogs are left alone without their owner, they show signs of separation anxiety.
  5. When a baby cow is taken away from her mother, the mother will scream and wine for days/weeks.
  6. Some people say that humans get to feel more emotional or physical pain as the human race is more evolved. But does it really matter how much pain a living being feels? You might feel less pain than I do as some people can manage pain better than others. But even if you feel less pain than the average human being, it doesn’t give me the right to hurt you.
  7. The fact that they can feel pain means that they have a preference to live a life without pain.

Sources:

  • The Surprisingly Humanlike Ways Animals Feel Pain : Link
  • Yes, Animals Think And Feel. Here’s How We Know : Link

22) What’s bad about eggs?

How you could answer this:

  1. You could start out by asking: “Do you know what an egg is?”
    • It’s a hens’ period. Just like women have periods, female chickens have periods too. These periods are in form of eggs.
  2. How does an egg turn into a chicken?
    1. Eggs in the supermarket are unfertilized eggs
    2. In order to turn an egg into a baby chicken, a hen needs to mate with a rooster. Once they do, the hen will lay a fertilized egg.
      • As the embryo grows, its primary food source is the yolk.
      • The embryo develops inside the egg for 21 days (the incubation period), until a chick pecks its way out of its eggshell and is hatched.
    3. All eggs which can be bought in a supermarket are unfertilized eggs, which means it can not turn into a chicken.
  3. Chicken bodies don’t belong to us. Hens don’t live to produce your eggs. That’s not why they are on earth. If you think that hens produce eggs for humans, by default you put yourself and your species over another species. You de-personalise this individual (the chicken) and commodify ( the hen (this is just a chicken – nothing important. You treat a living being like an object). And remember: the root of all evil and oppression is the idea that some lives matter more than others.
  4. Did you know that hens always get killed after they stop producing what we want them to produce (eggs)? This btw does not only happen to hens but also to female cows and any other farm animal which we eat.
  5. Hens get killed after 2 years (or even earlier) as their production declines (their life expectancy is 8-10 years with some even reaching 20 years). As their production declines, they don’t lay enough eggs anymore and as a result are not economical anymore. This happens regardless of if you buy your eggs from a local farmer or from a big supermarket.
  6. All baby male chickens are killed straight after birth as they don’t lay any eggs and are not useful for the egg industry. They are killed by either throwing them into a huge mixer or put into plastic bags and then sealed while they are still conscious.
  7. Free Range Hens:
    1. United States: In the United States, USDA free-range regulations currently apply only to poultry and indicate that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. The USDA regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time an animal must have access to the outside. This usually means that hens are still in a huge warehouse without light but there is a small door somewhere in the building to access a dirt yard which the hens are not even aware of.
    2. European Union:
      1. In order to be classified as free-range, animals must have access to the outdoors for at least part of their lives.
      2. Hens have continuous daytime access to open-air runs. The maximum stocking density is not greater than 2500 hens per hectare of ground available to the hens or one hen per 4m2 at all times
      3. Egg farming in EU is classified into 4 categories: The mandatory labeling on the eggshells attributes a number (which is the first digit on the label) to each of these categories: 0 for Organic, 1 for Free Range, 2 for Barn and 3 for Cages.
      4. Video: Organic Free-Range Egg Farms in Germany: Video
  8. Summary: Most of the free-range hens never see daylight. They are kept inside. How much daylight and outdoors they see or don’t see depends on the country.
  9. Hens are genetically modified to have 300 periods a year so that you can eat their menstruation. In the wild, they used to lay 12-17 eggs per year. Now it’s 300 eggs a year. This robs essential nutrition (calcium) from their body and leads to premature death.
  10. Do you eat the eggs of your backyard chickens?
    • The first question to ask yourself: Where did you get the chickens from? Did you buy them from a farmer that makes money by exploiting chickens?
    • If you take away a chicken’s egg, it urges the hen to lay another one. The more she needs to produce the more she will harm her body. This process puts pressure on her body and costs her essential nutrition. Just think about a human woman who gives birth .. A pretty stressful situation.
    • Hens cannibalize (eat) their own eggs. That is an important practice that helps to return nutrition which they lost during production.
    • But what if the backyard hen doesn’t eat the egg? I should be able to eat it now, right? You could crack the egg which tells the hen that the egg is not turning into a baby and the hen will eat the egg herself (that’s what they do).
  11. Are eggs healthy?
    • Eggs have a ton of saturated fat (in the yolk itself)
    • Eggs contain a significant amount of cholesterol (2nd most after brains). Have a look at this screenshot which shows the food items with the highest amount of cholesterol:
  12. Eggs is the perfect way to raise your insulin-like growth factor 1 which is the most powerful growth promoting factor known to biology. So if you have a tumor, breast cancer or prostate cancer in your tissues that will promote the growth of those cancer cells big time.
  13. Eggs and the protein myth:
    • How many people do you know who actually have a protein deficiency? Probably none. You can get protein from so many other sources. No need to rely on eggs for that.
  14. It’s illegal in the US for egg companies to say that eggs are “healthy”, “nutritious” or “save” in egg advertisements. Let that sink for a moment.

Sources:

  • The Great Egg Conspiracy: Lies, Corruption & Kevin Bacon : Link
  • Debunking Egg Industry Myths : Link

23) No one dies when I eat or drink dairy, it’s fine!

How you could answer this:

  1. You could always start by asking them: “Did you know that cows, goats etc don’t produce milk naturally?” You can continue by explaining that just like women, they only produce milk if they are pregnant. You will be surprised how many people think cows always have milk naturally.
  2. Then explain how any dairy product is produced: “Your cheese (or any other dairy product) is produced like this”:
    • The mother cow is forcefully impregnated by sticking a rape stick or an entire arm into the cow’s vagina. The cow does of course not enjoy that and tries to not let the farmer in.
    • Mother cows are pregnant for 9 months and then give birth.
    • Babies are taken away from their mother within 0-2 days because they are not allowed to drink the mother’s milk as it is reserved for humans.
    • If the baby is a female, she will be put together with all the other female babies (only babies – without mothers). The female baby will have the same fate as her mother. If the baby is a boy it gets sold & killed for the veil industry.
    • The mother looks for her baby but won’t find it. You will hear her cry a lot for up to two weeks or even longer.
    • The mother gets hooked up to machines that cause painful infections for 1 year until the process is repeated again. She gets raped, carries the baby for 9 months and so on..
    • It continues like this for around 4 years until the mother is too weak to produce enough milk. As the cow is not economical anymore she gets sent to the slaughterhouse.
  3. I spent one week on a family-run farm in the Alps of Austria. I visited the farmer every single day. The farm looked like in the movies and it was possibly the nicest farm I have ever been to. The farmer was a friendly guy and explained very proudly how his dairy farm works. He pointed at the mother cows and said: “After she gives birth and we take her newborn away, she cries 5 days and looks for her baby. This other cow over there, she cries 10 days. And this one looks for her baby usually for more than 2 weeks”.
  4. Regardless of if you buy your cheese or yogurt from huge dairy farms (where most of the dairy products come from) or from the family farm next door, female cows are always forcefully impregnated (you could also call this rape), their babies are taken away from, male baby cows are killed within just a few weeks and in the end they all end up in the same slaughterhouse.
  5. The dairy industry is possibly even crueler than the meat industry as dairy cows have to repeat the process of getting raped, their babies kidnapped and hooked up to machines before they get killed. What a cruel life this is!
  6. So if you consume dairy products you’re paying for baby male cows to be killed, for separating babies from their mothers and for forceful impregnation (rape) of female cows.
  7. We are the only species in the world that drinks milk from other species and continues to drink milk after being a baby.
  8. It’s not necessary for humans to drink cow or goat milk. We can get all the nutrients from plants. The only milk you need is from your mother when you were a baby. And you’re not a baby anymore and you’re not a baby cow. So stop drinking milk 😉
  9. Why is 75% of the U.S population lactose intolerant? Your body is trying to talk to you ”Stop drinking milk! Stop eating milk-based products”.
  10. Your grandmother tells you that milk is good for your bones? Unfortunately, this is completely wrong. Here’s why:
    • Milk has a pH of around 6.5 to 6.7, which makes it slightly acidic. (pH of 7.0 means neutral). In order to neutralize, the body takes calcium from the bones to neutralize it.
    • Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.
    • It’s the reason why the countries with the highest milk consumption also have the highest rate of Osteoporosis.
    • Osteoporosis (bone disease):
      1. Countries with the highest milk consumption:
        • United States, England, Sweden and Finland
      2. Countries with the highest rate of Osteoporosis:
        • United States, England, Sweden and Finland
      3. What does this tell you?
  11. Milk is supposed to be addictive. It bonds the mother with her newborn. It’s evolution’s amazing way to bond infant and mother. And that is why people are addicted to cheese. Milk has a chemical called Casomorphin. When you digest milk protein called casein (which is found in all dairy products like cheese), that chemical is released. The characteristic effect of casomorphin is an opium-like effect (opium is one of the world’s oldest drugs).

Sources:

  • Vegan Visits Dairy Farm: Link
  • Why I don’t support the dairy industry : Link
  • Cowspiracy documentary : Clips at 3:09 and 3:12
  • Got Misery? Milk Does: Link
  • The Dairy Industry in 60 Seconds: Link

24) Eating honey is ok, I don’t harm any bees!

How you could answer this:

  1. Vegans don’t consume any animals or animal-based products. As honey is made by animals (bees) it qualifies as an animal product and thus is not consumed by vegans.
  2. What is honey and how is it made?
    • Honey is a thick, golden liquid produced by industrious bees, using the nectar of flowering plants.
    • Honey bees first collect nectar from flowers and stored it in an organ called the “honey stomach”. The honey stomach (also known as the honey sac, crop, or ingluvies) is a specialized organ designed to expand and store nectar until it can be transported back to the hive. Once the bees return home they regurgitate (in other words they vomit and swallow it again) the contents of the honey stomach and transfers it to a house bee which will process the nectar into honey.
  3. What do bees use the honey for?
    • Honey bees make honey as a way of storing food to eat over the cooler winter period when they are unable to forage and there are fewer flowers from which to gather food. Honey is ideal for bees – it is full of nutrients and is a great energy food because it is high in sugars.
  4. The honey industry is similar to factory farming, the welfare of the bees comes after profit.
    • Much like every other industry that commodifies animals, queen bees are artificially inseminated.
    • Beekeepers use antibiotics as well as fumigants (a method of pest control) and pesticides which can have negative side effects on the health of bees.
    • Commercial beekeepers take all of the honey and then feed the bees with sugar syrup or corn syrup which might affect the defense system of bees against disease and toxins and lead to the collapse of honeybee colonies around the world.
    • You may not be eating what you think you’re eating: mislabeling is rampant in the worldwide honey industry. Some studies like the study done by Food Safety News found that 3/4 of the 60 jars of honey tested were found to be counterfeit and contained no bee pollen.
  5. But humans don’t kill any bees for the honey, right?
    • Unfortunately, even the kindest and most gentle beekeeper will accidentally injure or kill some bees during while collecting or harvesting honey.
    • Commercial beekeepers kill their queen bee every single year. A bee usually gets up to 5 years old.
    • Beekeepers buy a new queen bee after they kill the previous one and then they cut off their wings so that she can’t fly away!
    • Before the winter beekeepers kill the entire hive using cyanide gas. A hive can consist anywhere between 20,000 to 80,000 bees. They do this because it’s cheaper to kill the bees than housing them during the cold winter months.
  6. Why are bees so important?
    • Bees are really important for our planet. If all bees would die tomorrow, many food sources like broccoli, onion etc would be 100% vanished from our planet (they are completely dependent on the bees). When it comes down to “who is the most useful to the planet?” .. humans would definitely lose against bees. If humans had to go, every animal and plant would benefit. If bees would have to go, many plants would die.

Sources:

  • “Is Honey Vegan?” : Link
  • “Honey is bee poop? Or is it vomit?” : Link
  • “Disappearing Pollinators Hurt Biodiversity & Threaten Food Security” : Link
  • “The truth about honey – Explained in under 5 minutes?” : Link
  • We’re not vegan? – The honey debate : Link

25) But our ancestors already ate meat that’s why I eat Paleo.

How you could answer this :

  1. Let’s start out by asking ourselves the following question: “Does it make it morally acceptable to base our actions today on what our ancestors did in the past?” I mean our ancestors also used to murder each other and rape women. Only because they behaved like this in the past it is not a valid & moral justification to act like this today.
  2. But let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that eating like our ancestors is good. Do you actually know what they ate?
  3. First, more and more research suggests that our ancestors got most of their nutrition gathering nuts and plants and killing animals for their meat was more considerate as a treat rather than a daily thing.
  4. And it seems impossible to really know what our ancestors ate because there were a huge variation between populations.
  5. Indeed, there were multiple types of diets prevalent during the Paleolithic era depending on location and food availability. It seems like our ancestors from the big north used to mainly eat meat (marine mammals) and fish while some of the south would mainly either eat seeds and nuts or meat and roots (see graphic below).
  6. So our ancestors from the Paleolithic period between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago were flexible eaters, and there isn’t a single diet to follow.
  7. Then, when we talk about “paleo” diets, we only focus on one set of ancestors, the most recent ones from the Paleolithic period. Considering that they lived between the first stone tool and the beginning of agriculture, we might as well consider our earlier ancestors to be more relevant here.
  8. Because we can see that there were apparently plant eaters first and foremost. They have evolved as meat eaters because they needed to about 2.5 million years ago. The reason is most likely to be climate change but they were originally eating plants, grains, as well as tubers, for at least 100,000 years.
  9. Not to mention that we can’t actually compare their diet to ours as we live in different eras. There are no health parameters that we can compare to our current culture to make it relevant to us now:  
    • Their lifespan was approximately the age 30, ours today is 72.
    • Their level of activity was much higher than ours today (sedentary lifestyle – meaning we tend to spend much time seated).
    • They didn’t have access to medical care, we do.
    • They ate wild plant foods and animals which is not really what we really do today.
  10. So there is no such thing as a paleo diet because there isn’t just one and when it comes to nutrition it’s doesn’t seem to be the best either.
  11. Whole grains and legumes which provide fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial for satiety and to meet nutrient requirements, are excluded from the modern paleo diet.
  12. Fiber and phytochemicals, two of the most important nutrients can’t be found in animal products.
  13. So not only do vegans get enough of all essential nutrients, we also tend to be pretty healthy. A whole food, plant-based diet has been proven to be absolutely healthy and is recommended by many experts.One of the UK’s longest-standing organisations that represents dietetics and nutrition, the British Dietetic Association, has affirmed that a well-planned vegan diet can “support healthy living in people of all ages”.
    The American Dietetic Association stated that a “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”.
  14. Then, paleo or not, eating animals contributes to the unnecessary suffering and slaughter of billions of animals every year as we don’t need animal products to survive. And only eating grass-fed beef and fish doesn’t change that.
  15. It’s also important to say that unless your beef is labeled organic, your grass-fed beef is not organic which means that it may contain antibiotics and hormones. So not very healthy, right?
  16. Not to mention the link between the consumption of meat and incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.

Sources:

  • Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians : Link
  • The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument : Link
  • Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets: Link
  • How to Really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer: Why the Paleo Diet Is Half-Baked : Link

26) Humans are more intelligent than animals and that is why we can eat them.

How you could answer this :

  1. If I follow your logic, you are basically saying that beings that are more intelligent than others can be dominant over the less intelligent, right?
  2. Let’s assume then that I have a higher IQ than you, does this give me the right to eat you?
  3. Pigs are known to be more intelligent than dogs or even a 3-year-old child.  Would it be ok for me to eat a 2 years old baby or a dog?
  4. Do you think your life is worth more than a person who has learning difficulties?
  5. Most of the animals we eat (cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, etc) have proven to be more intelligent than many other animals we share this planet with.  If we had to eat animals according to their intelligence we would be feeding on insects.
  6. But if we decide to eat our food according to its intelligence then we should actually eat plants because they are the least intelligent species as they lack the cognitive abilities that animals have.
  7. And while yes, intelligence is subjective, it doesn’t define the worth of life.
  8. Also, it’s interesting to believe that we are the most intelligent species when we are the only species destroying the planet and pushing other species to extinction. We have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s remaining wilderness in the last 25 years.
  9. Our actions towards others and towards the earth, our home, are not the actions of an intelligent species.

Sources:

  • “Pigs are Intelligent, Emotional, and Cognitively Complex” : Link
  • “Pigs Are Highly Social And Really Smart. So, Um, About Eating Them…”: Link
  • Humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s wilderness in 25 years – study : Link
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)

27) God created the animals for us to eat.

How you could answer this:

  1. Religion, in general, has always been used to justify acts of violence, persecution, and oppression such as rape, murder, war, slavery, racism, sexism and homophobia. Does it make any of these actions moral? No.
  2. Religion doesn’t give us the right to exploit animals which still makes it unnecessary and impossible to morally justify.
  3. The issue with the religion argument is that it can pretty much justify anything as religious texts are open to interpretation. It is the case with homosexuality for example and it is the same with consuming animal products
  4. To be clear, I don’t disapprove or condemn God but I condemn murder, torture or violence in God’s name.  
  5. No religion says that we have to eat animals but more that we can if we need to. In today’s society,  we do not have to eat meat as we have plenty of options for food that don’t require animals exploitation, suffering, and slaughter.
  6. Many passages from the bible and other religious texts share the idea that no religion mandates the consumption, exploitation, and slaughter of animals.
  7. Hinduism :
    • “He who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure never finds happiness in this life or the next.” – Manusmriti 5.45
    • “Avoiding harm to all creatures… this is true knowledge. All else is ignorance.”- Bhagavad Gita
    • “He who desires to augment his own flesh by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth.”- Mahabharata, Anu.115.47
  8. The universal interpretation of Hinduism is Ahimsa (no violence), Karma (good creates good and bad creates bad) and Dharma (duty and purpose).
  9. Ahimsa, which literally translates as “non-violence”, refers to no violence towards both human and non-human beings physically, mentally, and spiritually (Ghosh 13), which is why so many Hindu are vegetarians.
  10. They also have a duty to respect life and treat living beings the same way they would want to be treated as Hinduism accepts the concept of reincarnation, and your current actions determine your next existence (karma).
  11. Islam :
    • “Do not allow your stomachs to become graveyards!” – Prophet Muhammad, Hadith
    • “Allah will not give mercy to anyone, except those who give mercy to other creatures.” – Prophet Muhammad, Hadith
  12. Buddhism :
    • “If a man can (control) his body and mind and thereby refrains from eating animal flesh and wearing animal products, I say he will really be liberated.” – Buddha, Surangama Sutra
    • “Eating meat, at the cost of great suffering for animals, is unacceptable. If, bereft of compassion and wisdom, you eat meat, you have turned your back on liberation.”- Shakbar
  13. Christianity and Judaism :
    • “Animals have done us no harm and they have no power of resistance. There is something so very dreadful, so Satanic, in tormenting those who have never harmed us, who cannot defend themselves, who are utterly in our power.” – Cardinal John Henry Newman
    • “For what happens to people also happens to animals—a single event happens to them: just as someone dies, so does the other. In fact, they all breathe the same way, so that a human being has no superiority over an animal.” – Ecclesiastes 3:19
    • “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.” – Bishop William Ralph Inge
  14. Also to go a bit deeper with the Bible, God says we have “dominion” over animals which doesn’t mean “exploitation”, “slaughter”, or “domination”. We should see this as a responsibility for stewardship. Dominion is a responsibility we have towards all living beings.
  15. While it’s true that at some point, God said that we could eat meat, he didn’t mean that we had do it, right? Or that it would benefit ourselves and others, right?
  16. According to the Bible, God is the “father of compassion” (2 Corinthians 1:3). So we should show compassion towards God’s creatures including animals. Do we really reflect God’s compassion through our actions? Do we have compassion and consideration for the animals that are tortured, exploited and killed to be on our plates ? The answer is no.
  17. Then, the Apostle Paul later mentioned regarding food at 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24 (NWT): “23. All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful; but not all things build up. 24 Let each one keep seeking, not his own advantage, but that of the other person.
  18. So in today’s circumstances, can we say that eating meat or consuming animal products is “advantageous” to anyone? Can we in all conscience do something that’s destroying the planet, causing the world’s children to die of hunger and animal suffering in the name of God?
  19. So instead of thinking about what God said at that time, we should focus more on what god would say today, right
  20. What would he do if he lived in the age of industrialised agriculture where billions of animals are bred through artificial insemination, treated and processed like worthless pieces of meat — used and killed not from necessity, but by pleasure and to satisfy our taste buds. What would he do if consuming animals products was harming our planet, the only home we have, the one he created for us?
  21. Simple questions to also ask a person using religion as an argument is:
    1. Do slaughterhouses look like the work of God or the Devil?”
    2. Do you think slaughterhouses have a place in Heaven?
    3. If Jesus and the Devil were locked in a room with a baby lamb, which one would kill the lamb?”

Sources:

  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 Link
  • 10 biblical truths about animals : Link
  • What does Paul mean when he says that all things are lawful? Link
  • God Says That I Can Eat Animals: Link
  • Find out How Hinduism Defines Dharma : Link
  • What does your religion say about harming animals ? : Link

28) Vegan food is disgusting, tasteless and you can’t eat anything.

How you could answer this :

  1. Yes, obviously there are some vegan food or dishes that you are not gonna like. In the same way that sometimes you don’t like the animal-based food that you order in a restaurant or a dish that your mom cooks for you. We all have different taste and we like and dislike certain things. You find places, ingredients, and recipes you like and some you don’t. Vegans do the same!
  2. Once you start switching to eat more plant-based foods you will discover so many ingredients you have never cooked with before. It’s super awesome! Things like tempeh, agave syrup & coconut cheese.
  3. After I started to eat a vegan diet, I really started to learn more about cooking and discovered that I really like cooking. It’s a lot of fun once you really know what goes into your food. A great upside of being vegan
  4. For each animal-based food you eat, there is a vegan substitute and there is in fact usually way more choice in plant-based products :
  5. Cow milk can be replaced by rice, almond, coconut, cashew, oat or soy milk.
  6. Meat (pork, chicken, beef, and sausages) can be replaced by, Tempeh, Seitan, Tofu, mushroom sausages and simply  “fake meat” (usually made out of soy).
  7. Meat burgers become vegan burgers made out of mushrooms, beetroot, corn, soy, tempeh, black beans, quinoa …etc.
  8. Cheese can be replaced by vegan cheese and mozzarella made out of soy, coconut, wheat, cashew nuts…etc.
  9. Dairy yogurt is replaced by dairy-free yogurt made of soy or coconut or almond.
  10. Butter is simply replaced by vegan butter for the bread and is made with rapeseed, sunflower, olive oil or coconut oil. For cooking use coconut oil or any other plant-based oil.
  11. Honey is easily replaced with Agave syrup, Maple Syrup, coconut syrup or even date paste.
  12. Bread is actually vegan even though they sometimes add milk, eggs or cheese nowadays. But most of the time it’s vegan (I usually still ask just  to double-check)
  13. Just try out different vegan products to see what you like and what you don’t like. For example, when I became vegan and stopped drinking cow & goat milk, I tried soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk an almond milk. I didn’t like soy milk but I found out that rice milk is super yummy. Now I always buy rice milk. My sister prefers almond milk. So she always buys that. There are plenty of options and you will find the vegan version that you like.

My favourite vegan chefs:

29) I only eat organic meat, humanely raised, grass-fed Beef.

How you could answer this :

  1. First, you can’t really change the fact that those animals have been forcibly bred into existence and would not otherwise exist. The false vision of nature scenario is not real and doesn’t justify the exploitation and killing of animals for food.
  2. Then, most of the worst cruelties inflicted to animals in industrial farming are also routine practices on small, humane and organic farms, including:
    • Castration, horn removal and ear cutting (all while the animals are fully conscious)
    • Sexual violation and forced impregnation
    • Destruction of families and separation of babies from their mothers
    • Long & Miserable transport in all temperature extremes to a painful and terrifying slaughter (I saw 700 sheep in one single truck in front of a slaughterhouse that drove 11 hours during the freezing cold winter (-1 Celsius). When they got unloaded, I saw some dead sheep lying on the floor of the truck)
  3. Grass-fed cows (and animal agriculture in general) also contribute massively to world climate change as they produce tons of methane and nitrous oxide which are worse than the entire transportation sector together (cars, ships, trains, plane etc ..)
  4. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, while methane disappears within a decade or two, during those short decades, it warms the planet by 86 times as much as CO2.
  5. Grass-fed beef requires way more resources (land and water) than grain-fed beef to actually meet the world’s current demand for meat.
  6. A grain-fed cow will require three acres of land, while a grass-fed cow requires nine acres, use 35 percent more water and 30 percent more land than a grain-fed cow.
  7. Considering that it also takes more time to produce grass-fed beef, the carbon footprint is also much higher.
    So it turns out that producing grass-fed beef is even more unsustainable or as bad as producing animal farmed for the environment.
  8. Then it’s important to remember that unless the beef is labeled organic, your grass-fed beef or “humanely raised/killed” may receive antibiotics and hormones. And it works the other way around, organic meat doesn’t mean grass-fed beef, pain-free,  etc.
  9. Many labels like “organic”, “grass-fed”, “free range”, “humane certified” don’t really mean anything, it’s the same concept as “greenwashing”. If you watch documentaries such as Land of Hope and Glory, you’ll see the inhumane and horrible living conditions of the animals in organic and animal welfare certified farms.
  10. Not to mention the fact that animal agriculture is responsible for 18%-51% of greenhouse gas emissions (depending on which source you take) whereas transport is responsible for only 13%. 
  11. Animal agriculture is also responsible for 80%-90% of rainforest deforestation and 20% of worldwide greenhouse gases.

Sources:

  • “How bad of a greenhouse gas is methane” : Link
  • “Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef”: Link
  • “Is grass-fed beef better for the environment?” : Link

30) It’s dangerous to have vegan babies.

How you could answer this:

  1. First, vegan or not, the daily nutrient requirements of a pregnant woman will increase considerably and she will need more: iron, folic acid, B12 and other B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and D, plus extra protein and calcium.  
  2. A  fully plant-based diet can meet everyone’s nutritional needs, including pregnant women,  women who are breastfeeding and babies.
    • Like any diet, you just need to make sure it’s balanced and brings all the nutrients you and your baby need.
    • Then, for the first 6 months of the baby’s life, breastfeeding is recommended (it’s actually recommended to continue to breastfeed until the child is at least two years old).
  3. If breastfeeding is not possible,  infant formula is recommended and vegan infant formula does exist.. Note that some non-vegan babies are lactose intolerant and then use soy-based infant formula without a problem.
  4. Once babies are big enough to have solid food, they will need the same nutrients that non-vegan kids do which can be easily found by having a balance plant-based diet :
    • By eating  a whole-foods plant-based diets, there will be no problems of having enough  calories or proteins
    • Regarding the vitamin B12, you can always  give supplements like many parents do with vitamins.
    • Vitamin D: If children can play outside with sunny weather, you should be good to go. But you can always supplements with vegan Vitamin 3 supplements.
    • When it comes to calcium: broccoli, tofu, sesame seeds, beans and plant based milk will be perfect to get between 600-1000 mg of calcium daily.
    • For Iron: beans and greens are perfect and it’s even better with lemon (vitamin C)  to enhance iron absorption
    • Children may need a little more fat intake as adults but you can easily get it with  avocados, seeds, nuts, cacao nibs.
  5. As you can see, it all comes down to a balanced diet and it’s been confirmed by experts in dietetics and nutrition around the world.
  6. One of the UK’s longest-standing organisations that represents dietetics and nutrition, the British Dietetic Association, has affirmed that a well-planned vegan diet can “support healthy living in people of all ages”.
  7. The American Dietetic Association stated that a “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”.
  8. Also children are taught to consume meat and dairy when they are born Parents teach them which animal to eat (pigs) and which animals not to eat (dogs). This is learned behavior. So if someone says you’re forcing veganisme onto your child, you could easily say that it’s 100% same as forcing meat and dairy products on children.
  9. If you’d like to know more about raising your kids with a plant based diet check out this website that gives you all the info you need: here.

Sources:

  • Preeclampsia and reproductive performance in a community of vegans: Link
  • Pregnancy and the Vegan Diet: Link
  • Pregnancy, Infants, & Children: Link
  • Vegan Nutrition for Teens: Link
  • Real Vegan Children: Link
  • Growth of vegetarian children: The Farm Study: Link
  • Vegetarian Diets for Children: Right from the Start: Link
  • The Vegan Society: Health and Nutrition : Link
  • “Is a vegan diet healthy for kids?” :Link

Wow! You’re almost done..

The last few objections starting now!

31) Animal products are healthy therefore we need to eat them.

How could you answer this:

  1. Did you know that 68% of all diseases in the US are diet related? And heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States. More than half a million (610k) of people in the U.S. die from heart diseases every year. That’s 1 out of 4 people.
  2. Have you ever heard of someone who got cancer because they ate too much broccoli? No, of course not. This is unheard of.
  3. So what are the reasons why people die?
  4. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
  5. What you need to know about heart disease:
    1. Here are the reasons why people get heart diseases:
      • High cholesterol
      • High blood pressure
      • Smoking
      • Diabetes
      • Overweight and obesity
      • Poor diet
      • Physical inactivity
      • Excessive alcohol use
  6. How to prevent heart disease:
    • Eat a healthy plant-based diet
    • Exercise regularly
    • Don’t smoke
    • Don’t be overweight
    • Being active defined as walking at least 22 minutes every day
    • Having below-average cholesterol levels
    • Having normal blood pressure
  7. So how do people get high cholesterol, overweight problems or high blood pressure?
  8. When it comes to meat, according to The World Health Organization (WHO)’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the consumption of processed meat (meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation) is “carcinogenic to humans (Group I )”. “Carcinogenic” means “having the potential to cause cancer”.
  9. The research continues to state “the consumption of red meat (unprocessed mammalian muscle meat such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat meat) is “probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).
  10. Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain dietary cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which as we know remains America’s top killer.
  11. While red meat has nutritional value many studies have also shown that high consumption of red meat can increase the risk of colorectal cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, and may lead to higher risk of dying of those diseases.
  12. And the truth is that all meat is carcinogenic and even cooking chicken breast, for example, releases carcinogens (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue) in the meat and ups your cancer risk.

Sources:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO)’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report : Link

32) What if you were on a stranded island, would you eat meat?

How you could answer this :

  1. This is a what if question … The reality is that we don’t find ourselves in this situation but live in a society with an abundance of plant-based options.
  2. Let’s assume for a second that we were actually stranded somewhere. Your first instinct would be to go for fruits and vegetables as it’s much easier to eat them. As you’re a human and not a carnivore you have zero instinct to hunt living beings. And we also don’t have the right body elements (teeth & claws) to kill them. And most of us just wouldn’t know how to kill them, butcher them and cook them.
  3. There is a big difference between killing an animal out of necessity or death/survival situation and killing an animal for pleasure, greed and personal desire in a normal environment.
  4. And being in a survival situation doesn’t justify morally the killing of animals for your pleasure/desire on a daily basis in an environment where vegan options are available. Especially when this lifestyle is also known to be destructive for the planet, and causing health and social issues around the world.
  5. So the real questions we need to ask ourselves instead are :  
  6. Why would we cause pain, suffering and kill other living beings when we have the choice to not do it?
  7. Why would we continue to allow the destruction of our planet when we know by scientific facts that animal farming is the main cause of climate change, ocean dead zones,  deforestation, wildlife extinction?
  8. Why would we allow people and children starving to death when there is actually enough food to feed everyone on this planet?
  9. Why would we harm ourselves by consuming products that have been proven to deterior human’s health?
  10. In the end, it just really comes down to the fact that we are not on a stranded island and therefore the excuse makes no sense at all.

Sources:

  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)

33) If we don’t eat animals they will overrun us or all be killed.

How you could  answer this :

  1. What is important to understand is that industrial farming works on a system of supply and demand, when we buy products we demand that more be supplied.
  2. It means that the more meat we buy, the more animals the farmers will breed and it also means that if we stop eating them, farmers will stop breeding them progressively.
  3. But our world is unlikely to become vegan overnight, instead, demand for animal products will gradually continue to decline, and fewer and fewer animals will be bred as a result.
  4. So we would never end up in an apocalyptic situation where billions of animals are released into the wild or taken to slaughterhouses to be killed and discarded.
  5. It’s also worth mentioning that while some animals wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild due to the breeding modifications, others, such as pigs and sheep could easily return to woodlands grazing pastures and enjoy a free life.

Sources:

  • What Would Happen to All the Animals If Everyone Went Vegan?’ Link
  • If the World Went Vegan, What Would Happen to the Animals? Link

34) If we don’t farm animals, many species would go extinct!

How you could  answer this :

  1. Yes, the number of farmed animals would greatly decline to the point of extinction which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
  2. We need to understand that farmed animals are not natural animals, they have all been domesticated, selectively bred and modified in a way that means they were never meant to exist and do not occur like that in the wild.
  3. They were specifically bred by us, to have certain physical traits, such as large muscles or high milk yields to basically make more money :
    • Dairy cows have been modified to produce up to ten times more milk than they would naturally.
    • Egg-laying hens have been bred to produce up to 300 eggs a year rather than the 10 – 20 they would produce naturally.
    • Commercial breeds of turkeys and broiler chickens have been bred to grow abnormally large at an incredibly quick rate
    • Sheep have been modified to produce more wool and give birth to more lambs than they would naturally.
  4. Because of these modifications, we don’t know if those animals would be able to survive on their own in the wild or if they would need us to care for and look after them but they would be living happily and free from exploitation and suffering.
  5. But if we want to talk about extinction, we might want to mention that animal agriculture is one of the main leading cause of species extinction on the planet.
  6. Animal farming is the main driver of deforestation so by clearing forests to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, animal farming is mainly contributing to habitat loss and species extinction.
  7. Animal farming is also affecting the marine environment. The pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops pollute the water and end up in the oceans.
  8. As a result, it creates ocean dead zones where animal life dies or mobile animals like fish leave the area as a result of very low oxygen concentration (certain dead zones occur naturally).
  9. Not to mention, the overexploitation of marine species through industrial fishing as 3/4 of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted. We are emptying our oceans at a rate that doesn’t allow species to recover their populations.  As many as 2.7 trillion animals are pulled from the ocean each year. If we keep that rate, we could have a fishless sea by 2048.
  10. Animal agribusiness has become the greatest threat to the world’s plants and animals and we are in the largest mass species extinction of the past 65 million years.
  11. If we want to save species from extinction, it mainly comes down to the food we put in your plate.
  12. Consequently, the most effective choice to help stop the destruction of our planet and its wildlife is to adopt a plant-based diet.

Sources:

  • World Animal Foundation Link
  • Mood, A & Brooke, P. “Estimating the Number of Fish Caught in Global Fishing Each Year”. July 2010 : Link
  • “What are the causes for depletion of wildlife?” : Link
  • Cowspiracy documentary facts : Link
  • Veganuary Link
  • Earth’s sixth mass extinction event underway, scientists warn: Link

35) Animals would not be alive if we didn’t eat them.

How you could answer this :

  1. You could also argue that if a child was born into an abusive family, got raped by her father multiple times, beat regularly, rarely given food and then eventually dies from starvation, could you say that “at least her parents were kind enough to give that girl a life in the first place”? Should that girl be grateful for her existence? Would you be grateful?
  2. Could you actually call the following life a “life”?
    • You get taken away from your mother and need to grow up without parents.
    • You get regularly beaten & tortured (like removing your teeth, horns, tails without any anesthetics).
    • You get raped once a year to get pregnant every single year.
    • Every child of yours gets taken away if it’s a female and killed if it’s a male.
    • You’re locked into a small area where you have to stay your whole life.
    • Until you get shot into your head and then your throat gets sliced.
  3. How would you feel if all the abuse mentioned above were representing your short and unfree life at the end of which you would be slaughtered against your will? Would you maintain that it was a life to be grateful for?

Sources:

  • Dominion  Link
  • Seaspirary Link
  • Earthlings Link
  • Cowspiracy Link
  • Land of Hope and Glory (UK’s “Earthlings” Documentary) Link

36) Cancer and heart diseases are genetics – there is not much I can do about it.

How you could answer this:

  1. Many people believe that getting cancer is purely down to genes (or bad luck). But scientific researches have shown that the risk or getting cancer actually depends on a combination of our genes, environment, and lifestyle.
  2. Some people have what we call a genetic predisposition which is an “increased likelihood of developing a particular disease based on a person’s genetic makeup” which they usually inherited from a parent.
  3. But while these genetic changes contribute to the development of a disease, they don’t directly cause it which mean that some people with a genetic predisposition will never get the disease while others will, even within the same family.
  4. And according to the National Cancer Institute, only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are genetic.
  5. A person’s genetic makeup cannot be altered but a healthy lifestyle and environment may be able to reduce disease risk in people with a genetic predisposition.
    • The best way to reduce the risks of getting cancer is to :
    • Not smoking
    • Cutting back on alcohol
    • Keeping a healthy body weight
    • Being active defined as walking at least 22 minutes every day
    • Enjoying the sun safely
    • Eating a healthy and balanced diet (whole food plant-based diet)
  6. The diet you follow has a big influence on your health and by eating meat your chances of getting cancer are if you’re a man 1 in 2,  if you’re a woman 1 in 3.

Sources:

  • “What does it mean to have a genetic predisposition to a disease?” : Link
  • “Can cancer be prevented?” : Link
  • The Genetics of Cancer : Link
  • There Is No Safe Amount of Processed Meat : Link

37) What about farmer’s jobs?

How you could answer this:

  1. First, I’d like to say that the livelihoods of farmers have been negatively impacted for a while and not by veganism but by modern animal farming. The global animal agriculture is now based on the use of feeding and housing technologies that produce the greatest amount of animals with the least amount of cost and labor. Those methods have reduced farmers’ jobs.
  2. But I agree, I don’t underestimate the fact that people have bills to pay and must feed themselves and their families and the livelihoods of farmers is important needs to be taken into consideration.
  3. However, farmers who raise animals for food can also grow crops for people to eat (many already do), and workers who process animals into food can also process plants into food. In fact, plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are one of the fastest growing sectors in the food industry.
  4. In a system based on supply and demand, as people will consume less and less meat, fish, dairy and eggs, and more plant-based alternatives, the farming industry will have to adjust as well as they follow the money. This will allow for new jobs and industries to be created. That is why it’s extremely important to “vote with your money” as this will have a direct impact on our supply and demand system.
  5. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is going stop eating animal products overnight which means farmers wouldn’t be put out of jobs immediately but it will happen progressively. This would instead provide the perfect opportunity & allow enough time for them to transform their farm.
  6. Once consumers speak up and change their diet towards more plant-based alternatives, the governments will follow and adjust their tax subsidies. Subsidies currently allocated to farmers in the dairy and meat industries will be removed and instead given to farmers for plant farming as demand shifts.
  7. By adjusting the subsidies this would consequently cause huge problems to those old meat/fish/dairy industries as it would drive the price of animal products up, making them less accessible and less affordable and bring the price of plants down, making them more accessible and more affordable! Why do you think is a bowl of fruits $4 and a cheeseburger only $1? It’s because of the subsidies which are financed by your tax money.
  8. In the UK, you even have the charity, The Vegan Society, that offers help and financial support to any farmers who want to make the transition. There are examples of animal farmers who switched to plant agriculture.
  9. And as the demand for animal products decreases, we should also see an increase in programs like this designed to help animal farmers transition to plant-based farming. This type of initiatives will be a key element in the transition towards a vegan world while preserving the livelihoods of farmers.
  10. Obviously, not everyone would be able to transition which means that they would probably end up losing their job but it happens in every industry for multiples reasons. See how artificial intelligence takes over a lot of repetitive jobs? That is why it’s important for farmers to adjust and prepare for the future. And the future is vegan.
  11. Also while we talk about people’s jobs maybe it’s also important to consider the slaughterhouses workers. People always defend the farmers but not the slaughterhouses workers. After all, like farmers, they are just doing their job. A horrible job that not all of them enjoy doing and that can cause mental health issues, such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse and suicide as a result of killing animals.

Sources:

  • The harrowing psychological toll of slaughterhouse work: Link
  • The Vegan Society: Link
  • What about farmer’s jobs? Link

38) You going vegan won’t make a difference.

How you could answer this :

  1. In today’s society, everything works on a system of supply and demand which means that where you spend and invest your money is the most powerful way of voting each day to create change, save lives and simply protect our planet.
  2. Social change is often the result of passionate individuals or small groups of individuals actions.
  3. A few examples to prove it :
    • Nelson Mandela helped bring an end to apartheid and was a global advocate for human rights.
    • Martin Luther King Jr. was the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death.
    • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
  4. And it is the same with veganism, as individuals our actions matter and inspire others.
  5. Tell your own personal story about how you impacted your friends and their lives (be personal). I usually tell the story of my former flatmates who were all meat eaters. One even eating the cheap pink looking ham (looks crazy processed!). When I left the flat all of them changed their diet 180 degrees. One of them turning vegan, another one vegetarian and even her boyfriend was on a veggie challenge when I left the flat. What story can you think of? How many people changed their lifestyle & diet because of you?
  6. Due to a rise in the number of plant-based diets, in the US alone, 400 million fewer animals were brought into a life of exploitation and suffering in 2014 than 2013.
  7. According to the Food manufacturer Neilson, the demand for vegan food products has seen a huge increase in 2017, with the plant-based food sector being valued at $5 billion in August 2017.
  8. In the UK, the number of vegans has risen 360% in the last decade, leading restaurants to change their menu to offer vegan options to respond to the demand and supermarkets to develop a vegan range of products, etc.

Sources:

  • VEGAN 2017 – The Film : Link
  • VEGAN 2018 – The Film : Link
  • HOPE : Link
  • Food maker Nellson says plant-based product development surging: Link
  • Number of vegans in Britain rises by 360% in 10 years: Link
  • Americans Ate 400 Million Fewer Animals in 2014 : Link

The End!

The future is vegan.

And this Vegan Conversation Guide is the first of the many projects I will work on to create the future we are all so excited about.

Come and join me to help others to be the change we want to see in this world.

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Resources

The information of this notebook is sourced from these brilliant minds:

Specific resources can be found at the end of each chapter and all general resources are down below :

Documentaries:

Speeches:

  • Gary Yourofsky – The Excuses Speech, 2014 (source)
  • Best Speech You WIll Ever Hear (Updated) -Gary Yourofsky (source)
  • Dr. Michael Greger: “How Not To Die” | Talks at Google (source)
  • 101 REASONS to GO VEGAN – Presentation (source)
  • This Speech Is Your WAKE UP CALL! (source)
  • You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again | Eye-Opening Speech! (source)

Vegan organisations or websites:

Official organisations and environmental non profit :