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Moral Outrage Against Not Killing

The Weston A. Price Foundation is a group that asserts that human beings must eat animals. The Foundation has been proliferating this article that attacks vegetarians who have the audacity to stay alive, despite the Weston A. Price Foundation’s assertions that human beings must eat animals. I’ve been encountering a lot of pro-meat advocates that express the conclusions of the article, and they’re common ones you’ll see a lot, so it is worth going over them here.


The article states its conclusions as follows, starting with this very common first argument:

‘I do not see my eating of animals as merely optional. Based on extensive research on the matter, I believe that animal proteins, and especially high quality fats (and the fat-soluble vitamins they either contain or enhance), are essential for optimal health. Thus “kill and eat” is as imperative for me as for the wolf.’

I’ve been hearing this one for decades from a lot from pro-meat advocates. In a nutshell, people who have done lots of extensive research on the matter have told me I have these health problems:

-Your veganism has given you pernicious anemia, resulting in a life of bleeding agony and muscular problems. Your physique has suffered so much that you have not actually ran four marathons, cycled two Century bike races, achieved a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and demonstrated Tai Chi on The Today Show years and years after becoming vegan, even though you thought you did.

-You have gone blind.

-You died about a decade after becoming vegan, from your body running out of the essential nutrients you could only get from meat.

Sure up to 90% of all cancers and heart disease are caused by eating meat but that pales in comparison to the droves of dying vegans you see as statistics on the news every night dying from… whatever it is.

The article’s next big argument:

“Slitting the throat of a chicken destined for the table is a life necessity for me, but I do so within the context of partnership, gratitude, and respect… As long as my partnership with my birds is one of mutual support for a life of contentment and natural fulfillment, their nourishment of me is in balance with my nourishment of them.”

I’ve also heard this from many pro-meat and Wicker Man human sacrifice advocates. It makes perfect sense: “Giving gratitude to someone you kill makes the victim give you the thumbs up, and makes them your business partner. And if they don’t agree to that well how dare you talk to me this way!

So many pro-meat people say we have a joyous partnership with animals we slaughter, and that voluntary partnership makes it imperative we continue slaughtering, and thus killing them for lunch is as moral as euthanasia is moral. So to say that we’re “killing” them as opposed to “humanely taking their life for an honorable purpose” is infantile and would be an argument only fit “for an eight year old,” as one pro-meat advocate put it to me.

Finally, this article and other pro-meat advocates seem to keep thinking it’s more ecologically sound to eat slaughtered animals than to eat vegetables (sure the vegetables would be fed to the slaughtered animals, but eh):

‘If you have not a clue where your vegetarian fare was produced, by whom, at what cost to other players in the local ecology, including economically oppressed humans—then do not dare presume a moral superiority based on the fact that I do indeed kill animals in my backyard, in the context of a way of food production which is most of all about regeneration, about healing, about ensuring an agricultural base “unto the seventh generation.”‘

Almost no meat eater knows where their meat comes from, much less where the vegetables fed to their slaughtered animals come from. “I know I know I know!” say so many pro-meat eaters, who then say, “But ALL you have to do is find a responsible, organic meat farm, where you know where the plants come from to feed the animals you eat, and you’ve undone the harm!” Of course, organic meat farms use MORE land and clean water to feed their animals, than the traditional farms that are already using enough vegetables to feed all of the humans in China and India.

At regular factory farms, one pound of hamburger costs 16 pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water to produce, and organic meat farms would use up even more natural resources per pound of meat. But if no one has the compassion or moral center to eat meat, then no one could look this cool:

Harvey Ussery, the hartkeisonline.com article author

6 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Andrew

    on #

    “First they ignore you,
    then they laugh at you,
    then they fight you,
    then you win.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

    Sounds like the Weston Price Foundation has stopped laughing and is now fighting.

  2. Comment by

    Veganne

    on #

    And then WE win. I’m looking forward to that day…reallly, really looking forward to it.

  3. Comment by

    beforewisdom

    on #

    I’ve been a vegan for 15 years, vegetarian for 30 years and my health is far better than most of the morons who claim veg*n diets lack things. I’ve heard that bullshit before too. I’m looking forward to outliving the critics.

  4. Comment by

    beforewisdom

    on #

    I’ve heard that “contract with the animals” BS before. It is flat out creepy, like a VC Andrews novel. “The animals wants me to eat him”.

    Um, did the animal talk with you? Read and sign contract? No? Then you don’t have a pact. It lives with you until you kill it because you have power over it and you just making up a child’s story to feel better about it.

  5. Comment by

    djwong

    on #

    I’ve always thought about if, in an ideal world, there were meat available that was sustainably farmed and raised, “humanely killed,” somehow completely environmentally sound, would I eat that meat? The answer is no. In the end, I just don’t see a difference between farm animals and pets and I don’t need to kill anything for me to sustain myself.

  6. Comment by

    Peace Loving Vegan Police

    on #

    These types of people are not really the enemies of vegans. They make up such a minor fringe of animal exploiters. Also, that they somewhat try to remove themselves from factory farming exploitation methods and advocate against the practice, makes them something of allies in food reform with vegans since factory farming of animals and the public acceptance and funding of the industry is the bigger giant to slay.

    So we probably shouldn’t argue much with these religious types, yes religious because they believe they need animal food though all the mainstream science I’m aware of says otherwise. Of course even if we believe that all those scientists are wrong and vegans are all slowly killing themselves there stands the little issue of actual vegans who are not only healthy, but participating in ultra marathons and ultra triathlons.

    Then there is this animal worship that vegans are always accused of, but it seems that these religious folks are engaged in communication with animals to obtain “partnership, gratitude, and respect.” Then they practice animal sacrifice in their backyard, something I can’t possibly do because of strict ordinances and the fact that I live in an apartment along with millions of other people that live in cities.

    Let’s play the game that people play with vegans, let’s pick at the details. First of all he says that he is 85% compliant in his ideal of growing all his own food. That’s nice. I think people all growing their own food is many magnitudes of unrealistic so I don’t advocate it. On the other hand I do think that it’s doable and even easy for most everyone to practice a vegan diet 99.5% of the time if they wanted to, so I do advocate and practice that.

    But we know that veganism isn’t just a food fetish, we care about whether animals were needlessly used in many aspects. Does this hold true for the backyard eater? Is it important to source everything from their backyard or to know every single person who made something they purchased?

    Chicken shit on the authors boots? Is the boot leather made from animals on the property? Are they even made in the United States? That’s a nice hat that gentleman is wearing, made from what materials? I hope the leather strap and feather was “given” to him by his animals. He’s wearing a cotton shirt with jeans and a leather belts, again, I doubt that it’s local Virginia cotton and leather and I doubt that the products were made locally or even in this country. Where did the metal basins and chicken wire and the lumber to make fences and chicken coops come from? All locally sourced I hope.

    When I visit the author’s personal website the bearded fellow is sitting at a desk in a furnished home office, in front of a laptop with books scattered about. The author of the article asks us:

    “What is the percentage of the food on your table, year round, that you produce yourself, or that you buy face to face from producers you know personally, so you also know how that food was produced, and at what cost to living beings?”

    I don’t produce any food myself because I live in a city and aside from hitting the farmers market occasionally, I don’t really know producers of my food in any significant way. My only assurance as a vegan is that animals were not willfully exploited to provide my food, an assurance that’s easy to verify by eating plants and reading ingredients on packaged products. Plenty of small animals and insects are harmed in agriculture, but aside from not eating factory farmed meat which increased that collateral damage since they require more agriculture to feed them and buying organic, it’s harm that isn’t’ easy to avoid. Taking a knife to a chicken’s throat (or paying someone to do it for me) when I don’t need to has a direct degree of intention that I don’t agree with.

    In turn I ask: Why this fetish on food and not all the other stuff people consume? Vegans are accused of making diet a fetish, but within our philosophy we do consider animal products in all forms. Sure, it’s not all perfect but it’s fairly doable to avoid the more egregious things like fur, leather, wool, down, soaps and cosmetic, etc. Medications can be an issue with testing and animal derived ingredients but I’m healthy and this is an area where necessity holds some weight. If someone is diabetic, I’m not going fault them for using insulin, I’d use insulin too if I needed it, that’s a real life and death need.

    But going by this ethic of local living I don’t understand why eating a backyard chicken is morally superior but putting the carcass in a refrigerator made in California or even Asia is okay. Shouldn’t at least animal clothing material like fur, leather, and wool and down be local? Shouldn’t all materials that you can possibly grow yourself like cotton for clothing or lumber for building material and furniture be local. What about metals, should I have a relationship with a local miner? If I buy an office chair from Staples is it okay that I at least knew the cashier, or should I know where the plastic came from and the poly-fill stuffing and the fabric and where it was assembled and who shipped it? Is it important to visit the laptop factory in Asia to get to know the people there? When I use a laptop (or any electricity powered appliance or device), do I have to visit the power plant and find out where the coal or oil is from? Is it important to heat my home with local fossil fuels or should I only be using local wood or coal exclusively?

    It seems the way to pull of this local lifestyle in actuality is to move to into an Amish town, but since many Amish communities use things like washing machines these days, perhaps a Mennonite establishment in a place like Belize is a better example, since they are even further off the civilization grid in a way that even the Amish aren’t.

    So if you want to make a fetish of food, good luck with that. I don’t quite understand this division between food and everything else we consume that comes from the natural world, especially if animals are to be treated as mere resources. While “back to the land” has its merits, it’s a romanticized vision that isn’t in touch with reality of the present, the reality of millions of urban people, and the reality of a global world community with unevenly distributed resources.

    If the goal is to reduce environmental impact, then I’m fine with living in a small apartment in a city because even though cities seem like hubs of pollution, in actuality, urbanites use fewer resources per person than American rural counterparts who need more infrastructures due to the inefficiency of decentralization. Free standing homes use more materials and consume more reassures to maintain, more heat in the winter and more air conditioning in the summer. Larger homes get filled with more belongings. Living in the country means people drive more and families tend to have more than one car. Roads and power grids need to be built and maintained though usage is light compared to an urban system, every mile of asphalt and electrical cable is comparatively more expensive. Even garbage collection becomes a fuel intensive endeavor. The density of people in a city means that they aren’t scattered across the landscape. I’m not trying to make suburbanites feel guilty, I’m just pointing out that playing Little House on the Prairie while bemoaning the spoils of civilization and globalism while still being largely attached and dependent to such systems is delusional.

    Growing food in your backyard is wonderful, but don’t attempt to make a hobby it into some virtuous lifestyle and in the process disparage the millions of people who can’t possibly have this “luxury” while you maintain your blog on a computer in a furnished home office.

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