Shout-out to you Veganuarians out there who are nearing the end of what has probably felt like an ENDLESS month… I hope it’s been fun and some of you might keep bits of veganism/vegetarianism going because you know what, the planet needs every little bit of help it can! One thing nobody tells you about going vegan is that you WILL be fending off people’s questions for the rest of your life. Now, I’m normally all about answering people’s Qs – if I can help you find a decent butter replacement or point you towards my fave pizza delivery place, I will.
THAT SAID. There’s a few questions that just Get. On. Your. Nerves. For example, I first went veggie back in 2004 and since then I’ve spent approximately 34% of my waking hours talking about protein sources to middle-aged white dudes. Please just let me eat my party rings in peace, y’know? I thought I’d collect some of these more annoying shitty questions here and we can collectively let off some steam! So without further ado, let’s recap the annoying things those pesky meat-eaters like to do.
So what if you were marooned on an island and the only items that had washed ashore were a pig and a carving knife?
What if you were on an alien planet and there was no vegetation but there was an abundance of very fat microsheep, barbecues, and skewers?
(Genuinely been asked that last one.) Clearly what would happen is a lot of moral questioning and a fight between reason and primal instinct, but actually, given that I’m not planning on being stranded on a desert island with a pig and a spear anytime soon can we just move on? If that happens I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Why are meat-eaters obsessed with desert islands?! What world do they live in where people are regularly stranded on remote islands with a single cute animal and a knife?
Imagine your wedding without a real cake! It just seems so sad.
But what about if you went camping and one of your friends killed a wild boar and you had freshly roasted boar that you’d caught and cooked together!
Guys, there’s more to life than food. I know, it’s a shocker, but it’s 2018 now and I want you to know the truth. Other things exist. The one British people are obsessed with is “what about your Mum’s Sunday roast?”. Let’s ignore the fact that not everybody wants or will eat a Sunday roast (I’ve had maybe three in my lifetime? DIFFERENT CULTURES EXIST AND THAT IS OK.)
Bizarrely, my Mum is not only a capable human being able to cook other recipes, but also a person who followed my own path into vegetarianism way back when. Ain’t nobody cook a nut roast like my Momma. I’m really not into the whole “food as emotional throwback”, but, that said, there are ways around it. You’re either gonna get around it with some ingredient swaps and planning (vegan cake, presto!) or just assess the situation. Surely I can not eat the boar and still join in the chat, ambience and festivities of the evening? (Although, why am I on a hunting trip?)
Hanging decorations on the tree is the best bit of Christmas. I can’t imagine not tiptoeing down and sneaking off a chocolate tree dec on Christmas morning.
What would you eat instead of a goose fed turkey?! It’s plain wrong.
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without 6 tonnes of lard and corpse on the table, would it guys? I’ve now had 9 Christmas’s as a vegan and I can tell you I manage to get enough Christmassy vibes from the trees/music/lights/decorations/ambience/scrummy vegan food and so on. Honestly. It’s really not all about the food.
What about tribespeople living in the mountains who kill, cook and eat a goat? Every part of the animal is used and it’s self-sustainable. They have no access to stuff like tofu or seitan. How are they supposed to go vegan? If they can eat meat, why can’t we?
This one is a favourite amongst smug white men in their twenties and it IS A LOAD OF COBBLERS. Hey Colin, let me tell you a little story about the time we lived in a huge, fast-growing and densely populated urban society, where sustainable farming was a thing of ancient history and where demands for food and money meant we were systematically destroying the planet just to make a buck on a beefburger. Yes, there are sustainable farms out there in small rural communities who both live off and respect the land without contributing in any significant way to the myriad environmental issues that we are responsible for. In case you hadn’t noticed, YOU ARE NOT IN ONE.
I’ve not once heard this argument from somebody who is actually from a tiny fishing tribe in a rural part of some far-flung country. Probably because all the people that applies to are out, you know, contributing to a sustainable community. So, unless you ARE a nomadic tribesperson living in the rural mountains you can take your sustainable farming crap bullshit argument and eat that instead.
It just doesn’t seem healthy. Is it healthy being vegan? Surely you need the calcium from cows? Why would we buy it otherwise?
Er, I don’t know, probably because after the Second World War business was booming for the dairy industry and it’s been one of the most profitable areas of industry since? And actually, calves need the calcium from cows, hence female cows produce milk for their children after becoming pregnant? Even if I wasn’t eating a balanced diet of grains, pulses, veg, fruit and carbs (thanks for asking), I could whack in a supplement every now and then. Whilst we’re chatting about the health implications let’s ask when the last time you used a nutrition tracker shall we? Do you want to compare notes?
I actually think people are just asking this even though they know the answer. Never mind that the average human in a Western society eats three times MORE than the amount of protein they need. I’ve started just agreeing with people. “Yep, you’re right, I’m completely deficient in protein. Probably going to die any day now” and then just leaving it there. This one is also a favourite of Twitter trolls. Nothing like somebody starting up the old “I can’t go vegan because PROTEIN” to find your mentions full of 123921 types of red-meat loving trolls. WHY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS.
It’s just wrong. In my day we used to have one cow in the village and we’d all wait until it was killed and then have fresh meat for the rest of the week. There was always enough to go round the village.
That must have been great when you had 40 people maximum in a village and knew all your neighbours and houses cost £200 and you rode a stegosaurus to school. Now you live in a “village” with 60000 other people and a single cow isn’t going very far unless you are the actual messiah. Stop showing your age. This one pops up a lot from elders in my family and it takes all I’ve got sometimes to not shout “go sit in a home until you and your dated views pass on” because ugh. How somebody can live for 60+ years and have seemingly NO knowledge about the huge population growth that’s occurred within their lifetime is beyond me. Where are these idyllic villages where a boy could pay a farthing for a fresh chicken and have it last the whole family? Nowhere near this century, that’s where.
It’s a cow. If we don’t eat it, what will it do instead? It would die in the wild. They don’t feel pain.
*picture of pug dog* 2 years since we welcomed this baby into our family! She sometimes gets a bit whimpery but we can now leave her alone for 30 minutes!
Happy 1st birthday to my goldfish, Buckaroo. *selfie*
If you accept that a cat/dog can feel pain and fear, but a pig, one of the smartest mammals, can’t, then I don’t even know where to begin. If you’d celebrate the birthday of one animal whilst eating another I’d really urge you to take a strong look at those choices. This one particular irks me because I bloody hate pets. Most pet animals wouldn’t last 5 minutes outside of human care, so we slavishly attend to them and bend over backwards to give those animals happy lives. That exact same argument (they can’t live without us!) is applied to sheep and cows and so on as justification for killing them. Seriously. What? I nearly always end this argument with “so, you’d eat a dog?” and people look at me like I’m insane. The dog argument is one of my favourites. Because none of those people would want to eat a dog and yet, a pig? Pass the salt! WHAT. WHAT IS THIS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISCONNECT I REALLY DON’T GET IT.
So what is the dog argument? Basically, if you look at it logically – we should eat dogs. If you think we need meat and you think it’s ethically okay to kill something else in order to eat it, then logically it makes sense to kill and eat an animal of which we have a surplus (in fact, a species in such surplus it’s actually draining human resources). We have dog breeders, dog homes, stray dogs. Dogs are lining rescue homes and routinely put down, or killed by breeders in puppyhood if they’re not good enough for a pure breed. So if you’re saying we can and should eat meat, why would you not eat the very ready supply of meat we have rather than putting all your resources into something else? (FYI, OBVIOUSLY I’m not saying I would eat a dog. I’m just saying, if you think it makes sense to eat cows because there’s “too many”, but not dogs, of which there quite literally ARE too many, what?) And that’s the dog argument.
Honestly, this is such a non-argument. Tradition is the absolute worst argument for pretty much everything. Other things that USED to always happen: smallpox, child employment, unsafe sex, slavery, operations without anaesthetic, shitting in the street, etc. Remember when we used to throw women into water to check if they were witches? Ah, the good old days. Let’s just sack off progress altogether, shall we?
There you go. Just a few of the many, many things that I’ve heard week in and week out. Shout out to you if you got a full house in “Shit Vegans Hear” bingo! Any of these sound familiar to you?