There’s been plenty of chatter in this space lately over the numbers game that vegan activists like to play trying to convince themselves and their followers that hordes of people are eager to jump onto the no-animal-foods-or-products bandwagon.
As citizens of an affluent, highly developed, post-modern society, we have that luxury. We have the luxury of choosing to go vegan, a choice unavailable to billions of people elsewhere on the planet. We shouldn’t demonize such a benefit; we should instead be cognizant of, and grateful for, the privileged status of being able to forego the consumption of animal food, should we decide to do so.
But I would go further and argue that veganism is far worse than a mere curiosity, a plaything with which privileged people like to experiment. I would argue that the vegan lifestyle is wasteful, selfish and irresponsible.
Harsh? Not at all, not if one honestly dissects not just the dietary dictates but the environmental and socio-economic consequences that would result if billions of people were to go vegan.
› I say wasteful because if livestock were eliminated both as a source of food and fiber, billions of acres of marginal farmland and rangeland could no longer contribute to human nutrition. Assuming we can all agree that with seven billion-plus people now alive on Earth, the hunter-gather lifestyle is no longer viable. Those billions of souls have to be fed through agricultural activity.
Without being able to use land where precipitation is unpredictable, where soils are too unproductive or growing seasons are too short to raise the crops vegan advocates insist we live on, humanity would lose a huge percentage of its overall food productivity, not to mention the loss of billions of tons of animal manure vital to maintaining the fertility of the acreage that is suitable for conventional farming.
› I say selfish because demanding that people everywhere go veggie would deprive millions of people of the foods, the culture and the lifestyle that have sustained them for millennia. The nomadic herding tribes of sub-Saharan Africa, the native people of the Arctic regions, the aboriginal inhabitants across Polynesia as but a few examples — all of them would have to somehow import most of their food from afar (as if that would even be possible), or abandon both their homelands and their lifestyles.
Such a development would be hugely traumatic, but the selfishness of the vegan philosophy is so profound that most of its disciples never even consider such a scenario, much less express any remorse that their extremist ideas might actually cause more harm than good. It’s all about making them feel good about their moral superiority, not about relating to people elsewhere who aren’t in a position to even consider giving up all animal foods.