Below are many of the frequently asked questions about veganism and animal rights. Our aim is to answer the questions and excuses against living vegan.
“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14
“Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food.” – Genesis 1:29
“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child will lead them.” – Isaiah 11:6 (NASB)
“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD. – Isaiah 65:25 (NASB)
No. Animals are only bred based on the demand for animal products. The world won’t go vegan overnight; instead it will be a gradual process which means over time, as veganism becomes more prevalent and the demand for animal products decreases, fewer animals will be bred to be exploited and eaten.
Yes, they are. It is the position of many respected health organizations that vegan diets are healthful and nutritionally adequate during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence. It is also appropriate for athletes.
Please visit our Vegan Nutrition page for more information.
B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as cobalamine, that is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body. It is an important vitamin that allows the nervous system to function properly because of its role in the synthesis of myelin and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.
All humans, vegan or not, need to obtain enough B12 from their diet in order to be healthy. And all humans, vegan or not, obtain their B12 from the exact same source all animals obtain it: micro-organisms. That is because, contrary to what most people think, B12 is not made by animals, but by bacteria and archaea (microorganisms). Some of these bacteria are found in the soil and on the vegetables grown on that soil, but due to the use of pesticides and to our modern hygiene processes, the natural presence of B12 in vegetables is reduced and even eliminated. That means it is not objectively correct to claim that we cannot find vitamin B12 in vegetables: we could find it if we did not process vegetables the way we do it nowadays.
Non-vegans obtain their B12 because they eat animal products that come from animals that obtained cobalamine from these microorganisms through their diet.
In order to obtain B12 eating a vegan diet it is necessary to consume cobalamine regularly. This can be done through vitamin B12 tablets, liquid drops or eating enough B12 fortified foods.
The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in developed countries is impaired absorption due to a loss of gastric intrinsic factor, which must be bound to food-source B12 in order for absorption to occur. Another group affected are those on long term antacid therapy: using proton pump inhibitors; H2 blockers; or other antacids.
Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or cobalamine are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than non-vegans. Research on this area has found that 10 to 20 percent of older people may be unable to absorb B12, so it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their B12 intake by consuming fortified foods or vitamin B12-containing tablets.
Going and living vegan is easy. We simply eat plant-based foods, avoid using clothing that contains animal products, reject animal entertainment, and not participate in any form of animal exploitation.
There is a learning curve like anything new we adopt into our lives, so looking at labels – especially the ingredient labels – is something we all become very accustomed to doing.
Once we acknowledge that veganism is about justice for animals – the minimum they deserve – then going vegan is easy.
Our inconvenience and pleasures are not morally justifiable reasons to exploit and kill animals.
There are no studies showing that plants feel pain. The purpose of pain is to make us leave or avoid the source of pain; something absurd and useless for plants because they cannot move.
Plants may be complex, but they don’t feel pain; they detect damage.
Furthermore, plants are not sentient: they have no subjective and perceptual awareness; no self-awareness. They have no desires, preferences and wants like human and non-human animals do.
There is no central nervous system and there is no subjective processing of stimuli. A plant’s response to its environment is objective. Action leads to reaction: input leads to output; every single time.
These are the fundamental differences between sentient and non-sentient life.
Sentient life processes its environment in a different manner depending on its own experiences, mood and genetics. With plants there are only biological, chemical and mechanical responses to the stimuli. There is no subjective interpretation of the world. There is no individuality.
Everything humans do harms someone – human and non-human – at some stage. However, veganism is not about reducing harm or avoiding indirect harm: veganism is about rejecting animal exploitation. It is an absolute rejection of animal use.
For example, even though everything we humans do harms other humans in the world, we can certainly not kill, rape or directly harm other humans.
When we are non-vegan we are knowingly complicit in the purposeful and targeted exploitation, enslavement, harm and death of innocent animals. It is nonsensical to compare the annual killing of over 60 billion land animals and over a trillion marine-life beings to the unplanned, non-targeted and accidental death of animals unfortunately killed during crop production.
The “food chain” is a human concept and often used to make our exploitation of animals look as though it has some basis in the natural world; it doesn’t.
The idea that we are at the top of a “food chain” – it’s more like a web – is equivalent to the idea that we are capable of oppressing and exploiting all of the other species on the planet. That may be true, but it carries no moral significance.
By saying that we are at the top of some non-existent chain is a way of saying that it’s ok to hurt and kill animals without any ethical justification. That is just a way of saying that you don’t think animals matter at all morally and that we can use them and kill them just because we are able to do so.
Actually, if you stop and think about it, you’ll see that our power and ability to exploit non-human animals gives us the responsibility to protect them from exploitation.
Plant-based whole foods like rice, grains, oats, beans, legumes, potatoes, pasta, most fruits and vegetables etc, are usually very cheap and easy to get.
It is true that some processed vegan foods are more expensive. As more people go vegan then these prices will reduce. Just look how plant milks have become far more popular and as a result the price has reduced.
Buying foods when in season, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables, can provide savings.
Consuming non-processed and less processed foods provides health benefits in the long-term and in our experience is cheaper than animal produce.