Hey Vegans — What’s your beef?

By Bhushan Salunke
The Devil’s Advocate, serving you a cocktail of humour, wit, and sarcasm

Before the angry vegans get triggered by my provocative title and start stampeding toward me with their pitchforks and torches, to lynch me, let me offer them a hurried explanation.

I understand vegans and meat, do not meet halfway. I am using the word “beef” in an idiomatic sense, to mean “What’s your problem”? I am assuring vegans that no cow was hurt or injured during the usage of this idiom.

Veganism, for those of you who are waking up to it, is a way of life which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Sounds so much like a religious cult.

How do you know a person you just met is a vegan or not? Easy. He/she will tell you in the first 2 minutes into the conversation. LOL

How are vegans different from vegetarians? Just as some religions have a radical side to them, vegans are the austere form of vegetarians. The media refers them as “vegan terrorists”. Vegans consume everything a vegetarian consumes, but exclude fish, poultry and eggs, as well as foods that contain them, dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. They also are averse to using any products made by animals or made from animals. A far more vegan extremists are the fruit loops known as “fruitarians” who eat nothing, but fruits and seeds meant for birds.

It is a fact that vegans are disliked and hated all over the world. Why the bile? (pun alert). Matt Ball of One Step for Animals wrote that “vegans are viewed more negatively than atheists, immigrants, homosexuals, and asexual”. Citing a recent study by Cara McInnis and Gordon Hodson—“The only group viewed more negatively than vegans were drug addicts.”

Are they disliked because of their “holier than thou” attitude, for wearing their virtuous credentials on their sleeves and the snobbery they show toward others? Is it because of the disdain they have for meat-eaters and vegetarians and the guilt trip they take others on about the “cruel” industrial animal farming and the atrocious condition and treatment animals must undergo to end up as food on a meat-eaters’ plate? Is it because they view non-vegans as the destroyers of the planet?

Being a vegan is not about food, its nutritional value and the diet’s health benefits at all but it is about a social justice movement, an activism, an elitism, an ideology, a crusade, a lifestyle choice aimed at protecting the environment and animal rights from meat-eating savages and vegetarians. It has become a lifestyle marketed toward the rich and bored who want to feel like they are doing something for the world and environment.

Vegans should “listen to the scientists” as Greta Thunberg would want them to, if not to everyone, but at least the “97%” of them

Even though vegans are kind towards animals, this treatment is not extended to non-vegans. As happened recently in Australia, a bunch of “vegan terrorists” marched across farmers’ lands, invaded their farmhouses, broke into cattle sheds, grabbed a few animals, and chained themselves to machinery as a form of protest against animal farming. One vegan Facebook page even posted a map showing the addresses of farms across the country to make it easier for protesters to know where to go.

Farmers were living under constant fear of getting attacked by these animal rights activists, who were doubling up as vegans. A goat farm in Victoria closed unable to weather the continual harassment by these activists.

Veganism is mainly about raging against how inhumanely animals are farmed, slaughtered, and used as food and in the process causing global warming and other evils in the world.

If meat-eaters are killers of animals, aren’t vegans killers of plant life? It is a fact that plants are living beings; a tiny seed grows into a huge tree. Scientists have proved beyond doubt that plants feel pain, respond to stimuli such as music, speech, cold, heat, stress etc.

A team of scientists from Tel Aviv University discovered that some plants could emit a high-frequency distress sound when in environmental stress. The team tested tomato plants by not watering them and by cutting off their stems. They then recorded their response with a microphone. The scientists found that the plants began to emit ultrasonic distress sounds to plants within the vicinity, according to the study that was published in Live Science. Vegans should “listen to the scientists” as Greta Thunberg would want them to, if not to everyone, but at least the “97%” of them. Another study found that some plants registered pain after their leaves were touched and plucked. The smell that we usually associate with freshly cut grass is a chemical distress call.

So, when a vegan plucks that apple off a tree and bites into it, isn’t that a blatant planticide?

A harvester machine, when it ploughs through a field, chopping off the ears of the crops, there is no bloodshed to be seen or plant screams to be heard, for the vegans. But the plants are feeling the pain and crying out for help just like the meat-eaters’ butchered animals.

Here are a few hard questions for the snobbish neighbourhood “hippy” vegan to consider when munching on “smashed avocado on toast” at his/her favourite organic café:

  • Rabbits are killed or poisoned to provide a bunch of crunchy carrots to a vegan. Yes, cute, cuddly, bouncy bunny rabbits must be sacrificed for a vegan’s enjoyment.
  • Are vegans baby killers? Then why do they eat baby carrots and baby spinach, cutting short the lives of these vegetables which were dreaming of adulthood?
  • Vegans say they love animals. So why do they eat all their plant food?
  • “Smashed avocados” are a smash hit with vegans. Do they realise it is causing huge environmental impact by contributing to de-forestation due to their farming? Thirsty avocado requires nearly 97 gallons of water to produce a single pound. How does this compare with the figures vegan throw at the meat-eaters for producing one pound of meat?

Quinoa, another of vegans’ fashion food is causing environmental havoc. Quinoa is the staple food of Peruvian and Bolivian farmers but thanks to the world demand created by the stylish vegans, the price of quinoa has rocketed putting it out of reach of the ordinary people. Excessive quinoa farming has resulted in environmental degradation, soil erosion and loss of nutrients.

Rice farming produces a large amount of methane and nitrous oxide, both greenhouse gases, in the paddy fields, contributing to climate change.

What about the impact of fossil-fuel driven farm machineries used, fertiliser production, transportation, storage, freezing and distribution of foods etc on the environment, due to the production of vegan crops? Do vegans know their crops are genetically modified?

Do vegans know animal blood and bones are used as fertilisers to grow their crops? Vegans are made of meat and bones too.

Are vegans aware that meat diet of early humans was responsible for the rapid development of the human brain to the level of intelligence we now possess?

People adopt a diet based on their cultural & religious beliefs, environment and the type of food which is available in their region. A vegan would find it extremely difficult to get an eskimo off his seal blubber diet, to chew on celery sticks.

Honey is known to have medicinal properties and has been used for centuries but the vegans will now put a stop to it because humans are exploiting bees to make honey, and this equates to animal cruelty. A vegan I know of has even stopped calling his wife ‘honey’

There are more kangaroos in Australia that there are people; 50 million kangaroos vs 25 million humans. Kangaroos are causing environmental and bio-diversity damage and regarded as pests. What are the vegans doing about it? Would vegans be fine with meat-eaters hunting wild game in place of the animals slaughtered in farms, if cruelty of animals is their only concern?

How do vegans justify using leather and wool products; jackets, sofas, shoes etc when they are against products made from animal?

You know the vegans have lost their marbles when you hear the following: they shun honey. Honey is known to have medicinal properties and has been used for centuries but the vegans will now put a stop to it because humans are exploiting bees to make honey, and this equates to animal cruelty. A vegan I know of has even stopped calling his wife ‘honey’. They feed vegetables to their carnivore pets, such as dogs and cats. Isn’t this animal cruelty, the exact thing that a noble vegan is trying to stop? WTF. A vegan will refuse to use cosmetics if it had been tested on animals etc etc

Plant-based diets are responsible for the deaths of millions of mammals such as rabbits, hares, deer, moles, snakes and wild birds etc which are killed each year to protect food crops. Land clearance to grow food for the vegans, kills billions of lives in the process and changes the biodiversity. Plant-based diets could even be responsible for the deaths of as many mammals and birds as animals slaughtered from the livestock sector.

Veganism has received a “boost” due to the celebrity endorsement. Celebrities are always on the lookout for trending fads, to hook their wagons on to, so that they can still be in the limelight. The biggest vegan hypocrite of them all is Arnold Schwarzenegger who had built his body and career on tearing into meat. He is now championing veganism. This is the same guy who taunted his attacker, who threw a punch at him, in a movie, by saying, “You hit like a vegetarian.”

Businesses are cashing on the “vegan burger” and other meat substitute foods. MasterChef guest judge, Shannon Martinez, admitted to not being a vegan despite operating the vegan restaurant, Smith & Daughters. It is a bonanza time for businesses to make a quick buck on the back of a fad.

If vegans think veganism will save the planet, here is some bad news for them. The carbon footprint of industrially grown vegan food such as soya, maize, avocados, quinoa, and rice are all contributing to climate change by requiring high inputs of fertiliser, fungicides, pesticides & herbicides, transport, farm equipment etc.

Every vegan activity has a carbon footprint and impacts the environment. Vegans living in glasshouses should not throw stones.

The world is fine with vegans going bananas, in isolation. It is only when they barge into other people’s houses on their high horses (Oops! Vegans don’t ride horses. Animal cruelty), open their fridges, act as food police and food shame people on their choice of foods, that it drives people up the wall.

“God sends meat and the devil sends cooks” is an old proverb which should now stand corrected to “God sends meat and the devil sends vegans”.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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