Easy answers to common questions about veganism  »

When we made the decision to go vegan, we probably had good reasons, because all us vegans are the greatest best. However, when someone questions your reasons, it can be hard to remember exactly why! Especially if someone is trying to “get your goat” (lolz) or be dismissive. Here I’ve compiled some simple answers to common questions. At the end, I have the main point you have to remember for each answer. Just try and get that down (practice in a mirror or on a pillow! it won’t get you pregnant!) and the rest should flow from your mouth like the fountain of motherloving knowledge that you possess! If all else fails, just grab their hair, knee to face, groin punch, groin punch, groin punch. I kid, I kid.

1. Where do you get your protein?
Actually, you can get all your protein requirements from plants and grains. It’s pretty difficult NOT to get your daily protein. In fact, most Americans get too much of it. 

REMEMBER: Plants have protein.

2. But cheese is gooooooood.
I didn’t give up cheese because I don’t like the taste (and the addictive casein high!), I gave it up because I morally object to the way it’s made. Did you know that male calves are taken away from their moms the day they’re born so they can be sold for veal? You know, because their mom’s milk is for humans, not for their baby. I like cheese but I don’t think it’s worth it.

REMEMBER: It’s not about the taste.

3. Animals eat each other; why shouldn’t we?
Animals do a lot of stuff we don’t do—my neighbor’s dog eats its own shit. Humans are thoughtful, reflective beings and we can make choices in a way most animals can’t. Except lots of animals, including gorillas, who are badass natural vegans and way better than us.

REMEMBER: Humans have choices.

4. I respect your choice to be vegan, you should respect my choice to eat meat.
We can respect each other’s choices to the extent that they don’t harm others. I think your choices harm others.

REMEMBER: First, do no harm.

5. What about the plants you’re killing?! Plants have feelings too!
After researching it, I don’t believe that plants have feelings. If they do, you should know that a meat-based diet kills a lot more plants than eating plants directly. So if you want to reduce plant suffering, you should eat less meat.

REMEMBER: Eating meat kills more plants than eating plants.

6. Do you eat fish?
No, fish are animals. At one point, some scientists thought fish didn’t feel pain but more modern research suggests they do.

REMEMBER: Fish are animals.

7. I tried to be vegan and I got really sick.
That’s weird because usually a vegan diet is healthier than a non-vegan diet. If nutrition was a problem, you could always read more about how to become a healthy vegan and try again! I could help! If you want to talk to someone more professional than me (please note: I wear flip flops in winter and usually have food on my hair, face, and shirt), find a vegan-friendly nutritionist or dietitian!

REMEMBER: Any diet can be unhealthy.

8. What would happen to all the cows if we didn’t eat them?
I think they’d be better off. I assume they would get old and die and not miss the torture.

REMEMBER: They’d get old and die.

9. Why do you care about animals more than people?
I care about people too. But as a person, I feel like we have an obligation to protect animals against people. Besides that, the truth is that the dairy and meat industry are infamous offenders of workers’ rights. They prey on immigrant labor and exploit illegal immigrants. If you really care about people, you should boycott the meat and dairy industry until they make real steps towards workers’ rights.

REMEMBER: The meat industry abuses workers.

10. Human bodies are designed to eat meat.
Humans are designed to eat a variety of foods and we can pick which foods we eat. We don’t need meat to survive. We do, however, need plants.

REMEMBER: Humans have choices.

11. But soy crops are destroying the world and giving us all big breasts and making men become women!
Most soy crops are grown to feed to animals who are slaughtered for food. Don’t like soy? Stop buying meat! And, no soy doesn’t turn dudes gay and make them grow boobs. Soy, like pretty much every food, shouldn’t be consumed at every meal for the entire meal. If you’re eating a balanced vegan diet, NO PROBLEMO.

REMEMBER: The majority of soy is grown to feed livestock.

12. Biggest question of all! Why are you vegan?
I’m not comfortable with exploiting animals. It’s grotesque and not necessary.

But that’s just me! You should have a nice little answer to this because, I don’t know about you, but I get this question all the time. You shouldn’t take this as a challenge to your beliefs, it’s usually just a question. So figure out why you’re vegan and boil that down into a simple sentence or two. The shorter, the better. If you want to expand, make it an elevator pitch. Be compassionate, funny, smart, and succinct. Tall order, maybe, but think of the animals. Especially a really cute pig. That should power you through it! 

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