P: “Given the fact that animals other than humans have evolved to have highly specialized diets which include them having to hunt and kill (or at least maim) other animals and to consume the flesh of those hunted animals, don’t you think it’s irrational for a human to justify being a vegan while other animals go about murdering and consuming other animals?”
Q: “Why would you say that I am being irrational by choosing to adhere to a strictly plant-based diet?”
P: “Well, for most of human history, humans had few options but consuming the flesh of other animals as a means to survive and sexually reproduce. It simply was not practical for those humans to subsist on an entirely plant-based diet because conditions were not suitable for farming (before travel and trade and maybe even farming was feasible for those humans) and plants did not provide as much nutrition as did the flesh of other animals. In other words, before humans like you and I had modern luxuries such as being able to regularly consume a wide variety of nutrient-dense plant-based food options, humans had to hunt prey in order to make up for plants not providing enough nutrition to sustain the human colony. And while you eat your quinoa salad, the red tail hawk next to you is devouring the ground squirrel which it hunted. Why should you be deprived of the right to consume animal flesh while that bird next to you gets to consume animal flesh? How is that fair or ethical?”
Q: “I understand that many non human animals are specialized to subsist on a very limited diet and lifestyle which includes hunting and consuming other animals. Such activity does not impact the ecosystem in a detrimental way, but rather, in a mostly cyclical way. Humans, on the other hand, have wrecked havoc on the delicate ecosystem economies by clearing out many rain forests in order to raise cattle for human consumption (and the clearing of those rain forests removes much of what replaces the carbon dioxide animals breathe out with breathable oxygen in a symbiotic and cyclical relationship). Amino acid complete protein sources in the form of plants take up significantly less land space, water, and energy than does farming livestock (and farming plants generates less pollution than does farming and slaughtering animals and then processing their meat for human consumption). The main reason why I am a vegan is not because I want to stop animals from eating each other, but rather, to reduce my negative ecological impact (since a plant based diet generates less pollution and consumes less energy, land space, and water than does a meat-based diet).“
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