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What Extremist Vegans Don't Seem to Understand

This isn’t a slam against vegans. What you choose to eat is what you choose to eat. It is really against extremism. I’m just as much against meat-eaters who try to impose their will on vegans.

Both vegans and meat-eaters have things in support of their choice. Eating meat is both healthy and unhealthy, in different ways. Both involve the death of huge numbers of animals. This is true even though more animals die from the commercial production of vegetables than those that are slaughtered for meat. 

Both sides of the argument have even manipulated statistics to support their point, in terms of the extremists. Extremist vegans like to point out that there are a lot more vegans now than there were even 50 years ago. Extremist meat-eaters can make the same claim. That is possible because the world population has exploded at a faster rate than the increase of either extremist camp. The percentage of vegans to meat-eaters has stayed relatively constant. In fact, as one would expect, the number of animals that are raised for meat has been continually increasing.

Occasionally I field a question about “beyond meat”, “impossible burger”, or similar vegan meat imitations. These are usually along the lines of, “Do you think Beyond Meat will force the meat industry out of business?” That might be hopeful to extremist vegans, but most meat-eaters are pretty aware of the issues with this.

First, “meat” that is made out of plants is far less healthy than real meat. It doesn’t taste like meat. It doesn’t smell like meat. It doesn’t have the texture of meat. It is far more expensive than meat.

Even if all five of these serious issues were resolved, and so far, there is no indication that any of them will be solved in at least the next several decades, there is the matter of demand. Plant-based fake meat can’t even begin to take the place of real meat until the demand for fake meat is high among meat-eaters. So far, nearly all of the people who have or will eat artificial meat are vegans. These are the people who don’t eat meat anyway. 

These aren’t the people who would need to be convinced to eat the fake meat in order for meat to stop being eaten. The extremist vegans don’t seem to understand this. As long as there is a big demand for meat, there will be producers of meat to fill that demand. 

As it stands, the meat industry is in no danger at all, and probably won’t be for at least 50-200 years. Too many people won’t or can’t eat artificial meat products. 

Personally, I don’t begrudge a person for anything they want to eat. However, I have no desire to replace the meat I eat for plant-based artificial meat. I’m too concerned with my health to do that and I happen to like eating what I eat. 

  • If you’ve tried artificial meat, do you actually like it?

    • Yes
    • No
    • It’s okay
    • I’ve never tried artificial meat

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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  1. I don’t eat meat because I can’t stand the stuff and never could. It is still a mystery to me why people actually enjoy doing so!

    I would therefore be highly unlikely to eat anything that pretends to resemble something I wouldn’t eat anyway.

    There are threats to meat production, however, and these are mainly environmental. We can see from what is happening in Brazil that burning forests to make pasture land for cattle is not the way to go. Why is this happening? Because there is a huge market for beef, mainly from consumers in developed countries such as the United States, and beef production needs large amounts of land.

    However, clearing forests to make room for palm oil production is also far from ideal.

    As a world, we really need to get our act together in terms of how we are to feed ourselves in future.

    • An enormous amount of beef is produced in the US, mostly on pasture land that has never needed to be cleared. Very little beef is imported into the US. As many beef (and chickens, turkeys, hogs, etc) as is produced in the US, we don’t come close to the number that are produced elsewhere. China and India produce a lot more beef for meat than the US does. Then again, their population is substantially larger, too.

    • Many people don’t realize how unhealthy the plant-based artificial meat is. It is higher in cholesterol, much higher in sodium, lacks essential nutrients found in meat, and so forth. Overall, if a person wants something that tastes like meat and that is reasonably good for them, the simplest way to do it would be to simply eat meat.

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