Remember that when you are speaking to a nonvegan, you are dealing with someone who thinks that consuming animal products is as natural–and necessary–as breathing and your challenge sounds as bizarre as a suggestion that they stop breathing!
This is one reason why it is important to know enough about the nutritional aspects of veganism to be able to engage in substantive discussion about this.
Some claim that any discussion of health means that you are downplaying the moral point. That is false and applies only to situations where you argue that someone ought to go vegan primarily for health reasons. I am talking about engaging and addressing the view that animal protein is necessary for health. That is very different.
Although we say that, in our view, a healthy vegan diet is far better for health than any alternative, we always follow up and say something like: “But that isn’t the point. The point is that there is no evidence that you can’t be healthy on a healthy vegan diet. Animal products are not necessary.” And that is the point.
If people are going to think about the moral issue clearly, they need to understand that the moral imperative of veganism does not translate into a “you are obligated to do that which will physically harm you” norm.
Educate yourself so you can educate others. Here’s a good place to start.
Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law
Adjunct Professor of Law
If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.
If animals matter morally, veganism is not an option — it is a necessity. Anything that claims to be an animal rights movement must make clear that veganism is a moral imperative.
Learn more about abolitionist veganism at www.HowDoIGoVegan.com.
©2016 Gary L. Francione and Anna Charlton