May 17, 2016

Why libertarians and conservatives should take veganism seriously (Part One)

James CampbellRebel Columnist

“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” - Leo Tolstoy

For nearly one year now, I have been almost entirely vegan, with the exception of a milky coffee now and again.

Initially I found reducing meat in my diet to be very challenging, but like any addiction, once you get past a certain point, avoiding that particular food becomes natural and the cravings fade. Now my meals are more interesting and I feel healthier than ever.

However, since being involved in the alt-right movement, I have become increasingly aware of the ridicule and hatred aimed at vegans from conservatives and libertarians.

Conservatives often accuse the Left of being aggressive, irrational and narrow minded, and rightly so. Yet, when it comes to the ethical, environmental, dietary and social benefits of veganism, I find it is the Right that is less reasonable.

The most common thing I hear goes something like "some vegans I know are annoying, leftist, anti-human virtue signallers, therefore veganism as a whole is wrong and I’m going to eat three cheeseburgers just to annoy them."

Thus the Right fall into typical bad habits of argumentation that they themselves are quick to point out in the Left.

Here I lay out why I think the Right should stop mocking, and start talking to vegans (and vice versa!)

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." - Pythagoras

Conservatives and Veganism
Michael Savage is the only prominent conservative I know of who talks regularly about reconciling animal rights and conservative principles.

He even gave up a college scholarship rather than experiment on animals.

Yet even he still seems to be in constant turmoil every time he eats a turkey sandwich. 

As Savage points out, conservatives are generally perceived as having a fetish for hunting. (Justice Scalia and Sarah Palin come to mind).

He suggests these abusive throwback traditions turn off a lot of younger people from the conservative movement.

Hunting, BBQing and eating big slabs of meat are somehow seen by conservatives as masculine while veganism is seen as weak or effeminate.

Is this really true though?

Five-time Ultimate Fighting Championship winner Nate Diaz is a vegan, as are many of the world’s best athletes.

Almost nobody hunts or fights with their bare hands. We use guns, spears and traps that give us a huge power imbalance over our prey. Is that really "masculine"?

It is even less manly to get your meat from the store that you didn’t kill yourself.

Manliness, or using your own initiative and authority to do good, involves sticking to principles and doing what’s right regardless of the way the wind is blowing.

The real men are the ones who can go to a BBQ and say, "I’ll take the veggie burger."

Despite this, I believe vegans have a lot to thank conservatives for.

It was mostly conservatives who opposed organic animal agriculture, an unfeasible way to meet the demand for animal products.

Organic meat is less sustainable and uses more land and energy to produce the same yield of animal products, with greater environmental destruction.

In addition, the idea that organic is an ethical alternative to factory farming is grossly exaggerated.

Conservatives have led the way on animal rights in another regard: opposition to Halal, which is by far the most barbaric form of animal slaughter practiced in western society.

Rebel contributor Sheila Gunn Reid recently exposed Earl’s Restaurants for sourcing their beef from Creekstone farms in the US, which uses Halal methods.

The Left turn a blind eye to animal rights abuses from Muslims in exactly the same way they turn a blind eye to human rights abuses from Muslims.

Once I was aware of the violence of Halal slaughter I soon realized our own practices, although slightly better, are still barbaric.

In fact, it was actually the right’s exposure of the disgusting practices of Halal that was the catalyst of my move towards veganism.

"There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin

(Watch for PART TWO of this series!)

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commented 2016-05-21 16:10:57 -0400
JAMES CAMPBELL – you read like a member of PETA, or one of these holier than though “Compassionate” types.

Same message – but now going after the conservative/libertarian crowd

Reads like a sermon/lecture where instead of trying to convince people to convert to your religion, your are trying to convince people to convert to your ideology, which many of whom view as the religion as being “compassionate” they seem to think they are superior to those, in this case conservatives/libertarians who are vegans, are compassionately superior to those who are not.

I know a few vegans, they don’t try to convert me or act superior because they are vegans, maybe because they would not like meat eater trying them in a similar way.

I don’t think it is healthy in either extreme. Some meat and potatoes, whopper/big mac diet is not heathly, neither is abstinence of all meat and dairy products
commented 2016-05-21 13:28:45 -0400
@stewart LANDS (and also this rebutts some of James Campbells assumptions)

Good rebuttal however I have to take issue with part of your argument. Like James Campbell and other vegans you still seem to be arguing with the assumption that agriculture is inherently destructive to the environment. This is false. Modern industrial agriculture is inherently destructive. However there are other methods of producing food that not only aren’t destructive but are actually restorative to the environment and humane to animals.

For anyone interested look up permaculture. There is a wide spectrum of ideas and techniques that are used and many of them are very good; however I would specificly look into, Joel Salatin, Mark Shepherd and Sepp Holzer. I pick these three because not only have their methods restored and improved the land they have worked on but they are operating economically profitable farms. This isn’t hippy charity crap. Holzer I think has said something to the effect that if you can’t make half a million a year on 100 acres then you are doing it wrong.

I could write an essay on what these men have done but will just mention a few things that Joel has done. He basically inherited a run down eroded piece of land from his father and over the years mimicing nature, moving cattle through the land the way Bison would have grazed, built over a foot of topsoil. He actually had to put in new fence posts because they were getting buried by all the topsoil he built. When he started some of his pasture was down to bedrock.

He also added many ponds and increased the forested areas of his property, improving the habitat for wild animals. Even though he had less total acreage of pasture,he could graze more cattle because the fertility and productivity of the pasture was much increased. Additionally he would also pasture chickens behind the cattle to provide a dual yield while raising his animals in a much more humane manner then modern confinement systems.

Despite this success one of the counter arguments might be to say that a completely wild landscape would still be better for the animals and environment. Once again this shows a lack of understanding of nature and how permaculture works. Firstly a wild system will not restore topsoil at the rate a managed system can. Secondly one of the principles of Permaculture is that productivity and biodiversity is greatest on the edge between too different ecosystems. This is easily observed in nature.

Think of a lake and a forest. Where do the birds live and nest? Many birds nest on the shoreline or in nearby trees and then feed or hunt in the lake. Ducks, osprey, loons, seagulls etc. They will go out into the lake to feed but without the shoreline area to nest and rest you would not find them. How about the fish? Are they most abundant in the middle of a large lake where there is no structure or near the shorelines where deep water transitions to shallower water?

The same with forest and pasture. In the centre of a huge pasture you won’t find a huge diversity of birds and animals. Along the edges you will though. Hawks, owls, and other birds of prey will nest and perch in trees but prefer to hunt where it is open and they can see their prey easier. Small predators like weasels which hunt mice and gophers out in the field know they could also end up as prey. So are reluctant to go far from the brushy edges of a field. Hunters know that deer hunting is best where there are both trees for cover and clearings or pasture where the deer prefer to feed.

Anyway the point is that a properly designed permaculture system can restore damaged land faster then nature alone and provide improved wildlife habitat by creating that edge effect the same way that Joel has done by increasing the ponds and forested areas on his land.

We need to start thinking outside of the limited options that are presented to us. Real life is not like a multiple choice test in school where a limited number of options are presented to you and you choose the “best” answer of what you are allowed to.
commented 2016-05-21 12:42:57 -0400
I cook for a very large family of mostly boys and men. Sometimes I cook in my kitchen for baby shows and other functions. The last shower I did was for fifty people. My freezers are stocked with red meat, poultry, pork and fish. There is stacks of bacon too and sometimes there is bear and dear meat courtesy of the hunters in my family. My fridge is stocked with dairy, fruits and veggies. My pantry is stocked with grains and legumes. Moderately eating of all the groups is beneficial and I haven’t any guilt about it no matter what any vegan says.
commented 2016-05-18 17:43:38 -0400
Wasn’t it Charles Darwin who was about as lurid an animal-killer as has ever walked the planet? I look forward to seeing Part II?
commented 2016-05-18 16:05:45 -0400
James Campbell. Fiscal C’s are not truly conservative. They are lefties with a higher monetary appetite that the regular nanny-staters.. So likewise, they shill for all the lefty causes, i.e. veganism and animal rights and, as I just heard today, Rona Ambrose is in favour of special recognition and cow-towing to the latest letter of the alphabet.

So called conservatives are so afraid of offending the left that they are indistinguishable. Why don’t the C and L parties just merge?
commented 2016-05-18 02:54:13 -0400
Sorry, but no. You don’t want to eat meat? Good for you, don’t eat meat, it’s your choice. No one honestly cares. That said, bringing up how great veganism is and how everyone should adopt it because it’s “apolitical” makes me more inclined to believe you’re a leftie shill.

Here’s a thought, if you want to be taken seriously how about not comparing meat to an addiction? I swear if I hadn’t read it here on the rebel I would have attributed it to the sort of hofflenosh PETA spews.
commented 2016-05-18 02:20:31 -0400
The question of veganism is one of education, not politics. There are very good reasons to adopt a diet leaner in meat and richer in fresh vegetables, not only for health, but also for environmental reasons. Most people understand this perfectly well. But this is not to say that the vegan mantra is entirely correct. On two counts, it fails entirely. To begin, veganism assumes that the contemption of meat is always contrary to the priorities of reduced environmental impact and improved animal welfare. This ignores the fact that wild fish and game may be sustainably consumed with less impact than any form of agriculture. With well-regulated hunting and fishing we may consume the excess wildlife in any population without harming the population itself. Nature always breeds more animals than habitat can support and it does no harm to animal populations to consume the excess that are bound to perish by starvation or disease whether we consume them or not. Furthermore, these may be consumed without damaging the habitat upon which these animals depend. This cannot be said for any form of agriculture, vegan or otherwise, which necessarily destroys every single individual, of every major species, on the landscape converted to this purpose. The pretense that agriculture can occur with no animal death ignores the fact that entire populations are destroyed in the very act of clearing the land that will become the crop field, and it is this pretense that makes veganism a very dangerous philosophy. It completely ignores the reality of agriculture. It certainly is a step up from animal agriculture, but it cannot avoid death altogether. Far better to consume a small portion of the wildlife living in undisturbed natural systems than to destroy these systems entirely in order to grow crops. How is that outcome supposed to save these creatures? Has Michael Savage ever considered where the animals of all sorts that once inhabited his preferred crops fields disappeared to?

The second error common to mainstream vegan thought is that all plant foods are an acceptable way of reducing ones impact. Yet many of these preferred vegetable items are even more destructive than some agriculturally produced meats, and therefore warrant the same criticisms. Cashews and almonds demand more water to produce than does chicken. Most people recognize that banana and papaya are transported across the seas at great environmental expense in terms of carbon dioxide released during transport. Yet they ignore the fact that many other vegetable and fruit items are similarly produced well off-shore. Interestingly, meat consumption is criticized for exactly these same reasons, yet mainstream veganism applies a double standard to its own luxury food items, preferring to ignore the impacts of any plant-based food item worthy of the same criticisms. When veganism stands true to its dual priorities of reduced animal and environmental impact, then it will be only the purposely stubborn who argue against it. For now, however, real arguments exists against aspects of the philosophy, and these are completely unrelated to political leaning.
commented 2016-05-17 22:08:21 -0400
I like a little bit of meat once in a while, and I have a couple of good friends that are vegan and I respect their choice , but it is a pain in the but to find something to eat in a restaurant for them poor guys.
commented 2016-05-17 21:35:33 -0400
Eating meat aligns with conservatism because it’s aligned with bring realistic. With one catch of an adult deer you can eat for weeks (with a little preparation), versus foraging constantly without. Animals can process so much more produce than we can and then we can take advantage of the nutrition. Utilitarian and realistic. The pride of killing animals is not in the bloodlust, but in the respect that you have for God-given nature that provides and the sacrifice that one must make on their conscience in order to provide for their own(also see: loss of innocence). Many hunters and meat eaters don’t have that same respect, sure, but stereotypes mustn’t prevail, eh?
commented 2016-05-17 20:29:54 -0400
Now how to train the wolves, bears, lions and other carnivorous/omnivorous creatures to live on beans and nuts? I can’t imagine a fate worse than being dragged under by a croc, swallowed whole by a python or sucked dry by a spider. Oh the humanity, when will this madness stop?
commented 2016-05-17 20:02:16 -0400
AL PETERSON ‘More left wing invasion of conservatism.’ What on earth has eating meat got to do with ‘fiscal’ conservatism. Please read part 2 when it comes up.
commented 2016-05-17 19:54:35 -0400
More left wing invasion of conservatism. As Granny Clampett said, “Too bad our blood is being thinned out, cooled off and watered down”.Such is the direction of fiscal conservatives.
commented 2016-05-17 19:45:15 -0400
James Campbell, I wasn’t making an argument, I was merely asking you a question. I’m hardly an expert on the subject. The truth is, people can do whatever they want…. it’s none of my business. But, as for me, I eat meat and will continue to do so because I like it.
commented 2016-05-17 19:36:23 -0400
FRASER MCBURNEY Listened to him for years :)
commented 2016-05-17 19:35:32 -0400
‘Hitler was a vegetarian’ is not a fact (edging on the side of more evidence against than for) and also IT’S NOT AN ARGUMENT ;)
commented 2016-05-17 19:24:39 -0400
James Campbell, I read a biographical book about Hitler many years ago. I don’t remember the name of the book or the author, but the book went into great detail about Hitler’s perverse and controlling relation with his niece, Geli Raubal. The book claimed he became a vegetarian after her suicide. According to the book, he sat down for a meal after the funeral, stared at the slice of pork on his plate and declared “It’s like eating a corps”, and never touch meat again. The book claimed that he ate a lot of chocolate, and because of his diet had severe flatulence all his life. Was the biography wrong?
commented 2016-05-17 19:23:38 -0400
REBELS if this is the first time you heard Michael Savage "the savage nation " he is on radio live at 3 o’clock is the U.S.A. HE has the largest inter net listeners and he is band from entering Britain for speaking the truth. Listen for a week and you will be hooked
Enlightened Conservation borders language and culture
commented 2016-05-17 19:20:38 -0400
Keith, ‘Hitler was a vegetarian’ isn’t an argument.
commented 2016-05-17 19:00:48 -0400
Charlie Manson was a vegitarian……Christ, Martin Luther King and all fourteen re-incarnations of the Dalai Lama were not.
commented 2016-05-17 18:54:25 -0400
Well I’m off to shoot a rabbit for dinner.
commented 2016-05-17 18:52:32 -0400
‘Meat and cooking – the two things that we humans need for longevity. Vegans are lethargic and angry people – try disagreeing with one and see what happens. They lack mental and physical endurance.’


This is exactly what the article is about. Assuming vegans are one thing then discounting their arguments.
commented 2016-05-17 18:42:05 -0400
“…Initially I found reducing meat in my diet to be very challenging, but like any addiction, once you get past a certain point, avoiding that particular food becomes natural and the cravings fade….”

Addiction??? Bullshit. Craving for nutrition – well that’s more like it.

Meat and cooking – the two things that we humans need for longevity. Vegans are lethargic and angry people – try disagreeing with one and see what happens. They lack mental and physical endurance.

Old people are similar in that they get angry easily – poor nutrition.

This is due to the mind wanting to perform and the body cannot keep up – call it cognitive dissonance of sorts. Can’t keep up because cannot get enough nutrition, the 9 essential aminos being key.

Oh yes, go gnaw on your beans – their concentration of aminos is far less than than of red meat – keep gnawing.

Rare steak often and lots of runny eggs – makes for a happy healthy life.

And to all you self starving vegans out there, anger on!!!!
commented 2016-05-17 18:39:40 -0400
Jack that’s not true

Robert Payne is widely considered to be Hitler’s definitive biographer. In his book, Hitler: The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler, Payne says that Hitler’s “vegetarianism” was a “legend” and a “fiction” invented by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda. According to Payne:

“Hitler’s asceticism played an important part in the image he projected over Germany. According to the widely believed legend, he neither smoked nor drank, nor did he eat meat or have anything to do with women. Only the first was true. He drank beer and diluted wine frequently, had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages and kept a mistress, Eva Braun… His asceticism was fiction invented by Goebbels to emphasize his total dedication, his self-control, the distance that separated him from other men. By this outward show of asceticism, he could claim that he was dedicated to the service of his people. In fact he was remarkably self-indulgent and possessed none of the instincts of the ascetic.”
commented 2016-05-17 18:29:30 -0400
Hitler and Nazis were vegans. Enough said.