“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!)