Mentioning that I’m a vegetarian seems to trigger an automatic anti-vegetable defense system in some people. I don’t know why the idea of a vegetarian diet is offensive, but most vegetarians would agree with me that some people simply will not pass up an opportunity to start an argument against vegetarianism.
Sure, it can be frustrating. But some arguments are just so ridiculous that I can’t keep myself from laughing. Here are a few of the craziest arguments against vegetarianism I’ve heard.
Plants can feel too, you know.
I’m surprised how many people have told me this with a straight face. They claim that plants are able to feel pain and emotion too, so I’m being a hypocrite by torturing poor little carrots. Does this argument hold water? It doesn’t look like it. Plants have no central nervous system, and most scientists agree that plants don’t think or feel pain, although they do respond to stimuli. That being said, many vegetarians agree that the purposeless killing of anything is wrong, and that includes plants.
If you love animals, why do you eat all their food?
A lot of people say this as a joke, but you’d be surprised how many people think this is a legitimate argument. I honestly don’t think I have to explain this one. Obviously, there are plenty of vegetables out there for everyone. In fact, if we stopped raising animals for meat, we would save a lot of rainforest and other fragile environments from being torn down to meet the increasing demands for grain to feed livestock.
It’s too hard to get the nutrition you need when you’re vegetarian.
In all fairness, this argument against vegetarianism is somewhat understandable because of the long-standing human belief that meat is essential for a good diet. I’ve heard this one many times from family and friends, and trying to convince them otherwise can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill. In reality, meat-based diets are slowly becoming obsolete as researchers are uncovering how vegetarianism is a much healthier option.
Why would people worry about animals when so many people are suffering?
Before I became a vegetarian, this was one of the arguments I used to justify my meat-based diet. However, after just a few days of discovering the many options available for vegetarian meals, I saw that a vegetarian diet consumes no more time, money, or effort than a meat-based diet. I realized this argument was just an excuse, since being a vegetarian has no effect on how much you can help other humans. For example, I would never deny help to an old lady crossing the street just because there are starving children in Africa!
I have heard plenty of arguments against vegetarianism since I changed my diet. Some are understandable while others are completely ridiculous. Until now, I have yet to hear a single good reason for the average person not to consume a vegetarian diet.