why people are not vegans?

Hi all,

I just found this forum and I thank to the people who involve in it.
I have a question that might sound a bit innocence but I try to find the answer and just cannot find one.

Recently we hear all around us, news and reports that the animal use (especially for meat) makes more damage to the plant than any other industry, we also hear and see that people who eat animal product become sick much more than vegan and vegetarians, even in the US health care reports they say that vegan people are healthier.
The world become dry and one kilo of meat requires so much energy and water (around 4,000 liters)

People also see the cruelty of the industry and how it destroys not only the environment but also the lives of so many animals who lives in fear and terrible conditions.

All of this facts and sights and I have many very smart friends that I tell them and show them all the facts but they are still eating meat and use animal product, this is something that I just cannot understand - how can it be?

Thank you all,

Meat tastes good.

That’s why. Why are so many people overweight, when it’s clearly better for your health to avoid eating too much? Because junk food tastes good.

We’ve evolved to eat meat, and to like foods that are high in fats and salts, because that’s what we needed to survive. We can survive on vegan diets now, but there were times in our evolutionary past when that was more difficult. So while as a society we’ve developed civilizations and societies that no longer REQUIRE meat to survive, we’re still the same biological entities that have evolved to eat meat, and have a taste for it. We’re omnivores, and as omnivores we have a certain amount of predatory instinct.

For most people, they can hear about how animals are hurt but they are able to ignore it… to shut it out and keep on living the way they do. Societies don’t change so easily, and something as common as meat consumption is easy to just go along with.

What it takes is to truly realize the level of suffering that’s going on, and your role in it. You have to realize that your taste is not worth the amount of suffering happening in the world. That’s not easy. I love the taste of bacon, steak, a meat lover’s pizza… and to a certain extent I miss them. I look forward to the day when we can grow meat in a vat, or replicate it a-la Star Trek… so that we can eat meat without killing or harming animals. But I recognize that eating meat causes more suffering than it’s worth, no matter how good it tastes to me.

That’s not an easy realization to come to when everyone around you eats meat. When it’s normal to eat meat. When vegans are stigmatized as just “hippies”.

There’s also the case of religion. Some people interpret religious texts as giving humans dominion over animals… as claiming that animals are soulless machines with no real value compared to humankind, and saying that we can do whatever we want to them. That’s not everyone, but that’s some people.

But some of us are vegans and that’s good. We’re growing in numbers. It’ll probably take Star Trek or meat-vat technology before we’ve put an end to the killing of animals for food and clothing but we can certainly move things towards that goal.

I don’t think the “meat tastes good” argument holds water because it really doesn’t. Animal flesh smells and tastes like blood, and as humans, we don’t have a natural propensity toward eating blood. Eating animals is a Learned behavior and it becomes ingrained in the lifestyle of modern human beings.

Most people aren’t vegan because they were taught not to be. People have been eating animals for a long time, so why change now?

Really though, I have no idea. I’ve always liked animals and when I found out where meat comes from I was not okay with it. I cannot understand how anyone can eat animals. I was taught to eat them as a child and I stopped despite my parents disapproval so there really has to be something else to it.

It’s just sad that at best 3% of the population is vegan with it being more likely 1 - 1.5%. It’s disturbing to know that 97% of the world doesn’t care or cannot be bothered.

Because people are addicted to their food and eating habits. Whoever has enough will, determination and ability, can cross this addiction line. Of course, one needs as well to believe in all the things you wrote here.
Even if we are brought up us meat eaters, once an adult, a person takes full responsibility what he eats and what he does with his life.

Because animal products are psychoactive. Meat contains stress hormones and xanthines, which cause stimulant effects. Dairy products have casomorphins, which are opioids. When people get addicted to these drugs, animal products look tasty to them.

This is well said! Yes, meat and dairy is an addiction. Only strong people can be vegans.

We can help people get off animal products though by not making them feel inferior… Basically people will use any excuse to carry on eating meat because as others have said here - it’s an addiction. The only way to cure an addiction is to give people a reason to quit. You can’t do this by throwing stones, you have to be genuinely smarter and kinder and better. Turn the other cheek at their fear-masking insults and yet live by an example that inspires and attracts attention. Easier said than done:)

An addiction implies that the substance one is ‘addicted’ to is not normal. Eating meat is normal for human beings. This is evident in our basic physiology for example our teeth, our intestinal tract and stomach and the variety and amount of chemicals we need to survive. Omnivorous diets have been the norm in the vast majority of societies since the dawn of man so it is quite ignorant to imply that meat eating is anything but normal.

It is for this reason that almost everyone chooses to have an omnivorous diet, it is the way we were meant to be.

The whole man’s history argument is a bit duff I reckon. We spent a look of our time as frugivores, a lot as hunter gatherers, a lot as farmers. Seems to me we did what we needed to survive. We certainly can thrive on animal products up to a point. But we definitely can’t thrive on what most people eat when it comes to meat. Maybe even organic meat isn’t good enough. So from a health point of view, cutting it out may not be perfect, but it might be better than eating the crap we’re presented with these days.
In terms of ethics and how we feel about ourselves, we can be whatever we want to be. If we want to strive for a kinder world then with some thought and effort we can minimize or cut out animal products completely. I mean what else are we here for, if not to live better lives and be better people? I’m only vegetarian myself I must point out. I still eat the occasional piece of dairy. I don’t feel any worse about it than I do about the ‘made in china’ sticker on my clothes/computer etc but I applaud anyone who has gone further.

Whether or not you think the arguement is “a bit duff” or not it still stands. Only societies that have adopted an omnivorous diet have survived and when it comes down to it that’s the big question isn’t it ‘Can we survive and prosper the way we are’.

Which ties in to your next point, ethics. We do not live to live better lives. As nice as that sounds it’s simply not true. Ethics and morals are so ambiguous that the word ‘better’ can mean anything now days so it’s basically useless. Call me a realist but we live so that we can live tomorrow and hopeful pass on our genetic code.

Sounds harsh but if you look at history you’ll find that we’ve been doing a hell of a lot more of what I said than we have trying to make ourselves better people.

I agree everyone has their own definition of better… But that’s all part of the learning process. And I don’t recall any difference in historical survival rates of vegetarian vs non vegetarian societies. Just ask the american indians… So what do you live for then?

I guess maybe the difference is I’m an optimist. I believe that just because mankind has spent a good part of its past murdering eachother and anything else they can get their hands on, it doesn’t always have to be like that.

The American Indians?? They were some of the best hunters in the world! They ate and used animals so much in day to day life that they never wasted a single part of any beast they slew.

The reason that there is so little evidence for a comparison between vegi and non vegi societies survival rates is because no societies that survived long enough to develop the written word were omnivorous.

I’d like you to show me one major vegetarian society that has stood the test of time so to speak.

I guess maybe the other difference is that I’m a realist. I live in the practical world where although I ‘hope’ things get better in terms of kindness etc most signs show otherwise and I simply acknowledge this rather than looking the other way.

I am going to start this post my saying that I am an omnivore, but I hope that you are reasonable enough to at least read my post.

First off within the cattle industry vegans and vegiterians contripute to the extinction of cattle, while meat eaters contripute to it’s proliferation. At first this may seem counterintuitive but let me explain. Cattle are breed not hunted. When vegans choose to not eat meat it is not that another cow gets to live it is that another cow is never born. Since the amount of cattle breed is directly related to the demand for beef, when the demand drops due to veganism less cattle are ever born. If everyone became vegiterian the population of cattle would drasticaly decrease. Although total extinction is unlikely the few that survive would be held in captivity due to the in ability of cattle to survive in the wild. This would play out similarly with most other domesticated livestock except that others do have some surviveablity in the wild.

Two reasons, I would say. Lack of knowledge and habit.

Most people do not know what problems they inflict with their diets (and way of life), nor how unhealthy it is. We must understand that people have been eating meat for centuries and even though it makes people sick, it doesn’t kill them directly. Which is why people cannot understand when you tell them “it’s unhealthy”.
They have no idea about how the meat/dairy industry is connected to so many problems in the world. The big companies are old, huge and powerful and they will do anything to not have the status quo changed. For example in Germany, when I went to school there, they had advertisements by a government funded organization, telling the kids that milk is good for them.

Furthermore humans fear changes. It’s a sad but very psychological understandable fact. They fear changes because they do not know the outcome, they fear the new could be worse so they deserately stick to the common and what they are used to (in this case eating meat and dairy products), neglecting all facts and truth.

Well the third reason is that in order not to admit the first two are correct, people tend to make their own reality they can believe. So they don’t have to question their own construct of reality (which could mean they are wrong). It goes so far that even though they know it is bad for them and they don’t feel good with it, they stick to it because to feel kinda bad is ok as long as it’s not bad enough, and as long as their own worldview doesn’t seem running danger to collapse.

So how to change it? Spreading knowledge and showing people it’s actually far more good than they think it is. And that they only lose bad stuff, and gain alot of cool new for that. =)

(sorry for my english by the way, I’m no native speaker)

Breathing modern air doesn’t kill you “directly” but people do it anyway. There are thousands of unhealthy things we do every day, the main difference in this case is that the unhealthy thing tastes really good and is an efficient and availible source of food.

Milk is rich in calcium and readily availible, it is tried and true good for growing kids and adults alike.

Alternatively, the facts and truths that you present as a vegan are not compelling enough to warrant change.

Like I said above, alternatively their worldview is perfectly fine so they have no reason to change it.

I find the taste of meat to be good stuff, how can you claim turthfully that you “only lose bad stuff” when giving up meat?

that’s a question i myself am trying to find an answer to. most of my friends are non-vegeatarians and they say that they can’t resist non-veg food. i myself am a vegan and find non-veg food repulsive, can’t eat my food if someone eats non-veg food around me.

Indeed, this would be the ideal, but no one can make decisions for others’ dietary habits.

As for the smell of meat cooking, hell yeah, that smells great! Just because I’m morally opposed to eating it, doesn’t make me like the smell of charred flesh any less. Sorry, but I’m not deluded that easily…I find all the fawning protestations against consuming meat and dairy to be annoying. It’s not up to me to prosylatize (sp?) a vegan diet. I’m not an evangelist. It’s just my personal choice to follow it. Whatever anyone else does is not my business, really.

I read the discussion, which is actually very interesting (especially that part where AminD argues with robkay :smiley:D). I think it is not realistic to think that people will ever stop being omnivores, but if society will become more aware in the future, the demand of meat will decrease as well. Because cattle pollute environment, and, as robkay said, it is insensible to use that huge amounts of meat just because it tastes good. (It is insensible to burn oil, but we still do it hahaha:D) So I think if person want to be green, he must use less animal products.
Why it is so difficult for people? As someone said before, because society not used to it. Our cities are not adapted to green and healthy lifestyles – it is still difficult to be vegan like to have electro car (you have to do research of shops and restaurants…petrol stations, meanwhile animal (as well as oil) products may be find on every corner.
Because it is not popular. Once recycling become more popular (after social advertisements for ex.), once governments put those recycle bins on every corner, it become easier and much more people doing it now.
So I think people are not vegans because it makes much trouble and everyone has enough stress in their lives. When people will learn how many tasty and easy recipes are in vegan kitchen, things should change. (I am not talking about everyone becoming vegetarians, I’m talking about reducing meat and animal products consumption).
So it is really important to understand how cattle pollute environment at first and when take action. (Like with plastic bags)
Another thing – people think that meat is essential for good health. Why to blame them? Their parents told this! And their grandparents. But times have changed - now meat we are eating full of hormones and chemicals. How can meat be healthy, if animal ate grains with full of pesticides and antibiotics, never run or walk because was grown in a cage and never see a sun light? It is not healthy animal. It is same like eating carrion.

This may sound kinda stupid(if it does Please dont think im an idiot its just a question)I see and hear mentioned time and time again about the enviroment and how cows with the mass numbers how their not good for it,.I understand that but the feeling I get is that okay lets stop eating them and get rid of them their not good for the planet,we would then wipe out a species and for what because they are damaging the world.I get the feeling peaple are mad at the cows and not the peaple that do what they do to them.Im probably gonna regret posting this and afterwards Im never gonna post again Ive also noticed that theirs alot of anger from mostly vegans(I am strickly vegetarian working on the switch to vegan)I must be missing something or am what I mentioned when I began my post.I agree we are all in one form or another vegans for the same reasons not for just the health or the inviroment but I strongly feel for the animals,I sometimes dont get the angry and nastyness that comes across.(ive also searched alot of forums and seen it)Ive seen really nice meat eating friends put threw the ringer from a fellow vegan,and I really dont think that was proper.Im not saying that some anger isnt justified but some of it isnt.Thats when I feel it turns into hate and I dont like that.It has no buisness in anyones lifes justified anger yes hate no.I feel sometime that the whole reason for whatever we choose this way of life has or does get lost because of the anger/hate issue.I dont feel we will get anywhere like this cause then we take our focus off the really big picture of why we do what we do.Okay Ill stop now I will ask of you all to Please dont get upset with me Im only trying to ask a question and put down what I see and feel.I only want to understand thats all not pick a fight.:slight_smile:))))

It’s good thing to entertain your not veggie friends, offering them veggie food, it will not only save animals this time, but also will oblige your friends to offer you dishes next time. And they will offer also veggie stuff In such way, you also make publicity for veggie food.vegan diet weight loss :unamused: