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Do Vegans Care More About Animals Than People?

Do Vegans Care More About Animals Than People?

If you’re vegan, chances are you’ve heard someone say “you care more about animals than people”, but that’s simply not true.

As a way to ignore the issue at hand, some people like to spin things around and accuse animal advocates of being the uncaring ones.

The reality is that you care deeply about humans too, and that’s probably one of the main draws that led you to this compassionate lifestyle in the first place. Perhaps you stopped eating animals for health, maybe you were shocked when you learned about the environmental damage that the agricultural industries cause, or it could be because you discovered the injustice of feeding 40% of the world’s grain to livestock when millions of people are starving to death. Whatever your reasons, being vegan comes hand in hand with caring about people.

Most animal advocates are also extremely passionate about humanitarian and social justice causes. In fact, brain scans show that vegans and vegetarians have more of an empathetic response to both human and animal suffering than omnivores.

FMRI brain scans revealed that the areas of the brain associated with empathy were much more active in vegans and vegetarians in comparison to omnivores when all three groups of people were shown pictures of human and animal suffering. Written questionnaires on the subject also demonstrated higher empathy levels in vegans and vegetarians.

Where the confusion comes into play is when we get angry about all the wrong doings and harms caused against animals, this anger sometimes gets directed at others and while it’s frustrating when someone appears completely apathetic about animal abuse, attacking them doesn’t help the animals our ourselves. What it does do is create a greater divide of between us and those we are trying to persuade.

Another reason people have the impression that vegans only care about animals and not people is that they cannot understand why, when there are so many serious issues in need of attention, we choose to focus our energies and attention on helping animals. They think that because we are always talking about factory farming or animal experimentation as opposed to environmental destruction or poverty, we obviously don’t care about those causes. The best way to remedy this is next time you are talking with friends, family or the general public, is to mention your concern for these issues too. Bonus points for slipping in some important facts and figures about how eating vegan also helps make a difference to these causes.

The important thing to emphasize to those that question our beliefs and love for animals in this way is that veganism is about connection. Connection between people, animals and the environment, and how we can nurture these connections to create a better, kinder and more sustainable world for all beings. People included!

Of course there will always be some people that love animals but claim to hate humans, but they’re not the majority, and while we may not be able to change their attitude, we can strive to ensure our own empathy and compassion extends to all living creatures.

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1:59PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

I think there's no denying that most vegans care deeply about animals and humans. Unfortunately, far too many vegans seem completely unaware of the natural world and animal behavior in general.
For all the respect they say they give to animals, especially companion animals, they don't seem to want them to be who they really are. A perfect example of this is vegans who insist on feeding their cats a vegetarian diet.

5:13AM PDT on Aug 5, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

11:27AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

I have to also point out that Sentimentalizing animals by attributing them with the best of human qualities or Anthropomorphizing them is far from what I am actually doing here. To attribute that to what I say about animals is like disavowing that they have emotion, compassion, intelligence, and the ability to think and feel. Attributing animals with those qualities is nothing more than recognizing them for the sentient beings that they are. The act of pretending they don't have those qualities is a pretense that hinges on ignoring the obvious validity of their abilities, and the worthwhileness of their very existence, and I am just not willing to become more ignorant about them when life experience has taught me enough that I know better than to do so. I fail to see why anyone would, although I see some constantly doing so.

11:12AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

For me it would depend on the person and what type they are. I know some people I wouldn't likely treat so kindly. They are horrible beings with nasty, cold, hateful, and unhealthy attitudes, and if I had to choose between them and the animal I would likely care more for the animal. I know some people who are truly lovable people which are caring, thoughtful, respectful, and delightful. Naturally they would want the animals to be looked after and respected. I see animals as our equals instead of feeling at all superior to them. Due to that fact I care for both the animals and most people equally. If you think about it, that is the law of nature itself in the scheme of things.

10:33AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

I prefer animal.

10:25AM PDT on May 19, 2014

No they don't (care more about animals than people.) Maybe they just feel that in general, animals need more protection as they haven't got a voice when their habitats are cut down, their food is taken away (I'm thinking of overfishing), etc. etc.

I see that the study was with a total of 59 people. Maybe not a wide enough sample for accurate results.

10:14AM PDT on May 19, 2014

I also meant to say Yes I am Vegan... Would I help the dog before I would the human. Of course not. That would no be logical at all. I would hopefully be able to help both but of course the human would get first attention. I am simply honest and care for life. Not just the lives of man, or just the lives of animals, or just the lives of anything. Being vegan does not change anything when it comes to the fact I care for both not just one or the other. You really do need to stop hating vegans and realize they aren't evil and aren't the enemy. I have also pointed out many times in the past that vegans do not pretend to be superior, and they do not feel a sense of superiority. Compassion is very different from superiority. Different in every way possible.

10:08AM PDT on May 19, 2014

Oh Marilyn, I don't blame all human beings at all, and I am not intentionally implying that I do. I am speaking of those heinous human beings who do know better and commit the atrocities that they do anyway. If nothing else we do agree on that one.

9:03AM PDT on May 19, 2014

Sentimentalizing animals by attributing the best human characteristics to them is perverting the truth of the real nature of animals whether you like it or not. It's you who is uncomfortable with the truth.

8:49AM PDT on May 19, 2014

I agree with Heather, animals are brutal. Just watch a documentary nature show on tv (not an animated cartoon) and see the lions or hyenas chase a deer until it falls and then start eating it alive.

Animals are not all soft and cuddly all the time.
Geese and large pigs will attack human children if they get too close. Chickens too.
Humans are not soft and cuddly all the time either...just look at Manson....but that's no reason to blame the entire human race any more that the hyena killing a cute baby deer and ripping it apart while it's still screaming is any reason to hate all animals.

If a human and a dog are dying in the street, the vegan will probably more likely go to the aid of the dog than the human....and that lack of compassion is dressed up as being a SUPERIOR form of compassion because they think humans are despicable for eating a nutritionally balanced diet and they don't deserve to be saved, but that poor innocent dog does.

Anthropomorphism...same as sentimentalism ....when you attribute the best of human qualities to animals.

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