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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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8:26PM PST on Nov 15, 2014

The article talks about the part of the brain for empathy and compassion is strong in vegans and vegetarians. It seems to me that this is how meat eaters view vegetarians as believing they are superior to meat eaters which is not true. It is clear that animals are being misused on our planet Earth and anyone with compassion can see that and have a strong desire/passion to see that this horrible treatment does not continue. This has nothing to do with being "superior" but with the knowledge that the abuse of factory farmed animals has to stop. Eating far less meat, choosing to be vegetarian or vegan is in response to this mistreatment and understanding that we don't have to abuse animals and that we can live well without eating meat that is ultimately better for our health and the health of our Planet. Vegetarianism would be ideal if domesticated animals were treated well as animal manure is essential to healthy soil. If we developed respectful relationships with animals this would be the best solution. This seems so far off from our reality that is understandable that many people now are taking the stand to not eat anything from any animal until we can regain our respectful relationship to all life on Planet Earth.

7:19PM PST on Nov 12, 2014

I don't believe every vegan feels the need to be militant. I do think that the moral issue underlying it for some, becomes a stepping stool to explore and advance their sense of superiority. It would be interesting to discover if there is something in the diet itself that lends chemistry that plays upon a part of the amygdala. That's the center for rage, fear, sexual arousal.

It probably doesn't, but it is a thought and becomes a question worthy of investigation.
Not all religious fanatics, jihadists, sexists, misogynists, bullies are likely to be vegans.

I have been watching studies arise that investigate what causes conservative thinking, and therefore, also liberal thinking. Most of the conservative side has to do with being caught up in fear, anger, shame, etc. These ways of thinking are closely related to a brain that needed to be suspicious of everything for the purpose of survival.

Well, we've reached a population of 7.5 billion and growing, especially by leaps and bounds within the last 200 years. We no longer have to hunt for our food, we no longer have to worry daily, let alone minute by minute that we are going to be attacked by some predatory animal.

Yet this song plays on. It creates paranoia, and the need to see the “other” as enemy.

10:46AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

Vitamin B12 Deficiency—the Meat-eaters’ Last Stand
https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm This article provides good information on how to supplement for Vitamin B12 and how little is needed for good health. Eating too much meat has caused untold suffering to animals but what about humans that die terrible deaths from heart disease because of eating too much meat? This is an important topic to look at. We are eating way more meat than we need and factory farming is unethical. If we live out of balance we suffer. Caring more for animals is a reflection on how we take care of ourselves.

10:45AM PST on Nov 11, 2014

Vitamin B12 Deficiency—the Meat-eaters’ Last Stand
https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm This article provides good information on how to supplement for Vitamin B12 and how little is needed for good health. Eating too much meat has caused untold suffering to animals but what about humans that die terrible deaths from heart disease because of eating too much meat? This is an important topic to look at. We are eating way more meat than we need and factory farming is unethical. If we live out of balance we suffer. Caring more for animals is a reflection on how we take care of ourselves.

1:14PM PST on Nov 5, 2014

Thanks, Dale. Carnivores evolved (as did we) over millions of years and they KNOW what to eat. The HUBRIS of humans who decide that, somehow, THEY know BETTER is just ludicrous.

Sure...I can feed a dog canned fruit cocktail and it will eat that. But it's nothing more than animal abuse. Feeding my animals well-prepared food which is good for THEM is the appropriate thing to do.

Otherwise....do not have companion animals.

10:41PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Jennifer S told Jessica R: "...there is nothing WRONG with having a pet that is vegan as long as it done correctly and the right supplements given. Visit http://vegancats.com/ to educate yourself if you wish."

Jennifer S, why do some humans have the need to turn animals that are either obligate carnivores, cats...or animals that are omnivores ...dogs, into human clones? If you cannot accept an animal for what the animal has evolved into, why not get a herbivore, such as a rabbit? I certainly would not have a pet rabbit and then insist that the rabbit ate steak because I am omnivore. Get a grip.

Visit Mother Nature.com.commonsense to educate yourself please and thank you. A cat is a cat and a dog is a dog.



9:57PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

That isn't really entirely True Carol P.. Though I don't take B12 supplements myself, some do, and they get the Vegan friendly/Non Animal supplement for it. So far my blood work up results are incredibly encouraging, and I have been vegan for quite a while now too. Years... Whether the omnivore diet is better for some or not, My vegan diet is better for me in every way. It always depends on what a person need and what they don't

9:43PM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Where do people get this bull that humans can absorb B12 from eating vegetables or, in the past, by drinking water?!?! Flat out lies. The only natural source of B12 that humans can absorb comes from animal products. All other foods that contain B12 have been supplemented with a synthetic compound.

Eat whatever you like. Just stop claiming that a vegan diet is the healthiest option, stop saying that it doesn't require supplements in order to stay healthy, and drop the line that humans aren't omnivores. There is a huge difference between being able to survive because technology has made it possible, and what our natural state would be without access to fortified foods. Just admit that you do it because you personally don't believe in killing animals for your dinner.

The only moral or ethical issues in question are how humans treat animals that we choose to keep in captivity, not whether or not we kill them in order to gain a nutritional benefit. It is completely hypocritical to claim that humans shouldn't eat animals because they are intelligent and emotional beings without holding animals to the same ethical or moral standards that vegans try to impose on non-vegan humans.

7:55PM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Jessica R. My family is vegan (myself, husband, 2 kids and our dog) there is nothing WRONG with having a pet that is vegan as long as it done correctly and the right supplements given. Visit http://vegancats.com/ to educate yourself if you wish.

12:50PM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Having disabilities and being sick are very different.

I have disabilities and still have lots of energy and interest in things... but when on the veg diet, I got SICK!... and being sick zaps energy and doesn't promote much activity of any kind, whereas being disabled doesn't make you feel like you do on the 2nd day of the flu when you're too sick to function!

btw...I had a nutritionist, holistic physician and naturopath helping when I was on the veg diet, and they ALL agreed and urged me to resume eating a more nutritionally balanced diet including some meat.

Now, in my mid 60s... I just had blood work done 2 weeks ago and since I cannot take supplements, I was told to eat a little more meat for more Bs and try to get more D, but everything else is good.
My mother died of complications of pernicious anemia from a veg diet and supplements don't help if they don't get absorbed...and many of us older folks (and most people in general) do NOT assimilate from supplements nearly as well as we can absorb nutrients from whole foods.

In most cases, people who take supplements simply have very expensive urine.
It can also put your body out of balance when you take supplements instead of eating a nutritionally balanced diet of whole foods from all food groups....and that can happen at any age.

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