Conservative Bashes Vegans

A recent blog post from the conservative website First Things makes a point of blaming veganism, and therefore vegans, for their alleged involvement in plant harvesting that kills many small animals, “Plant agriculture causes mass slaughter of mice, rats, snakes, birds, and other animals of the field.” (Source: First Things)

A very important fact left out of the anti-vegan rant, was that an enormous amount of plant crops in the United States (the most productive agricultural nation in the world) are grown to feed farm animals! The three plants using the most farmland for growth and harvesting in America are corn, soybeans, and hay. Over two-hundred million acres are used for these three crops. The conservative author makes the situation appear as if all large-scale plant farming is for human consumption though, and this is not true at all.

“According to the National Corn Growers Association, about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. The crop is fed as ground grain, silage, high-moisture, and high-oil corn,” says a U.S federal site.  (Source: Soybeans are grown in large quantities, and some are used for human consumption, but about 30 million tons are used each year to feed livestock as well. Hay is used only for farm animals, mainly cattle and horses. Wheat uses about 53 million acres, and most wheat is used for human consumption, so its harvesting does result in the deaths of some small animals, but wheat is not in the top three crops by amount of land used. Also, does the author imply that because a number of small animals like mice, rats and snakes died in farming practices, that even more animals should be killed for human consumption? What bizarre logic and self-serving nonsense.

What else did the conservative blogger get wrong? He said 200 animals per vegan saved a year is a “dumb number” because it is too high, unless it includes shellfish. Then he ignores shellfish in his analysis, but PETA does includes shellfish! So the blogger greatly distorted PETA’s view on how a vegan diet can save animals.

Here is the number of animals PETA said a vegan diet could save:

Roughly 130 shellfish
40 fish
26 chickens
One turkey,
Nearly half a pig
A little more than a tenth of a cow

Since the U.S. actually consumes over ten billion pounds of seafood each year, it is shocking the blogger left out shellfish and fish.  Most of the shrimp  are imported from other countries, and shrimp farming can be quite damaging to the environment. So not eating shrimp would also reduce environmental damage, in addition to not killing the shrimp. The same is true of fish, because large-scale ocean fishing often results in the deaths of vast numbers of marine life inadvertently, which is known as incidental catch or by catch.

Another very relevant fact left out is that Bill Clinton has stated his health improved after going on a vegan diet. So a vegan diet is better for animals, better for the environment and better for human health, and yet some people attack it.

Massive animal farms and meat consumption also contribute to climate change, and release large amounts of pesticides, and antibiotics into the environment. Funny how the conservative blogger left out so much important information, eh?

Image Credit: Christian Fischer


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Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Dale Overall

Fascinating/intriguing. Why do Republicans care about the vegan lifestyle anyway? Shouldn't they do what they do best concentrating on oppressing the poor, stomping on women's rights/complaining about too much government in the lives of anyone that moves?

Vegans or vegetarians don't bother me unless they are screaming insults at people who eat meat. Everyone picks their lifestyle and follows their own beliefs.

Some vegans get calls Canadians "savages" re: seals and horse meat. What? Horse meat is eaten in Europe, parts of Latin America, figures prominently in Central Asia but it is not exactly grocery store fare in English speaking Canada. Each year some 100,000 horses in the U.S. are sent to Canada but the factories mainly sent meat to Europe..
As far as seals being eaten there are Inuit communities in the arctic that use seals for meat but many people protesting the hunt themselves consume chicken, beef, pork...but seals are cuter especially the white pups which are illegal to hunt now anyway.

Calling people barbarians in because they eat meat doesn't convert them into vegans. Republicans insulting vegans will not create steak eaters. Until Mother Nature invents a way for us all to eat rock pate, humans will feed on organic life be it plant, meat, fish, seeds or what used to be living. Insulting each other is pointless.

Rudolf Affolter
Past Member 3 years ago

Perhaps meat-eaters think we should reintroduce cannibalism as a way of keeping down the population. All that would happen is that people would be factory-farmed for consumption. As I and others said earlier, a change to veganism would mean the animals consumed would not be bred in the first place, so there would be no problem of what to do with them. And instead of producing 16lbs of grain to produce 1lb of beef we could produce 16lbs of grain for direct human consumption.

Julie van Niekerk

There will not be more farm animals as mentioned above when people go vegan. Not all people on this planet will change to become vegan. The huge problem is the mass production, the cloning. Then ultimately free range is the answer. At least respect you meat before you kill and eat it.

Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

it is sad, when people want to say what other people should like and what not. What is wrong about, when someone does not eat animals? I do not eat animals, too. As child i felt sorry for animals (had seen a killing of a little octopus, the eyes were in my direction and they seemed to be full of fear and sadness) and i did hate to eat them, felt sick. Some animals i never wanted to eat, chicken and fish only seldom, and with a bad conscience. Try to be completely vegetarian, try to buy milk (problem with lactose) which is from happy cows. Hopefully it is not bad to live in this way.

Irja a.
Irja a.4 years ago

FACT – By going vegan you WILL harm and/or kill less animals then if you hadn’t; you will cause less harm to the environment and you will improve your health. These are all facts as outlined by reputable doctors and scientists around the world.

Debate is fine, but those are the facts , and they are non disputable.

All that is left is discussion on how best to make the transition to a non violent life. Do not we all aspire to this most basic truth, as taught as a child , so where did things go so terribly wrong ?

Greed and money, where many (some) lay everyday; its influence is widespread and gruesome.

Let life and love begin with me ( I have been vegetarian/vegan for 25 years);

Rudolf Affolter
Past Member 4 years ago

Of course they will blame us. Next they will be blaming us for the world economic melt-down. As it is I still get the horny old question of what we will do with all the animals if we do not eat them. They still do not get it : all these herds of farm animals would not exist but for the fact they are bred as a food stock! Simple!

Lika S.
Lika S.4 years ago

But of course they blame vegans for plants killing animals! It's the environmentalists fault that pollution exists too. And drilling for oil never wreaks havoc on the planet. That's true ignorance, and too many conservatives buy into the total mess.

Christina B.
Christina B.4 years ago

Rofl. Some more meat-eaters trying to make themselves feel better about how they act, and what they do to the environment. They just get angry because they know what is the better path for all, and they aren't on it.

Cinzia B.
Cynthia B.4 years ago

Being vegan means to eat in a healthy and tasty way saving animals and environment!