We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism and tackle them head on.
Surely the most terrifying proposition facing a wannabe vegan is the overwhelming danger of becoming somehow stranded on a desert island. The more militant omnivores will race to convince you this danger is very, very real.
And when you are stuck on this island, what are you going to eat? Are you going to have to rip apart a gentle pig with your own bare, bloodstained hands just to survive? In which case – what kind of a rubbish, murderous vegan are you? And if you choose slow starvation over slaughter, well of course that means you are (as previously assumed by said omnivore) a fanatic. The question is tactical, designed to shine a spotlight on the vegan’s moral conviction. Is it strong enough? And if not, does that undermine purpose of the vegan movement as a whole? A vegan who would kill an animal must be morally imperfect, and doesn’t even fully believe their own argument about animal rights in the first place, right?
While most plant-based eaters find themselves faced with the hypothetical desert island dilemma, it may come as a relief to find out this scenario is unlikely to happen. The question itself is moot: why base your entire code of everyday ethics on a life or death situation? Many people have done things, and will do things they otherwise wouldn’t when their life is in the balance.
On a desert island? What about here?
The better question to ask would be this: If you lived in a country, where food was in abundance, where you could follow a lifestyle where you enjoy a huge range of delicious and healthy food, which was cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, why would you choose a lifestyle which causes mass deforestation, is a huge factor in climate change, massively affects habitat loss and species extinction, and sees the violent death of billions of sentient animals every year – why wouldn’t you?
According to Rutgers University professor and vegan author Gary Francione: “If you believe–as most people believe–that animals matter morally, because animals matter morally, we cannot justify imposing “unnecessary” suffering on them; and pleasure, amusement, or convenience cannot suffice as “necessity,” then you are already committed to stop eating, wearing, or using animals in any situation in which there is not compulsion or real necessity, such as being on the desert island or the lifeboat with no access to plant foods.”