This 2012 article entitled ‘Sorry, vegans: Eating meat and cooking food is how humans got their big brains‘ is making its rounds again on social media.
I remember a few years ago, when my friends’ husband brought this up to me to insinuate that myself and other vegans were less evolved or at least devolving.
Pretty nasty, even in joking form.
I wasn’t impressed, especially because the argument is based on an illogical fallacy:
X led to Y.
Y is good.
Therefore X is good.
Result: Eating meat led to bigger brains. Bigger brains are good. Therefore eating meat is good.
Now use consumer debt as an example:
I have credit card debt because I treat myself to the finest of things. The finest of things are good. Therefore credit card debt is good.
Or how about slavery:
Slavery led to stable economic growth. Stable economic growth is good. Therefore slavery is good.
The slavery example is the starkest example for me. Because it clearly shows that slavery no longer fits with our modern moral and ethical belief system.
What humans did in the past doesn’t need to dictate how we live our lives today and in the future. Sure our ancestors ate meat during the Ice Age or whatever. But we are no longer in the Ice Age. We are now capable of producing an abundance of calories from plants, and have NO physiological need to consume animal products.
Therefore, the moral imperative is on us to NOT kill unnecessarily for food.
But it’s much easier to make fun of ‘crazy vegans’ and come up with excuses to justify supporting poor practices.
Veganism is the fastest growing social justice movement. So I’m not surprised that veganism is frequently mocked and attacked. There is a lot at stake here, from threatening the profits of the animal agriculture industry, to people’s tightly held traditions.
Remember, slavery was a tradition too. It was legal and accepted by the dominant culture. But that didn’t make it right.