Fifteen million is a pretty big number.
That’s how many leaflets that the Vegan Outreach activist group claims to have put into the hands of college students and others in an effort to inspire those who might be currently following, oh, I don’t know—USDA’s Dietary Guidelines or a program recommended by a licensed nutritionist—and convince them that they should forego any of that nonsense for the “purity” of a diet (and lifestyle) that is totally divorced from any connection with animals.
Except as companion animals that get to substitute for children or as objects of wonder seen only in the fictionalized majesty of cable TV shows, of course.
My first question is, Who’s handing out the leaflets talking about proper nutrition and agricultural diversity and economic opportunity represented by livestock producers to those 15 million impressionable young people?
My second question is even shorter: Why? Why would 15 million people decide that veganism is worth a serious look-see?
Because the premise of that lifestyle is preposterous. Don’t believe me? Here’s the opening sentence of the “bestselling” (by their own accounting) book titled, “The Ultimate Vegan Guide,” by Erik Marcus:
“The practice of avoiding meat dates back thousands of years, but it was not until the 1800s that the word vegetarianism was coined.”
That is wrong on so many levels.
Guess what, veggies? Thousands of years ago there were these people, you see, who lived where you now live. Their villages and their shelters stood where your modern house or apartment now sits. But they didn’t go down to their local Whole Foods and stroll through the aisles picking up vegan analog products made mostly with “industrially grown” soybeans and imported tropical ingredients. Instead, they fished and trapped and hunted and butchered and consumed all kinds of game meat, seafood and even occasionally birds’ eggs.
Those people were called Native Americans, and you know what else? They somehow managed to survive for approximately 20,000 years, give or take a millennia or two, and even with eating all that horrible dead animal flesh they stayed healthy, happy and by all accounts were quite spiritually evolved. All the things veggies always claim are the sole property of born-again vegan believers like themselves.
And by the way, vegetarianism in the 1800s emerged not because of so-called factory farming, or because of fears about antibiotics and hormones, or even from widespread concerns about the treatment of animals in society. Primarily, those who espoused a meat-free existence did so from a primarily spiritual motivation, such as monks and other religious practitioners. The reasons for deciding not to eat meat were most often tied to concerns about ancient practices of sacrificing animals to whatever deities a particular culture happened to worship.