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To all omnivores (like me): Why are you not Vegan?


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First of all, I don't want this to devolve into a discussion. Or actually, it's welcome to devolve into a discussion of mutual respect where we take everyone's point of view into consideration. But the reason I'm starting this thread is that I've given this much thought, and I bet I'm not the only one.


So if you're not vegan, why have you decided not to be / not decided to be?

I'm going to start with my reasons:


  • I've come to realize that whenever I eat, something had to die for that food. Growing up on a farm, I've definitely felt bad when I watched my Dad skin a rabbit. That said, I also felt bad when we grew potatoes and I had to kill potato beetles that would otherwise prevent our potatoes from growing, or snails that would otherwise eat our veggies, or even the weeds that grew between our useful plants because I knew they were alive and wanted to stay that way.
  • Health reasons. Or I guess I should say laziness reasons. It's just so much easier to eat meat than to find all the nutritions I get from meat in veggies instead, and prepare them properly. I don't believe that grains and legumes and such are unhealthy per se, you just need to put extra work into preparing them.
  • Low Carb High Fat (i.e. at most about 150g of carbs per day) is the diet I'm aiming for, so as far as I know, if I wanted to avoid animal products I'd have to eat lots and lots of nuts. When I tried that I realized that nuts don't agree with my digestion, at least if I eat them daily. So meat and cheese and eggs it is, I guess?
  • Convenience is part of it - I want to be able to eat out anywhere. That's also the reason I'm mostly Paleo when I cook for myself, but when someone else cooks for me or I go out to eat, I don't like to sort out foods.
  • Factory farming is despicable, but there's gotta be other ways to prevent it than avoiding animal products altogether. I'm more for supporting local farmers that treat their animals well, eating venison since we have to keep the deer population under control anyway, that kind of thing.
  • I don't want to give up milk (I know, milk isn't Paleo either) because giving it up can actually cause lactose intolerance.


What are some of y'all's thoughts?

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I feel so much better when I eat meat. When I tried to drastically reduce meat/ eat half my meals vegetarian, I had low energy, was hungry and constantly had stomach aches from beans.  Even before I went Paleo, my husband and I had talked about being able to opt out of factory farming and buy our meat from local farmers. When I heard about the Paleo movement, it resonated with me.  I don't feel bad about eating meat, I think God gave us meat to eat, but I do think we need to respect the animal, and that is does matter how the animal was treated in its life.




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Being vegan is a choice; not being vegan is the default, so I don't think many people actively choose not to be vegan.  Certainly, I don't actively choose not to be.  So far, no one has really bugged me too much about it, but those who have haven't been able to come up with enough reasons (supported by evidence) to convince me.

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1 minute ago, Cryosilver said:

Being vegan is a choice; not being vegan is the default, so I don't think many people actively choose not to be vegan.


Yeah, I'm aware of that. In my case, before I found out about Paleo and Nerd Fitness, I always kinda thought in the back of my mind that being vegan was a more healthy and moral thing that I should be doing. But after finding out, I actively chose not to be vegan. So I thought, maybe the same has happened to other people here haha.

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Right. It's usually* healthier than the "typical American diet", if only because most vegans give the topic of food so much thought and eat real food, but it also seems to me that it's easier to have a healthy omnivorous diet.


* if you discount my friend who tried to go vegan by only cutting animal products out of his diet and ate things like pasta with ketchup

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On 7/14/2016 at 8:21 AM, SpecialSundae said:

Why should I be?


I don't feel the need to argue my decision to eat meat any more than I would ask a vegan to justify their decision not to eat any animal produce.


Pretty much this.  My friends range from kosher and vegan to total omnivore.  We just eat what we want, and if offered something we don't want, we politely decline with "I don't eat that, but thanks anyway."  Occasionally I kid my one vegan buddy about his treehugging ways, and once in a while he will make fun of me for eating critters, but we don't hate, and we mostly talk about other things that interest us.


I've thought about becoming vegetarian, because I don't love meat and don't eat it that often, but I decided it wasn't for me.  If I really wanted to defy biology and stick to vegetarianism, I could, but I don't see it as morally necessary and my health is fine already.  I choose foods that are produced with at least a modicum of respect for the animal's needs (natural/free range when possible, locally raised when I can afford it) and I would not have a problem with killing my own dinner if I had someone to show me how to do it.

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Like Elastigirl, I feel better when I have meat in my diet. I was vegetarian for about a year a while back, and my roommate at the time had been vegetarian for just about ever, so I had lots of support and advice on how to do it 'properly', and I did. But I just had no energy and always felt 'flat', for lack of a better term. Once I put meat back into my diet, I felt so much better (I didn't even realize how crappy I felt as a vegetarian until I started eating meat again), and have been a happy omnivore ever since. I have no moral qualms about killing things for food, my main motivation for going vegetarian was that I just don't want them to suffer before they die. Now, I try to be as conscientious a consumer as my budget will allow, and would one day like to produce or procure my own meat (by small scale farming, or by hunting, or both).

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I'm like a couple of other people here in that I feel better with meat in my diet. I've tried going vegetarian a couple of times and wound up feeling tired and ill. Right now I'm reducing the amount of meat I eat and loading up on veggies, but I'm not likely to cut meat out of my diet again.


Besides, bacon.

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My reasons are pretty much the same as yours. I was pescatarian for a few years in high school, which basically meant I didn't eat land meat, but water meat was cool, but it obviously didn't last. I do go back and forth on vegetarianism for climate reasons, but I'm not convinced vegetarianism will help climate as much as some people say it will. I think focusing on fossil fuel usage is probably a more pressing concern on that front, but the concept of Reducitarianism is an intriguing one if you are interested in a climate friendly diet.

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I choose not to be Vegan for a multitude of reasons.

  • Human beings are designed to eat meat.  Hard to argue against that fact.  Our teeth are designed for it and we require protein.
  • I find I do better with animal based protein - and frankly - most Vegan alternatives are so processed I wouldn't touch them.  Getting enough protein w\o going "processed" alternatives is difficult.  I look for minimally processed wherever possible - but totally admit to purchases based on "convenience" - just wish humanely sourced meat was more readily available.
  • I grew up around animals raised for food.  I strive to find humanely raised meat where possible to support the change from factory farms that see $$ rather than animals.  I hope to one day be able to raise chickens myself (as a source of eggs and meat) and do my part.
  • My job requires travel.  Being a Vegan while traveling and getting the protein I need without shakes would be nigh impossible - so there is some convenience factor thrown in.
  • And bacon.  Can't live without bacon :)

That being said - I support those that are Vegan either because it's their preferred "diet" - or because they don't believe animals should be food.  It's a choice.  I just don't deal well being told their choice should be mine (much like a person's religious affiliation).  It's all a matter of personal choice to me.


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I have thought about going vegan and vegetarian before - I have an aunt and cousins who are, but nope and here's why:


  • I grew up on dairy since I was a baby. I live in a country where cheese is cheap and there are no vegan alternatives. I feel better when I eat dairy and drink milk.
  • It is only really viable for people who have easy access to all the sustenance. For people on a really limited budget like me it's really hard. I care more about me than a cow, honestly.
  • I kinda feel that since the animals were bread for food, they should be food. My grandpa had a farm and I like the goats and the cows, and then we came home and we ate the meat because that is what they are for. If all the world became vegan what would happen to those animals? If you release them, the whole ecosystem suffers. And there are environmental factors involved in growing vegan/vegetarian things too, that do a lot of damage too. I feel like the solution is less 'don't eat meat' and more 'make sure companies treat animals better by petitions and choosing wisely'.
  • I eat vegetarian when I can't afford meat. And I miss it. I eat more meat now and I feel better and have more muscle. I live in a country where fish is very expensive so I can have it only once every few months, but I can have chicken and beef any day. And if I buy sausages and ground them up, I can mix them in three meals and get everything I need.

I think that is everything? 

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I like to think I'm a vegetarian, I just happen to eat meat...and fish...and anything really...damn not vegetarian.


Similar to many above posts, I have canines, incisors, and the teeth of a predator animal. Meat tastes good...great!


I understand going pescatarian/vegetarian if medical conditions mandate the dietary change. I like what some others have said, eating meat is natural, vegetarianism is a choice. 


When possible, I buy meat that comes from animals "that have one bad day" (heard that on a food documentary). 


Lastly. The REAL reason I eat meat, sizzling-bacon-cinemagraph.gif

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Humans are omnivores so we are designed to eat all sorts of things. 


Currently, because doing this whole fitness thing means I make protein the base of my meal, then add veggies/carbs and fat for flavour/energy. Hence my meals now compared to 5 years ago contain a lot more meat than before (gone are the days of having past in tomato sauce as a full meal). 


That being said, I feel like if I eat too much red meat, then I don't feel so great, so I try to eat more poultry and plenty of eggs (but do enjoy the delicious beef burger or steak every now and then).


I have considered what it would be like to transition to vegetarian/veganism. Becoming a vegetarian would be easy for me, I'd just up my egg intake and add beans into my diet (and probably supplement with protein shakes). Going further to a vegan, would be much harder. I would have to completely change my diet, (out goes butter, milk, eggs, 3 of my staples). 

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1) Meat is delicious.

2) Humans are designed to be omnivores.  We are literally meant to eat whatever we can get our hands on.  If my body is equipped to eat meat and eggs as well as veggies, it seems unnatural to avoid any of those.

3) I am anemic and my body struggles to absorb iron.  I would probably be as pale as a vampire if I didn’t eat red meat semi-regularly.  I just feel better and stronger when I do.

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I know I could be vegetarian without any ill effects; my mom is vegetarian (cultural/religious reasons) so that’s what I ate growing up and we were all healthy and fine. But I’m lazy and meat-eating is default, plus as an omnivore I love to try All The Things. My moral outrage towards the meat industry is outweighed by how delicious chicken is.

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I live on a farm as well.  

True veganism simply isn't possible unless you grow and supervise 100% of your food.

We don't have livestock, we mostly grow grain and other assorted crops.  Part of my job when I was younger was to go through the fields after harvest and remove whatever animal carcasses got mangled by the harvesters so coyotes din't start moving in.  Birds, snakes, rodents, foxes, skunks etc. get killed by harvesting machines every single season.  So really, doesn't matter what you eat, some creature is going to pay the price.  There's no shortage of free range eggs and meat out there, might as well make the educated choice.

Oh, and boxed cereal like cheerios?  Guaranteed there are bug parts that got past the screening process and made its way into your delicious crunchy bits.


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  • Because I like meat, fish and dairy.
  • I have significunt doubts that veganism is really healthy. I think animal protein is nesessary for our health. Not meat consuming is unhealthy, but TOO MUCH consuming.
  • The kind of meat we consume is also important. Fried meat, sausages, semi-finished products are not good for us. Boiled, baked and stewed meat is much better.
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