While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) both continue to push their vegan agendas, most people reject the claim that animals—especially the lowliest, infestation-causing insects—are equivalent to people. And while trendy East Coast newspapers may harp on the supposed contradictions of omnivores, the contradictions of veganism are just as prominent. Perhaps that’s why even an animal liberationist public opinion research group found that 84 percent of people who try to become vegetarian go back to eating meat.
Writing at National Review Online, Josh Gelernter examines some of them. While PETA proclaims that it’s unethical to place human life above animal life, consuming any human diet, even a vegan one, requires exactly that. (We’d note here that there’s nothing wrong with eating a vegetarian diet, if that’s your preference. But HSUS and PETA aren’t in the choice business—they don’t want you eating meat, eggs, and dairy.) Gelernter explains:
For one thing, most fruits, many vegetables, and many nuts require pollination by bees. And not free bees, but slave bees, who are carried from place to place in boxes, by beekeepers. Even if the bees were wild and free, though, vegetarian fare would still be the product of animal cruelty — because all, or virtually all, produce is grown using pesticides.
We’ve noted the hypocrisy of vegans on this issue before. While PETA has claimed that normal people are Nazi-esque perpetrators of genocide, the truth is that there’s no way for people to survive without taking at least some animal lives. Gelernter amusingly notes that the beef from one head of cattle might spare countless bees; in fact, one Oregon State scientist proposed that a diet including some cattle probably kills fewer animals than a vegan diet.
All told, the inherent contradictions within veganism (to say nothing of the decadent pleasure-enhancing power of bacon grease) probably means that wide-eyed animal liberationists’ vows of a vegan nation by 2050 almost certainly will not come to pass.
Cheese consumption is at an all-time high. Pork is enjoying a renaissance. And a dip in prices and the popularity of the “paleo diet” has Americans turning back to beef. Bon appetit.