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Op-Ed: If you eat meat, you are a coward

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Op-Ed: If you eat meat, you are a coward

Cows in a factory farm.

Cows in a factory farm.

A Search for Compassion

Cows in a factory farm.

A Search for Compassion

A Search for Compassion

Cows in a factory farm.

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All views and opinions expressed in outside op-eds are those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Etched in Stone or its staff. If you would like to respond or continue the discussion, we invite you to submit your own op-ed here.


Now that I’ve baited your click, let me explain what I mean. If you believe in climate change (or should I say, don’t deny it), claim to care about the environment, claim to care about animals, or even love your dog, and are still an omnivore; you are a cowering, apathetic hypocrite. Strong words, I know, but I’m trying to elicit a certain emotion from you to get you in the right frame of mind: defensiveness.

Before I get into the subject of defense, let me give you some background. Recently, many mainstream media outlets all released similar articles detailing how human meat consumption must decrease “drastically” (90%) in the next fifteen-ish years to prevent climate fallout. Seeing these articles, combined with being at one point a vegetarian and certain political leanings caused me to make the choice to go vegan. So I’ve only been vegan for about three months upon my time of writing this and I’m already preaching about it. Anyway, upon revealing this choice to my friends, one told me that those who don’t eat meat aren’t “blue-blooded Americans”. Okay.

This reaction is important to highlight because every (single) time a vegan discusses their lifestyle choice with an omnivore, the same reaction occurs: the omnivore becomes defensive and insults the vegan, usually implying that they are a pretentious hippy. In this article, I will be highlighting omnivores’ most common responses as to why they choose to eat meat and debunking all of them. If you have another defense as to why you eat meat in the comments, I will debunk that too. Go ahead.

  1. “You just want to feel superior to me.”

Response: I am superior to you.

  1. “Bacon tastes so good though.”

Response: Lots of things taste good! An especially good taste is knowing that no animal abuse went into making your food.

  1. “Real men eat meat.”

Response: Sorry boys. Veganism is for girls only. Boys keep out. Cooties. Seriously though, if you’ve ever said or even thought this, grow up. Who knew you had to be a “real man” to die at fifty-five from a heart attack?

  1.  “I didn’t climb to the top of the food chain to eat plants.”

Response: You didn’t climb anything. We live in an age of technology and production that makes a vegan diet not only possible, but beneficial to everyone and the entire planet. If you feel emasculated by not eating meat from, say, a cow that you didn’t raise, on a farm that you don’t run, that you didn’t slaughter, and that you didn’t cook… there are other issues for you at hand.

  1. “Not everyone can afford veganism! Its expensive! Everyone knows that!”

Response: Of any omnivorous argument, this one is most set in reality. However, that doesn’t make it true. By weight, nuts and beans are both cheaper (pinto beans cost 1/16 the price of beef by pound) and richer in protein than meat is. So don’t pretend to only care about the lower class when you’re eating chicken wings.

  1. “But what about starving people in Africa? You care more about animals than people!”

Response: Another example of distracting from the issue at hand. Veganism is a very human issue. Not only are animals exploited in the process of meat production, humans are as well. And news flash: the majority of globally impoverished people do not sustain themselves through meat. Meat is a luxury of rich, developed nations. And if we all keep eating meat at the rate that we are, there will be no planet to grow it on within in our own lifetimes.

  1. “Death is a part of life.”

Response: True, but does that justify killing? Murder and death are not comparable ideas. The fact of the matter is, capitalists are constantly slaughtering animals to turn profit, and they would kill you too, in a second, if it meant profit for them.

  1. “Stop imposing your beliefs on people.”

Response: No.

  1. “Animals were put on earth for humans to eat.”

Response: …and cops were put on earth to shoot your dog, but that doesn’t mean that you or your dog are happy when it happens.

Serious response: No they weren’t.

  1. “I bet you still wear leather.”

Response: I do wear a leather belt that I bought before I turned vegan. I think it’s important for me to use that product until the end of its life, as to not be wasteful. But regardless, this is an example of a defense that simply tries to dull down the effects of the positive thing the vegan is doing by making it seem not-positive-enough. At least I’m trying, coward.

  1. “Vegans are weak little soyboys”.

Response: Vegans are 25% less likely to develop heart disease, 15% less likely to get cancer, and overall less likely to be obese or overweight than omnivores but okay. By the way, there is indisputable evidence linking certain meat consumption to cancer that omnivores love to deny, much like smokers in the 20th century.

  1. “I only eat organic meat! I have a meat-free day of the week! I tried veganism once but I could just never give up hamburgers!”

Response: Hooray! I’m doing nothing! Organic animals are still the unrightful property of a Whole Foods contractor! I only kill a puppy six days a week! I’m a good person! The fact that I literally, physically cannot stop eating a certain food product definitely doesn’t mean it’s a concerning addiction!”

  1. “You can’t save all the animals by yourself.”

Response: That exact mindset is what led to the situation we are in today. Justifying your own unethical behavior by pointing out that the people around you are just as unethical can justify anything from sexual harassment to slavery. It’s not a true argument. Making a small difference is better than no difference at all. If everyone had this same mindset in the other direction, all the animals would be saved. Get it?

  1. “There is no true vegan diet.”

Response: Again. Try your best. It’s better than nothing.

  1. “Our ancestors all ate meat.”

Response: Our ancestors also died in their mid-twenties, didn’t shower and slept on rocks.

  1. “Animals aren’t as important as humans.”

Response: You’re right. They’re not. Human life trumps animal life, in every and all cases. Treating an animal’s life as your own property is still evil, though.

  1. “For every burger you don’t eat, I’m going to eat two!” or “I hunt vegans.” or “I eat vegans.” or “Do my chicken nuggets trigger you, snowflake?”, etc.

Response: Aren’t you clever and mature. Doing a crooked thing just because you can is pretty psychopathic but to each their own I suppose.

And last but not least:

  1. “Eating meat is a personal choice”

Response: It is a personal choice for you. The defenseless animal you’re paying to have killed never would have made the choice to be tortured and killed if it was capable of voicing its consent.

To conclude, there is already enough circling evidence to definitively prove that eating meat is unethical, unhealthy, and fairly mean to Planet Earth. So instead of making excuses, just go vegan!

Seriously. Just do it. You won’t.


P.S. This includes you, vegetarians. Those cows don’t want to give you their milk and those chickens don’t want to give you their eggs. Leave them alone.


44 Responses to “Op-Ed: If you eat meat, you are a coward”

  1. Paytin Lea on December 16th, 2018 6:32 pm

    Good Sir,

    First, I would like to thank you for sharing your opinion. I shudder to think of where the world would be without vegans preaching of their master-race and how they will save the world. (See response number 1 about superiority, and number 8 about imposing beliefs) I do not want to offend you in any way, but simply have an intellectual conversation about your writing and your opinion. I accept your challenge written in the 3rd paragraph.

    I am a meat eater, I want to clarify my position from the start. I eat meat because its really tasty, plain and simple. Just like you enjoy rabbit food, I like my bacon cheeseburgers with a side of chicken fingers. Its a personal choice, like you said. Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to ask you a question. Did the plants you cling so desperately to eat give you their consent to be eaten? Just because it grows out of the ground and not reproduced from another animal doesn’t make it okay to eat. What is the difference? Plants may not walk around on legs or make sounds like a pig (side note; pork is incredible), but they are still living things. The defenseless PLANT you’re paying to have killed never would have made the choice to be tortured and killed if it were capable of voicing its consent. All those poor brussel sprouts wanted to do was grow, and you took that right away from them. Just think of the dreams those black beans had, before they were turned into a “burger patty (see definition of wrong)” for your own enjoyment.

    Next, I would like you comment on your word choice. “Coward” is an interesting word. It is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity”. I would disagree that a person who eats meat is a coward, because they show no disgraceful fear towards where their food comes from. As far as I am concerned, food is fuel. I am not timid towards where it comes from or even where it goes, due to my personal enjoyment of a really great steak. I know that it came from a cow, and I thank that cow for its service. Veganism and vegetarianism are founded on having shame towards eating meat. I would like to read more specifically why eating meat is a sign of cowardice, which you never actually discuss. Please explain why I am a coward, I would love to hear it. I only see half-baked claims of why I might be wrong. This brings me to my final point.

    I have a few questions about your article quality. I find this article very difficult to read without laughing every few sentences. You state some very outlandish “facts” without any evidence, write some glaring logical fallacies, and the article is extremely scatter brained. Your writing is absolutely riddled with unfounded claims and statistics. You use percentages like “Vegans are 25% less likely to develop heart disease, 15% less likely to get cancer…” without citing any sources. I realize this is casual, non-scholarly writing, but without sources, how do I know if those claims are true. To actually change people’s minds, you need to be able to back up and stand by any statistical claims. I recognize that I am not citing sources, but only because I am not making claims beyond my opinions. The sheer amount of logical fallacies in this article are absolutely staggering. Red herrings (animal pun not intended) exist in most of your responses. Intended to distract, not actually defend your point of view. I read those more like playground insults than actual positives for veganism. You state your goal is to “elicit a certain emotion from you…defensiveness.” The only emotion those “responses” elicit from me is a hearty chuckle. You use the humor from you responses to distract from the actual question at hand. And speaking of the question at hand, what is your thesis? You are in high school, so I am sure you know what that is. All good writing has one, but I have no idea what yours is. Is it a explaining why cowards eat meat, is it why we need to stop eating meat to save the planet, or is this a page of funny responses from the “Vegan Survival Guide, Edition 3”? I honestly can’t tell. If you want your position on this issue taken seriously, you need to pick one issue and stick to it. FOCUS. ORGANIZATION. Freshman English 101. Your writing shouldn’t be scatterbrained. Please re-write this without the excessive argument errors, and I might start taking it seriously.

    I enjoyed reading your article and writing my response. I look forward also to reading your response. I foresee a great battle of wits, may the best man win.

    Also, get yourself a quality burger (Made of beef, not smashed black beans. Those belong in burritos.). As you chew that delicious slice of cow, think of the piece of lettuce. Think of its crispness, its moistness, the lovely absence of taste, and how it was forcibly removed from its happy place in the ground, chopped up by a meat eater, then placed for your enjoyment on that sandwich. Seriously. Just do it. You won’t. Coward.

  2. Ron Swanson on December 17th, 2018 9:38 am

    Veganism is the sad result of a morally corrupt mind. Reconsider your life

  3. Amelia Osborne on December 17th, 2018 10:30 am

    Howdy folks Amelia again, personally I think the only reason god put animals on this earth is for us to eat thier tasty flesh all day everyday. I aint never heard of no vegetables being good for ya. Ever seen the k9ines in our mouths, yessiree i do in fact believe human are carnivors. I sure do find the comment posted before mine is true art and raises some fair points partner. A good burger would sure butter my biscuits. I tip my hat to you sir… you are an artisan of the alphabet and a true genius with words. if i met you i would ask for your autograph sir.


  4. Peatone Leyeye on December 17th, 2018 10:35 am

    Look, I think we both know you’re wrong about… most of this article. Not only is it hilariously full of logical fallacies and inconsistencies, but it presents an argument that can only be accepted as a poor attempt at satire. So let’s dig in to this laughter inducing grab bag of points:
    First of all, I find it interesting that you take issue with people eating meat (or later drinking the milk of a cow) but don’t have an issue with the domestication of animals (as you mention “loving your dog” in only a positive light). Did your dog consent to being on a leash or catching that frisbee in the air? At least us evil omnivores are consistent in our views.
    Secondly, somehow you have this misconception that you have really gained our attention and offended us deeply with your insults, but what you don’t seem to understand is that YOUR fragility is not something everyone experiences. I imagine that by this point in my response you are getting relatively frustrated (Maybe it’s the protein deficiency.), while we find your article nothing but entertaining.
    You make an interesting point when you respond to our ancestors eating meat. You say that “Our ancestors also died in their mid-twenties, didn’t shower and slept on rocks”. Here’s where I feel that I should mention that correlation does not always mean causation. If you are suggesting what it sounds like you are, then you believe our ancestor’s shorter life spans were due to the consumption of meat. Has it not occurred to you that perhaps they were only able to survive for that long BECAUSE of the meat? longer life spans can be easily attributed to modern medicine or a better understanding of the human body. I’m not sure that you can really say that your “holier than thou” life choices are what made people live longer.
    That’s pretty amazing that you feel confident enough to type up this entire article about how your life choices that you have been consistent in for an entire THREE MONTHS are superior to those that the human race has evolved with for generations. Or did you think those sharp teeth (fun fact: they’re called canine teeth) in your mouth are for peeling your bananas? But congrats on your long-term life plan. Glad you’ve chosen a path that Darwin had some…theories on. (*cough cough* Natural Selection *cough cough*)
    In response 12, you say that someone who is doing more than us regular Omnivores are “doing nothing!” yet in 14, you say that “Try your best. It’s better than nothing.” Does that not seem comically inconsistent? Do your best, but if you’re doing your best it’s worthless.
    Unsurprisingly, your arguments are cyclical, inconsistent and nonsensical. I recommend a good burger and more than 2.5 hours of sleep a night (sleep deprivation inhibits your ability to think cognitively). Enjoy your kale.

  5. John Doe on December 17th, 2018 12:58 pm

    I have seen many level-headed and meaningful arguments for why one should have a vegan diet.
    This is not one of them.

    I would even dare say that you, Payton Lee, are the coward. You have written an “article” where you address counter-arguments than you made up yourself, and published it from the safety of the internet. It would be interesting to witness you trying to present your ideas to someone face-to-face. Anyone with an ounce of sense could dismantle them quite easily.

    You present arbitrary facts as true. You introduce unrelated issues at random (strawmen), as if it proves your point. And finally, you submit “there is already enough circling evidence to definitively prove that eating meat is unethical, unhealthy, and fairly mean to Planet Earth,” but you have not provided any evidence or discussion to prove it.

    I’m not entirely against veganism, per se. I’m against this poor excuse of an argument for veganism.

    In the following list, I provide a response to each of your responses. I’m afraid I have to stoop as low as you do with some of my arguments

    1) Thanks, this is why people hate you
    2) News flash: abuse-free meat exists. For a much more reasonable take on this issue, I recommend this video
    3) Vegan diets rely on a lot of soy: soy milk, soy cheese, soy bacon, soy protein, soy cereal, tofu, and tempeh. The problem with eating all this soy is the phytoestrogen content. Phytoestrogens can mimic estrogen in the body, causing a chain reaction of hormone imbalances.
    4) This response is a little… scatterbrained. I’ll just let you know that I do, in fact, cook my own meat, and leave it at that
    5) Yes, plants are cheaper than meat. Everyone knows that
    6) Did you say “there will be no planet to grow meat on?” You were probably mistaken when you wrote that, but it’s funny you mention it, because we -can- grow meat. Again, watch the video ^^
    7) Although “capitalists” refers to people who believe in the economic system our country runs on, I’ll assume you are naïvely referring to rich people. It’s quite bold of you to say they would just kill people for money. On the contrary, studies find that rich people are just as honest as poor people.
    8) This is why people hate you
    9) Animals eat animals to survive. Our ancestors ate animals to survive. Nowadays, it’s possible to survive without eating animals (as you have demonstrated), but that’s not to say we can’t continue to eat animals.
    Also, you seem to be very disrespectful towards the police officers who spend their lives making our lives safer. I love dogs just as much as you do, and I’m very sorry if yours died, but I would be willing to bet that a police officer did not shoot yours.
    10) Good for you, using the belt. We should use the resources available to us here on earth.
    11) Vegans are deficient in Vitamin A, natural vitamin D3, vitamin K2, absorbable vitamin B12 and absorbable iron, EPA and DHA (usable omega-3), and dietary cholesterol. These are only found in animal products (it doesn’t have to be meat!) A healthy diet must have both plants and animal products.
    12) Now you are contradicting yourself. In #10, you said “I’m doing my best.” Now you are attacking people who are doing their best! I believe this is called “hypocrisy.”
    Again, what’s with the killing of dogs? I don’t hate dogs, I don’t hate cows. We all want our food to be ethical and sustainable and we can work together to achieve this. But don’t say that I don’t care.
    13) This would be true, if you were actually doing something good for the world
    14) Again, you are a hypocrite. Try listening to what you say
    15) Our ancestors did a remarkable job surviving given their conditions, and they are responsible for your existence. You seem to take it for granted that you get to sleep on a soft mattress each night with a roof over your head, that you get to take showers with a virtually endless supply of heated water coming from a faucet, that you get to live a long, safe life.
    16) You don’t seem to provide an explanation for why it’s “evil” to raise an animal and slaughter it (humanely!) in order to provide food/money for my family.
    17) You don’t seem to provide an explanation for why chicken nuggets are evil.
    18) Yeah, I just love to see animals tortured. I will pay money for them to experience as much pain as possible. I hope that they killed slowly and unbearable.
    19) (P.S.) “Those cows don’t want to give you their milk and those chickens don’t want to give you their eggs” is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. You don’t seem to be very familiar with agriculture, let me enlighten you: The cow doesn’t want the milk. The purpose of an udder is to provide milk for it’s calf, not so the cow can bend over and drink it herself. She won’t care if you drink the milk yourself. And chickens do not care about the fate of their unfertilized eggs. If we didn’t “take” the eggs, they would sit there and rot.

  6. Espen Ruben Marston on December 17th, 2018 2:06 pm

    Dang fam you done stirred the pot on this one gg no re.

  7. Payton Lee on December 17th, 2018 3:17 pm

    Wow you guys are way more upset than I expected haha. Shame you have no actual counterpoints, ya?

  8. R U Serious? on December 17th, 2018 5:14 pm

    You…. do know humans are, like, biologically omnivores, right? I agree that we need to go about it in a more humane way and we need to cut back on how much we eat, but we’re literally SUPPOSED to be eating meat… I don’t see you yelling at like bears for eating fish… There are legitimate problems with the amount of meat we consume and the way we go about it, but this editorial is not a good way to go about change. Feel free to make your choices but honestly when you go and literally attack people for literally doing what we’re biologically designed to do, you’re not helping ANYONE. Calling yourself superior to us is not a good way to get us to listen to what you have to say and consider it. I respect you for voicing your opinions and being brave enough to do so but honestly you need to CHILL OUT and try maybe not attacking us all. That might be a good start.

  9. Drew on December 18th, 2018 10:48 am

    Congratulations. Consider my click baited.
    I do not deny climate change; I do care about the environment; I do eat meat.
    I am a cowering, apathetic hypocrite? Let’s see the logic. I assume that my hypocrisy comes from eating meat while claiming to believe in climate change, due to the negative effect on climate change caused by the production of meat. This is not an unfounded argument – it’s well-known that raising livestock does contribute to climate change in a variety of ways, including methane emissions as a part of cattle’s digestive process.
    But how serious are these emissions, really?
    A 2016 report by the EPA (link below) details the sources of greenhouse gases. The two largest sources of gases in the United States are transportation and energy, at 28.5% and 28.4% emissions respectively. The next are industry and commercial/residential, at 22% and 11%. Agriculture comes in 5th, responsible for 9% of emissions. Note also that the agriculture is broken down even further, so animals are not solely responsible for that 9%.
    Rather than calling omnivores cowards, focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the major sources – burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, especially. Since you obviously have no qualms about forcing your beliefs on people, you should have no issue with heavily advocating laws designed to reduce fuel consumption and a transition to clean energy, especially in the energy sector.
    Note: I used the UCDavis blog primarily to locate the EPA source, and one of his sources is broken (the EPA reworked their website), but his argument is dead-on.
    Attacking vegetarians for their actions falls under the same fallacy that you noted in rebuttal 10: attacking a group’s actions for not being good enough. Please, be consistent in your arguments and stay true to yourself.

  10. Doe, John on December 18th, 2018 11:07 am

    Plants don’t want you to eat them, either. They produce toxins to damage the animals who consume them.

  11. Ryland Schelir on December 18th, 2018 12:09 pm

    Vegans should not be allowed to drive cars, gasoline is from dinosaurs, which were animals. thus, they cannot use gasoline, thus they cannot drive.

  12. C T on December 18th, 2018 7:02 pm

    You made some valid points, but you also made a ton of unnecessary personal attacks that only devalue your arguments. In a way it feels as though you only want to act superior rather than inform or make a change. You say “Try your best. It’s better than nothing,” then proceed to attack vegetarians even though they are trying hard as well. In the end it feels like you wrote this for the sole purpose of being controversial, relevant, and to make it look like you are better than any non-vegans.

  13. Daniel scott on December 18th, 2018 8:51 pm

    Other than the clear superiority complex shown the beginning by stating you are more superior to another creature is already the first mistake as now your the one who thinks they are above another creature. But my bigger problem is how you think that somehow blurting ‘facts’ with no evidence /citations and making a strawman of what “Non vegans say” wins you the argument. I have seen many good arguments for being vegan this is not one of them. Getting the person you want to convince as defensive a highly bad idea -(> Join UN club its great at teaching this point<) Beauce than you both dig yourself in a trench and no one wants to move and doing the same thing will not win anything but infalte ones ego

    Also how can you speak for what cows and chickens want IF ANYTHING WE ARE THE REASON why cows and chickens are so successful there 1B according to the world atlas 2017. And if i was a cow i would be thinking of reproduction i would totally take that. But that also that misses the point as we are human we can only think like that. We can not say things like "How would you like it if we did that to you" Cows can not think like us and we will mostly likey never know how they do and nor can we think like them. simply put WE CAN NOT PICK WHAT WE THINK COWS DISLIKE OR LIKE WITH NO EVIDENCE BASED ON COWS NOT OUR OWN THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS

    ALSO consent? Same problem cows dont even have the mental capacity to consent from a humans standpoint does this extent to worms or like how far does this go?

    We also are the modern people we killed 70 Million in the last 100 Years so just because we are in the present does not mean we are the "best

    Also morals are BS as morals are importnat for keeping social order in the context of hisotry as they are more of a reflection of HUMAN
    society rather than Cows but i heard somewhere that cows and other mammals have different what we think are sets of morals but i can't find the source so take that with a grain of salt

    Also that whole Response: "Lots of things taste good! An especially good taste is knowing that no animal abuse went into making your food."
    I bet you have a car or a clothing item that you like HOW DOES IT FEEL KNOWING SOME MOTHER WITH 5 KIDS MADE THAT WITH HER BLEEDING HANDS IN SOME SWEATSHOP because i find it hard to belive that you don't have some product made in a sweatshop. My point with this is a highly hypocritical article and i hope you learn from this so you can make a better argument in the future

  14. Hannah on December 19th, 2018 10:59 am

    Hi, I first off wanted to commend Payton Lee for writing this, I know it can be incredibly hard to put beliefs that you feel strongly about into the public sphere. And i’m grateful for Etched in Stone for providing a platform to discuss ideas. That being said, looking through the comments I saw that there was a lot of defensiveness on both sides of the debate and wanted to try and voice my opinion in a calm way.

    1.) I felt like some of the examples given were large generalizations on groups of people, portraying meat eaters as self righteous cowards as opposed to vegans as having the moral high groups claiming that you “are superior”. Not only does attacking a whole group of people who you’re trying to convince to agree with you seem very counter productive, it seems unnecessary. I understand that a provocative title was good to grab attention, but continuing the remainder of your op-ed by criticizing anyone who eats meat seems both unnecessary and almost a waste considering you could have used this platform to convince not vilify.

    2.) You brought up a point that nuts, are bought by the pound and that pinto beans specifically are cheaper than a pound of meat and contain more protein.. This is a fairly logical point, a bit weak given that only pinto beans are cheaper, but still logical. However, Its worth considering:
    -individuals with nut allergies (Yes this is only about 1% of the population but still to attack all meat eaters when they may have valid reasons to eat meat is unfair)
    -Studies have found links between depression and eating less meat. In a day and age where rates of depression are rising this is a serious concern. Given that depression can be detrimental and is often genetic it would make sense that one who has had, or has a family history of depression, would be inclined to consume meat.

    3.) “Animals were put on earth for humans to eat.”
    Response: …and cops were put on earth to shoot your dog, but that doesn’t mean that you or your dog are happy when it happens.

    Serious response: No they weren’t.

    This section here seemed rather illogical to me. I don’t see the connection between eating meat and a cop shooting a dog, given this most likely an attempt at a joke I’ll let it slide. An interesting point to be brought up here is that this is a serious belief some people have. In Genesis 9:2-9:3 it is written
    “every bird of the sky, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are delivered into your hand. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you; just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you all things”
    These are genuine views that some individuals do carry and perhaps you could respond they should stop imposing their beliefs on people to which I will direct you to your 8th “debunk”
    -“Stop imposing your beliefs on people.”
    Response: No.
    You wouldn’t like it if someone imposed their religious views on you and forced you to live your lifestyle in accordance to their beliefs, how is this any different? The simple answer is, its not. People are free to live their lives as they want. Just as you are able to be vegan others can choose to eat meat.
    The reasons for ones diet are highly personal and individual and I’m glad you found a diet that works for you, but you are not superior on the basis of your diet. What makes someone superior is their character. While I liked the op-ed, and I certainly saw a lot of potential, I urge you to perhaps look over it re-evaluate and come from a place of understanding, in which a productive discussion can be held. not one that is comprised almost completely of Ad-Hominem.
    Thank you again for writing, I found this a very good, though provoking read, and would love to have a civil fact based conversation with you.

  15. Paul Smithman on December 19th, 2018 11:48 am

    Thanks Payoton for this wonderful piece of satire! I really had a good laugh while reading this. In case anyone missed it, here were the best parts:

    “I am superior to you”
    “The fact of the matter is, capitalists are constantly slaughtering animals to turn profit, and they would kill you too, in a second, if it meant profit for them.”
    “‘Stop imposing your beliefs on people.’ Response: No.”
    “Cops were put on earth to shoot your dog”
    “Those cows don’t want to give you their milk and those chickens don’t want to give you their eggs.”

    Everybody in the comments don’t understand that this article is just a joke lol.

  16. Stella Ontiveros on December 19th, 2018 12:57 pm

    Hey boy, come visit my dairy farm and tell me what you think.

  17. ricky tan on December 19th, 2018 7:51 pm

    I like how these quotes:
    “At least I’m trying, coward.”
    “Try your best. It’s better than nothing.”
    “Making a small difference is better than no difference at all.”

    are in the same article as this:
    “‘I only eat organic meat! I have a meat-free day of the week! I tried veganism once but I could just never give up hamburgers!’
    Response: Hooray! I’m doing nothing!”

  18. Olivia on December 19th, 2018 8:00 pm

    Dear Payton,
    Your argument is valid. You have the right and the platform to post this article. However, your argument is flawed, and offensive.

    The first thing that I have to point out is, what is your point here? Who are you trying to reach out to by attacking others, rather than trying to educate? I have read many articles arguing both sides of veganism and eating meat. They were all written persuasively. However, you attack people with this article, trying to convince people using fear rather than logic. You might call me a hypocrite, for calling you offensive. Many responses to veganism ARE offensive. Those people are uneducated and rude, but I do not agree with them. I believe that there is a better way to make your point, rather than beat each other over the head with sticks. The world does not need more hate.

    Second, your argument would be much more effective with sources and facts listed. These are things people cannot ignore. Opinions can be countered with opinions, but facts are harder to cover up. The points you make are valid, and some of them are truthful. However, the way you convey them is wrong and ineffective. This is simply a tip, something that I find to be much more effective in convincing people.

    Third, life is a personal choice. You cannot control the whole world into doing one thing. Trust me, they’ve tried, and there will always be deviants, rebels. Being vegan is a personal choice. Eating meat is a personal choice. Owning a dog, being Muslim, going to school, all of these are personal choices. Committing murder, smoking, and even simply getting out of bed each morning is a personal choice. The lines between good and bad are blurry. Some are clearer, but veganism may be one of the grayest gray area out there. Yes, there are benefits to going vegan. There is evidence of health improvements and mental improvements. However, eating meat has been part of humanity’s history. I am not knowledgeable enough to decide if that was good or bad choice. As you said, death is always a part of life. Murder, is not. However, it is hard to say if eating animals is murder. What is the deciding factor between murder and necessity? Is it sentience? Or simply, being alive? We cannot figure out the purpose of every single action humanity as a whole does.

    I respect your opinions on veganism. I agree with some of them. However, there are many factors you didn’t consider when writing this. Perhaps there are factors I didn’t consider when responding. We cannot know everything. I think that while people can have their own personal choices, we all need to be aware of the effects to our body and our earth.

    Olivia, an interested spectator

  19. No name on December 19th, 2018 8:11 pm

    You all are arguing with strangers. I can’t think of a more ill advised waste of time. Go do something productive.

  20. Omnivore on December 19th, 2018 8:11 pm

    I can’t tell if this is just a bunch of insults or an actual belief you have. Please try again.

  21. Informed Individual on December 19th, 2018 11:11 pm

    Hello Payton,

    I say good on you for being so honest and blunt with your beliefs and for sticking with what you believe in. But alas I do have to say i disagree with may of your statements. To begin, not everyone should go vegan, no that’s a terrible idea honestly. How do you expect these animals that have been released into the wild to survive without human interjection. Yes we as people could help said animals survive but honestly that’s a lot of resources being used on creatures that have been genetically altered to be live stalk. They don’t know any other life nor can they comprehend to a full extant of their situation. Now for the meat, oh boy will this be a fun one to rant about. Meat is beneficial for the human body as it contains proteins, minerals, and vitamins which allow our brain to work at the level it currently is at. I could go into how it assisted in the evolution of humans but lets keep this civilized and not start a flame war here. I do have proof that supports my argument that meat is beneficial for humans and i’ll link it below. We as humans do eat too much meat yes but the reduction you’ve suggested and the 90% cut that media suggests is absolutely absurd. A reduction would be beneficial in multiple ways but the industry shouldn’t die. To end it off I have a solution that honestly you should be in favor for and my source will also have a link at the bottom. It’s synthetic meat, yes it’s a thing and no it isn’t bad for you nor do any animals come to harm from it. Happy now? It’s a safer alternative for all of us due to it not having the natural hormones of the animals, none of the added stuff we throw in to help the animal grow, and doesn’t have the saturated fats normal meat does. So could you kindly knock it off with the master race crap because its horrid how you’re inciting aggression on a school website and that you actually think one group is better than another. People are just misinformed and that’s it. People who still eat meat aren’t terrible people because of it and it’s the lack of actual education in this field that leads to people like you. Read up on the subject and educate others rather than looking down upon them and trying to create more inequality among people because we have enough of that already. I hope you learn to be more understanding of those who are ignorant about stuff like this.

    Sincerely, Informed Individual

    Links to Sources:

  22. Swanson on December 20th, 2018 10:44 am

    Plant are living things as well, and you kill and eat them without a thought. I agree that there are certainly cruel killings within slaughterhouses, but Humanity isn’t going to survive of of plants alone. Also, don’t act superior, nothing demonstrated leads anyone to believe you are superior in any way, just because you choose not to eat animals. I have a lot of other issues with your article, but I’ll leave it here for now. Cheers mate.

  23. The Christian on January 9th, 2019 11:01 am

    I will eat meat because GOD says I can. Genesis 1:26 “and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Your confused liberal mind cannot fight the word of God, so I will eat meat and make sure that everyone that I know eats meat because it is the will of God for man to eat meat. And for clarification man refers to MANKIND, not just males because that would be incorrectly mixed up in your primitive mind.

  24. Ron Swanson on January 9th, 2019 6:38 pm

    Vegans live 25% longer because they never get invited anywhere fun or dangerous so they just sit at home crying and wallowing in sadness.

  25. Jeez People on January 10th, 2019 10:33 pm

    Okay, while I agree that this article is…problematic at best, I think that all y’all in the comments are doing is worsening the issue. Yes, while very valid, fact based arguments are being made, a large amount of these comments are literally just insulting the author and veganism as a whole. Those of you deciding to tell the author that they are primitive or shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car… just stop. Regardless of whether you’re joking or not, and yes I realize a bunch of you are just having fun, you’re just making a bigger trainwreck. Yes, having a good thoughtful discussion based in facts is great, I for one am glad this platform allows for that, but if you’re coming down here just to insult the author or veganism as a whole, think about one of the reasons that this article is so controversial: how much it attacks people. So, when you all come down here and just insult the author, what you’re doing is just continuing a cycle of attacking people. That’s not productive at all. You can have your own opinions, and that’s great. It’s just incredibly important to present those ideas in a rational, reasonable way. So please, by all means, keep responding with your opinions, just don’t go and needlessly attack people, because that’s honestly not a good use of your time. Take the high road with this one.
    Someone who has been watching this spiral down since the beginning

  26. Omnivore's point of view on January 11th, 2019 8:13 am

    I’m unsure as to whether this “article” is satire or legit. The number of insults seems to be ironic, but at the same time, I can’t be sure if you just have a superiority complex, or are trying to convert people into veganism. If you are trying to convert people, what’s with all the insults, it doesn’t add to your argument and tries to demean the reader. That isn’t what journalism is.
    The article cited shows the “codes” of journalism, something that (no offense) you seem to be educated on, seen in vegans being “15% less likely to develop cancer.” Where is your source? In the link, you should find “Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.” Where is your source?

    I understand the clickbait, it makes the reader feel defensive, in which they click, but after that, there is no need for the constant attack of “non-vegans” throughout the article. There is no need for the arrogance of sitting behind the screen.

  27. Aleck Carlson on January 11th, 2019 10:03 am

    Why are you vegan

  28. bob on January 11th, 2019 10:08 am

    Will it make you feel better if I buy you a leather jacket

  29. Why...... on January 11th, 2019 10:31 am

    This argument is terrible and I would advise you to not put this stuff on here again because most people will not agree with you. Keep your opinion to yourself. Your a coward for being so insulting to people like me who eat meat everyday. Agricultural practices have been in our culture for centuries and most people agree that it should stay that way… I also think that you disrespecting policemen by saying that they are put on this Earth to shoot dogs is extremely irreverent. They go out in the communities and make sure everyone is safe risking there lives for you everyday and this is what you think of them… Unbelievable!!!

  30. Omnivore (Mackenna Riek because I don't need to be called a coward again for "hiding from behind my screen") on January 11th, 2019 11:07 am

    Responding to all of these responses:
    1. No you are not. Superiority depends a lot of things, and being vegan is NOT on that list. If you look up the definition, there is no mention of veganism.
    2. Guilt? Really? Animal abuse has nothing to do with the way that we get meat. Most of our meat sources make it so that the animals die painlessly. They die anyways. And so do we.
    3. And we’re onto sexism. Great. Not cool. Just no.
    4. Vegans are not beneficial for humanity, much less the world. Overpopulation. Well, and I guess vegans are solving that problem for mankind.
    5. Do you really expect me to eat nuts and beans for the rest of my life? I mean I could eat peanut butter for the rest of my life, but that doesn’t sound so efficient, does it?
    6. Starvation and malnutrition is a very serious problem, but it only takes 19 cents a day to feed one child. Imagine all the children you could feed with the money you would spend on some “vegan” oreos!
    7. Death is a part of life, that’s the only thing in this article I agree with. Yes, murder is illegal. Animal cruelty is illegal. The assaulter gets punished. But animal abuse does not have anything to do with meat production, and if animal abuse was involved, it would be illegal.
    9. I’m going to tackle this one with emphasis that I am atheist, and I don’t believe that anything was “put” anywhere. Everything came from evolution. Animals weren’t put here to do anything. But since the start of time animal products have been very very important for our diet, and survival of our species up to this point.
    10. I don’t have any input for this one. You do you. But I might have to buy you a leather jacket or some leather boots to match.
    11. I would focus on the part around 3-6 months later. Where’d you get that info anyway, Buzzfeed? (This article comes from , so it is a credible source.)
    Oh, and by the way, meat eating CAN cause obesity, which leads to heart issues, but that’s only for people who are obese. Eating meat has no DIRECT connection to heart failure.
    12. Dang, you really stooped low on this one. You think that you alone has any sort of MAJOR impact on the world, you’re wrong. And a fool. And a coward.
    13. This is just wrong. I don’t even have words for this. You’re just pulling things out of a bag of lettuce. This is ridiculous. And that’s not even close to comparable to sexual harassment of slavery.
    14. There are true vegan diets. There was no reason for you to bring this up.
    15. Our ancestors also didn’t HAVE showers or beds or medicine or remotely anything close to what we have today. At least not as far back as you’re talking.
    16. What states that animals are less important than humans? You think that animal wants to be bullied like that? Value greatly varies from person to person. You may think my watch is cheap and crappy, but it means so much to me. It was my PaPa’s who passed away. He meant the world to me. What you value probably isn’t valued by everyone else. Especially because of the trash way this article was put.
    17a. However, calling someone a coward, a psychopath, and intentionally pushing your beliefs onto people in the rudest way possible IS mature.
    17b. 17a was a lie.
    18. Eating meat is a personal choice. For me. That’s what a personal choice is. I could care less if you were a vegan or not. And the repetition of negative behavior throughout this article may be your personal choice, but it isn’t a very good one. And if you try to compare this, you’re FAR off. Diet is different than being rude.

    Again, I am all for people that decide to go vegan. It’s not my choice, but if you were my friend, I wouldn’t leave you because you’re vegan. It’s because of the amount of negativity that you have. The message you put across in this article is just not okay on so many levels. Really? Come on. However, if you had put the REAL benefits of being a vegan and how much it has improved your qUalITy oF liFe, I wouldn’t have to write this. Just be nice, even if you agree on different things. It’s not that hard. Imagine all the starving children in Africa you could help if you didn’t waste all your energy on stupid arguments. Hey, if you have enough energy, you could buy them vegan meals, even though they’d probably prefer meat. But I don’t know what they want, do I? I guess that means I don’t know what those cows and chickens want either.

    And if it means anything to you, red meat grosses me out. I just don’t like the taste. So I guess I’m like, hAlF vEgAN.

  31. Jxt33 on January 12th, 2019 4:19 pm

    In response to the previous comment by “Someone who has been watching this spiral down since the beginning”
    You forgot that the author of this article, Payton Lee, wrote this article in a way that insults and attacks anyone who does not align with her interests.
    You can’t expect people to not respond in a similar fashion. She deserves every bit of it.

  32. Thade George on January 15th, 2019 10:02 am

    “Vegans are weak little soyboys”.
    Response: Vegans are 25% less likely to develop heart disease, 15% less likely to get cancer, and overall less likely to be obese or overweight than omnivores but okay. By the way, there is indisputable evidence linking certain meat consumption to cancer that omnivores love to deny, much like smokers in the 20th century.

    I dont know what dark, wet, smelly hole you pulled these “facts” out of but it has been proven that males that eat excess amounts of soy have lower testosterone then men who dont.

    I dont think the problem here is what we eat, the problem is veganism is thought of as the moral high ground because a lot of liberals are vegan. Republican vegans are rare. The problem is that liberals base their arguments off of feelings not facts. Ocasio Cortez even said this the other night. Republicans have a set of values that they follow. We like guns because we would like to defend ourselves between other people, bad governments, and we would like to hunt with them. We feel like countries have borders because there can be bad people that can come in if we let them, so we need to be able to see who comes in through a door instead of just letting them come in and maybe commit crimes. We feel like you should be rewarded by how hard you work not by the color of the skin, and we dont believe that if we are white we are “privileged” . What makes america great and what makes socialism suck is we have freedom. We can say what we want, we can do what we want on our land, and we can make however as much money you want. If you are born poor, and work hard, you can get rich, and if you are rich, and dont use the money well, you become poor. Free stuff such as healthcare just makes a lazy generation living off of the government.

    Here is a few things you can do:

    Stop trying to take away my rights

    Use your brain instead of feelings

    Stop calling men toxic and white people bad because we have had more money now or in the past. Colonialism and slavery was 150+ years ago, no one alive today has experienced it. Stop making white people look like satan and stop making minorities victims. Social Racism does not exist, sorry to pop your bubble.

    Stop being lazy, get out of your entitled attitude.

    Socialism doesn’t work.

    Eat some meat. Animals are lower on the food chain, I say eat them. They taste delicious, help me in sports and competitions, and they make my life better. Animals eat each other, why cant we eat them? I find it sad too when a animal dies, but there deaths are quick, mostly painless, and they were bred for it.

    Now that I pointed out the things I find annoying about liberals, I am going to go eat a cheeseburger, care to join?

  33. Grand Wiener on January 16th, 2019 9:32 pm

    Thank you for assaulting my dieting choices, I really want to turn to veganism. I do enjoy the rhetoric you have used in this argument. Please leave the facts and logic to Ben Shapiro.

  34. Patent Leaf on January 17th, 2019 9:02 am
    Note nothing about giving up all meat whatsoever, just decreasing consumption. Save the environment and still eat meat.

  35. Brielle Henderson on January 17th, 2019 12:05 pm

    This article is very opinionated. I don’t understand your point in writing this. It seems like all you want to do is bash “omnivores.” This is what I understand: You have an opinion, and you want to convince everyone else to share your opinion. But the entire section on “debunking omnivores” seems to be attracting a lot of defensive responses, and I don’t understand the point of writing it.
    The beginning of your article made it appear that the reason you were writing this article was to get omnivores on the “defensive.” And the “debunking” section made that clear as day. I just don’t understand why.
    Your statistics are also not sound. It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. You can choose to get your source of protein from somewhere else, that’s totally fine. But not all people you classify as “omnivores” are going to consume meat in an unhealthy way. It’s actually healthy to consume bacon every once in a while. My grandfather is well over 55, and he eats meat all the time. He could probably beat me and all of my other cousins in a race. He’s the healthiest person I know, and he makes sure that he gets a healthy, balanced diet.
    From reading the other comments, it’s clear that not many people are happy with this article. It’s no mystery. I hope you were planning on getting many negative responses when you wrote this.
    Lastly, I don’t think you understand the definition of a coward. A coward is a person who isn’t brave and is too afraid to try anything. A coward is someone who will run away from a fight.
    I can’t be a coward just because I eat meat, because I’m taking a stance and standing my ground on my opinion against yours, and so are many other “omnivores.”
    Besides, lots of animals eat other animals. What are you going to say to them? I’m going to have fun imagining that conversation.
    Did you actually want people to argue with you? Did you want people to put you on the defensive side just as you clearly succeeded in doing to them? Were you trying to start a battle? Were you attempting to get as much negativity as you possibly could?
    If so, I’d say you were pretty successful.

  36. Meat eater on January 22nd, 2019 8:29 am

    I got quite a laugh out of this article. All my peers were telling me to read it, and I resisted for a while, as I knew it would only anger me, however I could not hold back any longer and caved. Let me start out by saying, there was not a SINGLE cited source. All those facts about how vegans are less likely to get heart disease etc. aren’t followed by a cited source. Isn’t it one of the principles of factual writing to include sources, so your readers do not think that you are just making everything up? I find it laughable that your response in the comments was that no one had any counterpoints, when loads of comments came with well researched facts, and sources, unlike your article. I’m not going to comment on all the flaws in the article itself, because that list would be far to long, or stoop to your level and tell you to go eat some meat, because unlike you forcing ones own opinions on others to make one feel better about themselves, isn’t my choice of argumentation. Next time you write and opinion piece, ask a peer to read it, and maybe make it so that it’s not so laughable and more serious. Like come on, can you really expect anyone to take you seriously, or convert to veganism because of this article. If anything you did just the opposite. Next time, be respectful to your readers. And maybe journalism isn’t for you.

  37. Mr. DeGear on January 23rd, 2019 8:24 am

    Op-eds are submitted from outside the newspaper staff and do not represent the views or journalistic expectations of Etched in Stone.

  38. Anonymous on January 23rd, 2019 1:40 pm

    Soz but chicken nuggets at burger king are $1 for 10 lol

  39. Libtard Destroyerr on January 29th, 2019 2:07 pm

    I base my actions and beliefs off the bible and the nature god has given us. First of all god didn’t put animals on this earth next to humans just so we can look at each other and say nothing. He put them in this earth so we can survive and eat meat, of course he put things like your non-alive precious little plants here too so we can eat. According to the bible whatever a man puts in the ground is his to harvest and take out of the ground. Veganism is a joke 0.5% of our population unfortunately has vegans. If you dont agree with Christianity or the bible that’s fine but that’s just where my beliefs are.

  40. Anonymous on January 29th, 2019 2:46 pm

    You’re right, I am a coward. A coward who doesn’t want to die from anemia.

  41. Anonymous on February 1st, 2019 12:06 am

    I love the ad hominem right on the title. Makes you want to read the whole thing.

  42. Meat Eater on February 6th, 2019 9:37 pm

    wow…. this article made me laugh so hard. Literally, you said that the we died so early back then because we were eating me, but the whole reason we stayed alive was because we ate the meat! Also, last I checked, God put the animals on this planet as a beauty and a source of nutrition!! So…. thanks for making my day from reading the article, and then seeing the comments 🙂

  43. Not a Coward on February 19th, 2019 10:03 am

    I eat meat, and I am not a coward.

  44. Carnivore on February 20th, 2019 8:41 am

    I know eating meat is bad but have ever had a chicken nugget?

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