This will be about veganism.
Some will be convinced with different methods of explainations, however the method that convinced me was the one of philosophy.
To start off, it is not necessary to be a part of or exclusive to any religion, in order to consider turning vegan. I myself am actually an atheist.
In addition, it is absolutely not effeminate to turn vegan. In actuality, vegans have quite a bit higher testosterone levels found in several scientific studies. This was the thing I criticized the most before I changed, but it turns out not to be the case.
On top of this, as long as your diet is well thought out, there will be no nutrient deficiencies if you were to turn vegan. The biggest thing would most likely be B12 , but there are plenty of vegan made foods which have B12, as well as seaweed.
"Okay, that's fine and dandy, but what's the point of turning vegan in the first place? Why should I care?"
Glad you asked future comment!
So why aren't you a racist? This, of course, is assuming you aren't in the first place, but really think about it. The reasons you might come up with could be that it causes less harm. You would also not want someone to be racist, so you yourself aren't racist. Perhaps also you find it quite helpful to have viewpoints outside of your race, or more viewpoints in general. Maybe you know someone that isn't a part of your race that you care about. Maybe you find that human bonds transcend race.
Before in American history, a large portion of colonials in the south had used, quite inhumanely, the labor of slavery to gain economic growth. This is quite a dark part of our history in America, and for good reason. Slaves were beaten, exploited, and even sometimes raped for pleasure. And while most farms didn't partake in this evil treatment of their slaves, it was still an injustice to deny them of their freedom, and their humanity.
Currently, the movement against slavery and racial injustice is at the forefront of our society. This is especially visible given the current George Floyd arrest and death. It is no wonder too. Racial injustice is found everywhere, and racism itself is an incredibly inhumane act. But, it wasn't always thought of this way. People had gotten into certain traditions of thinking. People didn't want change.
If you'll notice, almost the exact same arguments to justify racism are used today to justify eating animals.
Some very common arguments are:
1. We are humans, we have domain over the animals. They have less moral worth.
2. We are on top of the food chain, therefore we can eat what we want.
3. The Bible says humans have Dominion over the animal kingdom.
4. What about plants? Where does life begin? The details are too murky to iron out.
5. Don't we give these animals life? We do them a service to live a life as opposed to not. So what if we kill them later? We let them live happy lives.
Now, these arguments pose some good questions, and before when I was an omnivore, I saw them as convincing that the moral argument for veganism was empty. However, as I've researched the topic more and more, the answers for these questions became quite clear, and I could no longer hold these positions anymore.
Firstly, because something rules over something else does not give the victim less moral worth. One could argue a rapist has domain over his/her rape victim, but we obviously, and rightfully so, do not consider the rape victim of less worth. We also do not consider a slave to be of less moral worth than their master. Notice the parallels.
Second, we are on top of the food chain. We control the means of production, have tools to overtake other species, and can literally terra form our surroundings to benefit our food gathering. But, we also own and provide the food necessary for our children but, quite often, in a near death scenario, the mother and father will both sacrifice their lives for their children. So just because we can control things, doesn't mean less worth for those of whom can't.
Thirdly, the biblical argument. While I am not Christian now, I used to be, and do study the Bible at tremendous lengths. If we use the Bible to define morality, then we must also use the laws present in Exodus 21 for the treatment of slaves. If you are unfamiliar, the beating of slaves is permissible if they arise within 3 days, as they are your property. (Exodus 21:21). This passage was before used to justify slavery. Most people including Christians find this idea to be morally repugnant. So, since we believe slavery is wrong in spite of the Bible, we can still believe eating animals to be wrong in spite of the Bible.
Fourth, I agree that the details can be very murky around this issue. But the simple stance is this, reduce pain and suffering as much as possible. In actuality, even if you care about plants, going vegan is what causes the least death for plants. The manufacturing of soybeans and corn are a majority going to the meat industry. In fact, 36% of all of our crops are fed to animals, and the amount of energy given back to humans is considerably less than the amount consumed. So, instead of growing crops to then feed to cattle and livestock, and then eat the cattle and livestock for ourselves, we could instead just eat the crops. This would lower our consumption of plants.
Finally the lives we give them. It's true we do give animals the beautiful gift of life, but we also do everything possible in the meat industry to make it impossible for them to live happily. Milk cows are forcibly impregnated, and are then robbed of their calves within 24 hours, where the calves are then used for veal. Chickens are removed of their beaks, and are fattened up in extraordinarily tight cages. Then, when the chickens have babies, the male chicks are killed immediately since they cannot lay eggs. Animals being used for meat have their throats cut, and bleed out. Even if they are paralyzed before anything happens, would you really think a chicken, a pig, or a cow would want to die? Fish feel pain, and suffocate when being reeled in and caught. None of this is what we would consider moral, and none of this is what we would want to happen to us if we were in their position.
On top of the inhumane traditions of the meat industry, we are not even required to eat meat to survive. It's totally optional, and we choose three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Just think of all of the inadvertent injustice we have done to these animals. Just think.
Even further, the single greatest thing you can do to stop climate change is to halt eating meat. The meat industry is the third largest cause to global climate change. Are your taste buds really worth all of the damage caused? Are you really that selfish?
I hope this at least makes some people question why they eat meat. It took me awhile to turn vegan, I don't expect everyone to immediately change.
I hope everyone's being safe out there. Have a great day!