Apparently, there are some people who are vegans who argue for veganism / try to convince others to become vegan. I know this because there are apparently people who hate vegans who try to shove veganism down their throats. Such people frame the issue as a personal choice of diet, based on taste and/or health benefits, or, at best, they realize that the whole point is about the suffering of animals and thus frame it as personal choice of what level of ethics they want to subscribe to.
This mentality is fundamentally wrong for the same reasons that involuntarily confinement, torture and murder of other humans shouldn’t be personal choices. We just anthropocentrically regard other animals as less-important beings to be dominated, used and abused at will for our convenience and pleasure, regardless of the affects on those animals. It’s partly due to our psychopathic, left-brained tendency to objectify living beings; that is, to regard them as things. (Once, I read that all sin starts with the objectification of living beings.)
Religion may also play a part in this atrocity, as in Genesis 1:28: “And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Or maybe it’s merely a relatively inconsequential encoding of an ethic that already existed and hence gave rise to the verse, the prophets having created God in man’s image and used Him to justify all of their depraved moral precepts, most of which they inherited from their society. I say “inconsequential” because Christians will do what they will regardless, in accordance to their character, and then cherry pick verses from the Bible to support their predilections and dispositions, whether they be evil or good.
In any case, when vegans argue for veganism, what they’re essentially doing is speaking up for those mistreated sentient beings who otherwise don’t have a voice. So they’re not simply trying to shove their lifestyle down your throat. It’s a question of morality, and just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s okay.
Just as one example of the mistreatment that goes on, when factory farms keep cows for milking, which is necessary for all dairy products including milk, cream, cheese, butter and ice cream, they often keep them confined to a small space all the time; they continually keep them lactating by impregnating them and then taking their babies away from them over and over again, causing significant emotional distress; they milk their udders automatically with rough machines that cause bleeding and pus; they pump them full of bovine growth hormone; they feed them foods that are unnatural for them such as grains; etc.
Keeping animals in confined spaces where they can’t even turn around, pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics, feeding them unnatural foods (sometimes even foods eerily close to being over their own kind), animals slowly dying of disease from living in their own waste, force-feeding them to make them plump and other such cruelties are common themes for animals in general in the factory farming world.
This is unconscionable. Ethically, it’s unsupportable. Morally, it’s evil. Emotionally, it’s callous. Effectually, it’s cruel. Intellectually, it’s ignorant. Utilitarianly, it’s imbalanced. Spiritually, it’s immature. Deadly-sin-wise, it’s greedy.
It’s easy to be ignorant regarding this issue because we never get to see the actual production of the foods we eat. It just appears on the grocery store shelves, where we then show up to buy it. It’s one of the perversions of modern civilization, which separates us from the natural processes of life in myriad ways.
It also doesn’t help that, in some jurisdictions, the government (of the US) has been stupid and corrupt enough to make it illegal to film the ongoings within livestock facilities in order to expose their cruelty. Actually, the authors of such legislation are animal agriculture companies, and the government is corrupt enough to pass legislation written by and for corporations. It’s a common occurrence, but that’s a topic for another essay.
That, by the way, should serve as some evidence that just because something is legal doesn’t necessarily mean it’s okay. And nor should we allow ourselves to indulge in, or just give in to, the principle of “out of sight, out of mind.” Also, it shows that the factory farmers think they have something to hide. They know that enough people would be outraged if they saw the ongoings within that it would cause problems for them.
Of course, if you actually do your research and insist on only eating meat and dairy from cruelty-free sources, it’s more ethical (if maybe still a bit questionable). But that’s kind of problematic, because labels on foods regarding the treatment of animals are usually/often misleading due to lenient and sometimes nonexistent legal regulations of such claims. So don’t kid yourself too easily.
Oh, regarding the argument that veganism is less healthy because you don’t get all the necessary nutrients, with a little bit of extra work/care you can have a balanced vegan diet, and it’s definitely worth it to decrease the (horrendous) amount of suffering in the world—in this case the suffering of a bunch of other animals caught within the aureole of general human suffering.