Number of animals killed in the world by the meat, dairy and egg industries, since you opened this webpage. This does not include the billions of fish and other aquatic animals killed annually.

Based on 2007 statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations' Global Livestock Production and Health Atlas.

Get this counter


RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘omnivorism’

We Are Omnivores

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
A Buffet of Fruits and Vegetables

Plants provide all of the protein we need. To state we need only animal flesh for our amino acids is akin to stating we need kiwi, and not oranges, for vitamin C.

One way people casually dismiss suggestions to drop meat from their diet is by hoisting up the fancy word omnivore.  “But we’re omnivores,” they state with a hefty, steak-sauce covered dollop of pride.  “We must eat these animals.  That’s what omnivores do.”  It sounds very scientific, doesn’t it?

Omnivore does not mean “must eat meat” any more than it means “must eat cockroaches.”  It is laughable (to us, certainly not to the cows and chickens) to suggest that omnivores, who by definition can eat nearly anything, must eat one particular thing: flesh.

Being omnivores, we’re highly adaptive.  It means we can obtain nutrients from both plants and animals.  It does not mean that we’re enslaved to a particular type of fruit or creature for nutrition.

Because we can does not mean we must.

Plants provide all of the protein we need.  To state we need only animal flesh for our amino acids is akin to stating we need kiwi, and not oranges, for vitamin C.

Our status as omnivores, in fact, is exactly the perfect argument in favor of a plant-based diet.  We have a buffet of food choices.  To restrict our intake to one particular item, flesh, when more affordable, compassionate alternatives exist, is blind, wasteful and cruel.  To pretend that the buffet does not even exist, that we are trapped into eating but one source of protein, is not just incorrect, it is insane.

Omnivores and Cockroaches

Saturday, August 28th, 2010
Cockroach for dinner? No, thank you.

Omnivore does not mean "must eat meat" any more than it means "must eat cockroaches."

If we really are omnivores, then this is an even stronger argument in favor of eating only plants.  We can thrive on them.  We don’t need meat.  We are omnivores.

Vegans are omnivores. People who eat meat are omnivores. Maybe you eat cows and chickens. Maybe she eats only plants. Our culinary behavior does not change our biological capability to digest darn near anything we cram in our hinged, grinding little mouths.

It is important to press the issue that vegans are omnivores, too. Too often in the world of vegan discussions do people say things like, “My omni friend said…” I don’t know about you, but I’m reluctant to stop “being an omnivore” and start “being a vegan.” No offense to sissies, but it makes me sound like a sissy.

To even hint that you are no longer an omnivore makes it sound like you’ve given up an innate aspect of your humanity. To give up being an omnivore, if such a thing were possible, sounds like giving up your nature, doesn’t it? You’re less than human, then. You’ve resigned from your birthright as an Eater of All Things. Therefore, you’re less likely to survive in situations where eating disgusting things is necessary. If you’re less likely to survive, who the heck wants to be you, mimic you, or even produce children with you?

Vegans are not giving up omnivore status, if such a thing were even possible. Omnivore is something we are. Veganism is something we do.

You now have a solid reply when someone says, “Sorry, I couldn’t be a vegan. I’m a hard core omnivore.”

“I’m an omnivore too.”

“Huh? You don’t eat meat.”

Can-eat-anything does not mean must-eat-meat.” Or, to put it my favorite way, “Omnivore does not mean we must eat meat any more than it means we must eat cockroaches.”