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.