Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them to Jo using this easy form. She would be happy to address your individual concerns as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy, practical applications, and living compassionately. Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or answer questions that have already been addressed in the Archives

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Weathering the "What Ifs"

question.gif - 1.4 K What would be the "official" vegan stance on the consuming of meat from an animal that died of natural causes (i.e. old age, natural predator, etc.)? I was asked this question, and found it difficult to answer, save the rather uneducated, "Ick! But it's meat!"

answer.gif - 1.3 K Vegans and vegetarians are routinely baited by nonvegetarians with endless "what if" scenarios. For instance, "What if you were stranded on a desert island where there was no vegetation?" or "What if there were a nuclear holocaust that killed all the plants?" or "What if you were living in a remote part of Alaska?" The "what if" possibilities are interminable and absurd. The fact is that we are not in these situations and do not anticipate being in these situations, so ruminating about them is pointless.

All animals eventually die; this is a reality of life. Animals who die in the wild, without human interference, are part of the natural life and death process. Natural selection ensures that the strongest and healthiest animals outlive the weaker and sicker ones, thereby evolving the species and perpetuating what we call "survival of the fittest." In response to your acquaintance's particular "what if" story, the flesh of an animal that dies of old age would be tough and unpalatable, and the carcass of an animal killed by a natural predator would be devoured or picked apart long before people arrived on the scene. Even if humans found the meat of a very old animal to be appetizing or discovered an intact animal killed by natural predators, they would have to be sitting in wait for the animal's demise in order to procure the flesh before rigor mortis set in or it began to putrefy.

This imagined account incorporates much conjecture. It is based on the erroneous assumption that vegans and vegetarians crave animal flesh, and that they avoid it only because they object to how animals that are raised for food are slaughtered. This suggests that if animals were killed in a more "natural" or "humane" fashion that vegans would not only condone eating meat but would desire it. The premise itself is fallacious; therefore, the conclusion is illogical.

If the person with whom you are speaking sincerely wants to gain a deeper understanding of veganism, you can explain the presumptions implied by this line of questioning. However, most nonvegetarians who goad vegans in this manner are merely trying to lure them into a defensive argument. It is a waste of time and energy to engage in such useless banter with people who have no interest in veganism other than to incite a senseless debate. If this is the case, save your strength and wit and shrug it off.




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Vegan Vittles:
Second Helpings

Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings by Jo Stepaniak

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The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

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Review by Dan Balogh

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The Food Allergy
Survival Guide

The Food Allergy Survival Guide

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