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Don’t Eat Meat? Here are Some Snappy Comebacks to Common Attacks on Your Food Choices


One of the funny things about avoiding meat or eating vegan is that you learn more about nutrition than you probably ever really cared to know. For some reason, this particular dietary choice is put up against constantly. As a previous meat-eater, I was never asked the finer points of my nutritional chart by others. Now, it’s something I go through on a regular basis. Granted, some folks are truly interested in how the diet works, and that’s that. It gets a little tiring, but an explanation is often worth the effort. However, when some buckle-bursting, constipated sphincter with a cheeseburger in hand and an unprovoked bone to pick comes at me, it’s nice to have an appropriate retort for whatever thought-provoking comment is hurled my way. So, in an effort to arm my fellow eaters of “rabbit food,” here are some snappy quips for some of the most frequently flung insults. Remember: Save these for the trouble-starting windbags only, the ones who couldn’t really care less about your health. Giving everyone attitude does a vegan diet a disservice.

1. Where do you get your (fill in the blank with vitamin/nutrient) from?

The word protein has filled in this blank so often that it’s just sigh-inducing. Calcium is probably a close second. Rather than tottering on about the protein in legumes, quinoa, nuts, grains and everything else, or listing out all those dark leafy veggies with more calcium than dairy products, I like to answer that question with a question of my own: Where do you get your magnesium?


2. The human body needs animal protein.

This comment usually comes directly after a combative stranger finds out I’m vegan. Believe it or not, I haven’t tried to convert them, nor pulled out my picket sign for a protest. Usually, I don’t even say a word. Sure, I could argue this point effectively, but what’s the use? This comment isn’t meant to be dialogue; it’s meant to shame me into admitting my dietary inadequacies. So, riddle me this steak-lover: How come people who eat a plant-based diet live longer than those who eat a diet rich in animal-based foods?


3. Then, why is it okay to kill a plant? They are living things, too.

Now knowing the environmental impact of meat and dairy production, and the health risks of its consumption, this argument doesn’t necessarily apply to many plant-based eaters. For us animal lovers, maybe this is one argumentative coup de grace that deserves some thought. However, faced with blunt-brained attack, it’s not really the time to reflect but to deflect. Hence, a simple “Pick an apple and kill a pig and tell me if there are any apparent differences,” might suffice as you breeze by without stopping.


4. Humans are meant to eat animals. Blah, blah, blah…canine teeth.

We are hardly built like a lion or wolf. Anatomically, our digestive systems much more closely resemble herbivores’. However, that’s beside the point. Biologically, humans aren’t meant to fly, swim underwater for forty-five minutes or sit in chairs for hours a day. Furthermore, considering dairy products, admittedly different but probably applicable, in no way are we “meant” to nurse from another species or as adults. However,  I find it’s just easier to note that animals weren’t meant to be domesticated, bred into unnatural oddities, and raised as they are now.


5. People have been eating meat for millions of years.

Of course, humans (at least the ones in this discussion) are not eating or acquiring meat as was done millions of years ago. And, millions of years of other people doing something differently has no bearing on someone’s current personal choice to do something. For that matter, people have also eaten plant-based diets for millions of years. However, it might be better to be equally frank: People have been stealing from the poor, raping the innocent, killing each other, hating for stupid reasons and smelling bad for millions of years as well. Does that make it right?

Don't Eat Meat? Here are Some Snappy Comebacks to Common Attacks on Your DietNerdFitness

6. You can’t get all the nutrients you need from plants.

If someone asks about B12, I give them credit for knowing a thing or two about the situation. There is no wholly-accepted, naturally-occurring plant source for B12. For all eaters, as most of us are deficient, it is a good idea to know where your B12 is coming from, and getting sufficient B12 doesn’t require animals. Moreover, doesn’t this negate all the ill effects linked to meat and dairy consumption? But, I find it’s just faster to  say, “Lower risk of the following: heart disease, high blood pressure, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity.


As you can see, plants win!


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134 comments on “Don’t Eat Meat? Here are Some Snappy Comebacks to Common Attacks on Your Food Choices”

Click to add comment
Duke Nukem
3 Years Ago

One serving of kale is 67 grams, which equals approx. 31mg of magnesium (.66x47). One serving of steak is 247 grams, which equals approx. 50mg of magnesium (2.5x20). So when you do the math, the numbers don\'t look so fantastic.

Samantha Johnston
04 Nov 2014

Who says one serving of kale is 67 grams? If you are making a meal of veggies and fruit the serving would NOT be 67 grams. We are comparing gram to gram as looking at serving sizes are far too subjective and I think you\'ll find vegans like me eat a hell of a lot more than 247 grams, try 2000 grams which I\'ve been known to eat in one large meal, though it\'s usually more like 1000 grams which is 500 calories worth.

Samantha Johnston
04 Nov 2014

My smoothies contain more than 247 grams of kale in the mornings.

CiRonnie O'Byrne
3 Years Ago

All hail to kale

Gaby Ricketts
3 Years Ago

Georgia Cait Ricketts

Diane Jefferson Peters
3 Years Ago

I'm allergic to grains, dairy, sugar and I'm diabetic. All soy is GMO and hormonally can mess with your body chemistry. So am I supposed to eat just vegetables, nuts and seeds. Whee.

11 Nov 2014

All soy is NOT GMO! Most soy is GMO...true, but there are still some organice GMO free soy out there you just need to look. You can eat quinioa which is actually a seed and not a grain, vegetables, legumes, fruits (with caution), nuts, seeds, nut butters basically everything other then animals, grains and sugar! There is a whole lot you can do with these items and it is so much more interesting then a piece of dead flesh on your plate!

Mo Rocha
3 Years Ago

Good ones :)

Lori Williams
3 Years Ago

just love this

Angie Rose Nixon
3 Years Ago

I love this

Dennis Barnes
3 Years Ago

Did anyone see the #Firefly reference in this article? #NathanFillion #DUEL I just tell them to Go Fruit Themselves!

Emma Robertson
3 Years Ago

Jessica Lauren Wells

Charlotte Cox
3 Years Ago

Kirsten Courtney Asha Court you should both read this. I'm going to memorise it! Xx


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