The following was written as a response to my previous post, which was published to my Facebook wall.
So… ladies and gents, a critical response by Erin Bee
oh Jos, you have no idea how happy i am that you’re blogging about this it’s no secret that i love a good challenge, and you’re pretty smart… so you’re giving me an opportunity to bring out the big guns (funny metaphor for a vegan, i know) and to tackle this debate in a way that will end up being more effective for me in the long run (hopefully other FB peeps will follow along!)… because it requires me to go all out and make my case against someone who has what also ~appears~ to be a good case. so, thank you
my preference for reason and scepticism doesn’t go out the window when i talk about animals rights issues. and fortunately, there are a lot of scientific vegan skeptic types out there in the world today, with blogs, and i have the internet… so i don’t even have to research or write very much to make my point (which is a good thing, because fighting this battle takes up a great deal of my time already).
let me start by saying that what chimpanzees and bonobos eat doesn’t matter to me, in the least. obviously, we are not apes. arguing that we should continue to eat meat, based on the fact that chimpanzees and bonobos eat lizards and monkeys, is kinda silly to me.
the fact that our ancestors ate meat doesn’t matter because the ethical arguments for veganism still stand.
you pointed out how the human digestive system is adapted to an omnivorous diet, and i’m not going to disagree with you there (though we are characteristically much less omnivorous than many other omnivores). being omnivorous is just a description of our capabilites. it doesn’t impose behaviours on us (this is a key point!). it’s also pretty well-known that humans can survive and be healthy without eating animals, during all stages of life. so, really, none of this matters when making the decision to be vegan or not. IMO, the most natural diet for us as humans is the one that will give us optimum health. since rates of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are significantly reduced by going vegan, i would have to go with that diet as being the most natural. but again, this is all beside the point.
btw, there are a lot of good vegan advocates/blogs on the web with a scientific/skeptical approach (who don’t use misleading claims). perhaps you’d be interested in checking them out:
http://asksciencedude.info [science dude is actually a woman — Sinead Collins, an evolutionary biologist who experiments with microbes… who is also feminist, vegan, and queer =)]