Is it ethical to facilitate animal suffering? Should we all become vegans?By
cover icon for VeganismAttribution: Midjourney V4


Veganism is a lifestyle and dietary choice that involves abstaining from using any animal products or by-products. This means that vegans do not consume meat, dairy, eggs, or other animal-derived ingredients and avoid animal products like leather and wool.


There are many compelling reasons to consider becoming vegan, and one of the most influential advocates for veganism is philosopher Peter Singer. In his book "Animal Liberation," Singer argues that there is no moral justification for exploiting and mistreating animals for human purposes. He contends that the capacity for suffering is not limited to humans; therefore, animals deserve the same moral consideration as humans.

One of the main arguments for veganism is the inherent cruelty of factory farming and animal agriculture. These industries prioritize profit over the well-being of animals, often confining them to cramped, inhumane living conditions and subjecting them to painful procedures. Veganism is a way to reject this cruelty, living more ethically and compassionately towards animals.

Another reason to consider veganism is the significant environmental impact of animal agriculture. The production of animal products requires large amounts of land, water, and electricity. In addition, farming contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and habitat destruction. By choosing plant-based options, vegans are reducing their environmental footprint and helping to mitigate these negative impacts.

On top of the ethical and environmental arguments for veganism, a plant-based diet has numerous health benefits. Studies have shown that vegans have lower rates of high blood pressure and many other devastating health destabilizers. A well-planned vegan diet can provide all the nutrients the body needs to function optimally, and many satisfying plant-based options are available.


While there are many valid arguments in favor of veganism, it is also essential to consider the potential drawbacks of a plant-based diet. For example, one idea against veganism is that animals are an indispensable food source for humans and that it is natural and necessary for us to eat them.

Historically, humans have relied on animal products as a primary source of nutrition. Many traditional cultures continue to rely on hunting and fishing to obtain food. Those who support animal consumption argue that the human body has evolved to digest and utilize the nutrients in animal products, such as iron and vitamin B12. While these nutrients are necessary to maintain health, a vegan diet may not be able to provide these nutrients in sufficient quantities.

Another argument against veganism is that it may not be practical or feasible for everyone to follow a plant-based diet. In many parts of the world, access to a wide variety of nutritious, plant-based foods may be limited, making it easier to obtain certain nutrients with meat. In these cases, animal products may be the only viable source of nutrition.

It is also worth noting that some plant-based alternatives to animal products, such as soy and grain-based meat substitutes, may require more resources to produce than the animal products they replace. Often, a vegan diet may be less environmentally friendly than a diet that includes animal products.

Discussion questions

  • What are your motivations for considering veganism?
  • What are the potential challenges and benefits of a vegan lifestyle for you?
  • How can you ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients on a vegan diet?
  • Are there any specific cultural, social, or economic factors that might impact your decision?

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