Q: How many vegans does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Vegans can't change anything.
I once stepped on a beetle for no reason. My family and some extended family were with me at the time and they were angry at me for it. My first thought was that it was because, oh yeah, we were in a national park (Bryce Canyon) where you're not supposed to mess anything up if you can avoid it. Then the more I thought about it, it was just a jackass thing to do. Beetles are gross, true, but squashed beetles are even grosser. I soon realized that the only reason for me crushing the beetle was to feel superior or powerful somehow (I was in middle school at the time so, ya know). That's usually a stupid reason to do anything.
A few years later a friend of mine stepped on a caterpillar on the trail for no reason. I hate caterpillars. They are just so gross. More on that later. But it made me really angry for some reason, probably because people are often the most ardent opponents of ideas and practices that they recently left behind. Anyway I caught myself before shouting and instead told him he should move to India for a couple of years to learn the principle of Ahimsa, or nonviolence. Actually it goes beyond nonviolence to mean not doing any harm to any living thing through any action or inaction. As you may imagine, this can get out of control. Jains in India often wear masks over their mouths to avoid accidentally eating bugs. Still, in principle its really a good attitude to have I think.
This is a sound argument for vegetarianism, unless you've thought up some way to eat animals without killing them. On star trek they have that replicator, and I think it was Clarke or Asimov who said something about hydroponic steaks? Or maybe the answer came from Douglas Adams: genetically engineer animals that want to be eaten and are capable of telling you so (creepy). Here is an even more disgusting way around this reason.
I can't say whether vegetarianism is more health-promoting or not. This guy seems to think not, but he sounds a little crazy to me. I think that while a lot of vegetarians do it wrong, if someone spends a little bit more energy to keep track of what they're eating it is probably way healthier than what we omnivores eat. So my sister's roommate from her freshman year who spent a whole semester eating yams (her skin turned orange and she started losing hair) did it wrong, but you can get all your iron and proteins without eating meat. That's vegetarianism two, omnivore-ism (?) zero.
"I don't like the taste of meat."; "I don't like the thought of eating flesh"; "I just read The Jungle and toured a hot dog factory."
How can anyone argue with these? You don't like meat, so you don't eat it. Great, that's how I feel about kidney (tastes like pee). I find that people who have this reason for not eating meat are not the zealot vegeatarian missionaries who want us all to join them.
This is the idea that animals wreak havoc on the land while crops don't. This is a myth, I think. Cow patties are not nearly as destructive as plows and fertilizers and pesticides. Ever heard of the dust bowls? Giardia can be filtered out of water with a hand pump. High acidicy can't. Let's just agree that both farming and ranching could benefit from more long-term perspective.
This goes something like people are starving because we are using land inefficiently. raising meat only produces this many steaks per acre while growing wheat produces some huge number of loaves of bread. Probably another myth. The world produces enough food to give everyone 2,700 calories a day (enough to make us all fat). Distribution is the problem.
These are other reasons I have heard (for real).
My farts don't stink because I am a vegetarian.
Yeah well I got one word for you: Brocolli.
Meat eaters have bad breath.
No, people who don't floss have bad breath.
(from a 6' male)
I only weigh 128 pounds.
Congratulations, Jack Skellington.
So where does that put us? Three good reason not to eat meat. Well I like meat and am not about to stop. Sorry.
As for you vegetarians, good on you. You're doing something I can't do. Keep up the good work so that I don't have to. Vegans, yall are crazy.