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How to Effectively Argue Your Case Against Vegetarianism

Updated on May 13, 2015

Fruit is Nice


Nothing against Vegetarians

Really, most of us have nothing against vegetarians or vegetarians. Most of those vegetarians or vegans that we are accquainted with are usually understand and accepting of the meat we choose to eat, just as we are accepting of the lack of meat and animal products they choose to not have in their diet.

However, just as there are in other areas of life, there are people who are militantly vegetarian and will approach you whilst you are preparing to tuck into your big, juicy steak that you've been salivating over all day, to expouse the reasons why you shouldn't ever be tucking into that steak or any other meat for that matter. How can you prevent this? Or, if worst comes to worst - how can you argue effectively against vegetarianism?

Firstly - know your topic. Having knowledge of the reasons why people become vegetarian in the first place are always useful - knowing why can help you form the rest of your argument. Secondly, rather than attack their way of being - question it. No one responds well to a "Vegetarians are just dumb" comment, but if they are made to think about what you are saying - it may not convince them to change - which is not your intention, but it may make them reconsider who they approach about being an omnivore, if at all.


Some Tips That Will Help

Planning your argument helps, but most of the time you won't get a lot of prior warning. Unless of course your friends are hassling you!

Don't challenge their own behaviour straight away - you want them to listen first, then you can challenge them.

The typical start to a conversation around why vegetarianism is best starts with the "Think about the animals!" type sentence. There are two ways to deal with this - one is the obvious "By me being only one person not eating meat, animals are still going to die for meat - now if I didn't eat it, it will just go to waste." The other is more obvious, particuarly when they exclaim abhorrence to the pain inflicted upon the animal when they are killed, but only if you have seen or read about the research. This research is on the experience of pain for plants - yes, vegetables, fruit, herbs. It has been proven that plants also feel pain, and can let off energy in 'panic' when they are about to be injured (Yay, for National Geographic/Discovery channels!).

Without attacking their own behaviours - eg "But you eat vegetables, they feel pain too!!" - perhaps try something along the lines of "Yes, I understand what you mean, but did you know that plants feel pain when they are cut or picked also? How do you feel about that?"

Acknowledge the benefits of vegetarianism - everyone likes a compliment, they also like to know that they are being heard. However, this also helps with the 'circle of life' argument - it is possible to have a complete healthy diet getting all the range of vitamins and minerals needed, as a vegeterian - it's just a lot harder than as an onmivore. How is this a circle of life issue? If you look at it - most animals are designed to eat other animals. We are designed with stomachs that will cope with animal meat, yet the cow's four stomachs are not designed for such - which is why they eat grass, and grain. Sure, our teeth may not be up to the same standard as say a lion's, but we do do an awful lot with them!

Perhaps they will bring up the cost of feeding a cow to feed a small family. When they compare the amount of feed it consumes for the amount of people it benefits - sure, there is a lot of grain that goes into making a decent sized cow for slaughter, and sure it could feed a small army of starving people - but would it ever get to them? There is more than enough food in the world to feed all those who are starving in the world - it's just that most of it is in America, UK and other developed countries - being wasted because we have easy access to it. Those who would use it - can't get to it. There in lies the problem with their argument

If you need to - question their use of animal products - gelatin, glue, leather, some cosmetics, shampoos etc. There is usually a least one animal product in the products we all use.

Won yet?

So, in 'fighting' with patience and knowledge, combined with a little respect for other people - you may not win, but at least you made a point - without resorting to childish name-calling. Something that cannot always been said when a worked up anti-meat person decides to have an argument.

NB: Please note - I used to be vegetarian. I have no issue whatsoever with vegans, or vegetarians - so long as they don't have an issue with me. This is merely an informatiive (hopefully) hub on a topic I thought of!


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    • jenslibra profile image

      Jennifer Vasquez 

      5 years ago from Long Beach, CA

      I gave up eating beef and pork when I was 16 and it's been 12 years since I've consumed these meats. Not that I still don't find them savory and delicious. The smell of bacon definitely appeals to me. I gave up beef and pork because of a book I read on the meat packing industry, and out of respect for Hindu beliefs because I am drawn to the Indian culture. But, I still eat poultry and seafood. I couldn't be a vegetarian or vegan because some of my favorite dishes consist of Turkey or seafood. I have a couple of friends that are vegan and I respect their choice, but the thought of not being able to eat cheese gets me! My fiancée loves his red meat and I can't deny when he orders that filet mignon that it looks delicious! I appreciate your insight on this topic.

    • PicturePerfectPet profile image


      5 years ago

      I'm the biggest animal lover in the world,but I love my meat. There is a local place called Farm Sanctuary. The take in any kind of animal; dogs and cats to emu's cows,pig,sheep,ostrich,basically anything but sea life and arctic animals,for obvious reasons. It's for injured or disabled animals mostly,ie- missing a leg,blind,deaf,missing a couple legs,rescues from cruelty,had odd restrictions for it's breed/type that would make living in the wild or on a regular farm impossible,etc,etc.

      Well back many years ago,I went there for a job interview. Let's just say it was pissy from the word go.

      They do not allow their employees OR VOLUNTEERS to;eat any kind of meat OR ANIMAL PRODUCT AT ALL. They will check your lunch sack. Is that bologna I smell?! You're fired! Also,no cheese,milk,eggs,honey (those poor bees?),and any other animal or insect sourced food.

      They did not allow for any leather. You can't wear leather belts,NO LEATHER on your shoes whatsoever.No leather on your purse,leather on your wallet,etc.You could not wear fur (duh),but also could not wear silk,or anything with WOOL in it. Yeah,that's right...wool. You could not wear cosmetics to work, (and not for the reason you are thinking),but because many of them contain animal products somewhere in them. Same with many soaps.

      So,at this point,I've showered for the day-using soap,put on makeup,had on a leather belt (they tell you to dress "down" as you are on a farm,and getting dirty-ergo the jeans I was wearing,that needed a belt),didn't pass the "do you eat meat?" question,as I blurted out"Yeah,I eat all meat except pork because pork tastes bad to me!"

      Needless to say,I did not get the job. Well,I assume I didn't anyway. Because after being given "the list" and hearing her out. I told them that this job isn't for me. Secretly I'm wanting to say to her; "you are crazy,you are a nutbag,you are weird,you have lard for brains,and the first thing I'm doing when I go home,is putting on my fur coat (even though it's summer),sitting in my leather recliner,and having a big fat steak cooked in lard".

      No one loves animals more than me. But I'm also in touch with reality. Humans come before animals. Period. And just because it may be humanly possible for one to get all the nutrition they need from a vegan diet,99% of us don't want to spend our lives nit-picking each item of food we eat,researching it's origins and wondering if the bee that made this honey,was in anyway hurt or depressed that we took it's honeycomb away. We don't want to have to live like a third world country ass-backwards where we can only wear cotton,and wear thongs made out of wheat as our shoes.

      You want to be a vegan? Go for it. But don't come near me with that psychotic crap. Vegetarian,that's a bit different. Still something I do not ascribe to,but not nearly as nutty. Sorry,those are the facts!

    • abbykorinnelee profile image

      Abigayle Malchow 

      5 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

      I can't argue it anymore....I never ever would have wanted to even be close to one. I love my meat...was always healthy etc. Until I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia, acid reflux disease, and arthritic issue called gout. My uric acid levels were through the roof...and that is a painful arthritis to have. Feels like someone put a lighter inside your skin and let it stay lit.

      I can't eat much to any meant. No processed foods if possible. Limit my seafood and fish. Avoid a lot of whole wheat foods. I can have some things in moderation but mostly fruits, nuts, vegetables, water...I feel like a vegetarian.

      So my argument is everything that vegetarian's don't eat? All that stuff can raise the levels of uric acid in your blood and the pain is unimaginable...the burning is something I can't put into words. On top of the fact that I have conflicting health issues that have different diets...I wish I would have had more of a vegetarian like diet with occasional meat in the diet so I would never have had to do it this way and go through it.

      Fast food, processed food, too much meat and poultry, even fish and seafood and whole grain...its not necessarily good for you...

      And I miss my hamburgers


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