They're taking over
Dear Auntie Elle
I was talking to a group of carnists that told me that if the whole world went vegan the animals would take over everything and we would not have room for the people. I didn't know what to respond with, because I had never thought about that before. Would they take over everything? Signed: They're taking over
Signed: They're taking over
Dear They're taking over
A quick short response would be that they will not. I don't think your Carnist group would take that at face value though, so let's delve into this one further. The fact is that if the entire world went Vegan, all at once, the result would be the death of a lot of animals. Those who were not turned loose would be slaughtered, and those who were not turned loose into the wild or slaughtered would live out the rest of their lives in animal sanctuaries. The only reason for the abundance of farm animals that exist today is the fact that they are the product of forced breeding. They were more often than not conceived by artificial means and would not otherwise have ended up pregnant at all. The main problem which leads to forced breeding is the dairy farmers who count on pregnant cows to produce the milk that they bottle and sell to stores. The dairy farms are not the only reason for this, but they are the main reason for it. I cow who is not gestating will not produce milk therefore it is deemed necessary to keep them fat and bearing calves. When they produce a male calf, it is stolen and killed to be sold as veal. When they have a female calf, the new female is stolen, given hormones, and raised to face the same abuses. The calves born to dairy cows never see a single drop of their mother's milk. It is inaccurate to pretend or to claim that the farm animals would take over everything. That just isn't the way nature works.
I believe that this world will gradually go Vegan. As is with most developments in society it will happen over time, rather than overnight. It is just a matter of time.
Confused and worried
Dear Auntie Elle
I keep hearing that all vegans are B12 defficient. Is this true? If it is, what can I do to fix that? I want my vegan choices to be good ones, and if I am defficient in a vitamins because of it isn't that a sign that it isn't a healthy choice after all? I am so confused. Please help.
Signed: Confused and worried
Dear Confused and worried
B12 is a problem that both meat-eaters and Vegans face. I always find it kind of comical when an Omnivore or a Carnist tells me that all vegans are B12 deficient, but they seem oblivious to the fact that it affects them too. The reason I find it comical is that they wave the B12 argument like it is a trophy for them or something when it isn't. They often get angry when we point out to them that it is a problem for human beings in general and not just vegans or vegetarians or omnivores. As far as for whether or not the Vegan option is a good one, I will hasten to point out to you that no diet is perfect. If you are paying attention to your mineral, vitamin, fiber, and caloric intake so that you can maximize your body's needed nutritional intake, you can't go wrong with the vegan choice as your way of life. I would ignore what they have to say. You might also tell them that a B12 deficiency affects them also.
Vegan People Person
Dear Auntie Elle
I am constantly seeeing other vegans saying that they hate people. They say that veganism is about the animals only, but aren't we animals too? I have always been a people person, and I don't see why that would be wrong. Does that make me a bad person?
Signed: Vegan People Person
Dear Vegan People Person
You are right when you point out that Humans are animals too. I happen to agree with those who point out that being vegan is about the animals. Some people seem to forget that humans are also animals and since we are vegan for the animals, that means that we are vegan for humans as well. Though you might receive a displeased, or an angry response if you point this out to them, I think it is worth it to do so anyway. I have been yelled at for pointing this out several times and will continue doing so anyway. The truth is the truth, after all.
I think that the main reason why many Vegans say that they hate people is because of how humans exploit animals, abuse animals, and kill animals. A good example is a fact that Humans consume dairy. Humans force-breed cattle to keep them pregnant. A cow that is not carrying a baby, or that has not recently given birth to a calf does not produce milk. I won't even go into the description of murdered animals or animals that are used for animal testing, or who are abused by pet owners or even total strangers. Humans have some truly cruel traits and behaviors and innocent animals suffer and die needlessly because of it. This may not answer your question though. No, being a Vegan people person doesn't make you a bad person at all. Perhaps you are just a tad more compassionate than somee.
Was He Really?
Dear Auntie Elle
A carnist told me that vegans are crazy. She said that Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. I don't believe her though so I am asking you. Was he really?
Signed: Was He Really
Dear Was He Really
I have encountered this claim from Carnists as well. To be honest with you, I don't know for sure whether or not he was. By some accounts, Hitler was a public Vegetarian who publicly claimed he was a vegetarian because it made him seem less negative to others and more compassionate. These claims note that he was a meat-eater in private though. By other accounts, he was vegetarian from World War 2 on up to his death. In these accounts, he was purely vegetarian for health reasons, and by other accounts, it had something to do with the death of his sister. Even if he was a Vegetarian, he still ate eggs, dairy, and caviar. That is the one thing all have agreed upon.
My main question is why that matters when discussing Veganism and Vegans. Why does it mean anything? I have yet to read anything about Serial Kill.ers who were Vegetarian or Vegan either one. But they did all eat meat. I will name a few of them for you. There was Jeffery Dahmer, Leonarda Cianciulli, Joachim Kroll, Liver-Eating Johnson, Nikolai Dzhumagaliev, Özgür Dengiz, Albert Fish, Peter Bryan, Zhang Yongming, Andrei Chikatilo, Surender Koli, Alexander Bychkov, Alferd Packer, Karl Denke, Boone Helm, Dorangel Vargas, Hadden Clark, Issei Sagawa, Alexander Pearce, and Big Lurch just to name a few, and I brought them up because they engaged in cannibalism and eating other animals. So when a woman or man claims that Hitler being a Vegetarian is proof that Vegans are crazy, their logic would dictate that they too are crazy since they consume chunks of animal flesh. If they too are crazy, they have no room for casting legitimate stones are Vegans. This alone makes their attack method an attack without merit. I do, however, find it interesting that Hitler had articles published about his favorite dishes which contained meat, and he had recipes detailing how to prepare his favorite meat dishes. That does not sound like the thing in which a vegetarian would be engaged.
Editor Note: Personally, I don't believe Adolf Hitler was a Vegetarian. I have to agree that it makes no difference whether he was or not when it comes down to it. His mental problems and evil deeds do not reflect on the rest of us, and the attempt to dmonize Veganism over the possible Vegetarian status of a murderous Dictator is a far stretch without reason or rationality. Such arguments are best served as a joke for us to scoff about, and not one which begs serious consideration.
Dear Auntie Elle
I have been thinking about becoming a vegan but I am just not sure if I can handle it. I think I could handle not eating meat. I never much cared for it anyway, but I don't understand what is wrong with dairy and eggs. I have always been told that we need milk for strong bones and to be healthy, and I was always taught that eggs are a nutritious part of breakfast. If all of this is true, why don't vegans eat dairy and eggs? Is there something wrong with them?
Signed: Reluctant Ted
Dear Reluctant Ted
If you are worried that you can not handle becoming a Vegan, I assure you you can. I think it would help you to know that as a vegan you do not have to give up eggs and milk. Naturally, the eggs are recreated using vegetable sources, the same way that milk is recreated using Nuts, seeds, or soy. As far as nutrition goes, the non-dairy milks are far more healthy for you to consume than are dairy products. A fact that the dairy industries want to keep you from knowing is that components in dairy keep your b body from utilizing the calcium in dairy. Because of this Osteoporosis is at an epidemic level in areas of the world that primarily consume dairy. Osteoporosis is almost unheard of in areas of the world that consumes non-dairy products rather than dairy.
As far as the claim that Eggs are a part of a healthy breakfast, that is not true at all. Eggs are described accurately as being useless fats and Cholesterol. That is one of the main reasons a person with high Cholesterol is told by doctors not to consume eggs, and that if they consume eggs at all, they need to eat egg whites and not egg yolks. Even then we are instructed to limit heavily how much egg whites we consume.
Now, let's look at the cruelty factor involved in the meat and dairy industries. The dairy industry singles out male calves to kill and sell as veal for human consumption. These calves never taste their mother's milk. Often they are starved until they are butchered and eaten. Female calves are raised, but also never taste their mother's milk. Instead, they are fed calf formula and raised to be enslaved and milked to death after being raped, artificially inseminated, and impregnated. Always, their newborn babies are stolen from them at birth. They cry for their stolen babies for days, just like humans do.
The egg industry is steeped in even worse cruelty. Chickens are the worst treated of Livestock. They are put in cages that are too small for them to stand up in. They live their entire lives in their bodily waste. They have no choice. Free-range is just as bad because it is a lie. Free-range means they spend their entire lives in a huge room packed so full of chickens that they can not keep from standing on top of one another. Those rooms are filthy and they too are stuck living in their own feces and urine. Usually, these rooms are also pitch black. They never get to experience seeing the light of day. The treatment of the chicks who manage to hatch in these cruel conditions is doomed to live and die in the same conditions. If the chick ends up being a male, they escape growing up at all. Instead, they are ground up alive to be used in making Chicken Nuggets or to be used in fertilizer.
Taking these things into consideration, I am sure you could live without the Eggs and Diary you were asking about. All living things can suffer just like humans do. I think that deserves consideration and respect. Don't you?
Auntie Elle was busy
So Lex Dakos Responded to Heart Sick.
A woman and a bunch of her friends have been harassing me for my belief that there is nothing wrong with a blind person having a guide dog as a companion animal. I am sick to death of defending myself on the subject. I have a blind aunt and she depends on her dog to help her cope with her life. Before she had the guide dog she stayed at home and lived a reclusive life. She was too afraid to leave her home for any reason. I use to worry that she was missing out on life, and that bothered me, and I am sure it bothered her even more than it did me. I discovered the existence of Gallant Hearts Guide Dog Center when an Ad for them popped up on one of my searches on Google. I was searching the words, Help The Blind. It was soon after that a wonderful dog was placed with my aunt. It took her a bit to learn to trust her new friend but now that she does, she has a new lease on life. Without her companion, she would still be sitting home in total darkness while her life marched on without her. She is an amazing lady and she deserves far better than that. I can't help but get angry when I am told that it isn't vegan to have a guide dog for the blind who truly needs assistance. Why would anyone be that cold about the needs of the disabled anyway?
Signed: Heart Sick
Dear Heart Sick
Your First I would like to say that I am very sorry to hear about any harassment you or any loved ones were subjected to. I do understand why many vegans are torn by this subject but also understand that in many circumstances no alternatives are available, making impracticable or impossible. Often it is similar to the debate on whether or not it is acceptable to use essential medical treatments that were tested on animals. In many cases, medication doesn't need to be tested on animals and most vegans agree that nonessential animal testing should be abolished but at the same time if you need life-saving medication for a loved one and the only one available has been tested on animals should you let the person die?
The debate amplified when AV made a post on their official page speaking out against service dogs. Many pages, influencers, and group administrators agreed and pushed this idea to the point of forming mob mentality about the subject. Soon after there was a blind person in Great-Britain who got aggressively confronted about his canine companion guide. He was followed and intimidated. It made worldwide news and soon after many notable people in the vegan community spoke out about this sort of harassment, others agreed with it and encouraged it.
Now I do believe that we must deal with unethical breeding and exploitation of work animals but I think focusing our energy on harassing the blind or their loved ones serves no positive purpose, it is very harmful to the movement. When media story appears about a defenseless disabled person being bullied by vegans we lose support and respect from the general public. If the public dislikes vegans they are less likely to go vegan. Also if we are seen as crazy fanatics that go around pushing around the vision-impaired over a dog they are less likely to take our political protests used to implement abolitionist changes seriously. And if we even did manage to convince a person to get rid of their seeing-eye dog, then what? Give him/her to a shelter? Put the dog down? Tear him/her away from her loving human companion and home just because of the practices of the corporations and organizations that breed, raise, and train them? Focusing on the blind that already has a companion service animal is not the solution. To those who harass the disabled and their loved ones here is my advice to you, if you are a vegan that is against service dogs you can start by donating all your time to be a live-in assistant to a disabled person so they don't need to get a dog or simply pay the 80 000-160 000$ a year so the person can have a nurse at their disposition 24 hours a day. The other solution which would be a lot more realistic would be to focus your energy on the organizations that breed these dogs like Mira to pressure an end to their unethical practices and force the government to implement alternatives. Besides, people must have a plan on how to assure the service dog's retirement is happy.
As a known author and shelter director told me when asked about the subject... "As AR advocates, should getting known for yelling at the blind be our priority in the animal liberation fight at the moment?" In my opinion, we have enough trouble getting people to understand the oppression involved in the food, clothing, entertainment, and animal testing industry. Let's leave the leather wheelchair, insulin shot, and guide dog shaming for later and focus on the current battles at hand.
From The Editor
Speak To Me Magazine neither aproves or disaproves of the viewpoints, advice, or psychologies of this column. We present, Dear Auntie Elle, purely for your reading pleasure. We do hope that the advice given by this intelligent, well spoken woman will serve as a beacon of hope when all else seems dark and hopeless. We hope to draw your interests enough that You, our readers will spread the Word about our E-zine, as well as this fascinating column and our informative articles.
A Note From Dear Auntie Ellea
II'm Auntie Elle. A pleasure to meet you. I'm nearing 40 next month, and while feeling as old as dirt physically, I'm still young at heart.
Any questions that you come to me with, my advice/answers in return will all be coming from the heart, life experience or something that I've at least learned along the way. Mostly because I've either gotten curious enough to look it up and research it or someone along the way has shared their experience with me. If it's something I don't know, I will always be happy enough to toddle off and find an answer for you. I will do my best to give you as informed an answer as I can and I will never intentionally lie or lead you astray. So please rest assured that any advice I can offer, is to the best of my ability.
Is It OK?
Dear Auntie Elle:
I have only been vegan for a week and my new vegan friends are telling me that I can't keep my dog and still be a real vegan. Is this True? I had my dog long before I was a vegan, and I don't think it is fair to me or to my dog for me to get rid of him. Why can't I be a vegan and still have my dog? That makes no sense to me. I think he would be lost without me and I know I would be lost without him. I don't know what to do. Please help.
Signed: Is It OK?
Dear Is It OK?
Some vegans, though they mean well are misguided and this makes them counterproductive to the Vegan movement. The fact is that there is no reason for them to tell you not to keep your dog. He has spent his life with you and this means that to him you are family, just as I am sure that you view him with the same loving fondness that you would another member of your family. There is nothing vegan about being calloused or cold about your own feelings and the feelings of your dog. When you are facing those telling you that you can't have your Dog with you, and still be a vegan ask them to justify that sentiment with a definitive reason for their claims and ask them what they consider vegan about abandoning a family member purely due to the family member's species. A part of being Vegan is refusing to support speciesism. I would definitely say that turning your back on your dog since he is a Canine rather than a human is speciesm at it's worst. That is not a vegan option.
If your friends claim that the problem is that you feed your dog animal flesh inform them that There are Vegan options even on this subject. Dogs can do quite well on a vegan regime. Instruct them to visit the following listed sites and to read up on the realities of this subject.
Dogs Can Be Vegan
The Vegan Dog-Food Guide: Tips for Feeding Your Canine Friends
Want your pet to go vegetarian? There are complications — even dangers — to that
I do hope this helps you.
Desperate To Help
Dear Auntie Ellie
I have just witnessed the most horrible thing. I have a neighbor who abusses his dog. I just witnessed him hauling off and kicking his poor dog for no reason at all. I am so upset that I am in tears. I live in a small town in minnesota and I don't know who to report him to. I bawl everythime I think of that poor dog's anguished screams. Oh God please help me Elle! What can I do? I can't watch that poor dog being hurt and not want to harm the abuser.
Signed: Desperate To Help
Dear Desperate To Help
Witnessing such cruelty can be a hard thing to deal with. For you, the pain is in witnessing it while for the dog it is in dealing with the emotional and physical pain he has endured. I am glad you didn't just turn away or ignore the incident though. What could you have done, short of confronting the abuser? I would suggest that you should have dialed 911 to report the incident. I would also suggest that you call any local animal control agency as well and report the incident. I can understand if you are reluctant to risk the neighbor knowing that you reported him, but sometimes we must do what we must do, and reporting him is likely the only help that poor abused dog will receive. If I knew the area of MN that you are in, I might have had numbers to give you could use to report the abuse and to raise help for the dog, but since I don't I hope you will call an animal humane center in your area. You would likely find their number online or you might call 411 to get operator assistance in finding the correct number to call. Above all, Desperate To Help, please continue to refuse to turn your eyes away, and continue to speak out. Your bearing witness and for your speaking out for the abuse victim is both necessary and helpful since it might get the abused dog out of the abusive situation in which it is now trapped into dealing with.
Where Do You Get Yours
Dear Auntie Elle
I'm not a vegan but I do have some questions about how you get your protein. I get mine from eggs and meat. Since you vegans don't eat that I don't understand how you get yours. My girlfriend is a vegan and she wants me to become a vegan with her. I tried to ask her about protein and she just laughed at me. I just dont't get it.
Signed: Were Do You Get Yours
Dear Where Do You Get Yours
I can appreciate your curiosity about how vegans get their protein. It might interest you to know that we get plenty of protein from consuming plants. according to, Healthy and easy sources of vegan protein, an article in pro-veg international the following is a quick outline of our needed protein intake. I am sharing it in this response to help break down what we require.
Adults and the elderly: 0.83 g per kilogram of body weight
Infants, children, and adolescents: depending on their age, between 0.83 g and 1.31 g per kilogram of body weight
Pregnant women: an additional intake of 1 g, 9 g and 28 g per day for the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy, respectively.
Breastfeeding mothers: additional intake of 19 g per day during the first 6 months of breastfeeding, 13 g thereafter.5
Now, let's get to the main point of your question about where we get our protein. We get a healthy amount of proteins from consuming soy products, such as TVP, various forms of Tofu, Tempeh Soy milk, Soybeans, Lentils, Various types of Beans, Chickpeas, Nutritional Yeast, Portobello Mushrooms, and a miscellaneous assortment of other vegetable-based foods. If you take a look at which veggies have the best source of protein you will find that it is quite hard to be a vegan without getting a wonderful amount of protein in your diet. Perhaps you should try following your girlfriend's lead and try going vegan. You could try it out to see how it suits you. It could be the healthiest choice you will ever make.