Is a vegan diet too EXTREME?? In this video, we compare the extreme nature of various dietary practices. How does your diet measure up? What does it take to produce the food you eat? What all has to happen to make your meal?
If there’s one reaction to a vegan diet that I find most interesting, it’s the assertion that veganism is extreme. I want to take a moment to look at what dietary practices really are extreme. Let’s start with how many people start their day, at least in America: glass of milk, eggs, and bacon.
What does it take to produce that glass of milk? First we have to artificially impregnated a cow, wait for her to come full-term and birth her child, and then take the child away immediately where he’ll be tied down, is barely able to move, and then slaughtered when he is a couple days old for the veal industry.
Meanwhile we’re going to hook up some machines to the mother and steal the milk that she had made for her child. This process will be repeated over and over until this mother cow, who has a life expectancy of 25 years, is completely spent by her fourth or fifth year of life, unable to move or hold herself up, and is then ground for pet food and cheap meats.
Now in order for her to produce all of this milk and stave off the infections caused by the frequent milkings, they’ve got to pop her full of antibiotics and growth hormones, and then there’s all of the food and the water that we have to give her to sustain her life while we’re taking her milk.
So let’s see what’s more extreme: rape, child kidnapping, machine powered mammary thievery, antibiotic and growth hormone pumping, and extreme draining of resources. Versus…taking a bite of an apple?
Now, aside from everything that it takes to create that glass of milk, let’s just look at the basics of it itself. Think about walking up to a cow and suckling from her udder. Not extreme at all, right?
Moving onto the bacon. You’ve got to think about all the resources that go into first, genetically designing these pigs, breeding them, raising them, feeding them, watering them—and then there’s all the poop. There are literally troughs of poop surrounding pig farms. So much so that they have a common practice of shooting it directly up into the air. This causes respiratory problems for people who live around the pig farm, as well as it leaches into the groundwater.
Now you can call me extreme, but I prefer food that doesn’t poop.
Now onto eggs. There is the fun fact that Gary Yourofsky likes to point out, that chickens only have one hole, out of which feces, vaginal secretions, urine, and…your breakfast emerge.[more on eggs here]
And aside from that, an egg is essentially a chicken’s menstrual cycle. I don’t know about you, but i don’t think you can get a whole lot more extreme than eating the menstruation of another animal.
Now I’d like to defer to Gary Yourofsky for one of my favorite examples of extreme eating:
“Every single year when people start cooking turkeys for the holidays. People take a dead turkey, carve out a really big hole in that dead turkeys ass, take some stuffing and shove it inside their dead empty ass, and use their little dead ass as an oven to bake some bread. Somebody else’s dead empty bacteria laid ass to make bread? Ass bread? And people think vegans are weird because we eat tofu? And fruits and veggies?”
— Gary Yourofsky
Now do you want to take this to a more perverse level? How about the tur-duck-en? You’re literally taking a dead chicken, stuffing him into the ass of a dead duck, and stuffing that into the ass of a dead turkey. Who really has the more extreme way of eating? The raw vegan who’s having some lettuce and dates, or the “normal eater” who’s shoving multiple dead animal carcasses into the rectums of other dead animal carcasses? Like so many Russian nesting dolls?
And forget even that extreme example, whose food even has an ass? I vote for the consumption of anus as being a little more extreme than the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
If all of that isn’t enough for you, you might remember from a previous post some of the more fun things that go into your food. Like any of your pink, red, or purple processed foods, which use carmine: the ground-up carcasses of pregnant beetles, whose fetuses are colored with the desired hue. Starbucks strawberry Frappuccino and Dannon strawberry yogurt both get their color from carmine.
And there is castoreum, my favorite. Have you ever wondered where artificial raspberry, vanilla, or strawberry flavors come from? Castoreum is an extract made from dried ground up sacks, located by the anal glands of beavers. Yes we’re talking about pouches in the ass of a beaver.
Compare that to how your typical vegan gets their raspberry and strawberry flavorings: raspberries and strawberries. Pretty extreme!
What do you consider extreme eating? Let me know!
— Emily Moran Barwick
Excellent video, very well put together
Although some parts hard to watch even for longtime vegan and pro-AR person, but would be great for passing on to vegetarian (non-vegan) friends, and (despite difficult to watch parts) also great vid to reinforce those of us who are (or friends who are on the path towards) veganism. Besides it was not super gory or anything.
Really, what makes your channel even better is that it’s a mix, other videos are different in style what how much/what you show or discuss, and a mix is what is needed – diversity of tactics and presentations. We/the world needs this kind of mix of humor and light parts, together with the heavy..unabashedly pro-AR, but also at the core are based on compassion, not on anger…that is the path to win hearts and minds, I think.
Thank you for all your hard work!
I was going to ask if one can donate on youcaring but have one’s activist (rather than real) name show up, but it looks like I can just click on “stay anon” and then put “EDpeak” in my message to publically identify (so not literally anon) by that name. Peace :-)
Emily Barwick says
thank you for your comment and feedback :) I’m glad that my effort to diversify comes across- some reasoning is important to some people while it doesn’t matter to others….so I try to come at it from all angles!
And it is hard to watch and even hard for me to source the images and video I use…but it’s the reality of what is happening and the victims need a voice!
Excellent points, as you say: “forced rape, child kidnapping” etc (not just vanigal but also anal rape..I knew they did the anal fisting to male elephants to ‘milk’ them, did not know until your video they anally fisted female cows too)
And not on the list but you also document and one could add: infanticidal androcide, “work the body to death” gynocide, genital torture, genital mutilation (at nugget 7, ‘humane, free-range..’), other mutilations, and other forms of torture (or is that “enhanced” farming as in “enhanced interrogation”?) It’s important to name these things..
Having said that, we must not let this naming make us see our non-vegan brothers and sisters as “monsters” and must remember most of us used to be non-vegans at some point in our lives, and we were not monsters then…we must find ways of approaching them and broaching difficult subjects, and use discretion about when to be graphical (and when not) in our language when speaking to others..and to not see them as monsters..but need to name it graphically for ourselves, as you do very well.
If I can do so without overposting comments, I’ll post suggestion tomorrow for future skits to do exactly that (bring up subjects with nonvegans) in a humorous way, at the comments of your amazing Veganizer video, your comedy and skit (seriously, considerable) talents could be used in that area!
Emily Barwick says
well thank you, EDpeak…and you’re always welcome to comment away! any suggestions would be great.
and yes, most of us were once non-vegan…this is why we must spread awareness with understanding. many people don’t care but many are also just ignorant to the truth and do change their behaviors once they become aware :)
I recently decided to go for the plant-based lifestyle, so I don’t have much experience to go off of except that some people will have an “extreme” reaction to the dietary/lifestyle choice. However, I think they are misinterpreting our own choices of not consuming animals and animal products as a judgement that no one should, and that is not the case. Personally, if I were to be a meat-eater, I would prefer to eat an animal that was raised in natural and happy conditions their whole life. Since that almost never happens, going on a plant-based diet is the better choice for me. I think the whole “vegans are extreme” thing comes from the fanatics who give the rest of us a bad name. Not all of us wish to make meat-eaters feel bad about their choices, or to remind them that they are taking a life away, or stealing a child’s food, etc. I think those are the things that make people think being vegan is extreme. So I choose to say I am on a plant-based diet, rather than the label vegan.
Emily Moran Barwick (BiteSizeVegan) says
Thanks so much for sharing this Susie. And yes, those who are the loudest unfortunately tend to by default represent a group, which is true of any group. Personally, I still think it’s valuable to call myself vegan because to me it’s important to show a different side than the stereotype and “vegan” for me, encompasses so much more than diet ;) I’m glad you are finding your way with your wording and comfort level and SO glad to hear you’ve gone whatever you want to call it :D The actions matter more than the label anyways!