If you’re vegan and you’ve been online (who hasn’t?) chances are you’re more than a little privy to the kind of anti-vegan comments our non-vegan friends love to throw our way. 

“Crop deaths, tho!” (Cue eye roll.) 

For r/vegan Redditors on a recent thread, here are some anti-vegan comments that take the cake: 

  1. I was at a Confidence to Cook training course to help vulnerable people learn food prep skills and was informed by the training provider that veganism can be “dangerous”. She then proceeded to share an anecdotal tale with the room about how a young girl she knew was rushed to hospital after consuming a lettuce leaf as part of her vegan diet. As everyone nodded along solemnly, I wondered again how this couldn’t just be a weird dream I was having.

  1. When [non-vegans] eat something not knowing it was vegan and clearly liked it, then, the moment you tell them that what they ate was vegan, all of a sudden: “I kNeW iT tAsTeD fUnNy”

  1. [The person who said] “God put cows on this earth so we wouldn’t starve. That’s why people in India starve to death all the time. They worship cows!”

  1. “If vegans are eating imitation meat, why don’t they just eat real meat and pretend it’s imitation meat?”

Zacchary Bird Youtube
  1. The guy that was sure that if we stopped slaughtering cows they’d immediately overpopulate the earth and … Eat all the grass on the planet. 

  1. “You will grow soy boobs” is a certified classic.

  1. “Veganism is an eating disorder.” 

  1. My kid and I went vegan at the same time 11 years ago. They (my child) were 11 years old. One parent told them that they would GET CANCER from being vegan. I can’t understand who would say that to a kid, even if they thought it was true.

  1. Just last night I had a guy at work explain, in detail, why women could be vegan, but it was science that men HAD to eat meat, we would die. I had to be lying [about being vegan], or I’d be dead, he claimed.

  1.  “Vegans kill more animals than anyone else.” Okay 🌝

  1.  “The deforestation of the rainforest is due to avocados, and vegans eat avocados, and therefore, vegans are bad and responsible for climate change.”

Joey Carbstrong Youtube
  1.  “Veganism isn’t sustainable and will use way too much land if everyone switched.”

  1. “Veganism is a sign of cultural emasculation because men need to hunt and kill what they eat in order to be fully actualized men.” This person went on to link school shootings to veganism.

  1.  I once had a guy say to me “You can only be vegan for 7 years, after that you have to stop because you’ll start having health problems from lack of vitamins”.

I think he got mixed up with what happens when you break a mirror.

  1.  I was in a waiting room recently, and I started talking to a lady that was a vet tech. … I said, “Are you vegan?” And she said, “Oh no, I actually eat tons of meat! People joke about how much meat I eat for a vet!” … I said, “But if you love animals enough to be a vet tech, how can you eat them?” She said “I HavE a DIsEaSE WhErE IF I DoN’T EaT MeaT, I GeT REalLY SICk AnD HAvE tO Go To THe hOsPItAL.” !!! A Vet Tech said this! 

  1.  After coming back from a workout, where my muscles were protruding more than usual:

“How do you look like that without eating any protein?”

  1.  Seventh grade health class: Student teacher said he witnessed a girl who went vegan in the springtime, and by the time prom came around (2 months later) her teeth and hair started falling out due to lack of nutrition and she went to prom bald. 😂😂😂 Like, c’mon!

  1.  Her: Do you still eat fish

 Me: No

 Her: But a fish isn’t an animal

 Me: ?????

  1.  The most recent, most stupid thing a non-vegan has said to me, as I ate a plate of Chilli with rice and a side of grilled broccoli, and some tangerines for dessert:

“Are you not eating too many vitamins?”

  1.  My father-in-law asked if potatoes were vegan. I honestly thought he was joking.

Earthling Ed Youtube
  1.  I was once told that out of all the food we eat, the most cruel is eating vegetables because they are technically still alive and that they are probably screaming … This was coming from the person making my vegan sandwich at the sub shop … I was literally speechless 

  1.  “If y’all don’t believe in breast milk, what do you feed your baby?”

  1.  “So if you were starving, would you eat my children before eating an animal?”

  1.  “How can you be a vegan if you drive a car? The fuel is made of dinosaurs.”

  1.  When I was in High School, I was having a debate with one of my friends about the ethics of veganism. The discussion ended with him saying that if everybody stopped eating meat that you would still have to kill all of the cows, which would be going against the point of veganism. In other words, we need to continue to eat cows, because otherwise, we would have to … kill all the cows.

  1.  “You think cockroaches should have the right to vote?”

– My dad, because I was wearing a t-shirt that said “animal rights”.

  1.  “Animals don’t have souls, except dogs and cats, God will look after them”

  1.  “You have to eat meat to keep farmers in business. It’s selfish not to”

  1.  “But I love meat too much.” That’s just a dumb way of saying “I am selfish and lack empathy.” 

  1.  Nothing will top that dude on YouTube who said we need to eat meat and never go vegan, because otherwise the commis and Russia will win. I don’t mind explaining protein 100 times, but how do you argue with such a guy? Eat meat or the red wave will run all over you!

Menkay Youtube

Firstly, to clarify what Veganism is, I’m going to borrow from George Martin (Carnism Debunked), who defines Veganism so perfectly: 

“Veganism is a moral obligation whereby one abstains from supporting the systematic exploitation of animals for food, clothing, service, and entertainment.”

And, at this point, let it be said that we don’t roll our eyes because we believe we are superior to non-vegans (another myth about vegans) but because we are bewildered that Veganism is so misunderstood. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to that (for those willing to listen): education. I’ve picked some of the above statements to debunk, beginning with our all-time favorite … crop deaths. 

  1. “Vegans kill more animals than anyone else.” AKA: The crop deaths argument

There’s a difference between intentional and unintentional harm. The aim for most vegans is to minimize harm (we know we aren’t perfect), which begins with boycotting products that inherently involve violence. Around 2 billion animals are killed every week for food, leather and wool. Vegans choose to opt out of supporting the industries responsible for these deaths, and many vegans acknowledge that this is just the beginning. 

Furthermore, around 80% of all agricultural land is used for meat and dairy production. (Our World in Data, 2021) Therefore, if crop deaths is something you care about, the best thing you can do as an individual to help minimize harm is adopt a plant-based diet.

  1. “You will grow soy boobs.”

Poor soy gets a bad rap. The claim here is that soy impacts testosterone and estrogen levels in both men and women, causing menstrual cycle interruptions, cancer or “soy boobs,” amongst other negative consequences. The truth is, there is unsupportive evidence/research to prove this. If anything, research supports the health benefits of soy, such as lowering cholesterol and improving cognitive function.  

Consider also that dairy contains IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which promotes the effect of growth hormones in the human body. Excess amounts of IGF-1 can cause breast growth, meaning you’re more likely to grow “man boobs” by consuming dairy over soy! 

  1. “If everybody stopped eating meat [we] would have to kill all of the cows.” AKA: What would happen to all the farm animals if everyone went vegan?

In reality, the world ceasing meat consumption is a steady affair, i.e. the world isn’t miraculously going to turn vegan overnight. We breed farmed animals (they aren’t so plentiful naturally). Therefore, the number of farmed animals on the planet at any given time is relative to the number of people buying animal products. Veganism deals with reducing “supply and demand,” meaning as we gradually decrease demand for meat, the supply will also decrease. Thus, fewer animals will be bred for meat consumption (and other uses) over time as more people adopt a plant-based diet.

Be sure to check out our other articles and blog posts for more in-depth explanations for many of these non-vegan “arguments.”

Sarah Moon
Sarah is a writer, actress, and filmmaker who aims to inspire insight through her work, shedding light on the truth. From a young age, she has utilized writing to process and communicate "big ideas," including advocating for mental health, social change, and animal rights. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, Sarah currently resides in Vancouver. She is a proud vegan and believes in the power of education and collaboration to influence systemic change within the animal liberation movement. http://sarahmoon.space/