Friday, June 8, 2012

Want vs. Need

In order to stay alive, there are certain things we human beings need. We need water, we need oxygen, and we need food. And food is the necessity I'm going to talk about in today's blog post.

I have heard that humans need to eat meat for survival. That we need to eat animal products in order to stay healthy. 

Eating other animals may have been necessary for human survival in the past when times were hard and plant food was limited.  But they only ate it because they needed it to continue living - not for palate pleasure like we do now. Quoting an episode from my Vegan for Life podcast:
"Early humans didn't overdo it. They only killed what they needed, in order to survive, and worked in harmony with nature. But look what we're doing to nature now, in order to satisfy the growing demand for animal products. Thousands of acres of forests have had to be destroyed, air and water is being polluted, and so much life is being lost. The earth has provided us with enough resources for all the animals living on it - human and non-human - to survive. But we are exploiting these resources in order to satisfy our taste for flesh. Early humans ate meat in order to survive. Why do we eat meat now? Purely because we like the taste."
For humans now, eating animal products is a want. A want for the taste. It is no longer a need. In fact, it's very easy to stay alive and healthy without consuming animal products. Long-time vegans are proof of that.

In a survival situation, when you're lost and you need to survive, maybe you'd have to eat other animals to survive. Maybe even other humans. In a situation like that, things are different. You wouldn't have a choice, you would have to eat what you can to survive - or die. Like lions, wolves, bears, and other carnivorous or omnivorous wild animals - they don't have a choice of what to eat. They have to eat what they can so that they will continue living. But right now, you're not out in the wild starving (I'm assuming you aren't if you have internet access and are reading this blog), and you have a choice. Over 56 billion land animals and trillions of sea animals don't need to be exploited and murdered for our consumption, clothing, entertainment, and other uses. 

We have a choice. To continue engaging in violence towards other sentient beings, or to go vegan and live nonviolently. If you're not starving, if you don't need it, and it harms others, why continue doing it?

It's easy to be vegan. Vegan food can be DELICIOUS and exciting! And if you really want the taste of animal products (cravings do go away, I promise), they can be replaced with plant-based alternatives. There's no reason NOT to be vegan, so give it a try! Start here:


  1. Exactly! We should turn the "What would you do on a desert island?" question round and say, "But you aren't on a desert island!"

    1. Yes! Just because you might have to eat meat if you were in the wild starving, that doesn't justify eating it when you have a choice!

  2. I agree 100%. Not only do we have a choice, but our consumption of meat and animal products is making us unhealthy and is impacting climate change.

  3. Hi, I totally agree with what you point out in the article, but I do have a small remark. New research shows that early humans weren't as environmentally responisble as you suggest here and were in fact abusing nature. I didn't find an english article on this research unfortunately, but see a translation here: