Humans have always eaten meat. Isn’t this natural?2023-12-24T20:00:49+00:00

According to archeologists our prehistoric ancestors started off on a plant based diet. They would not have been able to tear flesh or hide with their hands or teeth. With the discovery of fire and the use of tools our ancestors ate modest amounts of meat during periods when plant foods were unavailable.  Humans, unlike animals, have to cook meat in order to avoid being poisoned by pathogens such as E.Coli.
Meat and dairy are not the most appropriate types of food for humans. A lot of research shows that meat and dairy can contribute to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.


What would happen to all the farm animals if everyone went vegan?2023-11-27T19:11:52+00:00

The world will not convert to veganism overnight. It will happen gradually over many years. As the demand for meat, dairy, eggs and fish declines farmers will breed fewer and fewer animals. Animals such as chickens, pigs, sheep and cows were domesticated by humans using selective breeding techniques over many generations. Compared to wild animals, farmed animals have only existed for a short period in human history.

What about the parts of the world where people cannot grow crops, such as parts of the developing world and polar regions?2023-11-27T19:12:13+00:00

The fact that some parts of the world have hostile climatic and soil conditions should not be used as a justification for those of us who do have a wide choice regarding the types of food that we eat. Modern technology now allows food to be grown anywhere, regardless of the soil quality.

What alternatives are available to farmers who want to switch from animal farming?2023-12-24T20:01:09+00:00

Vegans would like to see farmers making a just transition to plant-based farming and other alternatives. This can only happen with government support, incentives and training. Options for farmers include tillage, horticulture, greenhouses, vertical farming, forestry, rewilding, eco tourism, solar and wind farms – to name just a few.

Isn’t it more important to help people than to waste time helping animals?2023-11-27T19:13:02+00:00

The original founders of the vegan movement were keen to emphasise the benefits of this way of living to humans – not just to animals.  They had just been through World War 2 which had a horrific and profound effect on them.  They wanted to bring about an end to the violent tendencies of man, so that nothing like this could ever happen again.  They believed that the first and most basic step towards this goal was veganism.

Animals in the wild kill other animals so why shouldn’t we?2023-11-27T19:13:22+00:00

See previous answer.

What about small animals in the fields who die when grains are harvested?2023-11-27T19:13:54+00:00

It is true that small wild animals are killed by pesticides and inadvertently by machines during harvesting.  It should be noted that the majority of the grain grown worldwide is used to feed animals – not humans.  So going vegan would help to reduce the number of small field animals killed in this way.  If we want to completely eliminate pesticides and large monocrops which use harvesting machines then vegan organic farming is the solution.  For an example of this see: Tolhurst Organic.

Why do vegans avoid honey?2023-12-24T20:09:17+00:00

Vegans avoid honey for the same reasons they avoid meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Another good reason to avoid honey is biodiversity. Farmed honey bees out-compete wild bees when it comes to food sources such as flowering plants. So, while farmed honey bees are thriving, wild bees are dying out.

How many vegans are there in the Republic of Ireland?2023-11-27T19:15:14+00:00

A Bord Bia report from 2021 gives a figure of 2% of the population.

Do vegans keep pets/companion animals?2023-11-27T19:16:13+00:00

Many vegans do have companion animals who have been adopted from sanctuaries. Some vegans feed their pets on a vegan diet and vegan pet food (which is shown to be healthier than meat-based pet food) is available in Ireland at some pet stores.

Are animals conscious?2023-11-27T19:17:05+00:00

The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness concluded that “non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.”

Do animals feel pain?2023-11-27T19:17:45+00:00

According to the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals pain is experienced by many animal species, including mammals and possibly all vertebrates.

According to Swiss scientist Gennady Ermak, an overview of the anatomy of the nervous system across the animal kingdom indicates that not only vertebrates but also most invertebrates have the capacity to feel pain.

Indications that an animal is experiencing pain include behaviours such as eating less food, disruption of their normal behaviour, suppressed social behaviour, unusual behaviour patterns, distress calls, respiratory and cardiovascular changes, as well as inflammation and release of stress hormones.

Can a vegan diet supply all the nutrients you need for a healthy diet?2023-11-27T19:18:04+00:00

Various statutory bodies including the NHS have endorsed the vegan diet stating that “a well planned vegan diet can supply all the nutrients you need.” Numerous clinical studies have shown that a whole food vegan diet is beneficial for health and can help reverse or defend against a number of conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

If eating a plant-based diet is natural, why do you need to supplement with Vitamin B12?2023-11-27T19:18:23+00:00

Vitamin B12 comes from microorganisms that live in the soil.  These are then ingested by animals.  Eating animal products is only one way of obtaining Vitamin B12.  It can also be manufactured by cultivating yeast – this is how vegans obtain it.  People argue that supplements are not natural.  However, many nutrients are already being obtained by supplementation. For example, iodine is added to salt and folic acid is added to bread.  Many non-vegans, especially those over the age of 50, are deficient in Vitamin B12 and are advised to supplement with it. Irish people are deficient in Vitamin D during the winter months due to the lack of sunshine and are advised to take Vitamin D supplements.

Do vegans get enough protein?2023-11-27T19:18:41+00:00

Humans need about 10 percent of calories from protein. Protein is found in varying amounts in almost every type of food. The following are excellent protein sources: Tempeh, Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Seitan, Chickpeas, Almonds, Cashews and Quinoa. Most meat-eaters already get too much protein.

Don’t you need milk and dairy products for calcium?2023-12-31T16:11:45+00:00

Calcium can be obtained from a variety of plant-based sources such as green leafy vegetables and legumes. Beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, kale and mustard greens are excellent sources, as are calcium-fortified plant milks.
Dairy industry advertisements suggest that drinking milk results in stronger bone density. However, a study at Harvard University found little evidence of the supposed health benefits of dairy, and questioned the methodology by which U.S. dairy guidelines were determined.
There are also a number of health concerns about dairy, which you can read about here on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website.

Are vegan diets suitable for pregnant women and children?2023-11-27T19:20:18+00:00

Yes. The HSE provides information on vegan diets in pregnancy here. Various statutory health bodies have endorsed the vegan diet as being suitable for everyone, at all stages of life including pregnancy. The Vegan Society UK provides dietary guidelines for pregnancy and children here.

Are processed vegan foods such as plant-based ‘meats’ healthy?2023-11-27T19:21:08+00:00

This study showed that plant based products like faux meats are healthier and more sustainable than their meat and dairy counterparts. However, it is advised to keep processed foods to a minimum for all types of diets, not just vegan diets.

How do I know if a product is vegan?2023-12-05T19:08:56+00:00

This is a list of substances and ingredients that vegans should avoid. There are also apps such as Is It Vegan that may be useful. Even if a product is marked ‘vegan’ or plant-based you should always check the ingredients. Food products that are labeled as ‘plant based’ could still contain non-vegan ingredients. Toiletries and cosmetics that are marked ‘vegan’ may have been tested on animals. Manufacturers have been known to incorrectly label their products. Some additives, for example, L Cysteine, can be sourced from either animals or plants – this is often not indicated on the packaging. ‘Natural Flavours’ can also be derived from either animals or plants and this is usually not clear on packaging.

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