The Science Is In: Veganism Makes No Sense

Vegans have no idea how much animal cruelty they’re responsible for.

The Senate is debating GMOs, and everyone is talking about health food; it’s a good time, then, to correct a few silly ideas. A vegan — say various vegan authorities — is someone who abstains from eating or using animal products, byproducts, and anything whose production entails exploiting, killing, or being cruel to animals.

Unfortunately, nothing vegans eat meets those criteria.

For one thing, most fruits, many vegetables, and many nuts require pollination by bees. And not free bees, but slave bees, who are carried from place to place in boxes, by beekeepers. Even if the bees were wild and free, though, vegetarian fare would still be the product of animal cruelty — because all, or virtually all, produce is grown using pesticides.

Despite what you may have heard, organic foods are not pesticide-free. They just eschew synthetic pesticides for “organic” pesticides, whose ingredients occur naturally. Copper and sulfur, for instance. No matter the ingredients, though, all pesticides are used for the same thing: to commit pesticide. Which is to say, to kill small, hungry animals. Animals like aphids, caterpillars, moths, worms, flies, locusts — even birds, and some mice and rats who’ve escaped pharmaceutical labs.

As a rule, if you can’t control pests, you can’t produce produce on a profitable scale. So next time you go to buy fruit and vegetables — or bread or beer or tofu or sugar –remember that many, many lives were lost bringing them to market.

You might say that pests are too rudimentary or stupid to warrant a vegan’s concern. Not so, says PETA.

You might say that pests are too rudimentary or stupid to warrant a vegan’s concern. Not so, says PETA: “If having superior intelligence does not entitle one human to abuse another human for his or her purposes, why should it entitle humans to abuse nonhumans?” In its blurb about the evils of animal experimentation, PETA explains that our “concern” for people who are sick, suffering or dying must be extended to all living creatures “regardless of what species they may be.”

But PETA doesn’t mean it — clearly, animal-rightists place some species ahead of others. After all, you have to kill a lot of pests to grow just one apple, whereas you can get many, many steaks by killing just one cow. Unless you admit that certain animals are worth more than others, vegans would have the moral duty to minimize total animal deaths by eating nothing but Blue Whale. I suspect the reason they don’t is that they feel whale lives, and cow lives, are worth more than bug lives. But if you accept that a cow’s life is more important than a caterpillar’s, why can’t you accept that a diabetic’s life is more important than the life of the cow whose insulin keeps the diabetic alive? Or that a cancer patient is worth more than the rat chemotherapy is tested on?

No one knows. But we do know that the only solution to the pesticide conundrum is developing pest-resistant strains of genetically modified organisms.

Write your senator.

Josh Gelernter — Josh Gelernter is a weekly columnist for NRO, and a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard.

Most Popular

White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
White House

The Problem with the Mueller Report

So much for collusion. The media conversation has now officially moved on from the obsession of the last two years to obstruction of justice. That’s because the first volume of the voluminous Mueller report, the half devoted to what was supposed to be the underlying crime of a Trump conspiracy with Russia, ... Read More

Screw York Yankees

You are dead to me. You are a collection of Fredos. The cock has crowed, you pathetic sniveling jerks. The team I have rooted for since 1965, when I first visited the House that Ruth Built, where I hawked peanuts and ice cream a lifetime ago, watched countless games (Guidry striking out 18!), has gotten so ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Trump Can’t Cry ‘No Fair’

If I may jump in, I take Charlie’s point and I think he’s largely correct. I also think David is correct. There’s not that much of a contradiction in that because I think to some extent they’re talking about different things. And this reflects a larger frustration I have with many of the ... Read More