Those of us who choose to live vegan are often confronted with supposed crushing and devastating responses from people who consume animal products.
These arguments or questions are meant to prove without a doubt how misguided we ethical vegans are in living our lives with concern for non human animals.
One of the most frequent responses we ethical vegans receive comes at us in the form of a comment that is presumed to be a slam dunk in the face of our animal rights philosophy.
And here it is.....
Yeah but........eating animals is totally natural.
The above phrase by the way is delivered with a taken for granted confidence that this is the actual hypothetical nail in the coffin for us vegans.
Even if we vegans are feeling charitable especially during this season of giving... we can't give this one to the animal eaters anymore.
From this guy
To this guy
The moment when many humans who consume animals come into contact with an ethical vegan they immediately turn into hardened evolutionary biologists with years of field training and best selling non fiction books which claim.....
we are nothing more than what our genes command of us.
Now, assuming that these people are not the nearly 60% of US citizens who believe the earth is only 10,000 years old they will also assert.....
we are only creatures like other animals and we are what nature has adapted us to be.
Pure reductionism here seems to offer no answers for us vegans as these instantly endowed professors of genetics and science also claim that humans are superior to all the other animals because we can make moral decisions regarding right and wrong and the other animals cannot.
Yet when this exact supposed moral superiority interferes with the ethical or moral aspects of eating animals they immediately switch back to their original thesis......
that it's natural for us to eat animals because we are just like the other animals who eat animals and we do so because it was part of our evolutionary adaptation....
and.... our genes make us do it.
One can only observe in these situations how easy people can run together two irreconcilable philosophies when something morally inconvenient gets in the way. And we must admit here, even if it's painful to do so, that at least the other 60% of the human population that just blurts out "God did it" only have one reason going on in their heads for everything. Even though it might be ludicrous.
First off to suggest that something humans may do is natural says nothing about the morality or ethical aspects of this practice or activity.
History informs us again and again that nature has no doubt selected many traits and practices that we now view as unethical.
In fact to make the claim in this fashion that because some activity humans have done and might still do is natural and therefore completely acceptable will only lead them directly into an archaeological dig they will not be able to climb out of again.
With this line of reasoning male sexual violence which probably was an adaptive advantage for our species throughout our evolutionary history can be claimed as natural too. Yet today rape and any other violent sexual coercion is so morally unacceptable we've created laws to protect others from this "natural" behavior.
Diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis and malaria could be claimed as natural too but humans will do whatever it takes to defeat and overcome these deadly afflictions.
Are shooting wolves with high powered rifles from helicopters natural?
Are harpooning whales with ship deck mounted cannon artillery natural?
We would imagine it all depends on our definition of what natural means.
Domesticating animals and turning them into food using modern scientific procedures such as cloning and genetic engineering would seem to fall into the unnatural category by most and send our instant expert biologist back to the jungles looking for new clues.
However, all of this becomes irrelevant when we notice that anything humans do can be claimed as natural and therefore the justification for using this argument is completely short sighted.
To say that something is natural or that it has helped humans get to where we are today, as many will immediately insist while having this conversation, is still not relevant to whether this practice is ethical or even good.
Admittedly, the United States would not be the country it is today without centuries of African human slavery. This of course does not justify the practice of human slavery in any sense, even if some scientist were to claim it as natural.
Because humans have done or can do something does not mean that we should.
We must appreciate that what might be considered natural and inherent in human nature may at the same time also be in direct conflict of what is moral and ethical.
The fact that we do not need to eat animal products at all combined with the understanding that it's quite "unnatural" for humans to eat other animals in the massive quantities which we do eat them combined yet again with how much horrible suffering and death takes place with this protein source only underscores the moral principle of becoming vegan.
We need only admit that our concern for ourselves and others, (including non human beings) and the entire sphere of such concerns is what is most important in the world.
When someone states that something might be natural that claim may become important and relevant only as it reveals that nature was itself not the invention and design of a super-natural being or sky God but rather of the natural process of its cosmic, evolutionary and biological roots.
The indisputable fact that we actually did evolve from other animals and we are ourselves animals simply hands us a beautiful opportunity for understanding our moral responsibilities to each other and all of the other animals as well.
There is a real circle that links us all to one another from the beginning of time.
Discovered in 2009 Ardi is now the oldest human ancestor ever found.
We are a species who can and must restrain from doing whatever it is we want for whatever reasons we claim and especially for whatever reasons we invent.
If there are right and wrong reasons for instance to behave in certain ways then we must acknowledge as a species that we also have moral and ethical responsibilities to these behaviors.
The problem of excusing so much death and cruelty inflicted on non human animals with the mere assertion that something might be natural, is it maintains our ignorance and keeps us from seeing the truth about our own evolution and who we are.
The obvious truth most humans fail to see about ourselves and our species is that it's much more "natural" for us over time to evolve away from practices which are unethical, unjust and heartless than it is to maintain those traditions.
The historical evidence and the modern history of our species shows this to be the case.
In the same way our species has evolved away from cannibalism and human slavery over centuries, we will eventually do the same in regard to eating and using the other animals on this planet.
Our human species will evolve overtime to become vegan and it will be "natural" and it will be much sooner than later.
Do it now...evolve.
Listen here....NATURAL high