The National Review on Vegans

Love or hate conservatism, there was a time when the National Review offered some of the clearest and most articulate conservative thinking in print. Not anymore. The magazine’s website just published a hatchet job against vegan living.

This article starts off on the wrong foot, advancing the position that the animal rights movement is some sort of homogenous and unified movement. In reality, anyone who spends five minutes on a vegan Internet forum knows this is a ludicrous point of view: vegans disagree about every goddamned little thing. In any case, within the article’s first few paragraphs, the author tries to create the impression that PETA’s most idiotic and annoying public pronouncements are representative of the entire animal rights movement’s thinking.

From there, the article only goes downhill, citing a flawed and oft-misinterpreted study and implying that a vegan diet is associated with killing more, not fewer, animals. The article then ends with the author suggesting that vegans believe that, “meat eating is somehow murder while veganism is morally pristine.”

There’s of course suffering tied to any diet, and any halfway competent search of the vegan literature will reveal that this point is widely acknowledged by leading voices within the movement. The trouble with this article is the author spends all his time trying to ridicule vegans instead of trying to understand the thinking that leads people to embrace a vegan diet.

I often feel like my job involves being tossed one slow-pitch softball after another. Is it really so difficult to make a rigorous, intelligently presented argument against veganism? Isn’t there anyone on the pro-meat side who’s capable of throwing a 90-mile-per-hour fastball? Link.

Update: My friend Laura writes in and points out that the article’s footer says the author is writing a book on the animal rights movement. Given what a mess this article is, I can’t even imagine how laughably bad a full-length book from this guy is likely to be.

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