'A Meat Eater's Case For Veganism,' Explained

'A Meat Eater's Case For Veganism' Proves That Carnivores Can't Even Justify Killing And Eating Animals

If you're up for a challenge, try to argue against these bulletproof philosophical arguments for why we should all stop kidding ourselves and go vegan.

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Alex O'Connor is a popular YouTuber who typically discusses philosophy and skepticism. This week, he released a video on a philosophical defense of veganism. What makes this interesting is that Alex is not vegan himself, but he clearly states that the reasons discussed in the video will eventually lead him to adopt a vegan lifestyle if no one can prove his arguments wrong.

The fact that he is openly promoting veganism while admitting that he himself has not yet made the leap delivers more impact to his reasoning. It demonstrates that the questions he poses in the video are so powerful that they are convincing a meat eater to stop eating meat right before our eyes. The best way to summarize O'Connor's incredible video (although you really should just watch it yourself) is to list a few of his arguments, so here they are.

The boundary that we have built between humans and other animals is irrational and unwarranted.

Why do we always forget that we are animals ourselves? O'Connor quotes Peter Singer's book "Animal Liberation," noting that we tend to box "animals" together into a distant category, such as oysters and chimpanzees, while in reality, we are much closer to chimpanzees than they are to oysters.

If humans can be distinguished from other animals because of our superior intelligence, does that mean we innately have a higher value?

Meat eaters may argue that humans have the right to murder and eat animals because we are smarter than them. Philosophically, one would counterargue with the question: does that mean we can murder and eat humans with lower intelligence? Clearly, the answer is no. This means intelligence is not the only thing we use to justify mistreating and killing animals.

No matter how we look at it, we couldn't morally justify killing and eating a "dumb" human simply because they are the same species as us.

And the fact that we're the same species as the living being in question has no real moral relevance in itself. It's the same as appealing to your own race, or gender — it's not a legitimate argument. The point here is that the meat eater's argument lacks consistency. One can't justify eating animals simply because they're less intelligent, while also agreeing that it still wouldn't be right to eat a human with the same level of intelligence as an animal.

The thought experiment from "A Theory of Justice" should apply to all living things.

Imagine being an innocent baby behind a curtain, about to enter the world. You don't know anything about yourself yet (ie. black, white, male, female, et cetera). In order to design a fair society, we should take the position of this baby, because we would design the most just system without biasing it towards our own group.

O'Connor takes this useful experiment a step further: as the baby behind the curtain, what if you didn't know what type of living thing you would be? Have we designed society to be fair to all living things? Obviously, our world is heavily biased towards humans. But when you place yourself as the baby, and you don't know what you'll end up being, wouldn't you want to make sure all beings have a fair chance at a good life? By the way, you'd be three times more likely to enter the world as a chicken than you would a human. O'Connor says here: "Nobody in their right mind, from this position, would design a society that permits the meat industry as it exists today."

"Stranded on a desert island and forced to choose between killing a pig and a human" is not the situation we're in.

This argument that many use to corner vegans is simply irrelevant. Just because someone would kill a pig over a human on a desert island, doesn't mean that an entire system of brutal factory farming is justified. The reality we're facing is more like this one: "Would you rather save a drowning sheep or give a child a piece of chocolate?" It's not about valuing an animal's life over a human's. It's about valuing an animal's life over a brief moment of pleasure for the human. Easy choice.

All animals are equal.

Some would say this is a ridiculous claim. But what if I said that black people and white people aren't equal because they have clear physical and cultural differences? The point is that differences like these are completely irrelevant in determining someone's rights and moral worth. And even if you didn't believe different humans had equal worth, you still couldn't justify one being able to murder and eat the other. As O'Connor says, "even if we do see animals as having less moral worth than humans, this doesn't justify us treating them as though they have no moral worth at all."

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge-drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100% real" and that incoming freshmen should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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11 Mouthwatering, Realistic Vegan Meals At Your Favorite Chain Restaurants

You don't have to give up your vegan lifestyle in order to eat out!

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Sometimes it's even greater to find a restaurant that is both vegan and meat-friendly than it is to find a vegan restaurant. It can be so tough to find a place that will have options for everyone. This is why I decided to make an easy guide of eleven different restaurants that anyone can order vegan.

1. Veggie skillet at Denny's

If you're opting for a healthier option, try any of the breakfast skillets at Denny's without the eggs and cheese. You'll have a blend of sautéed vegetables and seasoned red-skinned potatoes. Delicious and healthy? What a win!

2. So much vegan food at Taco Bell

Taco Bell has so many great options for vegans — like, literally. This fast-food chain has a variety of sides that are vegan—including the cinnamon twists, chips and guacamole, cilantro rice, black or refried beans, and potatoes. My personal favorite is the Bean Burrito "fresco style." Several of Taco Bell's other dishes can be veganized simply by omitting a few ingredients or asking for it "fresco style."

3. Plant-based bowl, burrito, or tacos at Chipotle

As someone who has worked at Chipotle for almost a year now, I can tell you that this is my favorite vegan fast food without a doubt. Chipotle offers Sofritas — organic tofu braised with peppers and spices — which you can order in a bowl, burrito, taco, or salad. You have the option of black or pinto beans and brown or white rice. Plus, the restaurant has a great selection of vegan toppings, including mixed fajita veggies, salsas, lettuce, and guacamole.

4. Zucchini Spicy Peanut Saute with Tofu at Noodles & Company

The tofu is crispy (not squishy), while the sauce is a mixture of sweet and spicy without being too much of either. I order the small serving and its still a very generous serving. Also, add Sriracha on top for extra spice.

5. Pizza at Papa Johns

The sauce and original hand-tossed dough are vegan, so go ahead and order your veggie pizza as usual — but without cheese. Go to town on the veggie toppings, and get extra garlic dipping sauce which is also vegan.

BONUS: For Illinois State University students, make sure to apply 'ISU40' to your order to save money!

6. Veggie wrap at Subway

Subway's veggie wrap without cheese and mayo is delicious.

Pro tip: Take your Subway game to the next level by adding your own vegan toppings — Tofurky, vegan mayo, and Daiya cheese.

7. Bagels at Einstein Bros. Bagels

Now with vegan cream cheese — and seventy percent of the menu containing dairy-free bagel options — this is a great breakfast option. On the side, you can get a fruit cup and kettle chips.

8. Lentil quinoa bowl at Panera

This plant-based bowl has quinoa, lentils, brown rice, and kale in a soy broth. Top it off with a Green Passion or Blueberry Pomegranate Power Smoothie and you can make a protein-packed meal.

9. Bread sticks and pasta at Olive Garden

The best things in life are free and vegan. Case in point: OLIVE GARDEN'S BREADSTICKS. The "butter" on the breadsticks isn't actually butter — it's soy. Get breadsticks with the many different pasta options available, such as whole wheat linguine with marinara sauce and broccoli. This also comes with free unlimited salad or minestrone soup. The best part about being vegan here is choosing which type of pasta to order.

10.  Vegan pizza at Blaze

Unlike Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Papa Johns — which all offers vegan dough and sauce — Blaze offers vegan cheese! All the crusts here are vegan, and there is a huge variety of vegetables. You can also get a BBQ drizzle on top.

11.  Protein packed smoothie at Smoothie King

This is a great light meal replacement offering a better-for-you alternative for vegans who want to avoid other chain restaurants. The mango kale, pineapple spinach, dark chocolate banana, and nutty super grain are all vegan, calorie packed, and refreshing.

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