Most Common Anti-Vegan Fallacies
More Fallacies Used to Defend Harming Animals
Appeal to Pleasure (Bacon Tho): The false argument that something is ethical or acceptable because it gives one pleasure. One example of this is ‘Bacon tho’ or ‘but bacon tasted good’ which is often used as a Red Herring or emotionally charged distraction away from meaningful discussion. From a logical perspective, this is comparable to a pedophile justifying their sexual abuse of children because it gives them pleasure. Pigs can recognize themselves in the mirror, are smarter than dogs, and for many more reasons their life is worth more than your taste pleasure.
Appeal to Authority (My Doctor Tho): One example of this is how the Dalai Lama says he needs to eat meat because his doctor said so. Just because one authority says something does not mean that it is ethically or factually correct. While not all authorities are wrong, if the only reason you are doing something is because an authority said it, then you are in trouble.
Appeal to Inertia: Often manifesting in the question “What would we do with all of the animals?”, this fallacy is similar to the appeal to history fallacy in that it relies on past actions to justify bad behaviors in the present. Just because it is happening and there is momentum, jobs, infrastructure, etc., doesn’t mean that it is morally right. From a purely logical perspecive, the Nazis had a lot inertia but that didn’t mean they were doing the right thing (See Comparing is Not Equating if this statement bothers you).
Even More Fallacies Used to Defend Harming Animals
Moral Licensing (The Good Person): “I am a good person so it’s okay that I kill and eat animals.” Sometimes used to justify the local farming movement, moral licensing is applied to farmers who are just normal good people but happen to exploit or kill animals. Other examples in society include the defense of sexual predators in the Catholic Church on the basis that they have contributed to the community.
Scapegoating: Simply put, this is blameshifting. One perfect example of this was when Roaming Millennial (As can be seen in my video on the topic) blames the cruelty of the animal farming industry on a few bad apples beating animals on farms while denying the systematic cruelty of the industry.
Appeal to Economics (Jobs Tho): Commonly used to support the animal farming industry, the same excuses were used to perpetuate systems of slavery. Just because something makes money or contributed to the economy doesn’t mean that it is right.
Comparing is Not Equating: Often used in conjuntion with an ‘eye for an eye’ fallacy, this fallacy is most commonly used when people accuse vegans of equating the wrongs in the animal industry to wrongs committed to humans when in reality they are merely comparing the two. “You are calling my a Nazi!” said Charlotte in response to a vegan saying “Modern animal farming was modeled after concentration camps.” If as a meat eater you are able to convince people that vegans are calling you a Nazi or being racist because they used the term slavery, then you can distract from your own misgivings (Also a Red Herring Fallacy in which a distraction is used, sometimes Derailing). The simple reality is that comparing the negative of two harmful systems is not equating the two systems or the victims of those systems. To Vegans: This being said, if you are being racially insensitive then you already lost the argument and are in the wrong.
Appeal to Superiority (Speciesism): Most often manifested as ‘intelligence tho’ or ‘we are smarter than animals so it’s okay to exploit them,’ it is also a common excuse to justify hunting. Ethics are not determined by strength but ultimately what is right. In the same way that it is not okay to harm people with mental disabilities, it is not justifiable to harm animals based on intelligence. True strength is used to protect the weak, not to take advantage of weakness. This is also an Appeal to Ableism which is described by the University of Texas as “arguing that because someone is intellectually slower, physically or emotionally less capable, less ambitious, less aggressive, older or less healthy (or simply more trusting or less lucky) than others, s/he “naturally” deserves less in life and may be freely victimized.”