Veggie Advocacy: You Don’t Get to Just Make Shit Up

June 22, 2009

So here we have a sensible anti-meat idea presented by a top publication, and yet this piece makes me despair.

Today’s Atlantic has a short article by Marge duMond recapping some of the damage that meat inflicts upon the environment. After running through these claims, the author suggests imposing a tax on meat to discourage consumption. It’s a fantastic idea, and one that I hope society embraces. But then duMond goes and demolishes her own credibility by claiming that the true cost of feedlot beef is $815 a pound.

Never has the phrase “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence” been more applicable. She cites this piece of crap fifteen minute video as evidence.

It bothers me beyond belief when anti-meat people needlessly throw away their credibility by advancing ludicrous claims: just because you can find an eyebrow-raising claim somewhere on the web, linking to it doesn’t make it true. From what I can determine, this $815/pound claim was pulled straight out of somebody’s ass.

This really pushes my buttons because I took up writing books on this topic precisely because I thought the veggie literature contained some prominent books filled with bogus claims. Today’s Atlantic piece makes me feel like fighting for honesty and credibility is a losing battle.

Please, if you’re going to advocate for a veggie world, always use sources from people and organizations that have the ability to get their facts straight. Vegan Outreach and HSUS are two such organizations.

The PR groups that represent factory farming are made up of some of the most dishonest and misinformed people on the planet. To crush their agenda, we need to always be sure we retain the moral high ground, and that begins by never advancing dubious claims. Link.

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