Instead of “Mmm…Bacon”: A Meat-Eaters Guide to Disarming Vegans with Honesty

Meat defenders, you may have noticed that vegans are a little too quick to dismiss your objections to their objections these days. Because I’m in a generous mood, I’ll give you a little insider knowledge as to why: it’s because we have heard the same rationales, nonsensical platitudes and diversionary tactics over and over again, some of us for years. I know you think you’re super original but, yeah, we’ve heard it before. So instead of saying something that is going to make us roll our eyes, vent about you to our vegan friends and think you cannot create an original thought, why not try another strategy? Why not try honesty? I have provided some common tropes vegans hear again and again and how you can rephrase it to slip in under our radar. It won’t work but, still, give ’em a try!

• Instead of saying, “Mmm…bacon,” you could say, “My preoccupation with salt-cured pig flesh is bizarre, creepy and obsessive, and my need to proclaim it to the world borders on being a neurotic tic.”

• Instead of saying, “Plants feel pain,” you could say, “I may lack the most basic understanding of a central nervous system and its role in pain perception but I am going to go ahead and create a false equivalence to temporarily but futilely assuage my guilt. Now where was I?”

• Instead of saying, “What about the homeless/the hungry/gun violence, etc.?,” you could say, “I am going to randomly mention other Bad Things in the World I don’t personally do anything to fix in an attempt to make you feel like your advocacy is trivial despite the fact that 1) creating a more compassionate world has a positive ripple effect in building a less violent world and doesn’t take away from anything 2) many activists are inclusive with their outreach and support a variety of causes, and 3) I personally don’t do squat beyond troll vegans on social media.”

• Instead of saying, “What about lions?,” you could say, “I’m grasping at straws because I have an uncomfortable feeling in my chest region so I am going to align myself with lions even though I just ate a three-day-old hot dog from 7–11 and really don’t share many characteristics with lions other than I like to consume other animals’ flesh.”

• Instead of saying, “What about soy?,” you could say, “I am going to mention a legume as an approximate counterpart to the widespread destruction that consuming flesh causes, ignoring the fact that a large percentage of the soy grown in the world is grown to feed the animals people eat, and its supposedly feminizing qualities are a fiction repeated by special interests and believed by the gullible.”

• Instead of saying, “I have canine teeth for a reason,” say, “I like to reimagine my teeth as fangs in my spare time. How about you?”

• Instead of saying, “You know, Hitler was a vegetarian,” you could say, “I am more comfortable mining the logical fallacy of Reductio ad Hitlerum than honestly examining my own habits, despite the fact that Hitler was not a vegetarian and even if he were, nearly every other mass murderer ate meat so that kind of defeats my point. I’ll shut up now.”

• Instead of saying, “Ugh, vegans are just such extremists,” you could say, “Despite the fact that we are literally growing sentient beings in order to consume their secretions and flesh and this unnecessary custom is destroying ecosystems, wasting and polluting vast amounts of water and changing weather patterns to the point where Earth may not be habitable in the near future, I am going to go ahead and call vegans extremists.”

• Instead of saying, “At least I’m not a vegan nazi,” you could say, “Nazis tortured and killed many millions of innocent individuals just for being unlike them but despite this, I am going to be blatantly ahistorical and refer to vegans as nazis when they are trying to prevent other beings from being warehoused for consumable parts and helping extend the circle of compassion to include those who are very unlike us because blah, blah, blah, I literally don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Good luck!

Marla Rose is a Chicago-area writer and co-founder of and

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