An Appeal to ContraPoints

Natalie Wynn, also known as ContraPoints, is in my opinion the most important YouTuber out there. (If you haven’t heard of her, stop reading this and go watch her videos.) With elegant backdrops, hilarious cuts, and succulent segues, she might be described as the goddess of a new left: one that responds to alt-right drivel with confidence, disarming humor, and good old degeneracy. She has described herself as the left’s immune system. Spot on.

What does she have to do with veganism? I recently read an interview with Wynn in LifeHacker’s How I Eat series, which focuses on how “interesting people keep themselves fed.” (No, I don’t normally read about what people eat.)

Early on in the interview, Wynn reveals in characteristically admirable fashion that ethics isn’t really a part of her diet:

First, a disclaimer that anyone hoping to get any kind of ethical guidance from me when it comes to diet is going to be very disappointed, because it just alternates between chaos and evil over here.

Later on in the interview, when asked if she has a “shame meal” or a “sad meal,” Wynn says, in part:

Sometimes I feel like it’s all shame meals because I have this strong sense that I really should be vegan, or at least not eat so much meat all the time. I tried and just can’t do it. I’ve tasted the blood and now my body wants blood.

This suggests that she’s tried veganism and failed due to the inadequacy of vegan options. It’s impossible to tell when this was, but it’s undoubtedly true that vegan options are increasing exponentially.

I want to make an appeal directly to you, dearest ContraPoints, on why you should give veganism another shot.

Even though you’re probably well aware, the simple, bulletproof case for veganism looks like this:

  1. Animals, including farm animals, are capable of experiencing pain and suffering.
  2. Livestock raised for food suffer as part of standard farm practices.
  3. Reducing demand for meat and animal products reduces the number of livestock raised in such conditions.

You can find resources for debunking common anti-vegan arguments and addressing common questions people ask of vegans here and here.

Now let’s move on to the practicalities. Without knowing when you tried going vegan in the past, it’s hard to know how much the landscape has changed. But it’s undoubtedly true that it has changed. There are new vegan options popping up every day – new non-dairy milks, new veggie burgers, new cheeses, and so on. There’s even vegan corn dogs. I know you love corn dogs.

So there are many more options today than there were when you tried veganism. This means that you can in all likelihood find foods that satiate your literal blood-thirst. The Impossible burger, for example, is a favorite among meat-eaters. The Beyond Burger is incredible, too, even bleeding like a conventional burger.

Maybe you have tried these new foods and enjoy them. In that case, I hope you do make the leap and replace some of your conventional meat and animal products with these veggie analogues.

It’s not clear how long you tried veganism for, but it is common for people to quit after some number of months because they aren’t taking vitamin B12 or getting enough iron or whatever. Another common problem is simply not getting enough calories, since vegan foods tend to be less calorically dense. Maybe if you took these considerations into account, assuming that you didn’t before, then you’d be more successful in adopting a vegan lifestyle.

This isn’t to say you can’t be vegetarian. Maybe that’s a start — it’s what I did myself. Going straight from omnivorism to veganism is a pretty abrupt lifestyle change. You could have more success if you make a pit stop at vegetarianism.

There are many people that look up to you. If you go vegan, you’ll have an impact on others that may be considering making the leap. This means that your decision to eschew meat and animal products could save far more lives than the average vegan.

You already make a significant difference in advocating for vulnerable members of society. If you expand your moral circle to once again include animals, you’d save even more lives than you already do.


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