Carnism Debunked

Humanely slaughtering the arguments for animal exploitation.


Ad hominem: attacking the arguer rather than the argument.
Example: "You're a self-righteous vegan ass-hole. Fuck off and let me eat what I want."

Anecdotal fallacy: using anecdotes to form a conclusion as opposed to solid science.
Example: "My friend went vegan and got really sick. Veganism is unhealthy."

Appeal to consequences: asserting that a position is false just because it is believed that the course of action that follows from that argument could lead to undesirable consequences.
Example: "Think of all the people who'd be put out of work in the farming industry if you got your way and everyone went vegan."

Appeal to dictionary: using dictionary definitions (which are ever-changing) to argue the invalidity of a statement, as opposed to using reason.
Example: "The definition of 'murder' is the act of one human being killing another human being. And 'someone' refers to humans, not to animals. It says so in the dictionary."

Appeal to emotion: where an argument is made due to the manipulation of emotions, rather than the use of valid reasoning.
Example: "My grandma is dying. I've got a lot on my mind at the moment. Yet you want to sit here and criticise me for quitting veganism as if that's my number 1 concern right now. Have some sympathy."

Appeal to false authority: where an assertion is deemed true because of the position or authority of a person asserting it, even though that person is in no more a credible position to assert it than the person they're arguing with.
Example: "My doctor told me I need to eat meat for iron. I think I'm gonna listen to a doctor over some whiny vegan."

Appeal to fear: a type of argument that is argued based on scaremongering as opposed to valid reasoning.
Example: "If you go vegan your hair will fall out. And your bones will break. And you'll be really pale and get really sick. And you'll feel really weak. You'll get loads of nutritional deficiencies."

Appeal to legality: arguing that something is morally acceptable just because it's legal.
Example: "It's not illegal to eat meat. You can't say things like rape, slavery and murder are as bad as animal agriculture. Those things are illegal."

Appeal to nature: arguing that because something is natural or biological, that it is morally acceptable.
Example: "Lions eat other animals in nature. It's the food chain. And we're omnivores. Look at our teeth. So it's morally acceptable to eat meat."

Appeal to pleasure: arguing that something is morally justifiable simply because it feels good to the arguer.
Example: "Yeah but meat tastes good."

Appeal to popularity: arguing that something is right just because the majority agree with it.
Example: "Most people eat meat. Most people would agree with me that it's okay to farm animals for food. Veganism is bullshit. Hardly anyone cares."

Appeal to poverty: supporting a conclusion because an arguer of it is financially poor.
Example: "My friend lives in a food desert and says it's too hard to be vegan. It's easy for you to say that veganism is easy when you're so privileged. I'll trust my friend over your white-privileged ass."

Appeal to ridicule: an argument is made by presenting the opponent's argument in a way that makes it appear ridiculous.
Example: "Yeah, let me guess, so you'll just want us to subsist on air. We should all just become breatharians. That way, you vegans will get your dream and we won't harm anyone at all. ROFL."

Appeal to tradition: a fallacy where the arguer asserts that something is acceptable to do simply because it's been done for a long period of time.
Example: "Humans have been eating meat for thousands of years."

Appeal to wealth: opposite of appeal to poverty, and instead supporting the conclusion because one is in a financially wealthy position.
Example: "You vegans are just a bunch of broke bums. Stop protesting and go and get a job like the rest of meat-eating society. Your cause is bullshit."

Association fallacy: arguing that because two things share something in common, they must be the same.
Example: "A vegan was rude to me once. So I hate vegans, and won't be going vegan."

Cherry picking: pointing out small cases of data that support an argument while ignoring the vast swathes of data that counter it.
Example: "Forcing your kids onto a vegan diet is child abuse. Didn't you see that story recently about the couple who were jailed because they fed their baby a vegan diet and the baby died of malnutrition?"

Descriptive argument: simply describing something for what it is deemed to be as opposed to addressing why it's morally wrong to do something.
Example: "Why eat pigs but not dogs? Simple. A dog is a pet. A pig is food. Don't you vegans get that?"

Existential fallacy: arguing something is okay to do to someone simply because they wouldn't have been born if they weren't brought into the world for that purpose.
Example: "Farm animals are bred for that purpose. So you'd rather we just didn't farm them and they didn't exist at all? We give them life."

Fallacy of relative privation (or 'appeal to other problems'): dismissing the argument just because other things are going on in the world, as if that's relevant.
Example: "There are people dying in Syria and you want to stand here telling people to be vegan? There are other issues in the world we need to be focusing on right now."

Hypothetical scenario: scenarios proposed that are never actually going to happen, as a way of trying to refute the argument.
Example: "What if you were stranded on a desert island with just a pig and nothing else to eat?"

Ignoratio elenchi: an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.
Example: "Meat has all the essential amino acids."

Might makes right: asserting that something is morally acceptable because one is in a position of power over the victim.
Example: "Humans are top of the food chain. We have evolved to be the dominant species. So we can choose to eat what we want."

Moving the goalposts: argument in which evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded.
Example: "Okay, so you've shown me a list of vegan bodybuilders as I asked. But now show me a list of vegan bodybuilders who have been vegan since birth!"

Nirvana fallacy: a fallacy where solutions to problems are rejected because they are not perfect.
Example: "You're never gonna get everyone to go vegan. Animals are still going to die, regardless."

Reification: an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real thing, and is directly observable, as opposed to just mere words/abstractions.
Example: "It's the food chain." / "It's the circle of life."

Red herring fallacy: attempting to divert the argument away from the actual topic being discussed so it's easier to argue.
Example: "There are people in Africa that can't go vegan. And what about people in the North Pole? Not everyone can be vegan."

Shotgun argumentation: the arguer offers such a large number of arguments for a position that the opponent can't possibly respond to all of them in a decent amount of time.
Example: "Hah, veganism is ridiculous. Are you gonna stop a lion from eating a gazelle? And what about plants? Scientific studies show they feel pain. And we're omnivores. Our ancestors ate meat. Meat is a reliable source of B12. It's completely natural to eat it. We're top of the food chain. It's the circle of life. Life eats life. Animals are going to be killed whether you're a vegan or not. Stop forcing your views on others. You're like religious fanatics. Veganism isn't possible for everyone. My friend got really sick when they tried to go vegan. And if you love animals so much, why are you eating all their food? And what if you were stuck on a desert island? Blah blah blah blah..."

Slippery slope: assuming that just because one change is made, an extreme chain of events will follow, completely ignoring any middle ground.
Example: "If we stop farming animals we'll stop being the dominant species and they'll end up eating us instead."

Straw man fallacy: an argument based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
Example: "Hah, so you want to turn lions and tigers and all the other creatures who eat meat vegan. This is why veganism is just nonsense."

Thought-terminating cliché: using words or phrases that discourage critical thought and meaningful discussion about a given topic, in order to end the argument and move on (as a way of combating cognitive dissonance).
Example: "Okay, you don't want to eat meat, but others do. Personal choice. Let's all just live and let live."

Tu quoque fallacy: stating that an argument falls apart simply because the arguer doesn't or is unable to live in complete consistency with that position.
Example: "Harming animals is wrong, eh? Well you step on ants every time you leave the house. And do you live in a house? Use electricity? Drive a car?"