Actually, the science says you’re wrong

Conclusions High milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women.”

In fact, if anything, it seems actually worse for your bones than not consuming milk:

After controlling for known risk factors and current milk consumption, each additional glass of milk per day during teenage years was associated with a significant 9% higher risk of hip fracture in men

We do actually need calcium, but there’s no studies linking animal milk with positive bone health at all. It’s just that calcium generally prevents oesteoporisis, so it was used as a marketing ploy. Considering 70% of the world is lactose intolerant and diary is generally high saturated fat and moderate cholesterol, it makes sense this isn’t the best source.

Here’s a list of vegan sources of calcium.

2. Yes, animals actually do have to get pregnant for you to consume their milk. I wish i didn’t even have to write this one out, but sadly i’ve seen multiple people somehow think the cows don’t need to be pregnant for 9 months before giving off 3 months of milk before being forcibly impregnated again.

And yes, when the baby cows are stolen the mothers will “Bawl for days” according to this dairy farmer who starts tearing up at the emotional turmoil he causes every year for these poor animals. The male calves are discarded, and the females age up into being turned into machines for humans, who will live out as long as 1/4 of their natural lifespan before being executed for producing not enough milk. Vegetarians are just as deadly to cows as the carnists are.

3. Actually, leather is worse for the environment than anything synthetic.

Cow ranching is the top driver for deforestation, so i have no fucking idea how people were trying to claim leather was not having an impact. Aside from cows also being the biggest methane producers in animal agriculture, treating cow skin and turning into leather can only be described as ‘Godawful” for the environment. I’ll just screenshot the main summary here, but please read their whole page and check out their sources.

Or since that might be dismissed as vegan propaganda, how about wikipedia?

Yes, some syntethic textiles might still have issues. But i could find no science saying they were anywhere near as destructive, and they don’t require an animal sacrifice. Besides, why use pleather when we could be using more sustainable natural fibers instead? We can and should still aim to be as sustainable as possible.

4. Actually, you don’t need to eat an animal’s flesh to get protein.

There’s a lot of misconceptions with protein. Firstly, protein is just our human name for a type of chemical called an animo acid. There are actually 6 amino acids our bodies create by themselves, and we need to injest 9 others. Let’s play around on this free cronometer to see how hard it is to get those nutrients.

You’re trying to make your money stretch, so you buy a bunch of bulk rice, lentils, and black beans. Will you get protein deficiency?

Nope! Turns out all those chemicals are super easy to get from plants! BTW the price of this 1500 calories meal/66 g protein gigameal i estimated to cost around $3 in my city.

In fact, the whole protein obsession has racist, colonialist roots. You see, it was assumed that people who were malnurished were sick because they weren’t eating the diet europeans were, which was high in animals. But actually, the diet they were eating was fine on amino acids, it was literally that they weren’t getting enough calories to eat at all. This podcast is fascinating listen, but i’ll summarize with the sources they provided.

This paper says a few things i want to share:

Protein requirements cannot be considered separately from energy requirements.

“The fault, if there has been a fault, is the supposition that
an extremely complicated syndrome attributed to
protein deficiency can be treated and controlled by a
simple replacement therapy with a dose of protein,
much as one would give an appropriate dosage of a
vitamin in a vitamin-deficiency disease.”

The authors make the argument that you should simply provide the children with nutritious food and don’t try to even focus on high protein diets. In fact, focusing on products marketed as high protein makes things worse for low-income and remote families, because they will stretch their budget for a high cost animal corpses instead of consuming a sufficient amount of calories.

“Any special food which adds to the total cost of food in the family budget
will be self-defeating. It may make matters worse if a relatively expensive high-protein food is promoted as a measure to prevent protein deficiency and the higher cost leads to a reduction of total energy intake.”

That may be why the World Health Organization doesn’t even mention protein on their healthy diet page.(They also only mention ‘meat’ as something to limit)

5. Actually, cows are still bad for the environment.

Especially including grass fed. Leaving any land alone to heal will be better for the environment than any form of development involving animal agriculture.

“Empty” land is critical for absorbing carbon.

Terrestrial vegetation and soils are currently absorbing approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions from human activities. Changes in agricultural and forestry practices and slowing deforestation could increase this, potentially achieving a maximum of 25% of the reductions in CO2 that are projected to be required globally by 2050 to avoid large increases in temperature.

Guess what cows eat? Vegetation. Guess what cows produce? Methane, which heats our atmosphere x100 times faster than Co2 in the short term.

This excellent resource has the same graph but per 100g of protein, it’s more or less the same, with virtually no emissions from plants and a disastrous amount of emissions from animals.

Might as well share another favorite of mine:

Even if we stopped all other emissions, we are still completely fucked on our emissions budget unless people reduce their animal consumption. Thanks, animal killers!

6. We’re actually not keeping animals we’re constantly farming from overpopulating or extinction.

That’s not how habitats work. Life of any type will reproduce and use as much resources as a habitat can bear, and face natural population growth and dips depending on the resources.

We’re artificially inflating the populations of farmed animals by force breeding them, if we stopped that they would return to to reproducing at the normal rate for their natural habitat. We’ve messed with the natural habitat and domesticated a few animals to the degree that there are a few that might require human caretaking, but that is not true for the vast majority of species that people raise to murder.

In terms of deer, if we wanted to eliminate them all for good, as we do other animals classed as “pests”, there would be no need for hunting tags. The existence of seasonal game hunting exists for the state to profit off the selling of those animals bodies. We could easily shoot deer with contraceptives to slow their reproduction rate if it was really about the good of the deer population.

Finally, humans are the ones causing mass extinctions.

“Ecosystem fragmentation, intensive farming, climate change and pollution threaten the biodiversity of many organism groups with a greatly increased risk of species extinction”

The biggest cause is once against animal agriculture.

Biodiversity loss is accelerating around the world. The global rate of species extinction today is orders of magnitude higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years.

The global food system is the primary driver of this trend. Over the past 50 years, the conversion of natural ecosystems for crop production or pasture has been the principal cause of habitat loss, in turn reducing biodiversity.

“But that says crop production, not just pasture!”

Sorry, but the majority of crops go to feeding animals, so we can absorb a fraction of their calories.

7. Actually, most soy goes to feeding animals.

It’s true that deforestation is happening for soy. However, that’s because the animal flesh carnists consumes, takes plants to grow.

The demand for massive tons of soybeans is pretty clearly not due to the human desire to eat it directly.

This is true of most monocrops. Those vast fields of corn is not going directly into consumer’s mouths. It’s being fed to animals, or turned into oils, with a small percentage being consumed as the raw plant itself.

8. Soy is good, you’re just racist.

Firstly, asian men are not weaker or naturally more effeminate than any other type of man. This is a myth colonizers used to justify oppressing asians. There is no proof of any sort of feminizing effect to consuming soy, and soy is not even the only plant with phytoestrogens (trust me, trans people would know if phytoestrogens actually worked the same as hormone replacement therapy). It’s so widespread it shows up even in animal products.

Soy has been studied over and over and so far the only health effects found were mildly positive in women. It seems to have very little to no effect on men.

Several lines of epidemiological evidence indicate a linear relationship between increasing soy consumption and a decreased risk of recurrence and/or mortality of breast cancer, particularly among Chinese women.

In fact, the hormones they pump cows full of actually seem to have a more impact on humans than any plant.

it seems that steroid hormones are very potent compounds in dairy foods, which exerting profound biological effects in animals and humans. Most of the previous knowledge about the steroids is according on their physiologic and sometimes supra-physiologic concentrations of steroids but recently it is found that these compounds even at very low doses may have significant biological effects. Special concern should be paid to the effects, which may occur during certain and sensitive time points including perinatal and pubertal periods. To this end and with respect to the considerable progress in developing of analytical methods and bioassays, it is critically needed to clarify the possible and potential impact of the present hormones especially estrogens in dairy foods on consumers health situation because it is already pointed out that possible unwanted effects on human health by consumption of meat from oestrogen-treated animals cannot be excluded.

This one says:

Meat was most closely correlated with the breast cancer incidence (r=0.827), followed by milk (0.817) and cheese (0.751). Stepwise multiple-regression analysis (SMRA) identified meat as the factor contributing most greatly to the incidence of breast cancer ([R]=0.862). Milk was most closely correlated with the incidence of ovarian cancer (r=0.779), followed by animal fats (0.717) and cheese (0.697). SMRA revealed that milk plus cheese make the greatest contribution to the incidence of ovarian cancer ([R]=0.767). Milk was most closely correlated with corpus uteri cancer (r=0.814), followed by cheese (0.787). SMRA revealed that milk plus cheese make the most significant contribution to the incidence of corpus uteri cancer ([R]=0.861). In conclusion, increased consumption of animal-derived food may have adverse effects on the development of hormone-dependent cancers.

Whereas soy had a mild protective effect, diary and animal corpses seem to actually increase your risk of developing hormone dependent cancer.

Here’s some tips on how to cook tofu. It can be delicious, i promise.

9. Animal testing is actually a terrible model for human medicine.

“Although it is widely accepted that medicine should be evidence based, animal experimentation as a means of informing human health has generally not been held, in practice, to this standard.”

Evidence should be the #1 reason we do something in science. Yet it doesn’t exist for animal testing.

“The lack of sufficient congruence between animal models and human diseases is another significant obstacle to translational reliability. Human diseases are typically artificially induced in animals, but the enormous difficulty of reproducing anything approaching the complexity of human diseases in animal models limits their usefulness.20 Even if the design and conduct of an animal experiment are sound and standardized, the translation of its results to the clinic may fail because of disparities between the animal experimental model and the human condition.21

Consider that our closest relatives in the non-human animal kingdom are chimanzees which only 98.8 simiair to us genetically. Consider also that we couldn’t even get them to be an adequate experimental model for HIV — the chimps become sick with a similair virus (SIV) but do not develop anything like AIDS, and that the majority of animals used in laboratories are even more different than us to chimps. We are currently in a deadly pandemic that had killed millions of humans, and yet we do not see vast quantities of animals passing away at the same rate with the same symptoms. Animal testing has been underway during this whole time, yet we still have no idea what will happen to humans next because infected humans are only actual real data points we have.

“Immense resources and decades of time have been devoted to creating NHP (including chimpanzee) models of HIV. Yet all of about 90 HIV vaccines that succeeded in animals failed in humans.55 After HIV vaccine gp120 failed in clinical trials, despite positive outcomes in chimpanzees, a BMJ article commented that important differences between NHPs and humans with HIV misled researchers, taking them down unproductive experimental paths.56 Gp120 failed to neutralize HIV grown and tested in cell culture. However, because the serum protected chimpanzees from HIV infection, two Phase 3 clinical trials were undertaken57 — a clear example of how expectations that NHP data are more predictive than data from other (in this case, cell culture) testing methods are unproductive and harmful. Despite the repeated failures, NHPs (though not chimpanzees or other great apes) remain widely used for HIV research.”

But it’s actually worse than us torturing animals for no reason except to appeal to some twisted fantasy that their bodies will react in the same way as ours. Animal testing actually leads to negative effects on human medicine. A drug that spent years in animal trials might have no or deletrious effect on humans, thus wasting valuable research time and resources for nothing.

“One of the most promising stroke treatments later to emerge was NXY-059, which proved effective in animal experiments. However, the drug failed in clinical trials, despite the fact that the set of animal experiments on this drug was considered the poster child for the new experimental standards.”

“More than 114 potential therapies initially tested in animals failed in human trials.”

“In 2010, Maas et al. reported on 27 large Phase 3 clinical trials and 6 unpublished trials in TBI that all failed to show human benefit after showing benefit in animals.33 Additionally, even after success in animals, around 172 and 150 drug development failures have been identified in the treatment of human AD34 and inflammatory diseases,35 respectively.”

“A notable systematic review, published in 2007, compared animal experimentation results with clinical trial findings across interventions aimed at the treatment of head injury, respiratory distress syndrome, osteoporosis, stroke, and hemorrhage.37 The study found that the human and animal results were in accordance only half of the time. In other words, the animal experiments were no more likely than a flip of the coin to predict whether those interventions would benefit humans.”

“despite efforts to improve the predictability of animal testing, the failure rate has actually increased and is now closer to 96 percent.39 The main causes of failure are lack of effectiveness and safety problems that were not predicted by animal tests.40

“no more likely to predict than a flip of a coin” is not exactly what we would call evidence based, or even close to science.

“Further exemplifying the importance of physiological differences among species, a 2013 study reported that the mouse models used extensively to study human inflammatory diseases (in sepsis, burns, infection, and trauma) have been misleading. The study found that mice differ greatly from humans in their responses to inflammatory conditions. Mice differed from humans in what genes were turned on and off and in the timing and duration of gene expression. The mouse models even differed from one another in their responses. The investigators concluded that “our study supports higher priority to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory disease.”47 The different genetic responses between mice and humans are likely responsible, at least in part, for the high drug failure rate. The authors stated that every one of almost 150 clinical trials that tested candidate agents’ ability to block inflammatory responses in critically ill patients failed.”

“Okay, but that’s mice, not something closer to us.”

“In many instances, nonhuman primates (NHPs) are used instead of mice or other animals, with the expectation that NHPs will better mimic human results. However, there have been sufficient failures in translation to undermine this optimism. For example, NHP models have failed to reproduce key features of Parkinson’s disease, both in function and in pathology.52 Several therapies that appeared promising in both NHPs and rat models of Parkinson’s disease showed disappointing results in humans.53 The campaign to prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in millions of women to prevent cardiovascular disease was based in large part on experiments on NHPs. HRT is now known to increase the risk of these diseases in women.54

Nope, still pseudoscience.

“The implicit assumption that NHP (and indeed any animal) data are reliable has also led to significant and unjustifiable human suffering. For example, clinical trial volunteers for gp120 were placed at unnecessary risk of harm because of unfounded confidence in NHP experiments. Two landmark studies involving thousands of menopausal women being treated with HRT were terminated early because of increased stroke and breast cancer risk.58 In 2003, Elan Pharmaceuticals was forced to prematurely terminate a Phase 2 clinical trial when an investigational AD vaccine was found to cause brain swelling in human subjects. No significant adverse effects were detected in GM mice or NHPs.59

In another example of human suffering resulting from animal experimentation, six human volunteers were injected with an immunomodulatory drug, TGN 1412, in 2006.60 Within minutes of receiving the experimental drug, all volunteers suffered a severe adverse reaction resulting from a life-threatening cytokine storm that led to catastrophic systemic organ failure. The compound was designed to dampen the immune system, but it had the opposite effect in humans. Prior to this first human trial, TGN 1412 was tested in mice, rabbits, rats, and NHPs with no ill effects. NHPs also underwent repeat-dose toxicity studies and were given 500 times the human dose for at least four consecutive weeks.61 None of the NHPs manifested the ill effects that humans showed almost immediately after receiving minute amounts of the test drug. Cynomolgus and rhesus monkeys were specifically chosen because their CD28 receptors demonstrated similar affinity to TGN 1412 as human CD28 receptors. Based on such data as these, it was confidently concluded that results obtained from these NHPs would most reliably predict drug responses in humans — a conclusion that proved devastatingly wrong.”

tl;dr —medicine that worked perfectly in all animals including primates turned out to be poison for humans.

Clinical trial volunteers are thus provided with raised hopes and a false sense of security because of a misguided confidence in efficacy and safety testing using animals.

People volunteered to be at the front of COVID-19 vaccine testing lines in 2019. There’s never really been any shortage of humans willing to put their life on the line for science and the good of humanity. But we need to make sure we’re doing it in the safest possible way. There is no evidence animal testing is actually making things any safer, certainly not to the degree that it could be counted as “evidence” and is responsible for the deaths of millions of animals every year.

We even already have human medicine that wasn’t tested on animals that would have failed animal testing.

“An equal if indirect source of human suffering is the opportunity cost of abandoning promising drugs because of misleading animal tests.68 As candidate drugs generally proceed down the development pipeline and to human testing based largely on successful results in animals69 (i.e., positive efficacy and negative adverse effects), drugs are sometimes not further developed due to unsuccessful results in animals (i.e., negative efficacy and/or positive adverse effects).”

“tamoxifen, one of the most effective drugs for certain types of breast cancer, “would most certainly have been withdrawn from the pipeline” if its propensity to cause liver tumor in rats had been discovered in preclinical testing rather than after the drug had been on the market for years.72 Gleevec provides another example of effective drugs that could have been abandoned based on misleading animal tests: this drug, which is used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), showed serious adverse effects in at least five species tested, including severe liver damage in dogs. However, liver toxicity was not detected in human cell assays, and clinical trials proceeded, which confirmed the absence of significant liver toxicity in humans.73 Fortunately for CML patients, Gleevec is a success story of predictive human-based testing. Many useful drugs that have safely been used by humans for decades, such as aspirin and penicillin, may not have been available today if the current animal testing regulatory requirements were in practice during their development.”

Animal Testers shocked at this one weird trick: Humans bodies’ process chemicals differently than mice.

Imagine if foods had to be tested on every species of animal life before we could deem it safe to eat. Coffee, chocolate, and sugar would never have been approved for general consumption.

“ A further example of near-missed opportunities is provided by experiments on animals that delayed the acceptance of cyclosporine, a drug widely and successfully used to treat autoimmune disorders and prevent organ transplant rejection.75 Its immunosuppressive effects differed so markedly among species that researchers judged that the animal results limited any direct inferences that could be made to humans. Providing further examples, PharmaInformatic released a report describing how several blockbuster drugs, including aripiprazole (Abilify) and esomeprazole (Nexium), showed low oral bioavailability in animals. They would likely not be available on the market today if animal tests were solely relied on. Understanding the implications of its findings for drug development in general, PharmaInformatic asked, “Which other blockbuster drugs would be on the market today, if animal trials would have not been used to preselect compounds and drug-candidates for further development?”76 These near-missed opportunities and the overall 96 percent failure rate in clinical drug testing strongly suggest the unsoundness of animal testing as a precondition of human clinical trials and provide powerful evidence for the need for a new, human-based paradigm in medical research and drug development.”

The world would be objectively worse off had pencillin been forced to go through animal testing, and that’s a fact.

Now. No vegan is going to advocate for coerced human testing (especially not on prisoners). Even volunteer based testing should be limited and made as safe as possible first, and subject to rigorous ethical oversight. Luckily there are plenty of ways we could expand to safely testing on human tissue without harming any actual living humans.

“Human organs grown in the lab, human organs on a chip, cognitive computing technologies, 3D printing of human living tissues, and the Human Toxome Project are examples of new human-based technologies that are garnering widespread enthusiasm. The benefit of using these testing methods in the preclinical setting over animal experiments is that they are based on human biology. Thus their use eliminates much of the guesswork required when attempting to extrapolate physiological data from other species to humans. Additionally, these tests offer whole-systems biology, in contrast to traditional in vitro techniques. Although they are gaining momentum, these human-based tests are still in their relative infancy, and funding must be prioritized for their further development. The recent advancements made in the development of more predictive, human-based systems and biological approaches in chemical toxicological testing are an example of how newer and improved tests have been developed because of a shift in prioritization.7

This would catapult our human medicine. A lot of people might have heard of personalized DNA medicine and most of these would be intermediary steps to get us there. In addition, it would save countless animal lives and also save scientists the traumatic tasks of having to harm and execute animals when they are trying to develop medicine for helping humans.

10. Actually, what you do does matter.

Any tipping for larger society takes around 25% of people to be on board with it. The growth is always slow but exponential. One person changing one person’s mind is sufficient to keep the movement from dying. One person convincing two others is growth. And that growth continues. People advocating for animal rights have been around since 6th century BC. Some countries are largely vegetarian, though the colonizer western diet has become more popular due to propaganda by the billion dollar animal agriculture companies. The modern vegan movement seems to be picking up speed too, although slowly.

When faced with any movement for progress (in this case progress against unneeded cruelty and suffering toward billions of animals), you either become part of the problem or part of the change. Just as the opposite of racism is antiracism, the opposite of veganism is needless animal cruelty. There is no in between, you are either participating in the wrongness or you are not. Do you want to be on the side of change for the better, or do you want to impede us? Either way you are making a choice, and that choice matters.

Further reading:

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