I came across this video today in my suggested videos list on YouTube and right away, I knew what I was in for. While I don’t know much about Jordan Peterson as a person, I do find myself liking what he has to say most of the time. However, he does tend to over-complicate things once in a while, from what I’ve seen, and this is the case when it comes to his stance on veganism. In this video, a student asks him something about his views on religion (It’s difficult to hear exactly what she asked), and suddenly, he starts ranting about vegans, basically saying they are a fundamentalist religion. Let’s take a look at his arguments:
- The main argument against vegans (or as Jordan calls them, “vay-guns”) starts at 1:38 in the video, stating, “How many vegans do you know? They’re clueless religious. What they have is ritual without philosophy, fundamentally.”
He doesn’t provide any examples of how veganism equates to a religion, or how it is “clueless” in any way. According to Google, the definition of “religion” is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods,” or “a particular system of faith and worship.” Nothing about veganism is based on faith. It is completely based on facts of what happens to animals when they are tortured and slaughtered for our food, and the goal is to take personal responsibility and reduce that cruelty as much as possible by not purchasing, wearing, or consuming those products. According to modern nutritional science, such as the China Study, it is also extremely beneficial to our health to eat a plant-based diet as well. None of this has to do with any sort of worship, Gods, or religious leaders. It’s all about making the personal choice to be compassionate and responsible.
Besides, being vegan isn’t really that weird of alien any more. Most major grocery stores carry at least a few meat and dairy alternatives. Seriously, vegan stuff is everywhere now!
- “So what’s happened in many cases is that as the sophisticated religion, so to speak, have collapsed, what emerges from the ashes are rituals. And rituals are sort of the ground out of which religion emerges. Vegans, vegetarianism, vegetarians, environmentalists, anybody who’s an idiolog… The reason that I would consider those in the religious domain is their systems of value. And they’re predicated on fundamental assumptions that you have to take on faith.”
The definition of an “ideolog” is “person advocating some ideology, especially as an official or the most eminent advocate.” However, if he’s referring to anyone with strong ideologies, he should probably look in the mirror. Any thinking person follows and represents some ideology, whether they know it or not. For Jordan, it’s usually the conservative and anti-SJW movement. Just because someone has strong ideologies does not make that their “religion” and it does not make them “ritualistic.” That being said, he still fails to provide any examples of how vegans and vegetarians are following a movement of rituals. Sure, religions have rituals, but there are significant spiritual reasons for them most of the time. But veganism is not a religion. I myself am a religious person, and I’m not going to get into a rebuttal over Jordan’s distaste for religion in this post at least. But that being said, if someone doesn’t believe in the concept of spirituality, then they are not going to believe in faith. The reasons for veganism, however, are fact. Yet most people choose to turn a blind eye anyway, even when facts on it are presented to them. If Jordan is so against SJWs (which I am too), then perhaps he should recognize that closing your ears to facts is something SJWs do, not what rational and logical people do.
- He then goes on to make general atheist arguments for the rest of the video, but this statement in particular, he still connects with vegans too: “See that’s the thing that’s so peculiar is, it really turns out that if you’re going to act, and you have to act, you have to make assumptions. And the reason for that is, what the h*** do you know? You’ve got to put your ignorance somewhere. And people put their ignorance, they box it up inside their assumptions. And those assumptions vary.”
Well, Jordan, do you ever ask yourself, “What the h*** do I know?” Because it goes both ways. Sure, no one has complete solid evidence over the mysteries of the universe, but when it comes to something as concrete as animal abuse, causes of disease, and blatant harm to the environment, yeah, there is plenty of solid and tangible evidence for that. Vegans are not making assumptions. If anything, meat eaters are, because they’re not even questioning how their food got to their plate or what they could do to stop that suffering.
Sorry for the graphic nature, but do you think THIS is just an “assumption?”
Jordan often says, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” He’s right. They don’t. No matter how much you cling to an ideology just because it makes you “feel good” does not mean it’s true or it’s best for the world. When it comes to veganism, perhaps Jordan needs to stop caring about his feelings and start looking at the facts, the way he does with most everything else.
Never be the one who falls for a reassuring lie over an inconvenient truth. Take care, my friends. :)