Rachel Atlas: A common critique of veganism is that humans "evolved to eat meat." I think that evolution is an argument for, not against, veganism. The intrigue of humans is not their abilities to live as "man in nature" (I live in a modern metropolis and study at the university), but their abilities to constantly adapt to a context they did not evolve in. Since the emergence of global trade, our pantries have known new foods and we have been able (even forced) to choose what we eat based on our unique food philosophies, rather than availability of food source. Rather than using our physical traits to help us choose our cuisine, we must use our intellect (both are evolutionary characteristics). I choose to eat in such a way that reduces the stress on the land and that is most aware of and respectful to all forms of life.
Anna Waldeck: I started eating a vegan diet when I came to college, after watching Food Inc. and meeting other vegans. I am thankful to have learned the truth about the way that the factory farm system treats animals, and I don’t want to support it. I believe that all animals need to be treated with respect. As the animal farm industry and fishing industry is also a major source of pollution and environmental degradation, I also feel good about protecting nature everyday through my food choices. Since adopting a vegan diet, I feel healthier, eat more fruits and vegetables, and have more energy in the day. In our modern society, it is not necessary that we rely on animals for food, and to actually feed the entire world population, we would all need to eat a largely plant-based diet.
Wayne Hsiung: Bentham said it best: "The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"