One shared stereotype between atheists and vegans is that they bring up the topic within 5 minutes of meeting people. In theory, they both have extreme beliefs and lifestyles that many other Americans don’t feel comfortable with accepting.
Atheists deny the existence of God or any kind of higher spiritual power. Meanwhile, vegans deny the need to consume any animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) in order to be healthy.
Both extremes deny things that most people can’t live without: God or edible animal products.
It’s almost an impossible question; to ask, “Which is more difficult, to become an atheist or a vegan?”
(That’s of course assuming you’re not already an atheist or agnostic; or vegetarian or vegan.)
I think much of the difficulty in legitimately asking and answering this question in a public online forum is that it might be easier for the participants to become more focused on bashing each other’s beliefs than it is to actually simply answer the question I am proposing. Hopefully, that’s not the case…
If you live your entire life believing in God (or at least some kind of spiritual higher power), it seems it would be nearly impossible to just switch off that fundamental belief; especially knowing that to believe in God is to accept accountability for your life, once it ends; assuming there are eternal rewards and consequences, accordingly.
It seems that if you truly believe in God, even if you’re a “lapsed Catholic” or a “backslidden Baptist,” you still wouldn’t be able to declare there is no God; because in your heart, you still would believe there is.
In my mind, to choose becoming an atheist over a vegan means you are already heading down that path of non-belief; that you’re already quite skeptical of God, or at least of the general public’s view of what God is supposed to be like.
But my perception is, that is not how most people (at least here in America) are.
On the other hand, if you are used to eating meat, dairy, and eggs, you could switch to just eating veggies, fruit, grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. However, it would take much education to realize it could be done.
Most people still believe the myth that vegans don’t get enough protein. But I feel I’ve done a good job of busting that myth.
(Please read my related post: Vegans Don’t Get Enough Protein and the World is Still Flat.)
Look at me. I’ve been a vegan nearly 4 years now, and a vegetarian more than a year before that, and kosher (no pork/shellfish) for several years before that.
At 5’9”, 155 pounds, and age 34, I have remained in the perfect weight range. Notably, I am clearly not underweight.
If I wasn’t getting enough protein, it would be pretty obvious.
Of course, my doctor confirms I am getting enough protein, as well as all other nutrients I need; and that I am “healthier than most 34 year-olds” he’s seen.
He even commented that he “wasn’t surprised” to learn in hindsight that I am a vegan; since I waited for him to assess my health before I broke the news about my plant-based lifestyle.
I say that not to brag, but to provide evidence that when you actually replace animal products with the proper plant sources of fat, protein, and iron, becoming a vegan is actually an intelligent and efficient option.
Plus, by being a vegan, by default, you consume less than 1% (basically 0%) of your daily allowance of cholesterol. You still consume a lot of fat, but virtually no cholesterol.
But in my experience, most people either A) don’t know this, B) don’t believe this, or C) don’t care.
Therefore, there are many people who believe in God but who are unable to bring themselves to believe that becoming a vegan is a sustainable lifestyle. They would have great difficulty in denying their belief that consuming animal products is necessary for proper nutrition.
That’s why I think it’s such a great, and difficult, question to answer.
Assuming you’re not already an atheist or agnostic, or vegetarian or vegan, which is more difficult, to become an atheist or a vegan?
I think I am the perfect person to propose this question.
That’s because I am not the stereotypical vegan. Most vegans, as this infographic below demonstrates, are liberal, non-religious females.
Meanwhile, I am a Libertarian (socially liberal, fiscally conservative), religious male.
For me personally, the answer is obviously simple: It’s easier to become a vegan, but impossible to become an atheist.
My faith is God is non-negotiable. Sure, I will go to my grave with questions I don’t understand about God, but to me, that’s what real faith is anyway.
And I’ve already been living the vegan lifestyle for nearly 4 years.
I’ve “been there, done that” when it comes to answer the vegan question.
But what do you think? What’s your answer?
Assuming you’re not already an atheist or agnostic, or vegetarian or vegan…
Which would be more difficult: To become an atheist or a vegan?