@ Charlie, I'm grateful that you, "don't have a problem with" our choosing a vegan lifestyle. Thank you. Yesterday, a guy told me he had no problem with my not owning slaves. Unfortunately, when I suggested that his ownership of slaves was evil, selfish, and cruel, he said that I should follow my own conscience and let him follow his.
There are other sites where we can discuss overpopulation and other environmental problems. Here we are talking about ethics and compassion for our fellow earthlings. Unfortunately we are often reduced to using examples that appeal to self interest, when those we debate display no sign of compassion to which we could appeal. To me, the ethics of our relationship with other animals has nothing to do with "resource management". Other animals are my friends and relatives. They are not my possessions, nor are they natural resources for me to manage.
Johnny, you admit that you have not researched thoroughly, or at all, the topic of protein for vegans. Please do so. There are hundreds of articles readily available through any search engine. Lots of books in the stores and libraries, too. But just think, what is the biggest strongest, most muscular animal you can think of? What is his diet. What do the bull, the elephant, and the gorilla eat? Google vegan athletes. Tony Gonzalez is only one of many famous athletes who are vegan.
How about Carl Lewis. There are many others.
I'm so happy I found this group.
A good portion of people have trouble thinking more than a few months into the future unless they are reminded very, very often. And diet is something that currently has huge effects across the board: shipping, packaging, health (human and animal), land use, water pollution, and plenty of others.
It seems to me like a majority of people either assume that there is plenty of time to fix the issues we have (tell that to the species already on the brink of extinction, or already extinct), that humanity has a right to keep doing it because we have in the past, or that it's a non-issue because animals aren't as smart as we are and are meant to be used by us, just like all other resources. This demonstrates a clear lack of education on the matter of ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the definition of sentience.
Just like with atheism and rationality, if someone doesn't talk about this we can't expect it to get better. The reasons to switch our diets (where possible) aren't just hippy-dippy mumbo-jumbo based on how cute little baby chickens are. We need to speak out and educate.
So yes, I am speaking out (politely, but firmly). I care about the planet. I care about life. I want all people in the future to come into a world where respect is the norm, not exploitation. I want responsibility to be important, not desire.