I realize that there are individuals for whom the benefits of meat eating outweigh the risks, like, children with severe epilepsy not helped by drugs. When they are put on a ketogenic diet (consuming no carbs and just eating meat and dairy) they have fewer seizures. Although not without serious long-term hazards, compared to the certainty of continuous seizures --the long term risk of all that animal protein, pales in comparison. Who cares about cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and kidney disease down the road, when they are just trying to have a little time without any seizures? But I disagree that in providing the honest facts about the many harms of meat and dairy, I am demonizing those with no better options.
In the not-too-distant future, we will likely have lab grown meat that could be sustainably produced without needing to exploit any more animals. Like the genetically engineered human insulin that enables diabetics to live without killing pigs for insulin, lab-grown meat could provide a non-violent alternative.
But the question we should be asking is why are rare examples of people for whom the benefits of meat and dairy may outweigh the risks being used to silence those pushing for a non-violent change? It's similar to the argument that since Inuits living in remote regions, probably couldn’t survive without eating meat, it is somehow an injustice to suggest that the rest of us should.
There may be some people with particular health issues – rare genetic disorders, or allergies to every known plant, who really couldn’t survive without eating animals, but for the vast majority of humans, not only is that not the case – but overwhelming amounts of data, suggest that the current demand for meat and dairy, is posing a very real threat to the continued survival of humanity. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that situations such as these may be excusable based on the circumstances, but something that is excusable can still be morally wrong. For example, if two humans were stranded on a desert island and one canabilized that other to survive, we would recognize that this is excusable due to the circumstances, yet at the same time it would still be morally wrong because it involved killing someone against their will. What is fundamentally important though, is that most people already agree that it is wrong to unnecessarily cause harm to animals. And if you think it's wrong to kick a dog just for fun, then it's also wrong to eat meat and dairy just because they taste good. If we can live healthfully without eating meat and dairy, eating these things means we ARE unnecessarily harming animals
So I don't understand why people who say they value peace and justice, would spend any time trying to justify or defend continued exploitation of animals for meat, dairy or eggs, which require us to engage in intentional, violence against other beings. If the time and money being spent to try to justify this outdated, violent tradition, were instead used to figure out how to help those few who really do have legitimate challenges to being vegan, we would all be much better off.