Credits: Ralph Cramdon/ Shutterstock

The Canine Tooth Argument (and the Flaws of Using It as an Argument Against Veganism)

by | January 8, 2019

Ever heard the canine tooth argument against veganism? It is a commonly heard cry from the more strident parts of the non-vegan crowd, something along the lines of:

My canines (which are slightly pointy) are shared with a whole range of carnivore animals with similar canines (which are of course incredibly pointy).  Therefore, I am perfectly justified in eating this beef stroganoff.

the canine tooth argument against veganism
Credits: Rudi van den Heever/ Shutterstock

The Canine Tooth Argument Against Veganism

As a vegan, this fascinates me.  It fascinates me in the way that we as humans also have the points of tails at the base of our spines and yet we seldom hear non-vegans make reference to how we should be merrily swinging through the trees like over-sized spider-monkeys.  (as much as that would save on gas in getting to and from work daily.)

I’m no medical historian, but I’m hazarding a reasonable guess that at some point in recent human history, canine teeth in humans were called just that because they are slightly pointy.  And not because we have six-inch long canine-incisors like sabertooth tigers.  If you know any omnivore friends that claim to have such a toothy set-up, you need to phone both a dentist and your local tv channel quick-smart.

Credits: Patrick Rolands/ Shutterstock


The canine tooth argument against veganism doesn’t hold any merit. The “humans have canines, therefore, we should eat meat” is a logical no-no from the get-go.  In no other way do we define our morality and day-to-day conduct with reference to body-part shapes: 

I’d really love to join you for drinks after work but my opposable thumbs mean that I have to spend the night in shaping a flint-headed ax.

Non-vegan logic in regards to human “canine” teeth is just as valid as the claim that eating meat is “natural” – aside from cooking it, seasoning it, disguising it, giving it a new user-friendly name and secretly hoping that the bloody slaughter-house from which it emerged, therefore, even if for only the briefest of seconds.

What are your views on canine tooth argument against veganism? Comment below.


Dave Hewitt

An Ohio-based British Masters post-graduate, and ever since I was a little kid growing up in 70s England, I’ve always hated animal cruelty and injustice, and vegan for six years. The sense of sticking up for the voiceless, the persecuted and the powerless remains as strong as ever. Married to Monica, my vegan life partner who works for NASA, we’ve been in Ohio since 2015, and have managed to drive on the other side of the road without incident thus far.


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One Response to “The Canine Tooth Argument (and the Flaws of Using It as an Argument Against Veganism)”

  1. Shanae Powley
    March 15th, 2019 @ 12:16 am

    Perfect just what I was looking for! .

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