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