Atheism and veganism

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The majority of atheists are likely East Asian (see: Asian atheism).[1]

China has the world's largest atheist population (See: China and atheism).[2][3]

An estimated 4 to 5 percent of Chinese are vegetarians.[4]

Veganism is the following of a diet in which refrains from consuming any animal products - including meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, milk, or honey. It is often thought of as a stricter form of vegetarianism.

Veganism and atheism in the West

See also: Religion and vegetarianism and American atheism and Secular Europe and Irreligion in Australia and Irreligion in New Zealand

In 2019, Vegan News reported about atheism and veganism in relation to atheists in the Western World:

In a 2017 survey of 11,000 vegans, 47% said they do not actively practice religion, the largest choice selected.

A 2013 survey found that only 11% of vegans said they belonged to a major religion with 43% identifying as atheist or agnostic and 45% reporting that they are “spiritual but not religious.”

To understand why veganism is more appealing to atheists and irreligious individuals, we have to first look at the connection between religion and veganism.[5]

There was a vegetarian lion named Little Tyke that refused to eat meat.[6] See also: Christian/Jewish vegetarianism

Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia founded by an atheist and agnostic, declared in August of 2019 in their Vegetarianism and religion article:

Vegetarianism is strongly linked with a number of religions that originated in ancient India (Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism). In Jainism, vegetarianism is mandatory for everyone; in Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism, it is advocated by some influential scriptures and religious authorities. Comparatively, in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the Bahá'í Faith and Dharmic religions such as Sikhism, vegetarianism is less commonly viewed as a religious obligation, although in all these faiths there are groups actively promoting vegetarianism on religious grounds.[7]

See also: Religion and vegetarianism and Christian/Jewish vegetarianism

Veganism and atheism in Asia

See also: Asian atheism and China and atheism

In China, consumption of meat is rapidly increasing while a small but growing number of young people in large cities are vegan.[8]

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed 'Confucian societies'. It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[9]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[10] See: Western atheism and race

China has the world's largest atheist population.[11][12] See: China and atheism

East Asia contains about 25 percent of the world’s population. China’s population represents 20 percent of the people on earth.[13]

Veganism, atheism and China

Wikipedia declared in August of 2019: "In China, consumption of meat is rapidly increasing while a small but growing number of young people in large cities are vegan. An estimated 4 to 5 percent of Chinese are vegetarian. However, in a survey conducted by SJTU researchers, only 0.77 percent of respondents labeled themselves vegetarian."[14]

Religious India, vegetarianism and its low rate of convinced atheism

In 2007, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations statistics indicated that Indians had the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world.[15] India has more vegetarians than the rest of the world put together.[16]

3% of Indians are convinced atheists.[17]

See also: Religion in India

New atheism and veganism

See also: New Atheism and veganism and Atheism and animal abuse and Atheist hypocrisy

Richard Dawkins said about vegetarianism/veganism: "[It] leaves me in a very difficult moral position…".[18] See: New Atheism and veganism

New Atheism is a rhetorically militant form of atheism.

In 2015, the new atheist Sam Harris said:

“…the fact that I participate in a system that does this knowingly (animal factory farming) more or less condemns me as a hypocrite… We are two people who have admitted to participating in a system that is not only in some sense objectively bad, but perhaps so bad as to be the kind of thing that would be on the short list as to be an embarrassment to our descendants.”.[18]

At the present time, despite a 2016 Salon article entitled New atheists must become new vegans: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and the extra burden on moral leaders, the new atheist Sam Harris is the only notable new atheist who has become a vegetarian.[18] Harris said he "aspires" to be a vegan.[18]

The new atheist Richard Dawkins stated about vegetarianism/veganism:

[It] leaves me in a very difficult moral position… I think you have a very strong point when you say that anybody who eats meat has a very strong obligation to think seriously about it and I don’t find any good defense. I find myself in exactly the same position as you or I would have been, well probably you wouldn’t have been but I might have been, two hundred years ago […] talking about slavery… I think what I’d really like to see is people like you having a far greater effect on, I would call it, consciousness raising and trying to swing it around so it becomes the societal norm not to eat meat.[18]

Richard Dawkins is a meat eater.[19]

Steven Stankevicus, the author of the aforementioned Salon article New atheists must become new vegans: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and the extra burden on moral leaders, wrote in response: "'People like you'? How about people like Richard Dawkins?".[18]

See also: Richard Dawkins' family fortune and the slave trade and Atheism and slavery and Atheism and forced labor

Richard Dawkins' high blood pressure and his lack of a vegan diet

See also: Richard Dawkins' high blood pressure and his lack of a vegan diet

According to Harvard Health publishing which is under the Harvard Medical School:

People who follow a vegetarian diet tend to have lower blood pressure than their meat-eating counterparts, according to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine. Vegetarians avoid meat and eat mainly plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes (beans and peas). Some include dairy products and eggs (and in this study, fish) in their diets.[20]

Dawkins has high blood pressure (see: Richard Dawkins' high blood pressure and his lack of a vegan diet and Richard Dawkins' health).

New Atheism leadership's problem with excess weight and a vegan/vegetarian diet

See also: New Atheism leadership's problem with excess weight and a vegan/vegetarian diet and Atheism and obesity

A vegetarian/vegan diet can help with weight loss efforts.[21]

A significant number of the founders of the New Atheism movement have had excess weight issues (see: New Atheism leadership's problem with excess weight and a vegan/vegetarian diet).

See also: Atheism and obesity

New atheism and veganism/vegetarianism: Articles and videos

Sam Harris:

Richard Dawkins:

Religion and veganism

See also

References

  1. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  2. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  3. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  4. Vegetarianism by country
  5. The Reason Most Vegans Are Atheists or Irreligious, Vegan News
  6. The lion who would not eat meat
  7. Vegetarianism and religion, Wikipedia
  8. Vegetarianism by country
  9. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  10. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  11. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  12. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  13. The Growth of Christianity in East Asia
  14. Vegetarianism by country
  15. Meat Consumption Per Person. Retrieved on 23 January 2018.
  16. Edelstein, Sari (2013). Food Science, An Ecological Approach. Jones & Bartlett Publishers, Page 281. ISBN 978-1-4496-0344-1. “...India has more vegetarians than everywhere else in the world combined.” 
  17. Global Index Of Religion And Atheism. WIN-Gallup. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved on 3 September 2013.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 New atheists must become new vegans: Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and the extra burden on moral leaders, Salon, 2016
  19. On meat eating and rationality: Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, The Vegan Stategist
  20. [Vegetarian diet linked to lower blood pressure], Harvard Health publishing which is under the Harvard Medical School, 2014
  21. Veganism Found to Be the Best Diet for Weight Loss