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Strawman Has A Point / Vegan Artbook

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Sometimes, in The War on Straw, the Strawman Has a Point and it's not the Designated Hero Straw Vegan.

  • In one three part comic about the shooting of two bulls (erroneously labeled as calves) that got free, Shawn points out that they could have hurt a child if they weren't put down. However, he is quickly dismissed by the narrative by saying that it wouldn't have happened if people didn't eat meat in the first place. Then it hypocritically goes out to say that people who support the meat industry care more about their personal tastes than human safety, with Shawn being the usual straw meat eater stand in.
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  • In another comic with Shawn, he points out how an unsolicited postcard depicting a naked mother and her babies posed like a sow in a gestation crate was exploitative and objectifying to women. But due to the message of the strip being that it's wrong to exploit mothers of any species, he's again treated as wrong (and becomes the butt of another "mmmm, bacon" joke).
  • Even though a lot of her reasoning was faulty due to the biased narrative, Cuntons/Maura was right about the fact that it's racially insensitive to compare the tragedy of the Holocaust to animals killed for meat. She is then shot down as building a strawman argument.
  • The narrative insists that a vegan being shitty to you is no reason to hate veganism. However, the vegans in the comic are completely intolerant of anyone who's not in line with their absolutist position. In light of their willingness to demean, mock, and even violently assault the omnivore characters, it becomes a lot more understandable that the latter would be soured on veganism.
  • Chanel in one strip points out that economic status hinders people from choosing to go vegan. However, Brie/Plausibell responds back with the notion that poor people wouldn't need to starve if farming was switched from meat to grain, and it ends on Chanel just wanting to still keep eating bacon. If Chanel wasn't a straw "carnist" made to lose all arguments, she would also point out that the solution that Brie/Plausibell proposes doesn't take into account the possible food allergies and deficiencies that poor people might have or that 95% of the land in the world used for grazing is not actually good enough to grow crops on.
    • Or, for that matter: that wealthy nations already produce enough grain to feed the world even after one subtracts what's fed to livestock. The issue is not one of scarcity, but of inaccessibility.
    • In addition, since Brie/Plausibell's counterargument doesn't actually say anything about how poor people can be vegan in our culture as it is right now, she didn't actually counter Chanel's argument that many poor people can't feasibly be vegan.
  • At one time, Shawn claims that vegans are like religious fundamentalists due to trying to convert everyone to their views. Legua then refutes him by saying that they are just trying to bring up the moral implications of eating animals...and the comic ends with Shawn stuffing his ears with carrots as visual shorthand for clinging to his ignorance and refusing to listen. However, the fact is throughout the series, the vegan characters are often times shown to be trying to covert people to their side and tend to use many extreme or demeaning tactics in order to do so.
    • Not to mention, the only reason fundamentalists strive so hard to convert people is to make them conform to their moral views. The vegans do the exact same thing, they just don't involve God.
  • Shawn proclaims to Dolly that since vegans like her claim that animals should be treated our equals then it makes it okay for us to eat meat, because some animals are carnivores. Dolly counters with four reasons that are based on typical vegan talking points, and it ends on the notion that just because a species is different doesn't mean they should be treated badly, even if it's what they practice in nature. The problem is her reasoning doesn't work due to the fact that animals are not sapient beings who can grasp a human understanding of morality, which would make it difficult for them to be elevated to the same status as humans. If they did have to elevate carnivores to their moral standards then they would have to question if eating meat is really barbaric, and in fact they're setting a specific Double Standards on humans that they don't put on animals.
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  • In one panel, Chanel makes the suggestion that instead of going completely vegan that people should eat less meat. Wendy treats her stance as if it was illogical, and sees it as just continuing cruelty to animals. However, the idea of eating less meat but not completely forgoing it has been a sound suggestion by many scientific experts who believe that it could help people economically and health wise. Also, if people went completely vegan, it could actually drive up the demand for plant based farming and actually cause more problems related to that specific industry (i.e. pesticide use, forest clearing) .
  • In response to Legua's statement that people should go vegan in order to respect animals, Shawn brings up the notion that going with their line of reasoning that they should also respect bacteria and asks "Where do you draw the line?" This being Shawn, the narrative paints him as an annoying troll who is espousing stupid comments. However, he does bring up a good point about how far the logic espoused by vegans could also justify the idea of it being bad to kill bacteria as well, and his asking where to draw the line raises the good question of what makes an organism worthy of respect and protection. Legua fails to make a real answer, and resorts to insults.
    • The "where do you draw the line?" attitude is mocked again with a two panel comic that shows vegetables and "how carnist see vegetables apparently," with the later having smiling faces. While this is to intended to mock the idea of anthropomorphizing vegetables, it actually raises a good point about anthropomorphizing animals to make them more sympathetic, something the comic does on a regular basis. In a weird way, the comic accidently satirizes itself.
  • Diva states that Dolly has become more of a jerk after she converted to veganism, and Dolly smugly claims that she is better now than when she was an "omnivore", when she only cared about her palate. Non-extreme vegans would side with Diva that Dolly has become more self-righteous, obnoxious, anger prone, and rude ever since she turned vegan.
  • One common argument that is brought up by the omnivore characters is that veganism can be restrictive, with the vegan characters always either showing and mentioning a variety of vegan based foods or resort to No, You responses about omnivorism as counterarguments. However, the main vegan cast never take into account the availability and affordability of those staple vegan food or the possible allergies and health issues that would prevent them from being able to adjust to a vegan lifestyle. In other words, veganism can be very restrictive for a lot of people who don't have the means or ability to switch from a non-animal product based diet.
    • It's also worth mentioning that the above mentioned No, You hinges on the misconception that omnivore/carnist translates to a person who must eat animal products with every meal, an idea that shows up throughout the comic. In reality, while there are some hardcore carnist who do swear by meat with every meal, the overwhelming majority don't have an issue eating things that are vegetarian/ vegan. So yes veganism is in fact restrictive and does not open new dietary option unavailable to carnist.
  • Another time Shawn makes a valid point against veganism, is when he brings a case of a vegan getting hospitalized for iron deficiency (actually a common concern about vegan diets, usually due either to leafy vegetables being unavailable or to difficulty absorbing nonheme iron). The narrative and Lillith treat this as an example of him having double standards by counter-arguing that standard western diets cause more health problems...which not only doesn't really prove his point wrong, but is a false equivalence in the bargain (equating, as it does, omnivorous diets as a whole with the most unbalanced and unhealthy of the lot).
  • Shawn's counterarguments during the barn fire arc about how farmers do try to do as much as they can to prevent fire tragedies from happening, with money issues being a reason why they can't always get the best security for their animals, it happened due to poor structure and not meat consumption, and the fact they do deserve sympathy for how their livelihood is threatened because of these accidents. However, the comic treats these arguments as lame excuses and sides with the vegan protagonists' views that these farmers don't deserve any sympathy due to their profession and that they only care about money.
  • Shawn loudly proclaims that vegans believe they are better than everybody, then tries to portray him as a hypocrite for saying humans are better than them and it's normal to use animals. He does make a strong point in his favor about the vegans always believing themselves to be better than others, due to always proclaiming how morally superior veganism is and demeaning anyone has the opposite views of them. His other statement has just as much weight, due to the fact that its been normal for humans to use animals because they don't have the same level of sapience or understanding as us.
  • In one particular strip about Brie/Plausibell giving out vegan food without telling people what it is, Shawn points out how deceptive it was of his sister and Legua defends this saying you can't trick someone into eating something they already eat. Yes, you can. If you take an orange, disguise it as an apple, and then give it to people while telling someone that it's an apple, it doesn't matter if the people you sell it to already eat oranges, you're still tricking them.
    • It's also a really great way to potentially kill someone, if they have nut or soy allergies and you didn't tell them it contained those products.
  • Many times the non-vegan characters comment on the fact that they find veganism extreme, with the vegan protagonists counterarguing that omnivorism is actually the extreme position. However, the vegan characters have an intense Irrational Hatred for anyone who doesn't follow their dogmatic views, even Shawn and Diva, who are the siblings of the vegan Brie/Plausibell and Dolly, respectively, indicating that the vegans with omnivore relatives value their diet over their families. In addition, they refuse to even acknowledge the fact that the lifestyle can be very restrictive and even hazardous towards many people. Given those reasons, it can be justified why many people, especially the omnivores in the comic, would find veganism extreme.
  • Shawn justifies killing animals for food, due to them not being on the same intellectual capability as humans. Dolly responds back by using an Ad Hominem, and asks if he has ever done anything of the things he mentioned animals can't do. He says then no to all of them, and the comic ends as if that should have won the argument. However, Shawn was right to point out how animals do not have the potential to do stuff that humans can, and it's a good reason not to put them on the same level of sapience as us.
  • Shawn makes a statement about how vegans should stop complaining about other people's diet choices and that everyone should get along with one another. The narrative and Brie/Plausibell treat his position as being morally myopic, when he does make a good point how people should show tolerance towards others who don't share their views.
  • Shawn tries to make a point about how vegans try to force people to stop eating meat, by comparing it to trying to force people to stop being gay. The strip tries to portray him as being a Politically Incorrect Villain who is comparing being gay to allowing suffering in the world, but he makes a sound case for the fact that forcing people to conform to your stances is intolerant and narrow minded.
  • Shawn makes a justified comment about how it's really self-righteous for the vegan characters to criticize others for not being vegan. However, his perspective is treated as irrelevant and Dolly deflects by saying that its self-righteous to pay people to kill animals for food. This is compounded by the fact that the aforementioned killing is for cheese, not meat.
  • When Dolly proclaims that she and the other vegans don't eat meat out of respect for animals, Shawn dismissively states she and the other vegans don't respect people as much. She refutes back by claiming that vegans respect humans by not eating them. However, in other strips the characters have shown a low opinion of humanity, especially omnivores, and have openly stated that they love animals more.
  • Anytime the non-vegans criticize vegans for being too illogical due to being overtly emotional, they are represented as being conceited straw hypocrites, who just want to continue eating meat because it tastes good. However, the vegans in the series continually make emotionally charged (factually wrong) speeches and statements about how "evil" omnivorism and animal agriculture is, to the point that they even shed Tender Tears.
  • Here, Shawn is absolutely right when he says veganism limits choices only to be told that is what having a conscience feels like by Brie/Plausibell. His point was not refuted at all.
  • Shawn proclaims that vegans are brainwashed and spreading misinformation. Dolly counterclaims that the dairy and meat industry are the real ones propagandizing people and spreading myths, by hiring PR agencies to write things in their favor. That doesn't refute Shawn's claim, because the vegans continually state information about their lifestyle and omnivorism that has been proven false.
  • In one instance, Shawn tells Sterk that veganism is not the be-all and end-all of animal welfare. Sterk's response to this is to use this as an excuse to be apathetic to the plight of his vegan friends, so that they can beat up Shawn and blame him for Sterk's inaction. While the narrative naturally treats Sterk's actions as being the logical conclusion of Shawn's statement, the truth is going vegan is often times not the right the solution when handling concerning animal abuse issues. There are even cases where veganism can even contribute to making animal abuse just as bad.
  • When Diva states that she's a meat eater and loves animals, Dolly tries to counter her claim by saying that killing animals for meat is not compatible with love and she can show her vegan alternative ways. Diva responds by saying that their definition of love goes too far. While this is supposed to demonstrate how Diva shows no true empathy towards animals, she is absolutely right about the fact that some vegans take the definition of love too far when they resort to extreme tactics to force others to give up animal products.
  • In one panel, Diva goes on a rant about how people are "murdering" animals. Then Dolly steps in and says meat is murder, and Diva scolds her for misusing the word. While Diva is a Straw Hypocrite about it, she is right that saying "meat is murder" doesn't fit the definition. It is defined by many dictionaries (which Diva herself was stating before her speech ended in gibberish) as, "the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another".
  • Diva states that veganism is a lifestyle that is for privileged white people. Dolly treats her statement as racist and says that non-privileged groups can embrace veganism, which is portrayed as becoming compassionate, selfless, conscious, and ethical. Contrary to Dolly's counterargument, people from underprivileged backgrounds have a harder time practicing a vegan diet due to availability and expenses. Even in places in India (which Yerdian cites as an example) where people are mostly non-meat eaters, poverty prevents those from getting vegan staples and as a result has caused rampant cases of malnutrition. In other words, there is a lot of reason to see veganism as something that can only be sustained by those who are well-off.
    • And the argument also ignores the fact that, well, different foods are available in different amounts in different areas. Tofu, for example, is a common staple in east Asia, but is less common and often fairly expensive in other areas. A vegetarian or even vegan diet can actually sometimes be cheaper in some areas, while in others it can be almost completely unattainable.
  • Diva makes a good point about eating meat and animal abuse not being the same thing, and brings up the fact that she gets her products from her uncle, who practices ethical meat. Guest character, Reiner, treats this point as being an example of disconnection and the narrative makes it seem he won the argument, without considering how eating to fill a basic need is way different from abusing animals.
  • Shawn rightfully criticizes the vegans for forcing their lifestyle on others. Rohit counterargues that omnivores are actually forcing their views on animals by killing them for meat and that vegans only offer suggestions to change their diet. His counterargument to Shawn comes off as a weak deflection that doesn't refute what he said, plus his rebuttal comes off as hypocritical when we've seen in the past that the vegan characters have resorted to violence to make a point.
  • Even though the quotes in defense of eating meat are treated by Cherry and the narrative as being ego-centric and downplaying the victimization of animals (by treating them as commodities), they actually have a lot of merit to stand on. People should be able to eat meat without being judged and they should rightfully respect their choice, especially if it doesn't affect anyone but themselves.
  • Cunton/Maura's views on hunting saving animals is treated as being nonsensical propaganda that is contradictory and hypocritical. However, her point about hunting is not wrong, because it causes animals to be seen as an asset and provides revenue for conservation. Plus without revenue of hunting, poaching cannot be policed and can go unchecked. Also in certain parts of the world hunting provides revenue and meat for the native people as well.
  • Shawn has a heart to heart talk about veganism with his younger sister, Cherry, where he sagely says that being vegan is okay, but you shouldn't be closeminded about it. We are supposed to side with Cherry for sticking with her principles and shutting down her brother's proposal with the counterclaim that tolerating omnivorism is endorsing "slavery" and "murder". However, her brother wasn't proven wrong about the idea of being open minded towards others, and it just makes her come off as dogmatically shutting down other viewpoints that don't agree with her.
  • In PupaVegan Comic 316, Shawn defends his position on eating animal products by saying omnivores consume them to survive. The comic tries to debunk his position by showing unhealthy animal products, and acts like he was claiming people couldn't survive without them, then presenting vegan alternatives to those foods. While humans can live without animal products and do enjoy eating them, it doesn't refute the fact omnivores eat them to sustain themselves. Additionally, even some of the unhealthy animal products shown in the comic do contain some useful nutrients (other than calories).
  • Diva defends the notion that meat eaters can be animal lovers by stating the best way to show that love is by killing them quickly. Then Sterk shows up to threaten her with a knife, in order to portray how contradictory "humane slaughter" is. However, her position actually has sound merit, due to the fact that killing an animal quickly causes less struggle and stress for them.
  • Elise, Mike and Tommy's mother, in Pupa Vegan Comic 250 is shown preventing Rohit's cat from eating a cheeseburger on the grounds that it will become fat and unhealthy, but then proceeds to feed it to her obese son. While the point was meant to show how people often times care more about their pets health than children's, foods that are especially fattening for humans are worse for animals and it is a good reason to keep them away from them.
  • One strip references the vegan blogger Sonia Sae, who is famous for feeding a fennec fox a vegan diet and came under fire for how thin her pet is. Several straw 'carnists' call Sae out on feeding said fox a diet that is completely unhealthy for a fox, to which Sterk responds by stuffing them into a meat grinder and feeding them to said fennec fox, in order to make a point about their hypocrisy. The thing is, fennec foxes are significantly more carnivorous than humans. They get about ninety percent of the nutrients they need from meat and are physiologically incapable of surviving on a vegan diet. Even if humans can go vegan, many other animals are physically incapable of doing the same.
  • Alice comments about how victims of the Holocaust were treated like animals. Sonia Sae says the reverse about how livestock are treated like the previously mentioned victims, and the nameless omnivore protests about her comparison being disrespectful. The narrative wants to present this as an example of hypocrisy towards the treatment of animals, but she had every right to be offended about the fact that Sonia trivialized past injustices in order to spread her agenda.
  • In Pupa Vegan 329, Shawn makes a great point about the fact that vegans selectively share one sided material on animal agriculture. He then continues to state that they should show the good parts in order, so that people can make up their own minds about how they feel about animal farming. His sister,Cherry, shoots down his idea by sarcastically saying if there is any pleasant photos of animal slaughter. However, since many vegan sources tend to show misleading photos and depictions of farming life, it would actually be good to show the full picture so that people can be better informed.
  • When arguing with Azusa about why it's justifiable to eat meat,"Weeb" Alicia says it's because they are less intelligent. He then twists her argument to say that her line of reasoning would support killing pets and mentally disabled people. Azusa is portrayed as trying to show consistency in her logic, and as a result the supposed winner of the debate. However, Alice is right to protest about the fact that Azusa was using flawed strawman fallacies to counter her arguments, which were mostly made of slippery slope fallacies.
  • Alice points out how inconsistent the vegan philosophy of "cause no harm" is, by bringing up the fact that many products used in everyday life involves using animal parts or slave labor. George Martin dismisses this notion by stating that even if they can't prevent all harm, people should try to minimize "suffering" in one area. And in the end, "Weeb" is drawn in a dippy manner to portray her as being "willingly ignorant". However, that still didn't refute the fact that the vegan philosophy has many inconsistent stances on what it means to cause less suffering.
  • Younger Bongo asks Yerdian's Fictional Counterpart why is it okay for animals to eat meat, but not humans. Her answer deflects by pointing out unsavory things animals do that would be taboo if a person does it, and then screams that that is the same thing with people killing animals for meat. Even though the narrative treats as if her fictional self won the argument, it still stands that vegans' stance on eating meat is contradictory when it comes to animals, especially when they refuse to acknowledge that humans are naturally omnivores.
  • In Pupa Vegan 348, when Bongo's older counterpart states that animals can feel pain, fear, and don't want to be exploited or killed, Alice is portrayed as immaturely whining about him humanizing them. However, her point is not wrong, since Bongo's doppelganger treats livestock as if they have a human understanding of what death is.
  • Alice in Pupa Vegan 337 is treated as being an immature hypocrite, whose criticisms of the vegans are just baseless projections and insults. Despite Rohit's rebuttals to her, the past behavior of vegan characters like him actually support her statement, including the habit of forcing their beliefs on others and how easily offended they are. In addition, she is right about how their way of talking about veganism is pushy and can make people turn off from it.
  • Bindiya in Pupa Vegan 559 makes a point about the fact that calling animal slaughter "murder" makes no sense. The strip's narrative tries to make her seem unhinged, but she is right since the definition of "murder" doesn't match up with the description of animal slaughter, especially humane practices.
  • In Pupa Vegan 567, Bongo remarks that vegans act judgmental and superior towards omnivores. His older self denies this and claims veganism is about treating others equally, while judging all life as being precious. He also states that non-vegans are the ones who act superior and judgmental, since they don't believe that animals are worthy of equal rights and kill them for food. At the end of it, the younger Bongo is made to look like a hypocrite, who spouts out some cliche strawman counterarguments. However, the younger Bongo is one hundred percent right about how the vegans act high and mighty towards non-vegans. In fact instead of helping his case, his older self's defense actually demonstrates how self-righteous vegans like him can be when it comes to omnivores and treatment of plant life.
  • Like with the comic featuring Sonia Sae, Alice takes offense when Lilith makes a comparison between killing animals and the disabled in an argument about intelligence being a justification for eating meat. Alice is again treated like a hypocrite, when she protests about how tactless the comparison is and is spun as being bigoted, or in their own words speciest, against animals. However, just like with the Holocaust analogy, she was right to be appalled about how she demeaned disabled people in the name of her cause. In addition, given how disabled people, like many marginalized groups, have been compared to animals to justify dehumanizing them, it comes off as even more insensitive.
  • In Pupa Vegan Purple 610, Bindiya makes a sound and informed point about mass production being the problem behind the abuses in animal agriculture, and not farming in itself.When she reaches this conclusion, older Bongo expects her to give up eating animal products, but she rejects the notion and it's treated as an brushing off a moral realization. However, Bindiya is right to not entirely give up meat, since there are ways to ethically handle meat production.
  • In Pupa Vegan Pink 410, Bunny believes Anviliciouslly preaching to non-vegans is counterproductive and that respecting their right to eat meat helps the vegan agenda better. Even though she is treated as just doing it to gain validation and attention from non-vegans by Raziel,she is right about the fact that bashing non-vegans just turns them off, especially in-universe where the non-vegan cast won't go vegan because of how insufferable the more intolerant vegans are.
  • In another comic featuring Bunny and Lulu, the former claims she is not judgmental like the latter. Lulu counterargues that Bunny actually is because she judges racists and misogynists, while not taking animal rights as seriously and is thus a specietist. However, despite her attempt to falsely equate the concept of speciesm with racism and misogynists, Bunny has actually shown herself not to be judgmental like the rest of her vegan peers, who more than happy to ridicule to even murder non-vegans.
  • When Diva finds out that Sanc is an animal liberator (and not an anti-human trafficker as she thought), she turns on him and declares him a terrorist. Her turnabout is supposed to be portrayed as exposing double standards when it comes to the treatment of animals, however, she is right about labeling him a terrorist-due to the notorious reputation that animal liberation has, which includes vandalism to outright violence.

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