A war of tastes: Veganism versus omnivore

Photo by Nicole O'Brien

Sharena, the vegan, eating a carrot and Dean, the omnivore, eating a chicken burger.

Story written by: Dean Daley (the omnivore) and Sharena Clendening (the vegan)

Argument from an omnivore 

Thinking about being a vegan, like hipsters Ellen Page and Alicia Silverstone? Veganism may be a new trend but being an omnivore has far more history and advantages. Granted living as a vegan may save animals, but it’s not the best way to eat. Not only are our bodies are meant to eat both plants and animals, being an omnivore gives a person far more options when going out and is less expensive.

Argument from a vegan

Veganism isn’t about eating grass and leaves. A vegan is a person who does not eat anything that comes from an animal or use anything from an animal such as leather. Around 33 per cent of Canadians are either vegetarians or vegans, according to Helena Pedersen’s conclusion in her book Future Directions for Critical Animal Studies. Veganism is more beneficial than being an omnivore because the price of food can be a lot more affordable, vegans lose the struggle of picking where to eat and the vegan lifestyle is healthier.

Argument from an omnivore

Humans have been farming animals such as cows, pigs and chicken for their milk, eggs and meat. According to the localhistories.org, humans have been domesticating sheep, pigs and goats since 7,000 B.C.E. Before then humans hunted other animals for nutrients and used their pelts for clothing.

According to peta.org, vegans need six essential nutrients to live a healthy life. Vegans have to make up for nutrients such as such as iron, normally found in meats, B12, normally found in meats and dairy, calcium found in dairy, and others such as Vitamin D, Omega-3s and protein. According to ‘Dieticians of Canada’, a professional association representing 6,000 members of dieticians, B12 is an essential vitamin that our body requires. B12 keeps the nerves in our body working, forms DNA and makes healthy blood.  Altogether vegans have to find alternate methods to get the essential nutrients omnivores find in their normal diets.

The best way to live a healthier life is to follow the Canadian Food Guide. In order to achieve a healthy diet, humans must eat seven to ten servings of fruits and vegetables, six to eight servings of grain products, two servings of dairy products and two to three servings of meat or alternatives. These amounts depend on whether you are male or female. Being a vegan means four to five daily servings of meat, alternatives and dairy are not being eaten and have to be replaced with vitamins.

Arguments from a vegan

Vegan students don’t need to worry about being broke. There are always stores such as the Superstore and FreshCo. that have sales that can help a broke college student afford vegan food. According PETA, premade food a college student would use, such as premade soy burgers, costs more money than non-vegan premade meals. But veggies cost less than meat so learning how to make vegan food at home will be cheaper because one can buy the products separately to make the meal. Even if one spent a little more on a premade meal or made food from scratch, it is healthier than eating a Hungry Man frozen dinner.

Arguments from an omnivore

In a city full of fast food places and restaurants, it becomes difficult to choose what to eat for lunch. Being an omnivore provides a person with overwhelming options. Being a vegan does not provide a person with the same number of options as being an omnivore. Durham College’s Marketplace is an example of how being a vegan doesn’t give a person many options. The Marketplace provides students and faculty with four main restaurants. Pizza Pizza offers only one option for vegans. Smoke’s offers fries and vegetable gravy with an assortment of vegetables. Patrons can mix and match, although each vegetable is an extra cost of 75 cents. Extreme Pita offers a falafel and veggie wrap, although a lot of the typical sauces, such as mayonnaise and ranch, cannot be eaten by vegans. Lastly, Pan Fusion offers garlic chili tofu and vegetable pho but one of the two types of noodles is made with eggs. The other? “I think it’s wheat,” says one of the ladies at Pan Fusion.

College and university students tend to eat fast food and drink alcohol. A favourite alcoholic beverage for most is wine. According to Donna Amaro, manager at Winexperts in Whitby, there is a specific sort of wine vegans have to drink. Most wines are normally made through a process that can contain egg, fish by-products and milk products.  Altogether, vegans don’t have any options in comparison to omnivores.

Arguments from a vegan

When it comes to what restaurants offer vegans in Oshawa, there are few places one can take vegan friends. ‘Nourished On The Go’ is an all-vegan place located on Simcoe Street. They offer a variety of wraps and soups that could even attract omnivores. That isn’t the only place. Cocoa & Joe and Yola’s Family Restaurant Inc. are some other places one could go with their vegan friends. If meat eaters say there are no places for vegans to go and eat, shout out a few of these names.

Arguments from an omnivore

While grocery shopping might be cheaper when not buying the pricier vegan options, vegan choices at restaurants aren’t the greatest. Buying a salad at McDonald’s costs over seven dollars but sandwiches are cheaper.  At Jack Astor’s, one can get a salad as cheap as $9.99. Although it’s a Caesar salad and you would have to ask for it without ranch sauce, without cheese and without bacon bits. Someone who is vegan would have to consider buying a salad so they could have the proper nutrients in their meal. Or they would have to consider somewhere else to eat. If a Caesar isn’t what you want to eat, there is always the grilled chicken salad. Although they’re 17 plus dollars and you’d need to ask them to take out the chicken. At restaurants, vegans have to spend a lot of money for a filling meal. Considering what we need daily, vegans could not get all of what they need at most restaurants. Often requesting menu changes is the only option.

Closing arguments from a vegan

One thing omnivores have over vegans is they get all their vitamins in the meat and other animal by-products. B12 and iron are two of the main things vegans lack in their diet. According to the Vegan Society, plant milks such as soy, almond and rice milk contain B12. There are other substitutes for essential vitamins. However, there are supplements vegans can take to get B12 and iron. It isn’t the end of the world to take a few pills every morning to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle.

Closing arguments from omnivore 

Hipsters pretend veganism makes for a better lifestyle but what you eat is what matters. Vegans have to spend about the same when dining out. They have fewer choices when dining out and are forced to take supplements such as B12 or they can be very sick. So put down the extra supplements and your wallets and go grab some meat.

Arguments from a Vegan

These little fun facts should make someone consider being a vegan because it is not as bad as some people make it seem. Becoming a vegan gives people a better reason to learn how to cook healthy food, a better understanding of vitamins and nutrition. Most importantly, an animal won’t have to die for you to enjoy a delightful meal. But either vegan or omnivore, there is always a way one can eat healthy.


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Sharena is a second year Journalism student. Huge social media junkie, with a passion for writing opinion and feature stories. Current social media editor. Sharena hopes to work at Much in the future.