Kim Bonsteel's recent letter [Nov. 25] contains several errors.
Natural does not equal good. Foods made with natural ingredients may not be good tasting or good for you. Things found in nature are not necessarily good. Nonconsensual sex, the keeping of harems, theft by force and cannibalism are all found in nature and in some primitive societies. That doesn't make them good.
Vegans know better than to eat like chimpanzees, and so does Kim. Humans must carefully prepare and cook a bush baby if we want to eat its flesh, using tools not readily found in nature. Eating an uncooked bush baby will likely make us violently ill. Our physiology is not that similar to a chimpanzee's.
The premise that meat-eating helped evolutionarily make us what we are is probably true. It in no way justifies continuing the practice. Regarding the future evolution of humans: Habitual disregard for animal suffering and the needless killing of animals seem questionable behaviors to encourage.
It does not follow logically that because primitive or ancient cultures ate meat we should. Traditional, like natural, is not synonymous with good.
The author misleadingly says, "If you choose a vegan diet you need three cups of cooked beans" to get your daily protein. You don't. Using an unnatural and nontraditional computer, a quick Google search shows there is protein in vegetables, nuts, grains, even fruit. Vegans can easily get more than enough protein. What Google searches won't show is evidence of widespread dietary kwashiorkor (protein deficiency) or B-12 deficiency in the United States today, even among vegans. If you live in an industrialized nation and "feel spacy and crave sweets," protein deficiency is almost certainly not the cause.
We all rationalize behaviors we aren't proud of. Meat-eaters are free to rationalize paying people to confine and kill innocent animals for food. It may be too painful for some to accept that they value personal taste preferences more than the suffering of animals. If rationalizing makes it easier, though, couldn't they at least find rational rationalizations?
— Mark Noble