It is important to look at both sides of any issue. There were good reasons to be a slave-owner (here). I will respond to each of these five reason NOT to become a vegan.
1) Most animals do not pass self awareness tests:
It is true that many animals do not pass the mirror test. Cows and chickens do not pass the mirror test. However, cats and dogs also fail the mirror test. Does this mean that they cannot feel pain or that they are not aware of the world around them? Of course not. Everyone who owns a pet knows that they can feel pain just as we do. Children under a year and a half also do not pass the mirror test. Should we start collecting babies from the nursery and perform experiments on them? Of course not. It does not give us the right to take advantage of them simply because they do not pass a mirror test. “The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"” -Jeremy Bentham
2) Just because you eat meat, it does not mean you are for animal cruelty:
The poster goes on to claim that there are laws in place that would prevent any unnecessary cruelty to animals. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are virtually no laws protecting the slaughter of chickens and turkeys which constitute over 90% of the animals killed in this country. All of them have their throats slit and many who miss the guillotine (~1-2% aka millions per year) will be boiled alive. Before Temple Grandin, approximately one third of all cattle were improperly stunned and had their throats slit. With her help, this number has gone down significantly. However, a "passing" rating is only 95% to 98% of properly stunned cattle. In other words, countless are killed by having their throats slit. Male chicks who just began life are thrown away because they worthless to the egg-laying industry. Pigs and cows have their testicals cut off without any anesthetic. Chickens have their beaks painfully burnt off so that we can cram more chickens in smaller areas. Just about every month there is a new video coming out showing insanely cruel actions forced upon these animals. None of these animals are truly protected by laws. "I tell you the truth, what you did to the least among you, you did to me" - Christ
3) Even vegans kill animals:
This is very true. None of us are able to live a completely perfect life. We will inevitably cause harm to others. This does not mean that we should just give up and not care about any harm we cause. On the other hand, when we go animal free, it means we do the least amount of harm. What argument is there against doing the least amount of harm? Contrary to what the poster wants you to believe, the raising of animals is incredibly inneficient. It takes roughly seven pounds of wheat to make one pound of meat. Either way you cut it, eating meat causes more animals to die because we have to create massive amounts of crops to feed the very animals we are eating. If you hear about a study by Steven Davis arguing how grass-fed cattle might cause less harm, make sure you do your homework first. This does not take into account the amount of food we would produce. I explain this at the end of this post here (here). A non-animal derived lifestyle will always cause less harm than systematically raising and killing animals.
4) Becoming a vegan isn't necessarily a healthy choice:
This is true. Vegans must plan ahead for meals. Anyone can scan the internet and find a paper that follows a certain agenda. What about the mountain of evidence that meat and animals products are harmful to us? For every one source showing meat is fine, you can find two sources showing that it is killing us. It does not take a rocket scientist to look around at our families and the number of people who are dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and countless other diseases. Do not ever forget that "there are powerful, wealthy industries that stand to lose a lot if Americans shift to a plant-based diet". Don't believe for a second that they will not misuse and change the truth to profit off of us. Look at this post to see how far people will go to sell us (here). Look at comprehensive studies such as the The China Study. We are killing the animals and they are in turn, killing us.
5) There's nothing wrong with being a "species-ist":
This is a clear misunderstanding of what it means to be a speciesist. We are not claiming that animals are the same as humans. If a person has the choice between saving a white baby, or an old black man and he chooses to save the white child, is he a racist? Of course not. The life of a child is probably the most precious of all life. The older man has had a chance to live out his life. Of course neither deserve to die so we should try to protect both and no one in their right mind wants to actually have to make this decision. In much the same way, if we choose to save a human over an animal, are we a speciesist? Of course not. What being a speciesist means, is that you fail to take into account the life of another. You fail to imagine yourself as that animal. What would you want as that animal? Would you want to be a slave? Would you want to be killed so someone can eat you? Of course not. We would want to live out our lives at a place like Farm Santuary. Things look much different when we take into account the point of view of everyone involved. What we fail to realize is that what is best for the animals, is also best for us. When we enslave these animals, we are only causing suffering to ourselves. We will never have freedom ourselves until we realize the value of life. "As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields" -Leo Tolstoy