I have heard this argument from people who defend eating meat. I don’t think veganism is extreme at all.
What is extreme is feeding grain to cattle to make them sick and then using medicine to fix the problem. It is extreme to feed cattle 5 pounds of grain to get one pound of meat. It is extreme to feed 50% of U.S. grain to animals while 800 million people around the world suffer from starvation and malnutrition and 22 million will die. That pound of meat also requires 2,500 to 6,000 pounds of water. It takes 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein compared to plant protein.
It is extreme to inject beef calves with progesterone and testosterone to make them grow faster. It is extreme to use radioactive material to kill bacteria on beef. It is extreme to pay large corporations for the privilege of dying from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. It is extreme to kill nine billion animals a year.
It is extreme to put sows in two feet wide gestation crates that don’t allow them to turn around while repeatedly impregnating them.
It is extreme to give 67 square inches of space to egg producing chickens when they need 303 square inches to flap their wings. They are not given nesting and dusting materials, or access to the outdoors and natural sunlight. It is extreme to force them to molt by starving them for 10 to 14 days to induce another laying cycle. Male chicks are thrown in trashcans or ground up alive.
It is extreme for human adults to drink milk from another animal that is produced to feed their own babies. The male calves are sold for veal and the females can look to the same life as their mothers. Cows usually live to 25 years old but dairy cows are killed between 4 and 5 years old to be used as soup, pet food, or low-grade hamburger.
Vegans eat plants, seeds, nuts, and it is as simple as that. There is nothing extreme about it.