“It is my own personal choice to eat meat. Stop forcing your values down my throat.”
That is one of the most common things that has been said to me by meat eaters, and nothing angers me more than that statement.
When people tell me that it is their own, personal, choice to eat meat, I think, “No. It is not YOUR personal choice to take another being's life. Just like it is not okay for someone to go and murder somebody else because it was their own, personal, choice to do so. Just like it is not okay for someone to rape someone else because it was their own, personal, choice to do so.
Yes, we all have personal choices in life, but when they come at the expense of others, it is no longer our right to take away another living being's life.
People love to love the cute and cuddly animals like dogs and cats, but look at pigs, cows, and chickens as food. I know for a fact if I told someone it was completely humane to eat a dog, they would tell me that I am an animal abuser, and they are right. But if it is okay to eat a cow, why isn’t it okay to eat a dog?
Our society has been conditioned to believe that certain animals are our friends, and other animals are food. We have been taught that we are on top of the food chain and have the right to enslave and murder the lives of innocent creatures.
Most of the population are speciesists, and don’t even realize it. When Americans find out about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival that takes place in China, they are appalled and immediately speak out for the dogs that are being killed for food. The minute that a dog or cat is abused, they become an animal activist, but then they sit down for dinner with that same violence on their plate. Billions of farm animals are killed every single year for food in the United States, but they don’t think twice about it.
What those people feel for dogs is what vegans feel for every single animal on this planet. We just want every animal to have the chance to live their life in freedom with no pain. These animals are not given a choice. They are stripped of their birthright and treated like objects. We as humans have taken away their every right. We say it is our choice to eat meat yet take away their right to live.
I think about how frequently non vegans say that we force our values down their throat when all I see on commercials, the radio, and every other form of media is the advertisements for meat and dairy products. I see companies like the Laughing Cow deceive millions of people into believing that mother cows voluntarily give us their milk so we can have a piece of cheese. I see milk commercials who display these “happy cows” interacting with humans yet they don’t show the part where humans rip away the calf from the mother only moments after they are born. The meat and dairy industry doesn’t tell us that these products are killing us. They don’t want the people to know that these animals feel pain and want to live, just like us.
After visiting a farm sanctuary near my house, and being around farm animals, I realize just how blind I used to be. A cow named Jimmy laid down in front of me and let me pet him for 20 minutes. I know that if any meat eater came and experienced that, they would realize that Jimmy is just like the dog they have at home. Jimmy had a mom and dad. Jimmy feels pain and happiness. Jimmy wants to live just anyone else does.
People always assume that the hardest part of being vegan is not eating ice cream or pizza anymore, but by far the hardest part is thinking about all the helpless animals who are being killed every second. We aren’t pushing our values on you. We are asking you to take off the blinders and educate yourselves on the cruelty of the meat and dairy industries. We are asking you to treat farm animals the same way you treat your dogs and cats, because at the end of the day, we all want to live, and we are all earthlings.