I am not going to make myself very popular with this post. But that’s okay, most vegans are unpopular. Because we make non-vegans feel uncomfortable. I’ve had conversations where this happened. Why? Because I argue that you cannot call yourself an animal lover when you’re not vegan. Most non-vegans can call themselves a pet lover. Or a horse lover. Maybe a dog lover. However, most non-vegans don’t do this. They call themselves animal lovers. I just think that’s nonsense. Here’s why I think you cannot call yourself an animal lover when you’re not vegan.
Consumption of meat
If you call yourself an animal lover and eat meat at the same time, I think you’re a total hypocrite. That’s like saying you love your kids, but you regularly pay someone to beat them. When you eat meat, you eat animals. And even though you don’t kill them yourself, you pay someone else to do so. How can you love someone and let them be murdered for your food at the same time? Writing this down, I feel like it’s stupid to have to explain this. But people have truly argued that this is not true. They think it’s okay to say they love animals and eat them at the same time.
If you replace the animal with someone else, a human, the hypocrisy becomes apparent. If I say I love my parents but would at the same time be willing to gas them, how can I say I love them? Or if I say I love my friends, but would pay someone to put a pin inside of their head to then be able to eat their flesh? It’s total nonsense. You can’t love animals and eat them at the same time. You choose for them to be killed even though it does not have to be that way. Humans can very well survive on plants.
Consumption of dairy and eggs
And that same thing goes for other animal products like dairy and eggs. Why? Because animals are killed for those products too. A cow has to be pregnant and give birth to be able to give milk. If that baby is born it is checked. If it’s a boy, it will be slaughtered, because it does not give milk. The same goes with baby chickens. And when the female cows don’t ‘produce’ enough milk anymore, they’re killed as well. It’s not like dairy cows can enjoy a peaceful life after they’ve worked for us. They’re killed once we don’t earn enough money from them anymore.
So no, you cannot eat cheese and say you love animals. You don’t. When you eat dairy you pay someone to abuse and kill cows. You pay someone to take away their babies and rape them again. If you love an animal you want them to have a peaceful life, with the least pain as possible. You’d want them to live as long as they can. You’d want them to play with friends. And you’d want them to be happy. If you eat animals, you simply cannot say you love them. You love the taste of their dead flesh, yes. But you’re not an animal lover.
But you can be a pet lover while being a non-vegan. You can treat your dog or horse like a royal and say you love them. That I believe. Most people treat their pets like a family member. And that’s great! But then you should call yourself a dog lover, a horse lover or a pet lover. You’re still not an animal lover at that point. You don’t love all animals. Consciously, you choose to love one animal, but choose to eat another. You love dogs, but you kill pigs. It’s a small improvement from people who hate all animals, but in a way this is more hypocrite. Why love a cat but slaughter a cow? There’s no difference between the two, other can culture.
I have to say, in some situations I am a bit more mild. Because I do believe that not everyone can be vegan. But mind you, I think this is a very small part of all humans. Some populations in the world simply wouldn’t survive without eating animal flesh (Inuit populations for example). They have no choice (but I believe in the future we can find ways to supply them with plant-based alternatives). And there’s of course a group of people who have or have had an eating disorder. For those people it’s very tricky to eliminate certain foods from their diet. And I can’t judge people who have or have recovered from an eating disorder, because I’ve never had one myself.
But again, these are rare exceptions. Most people have a choice with every meal they eat. And I think you cannot call yourself an animal lover when you’re not vegan.