Would those who argue against veganism (and therefore, by default, in favor of speciesism) be just as quick to argue in favor of racism, sexism, heterosexism or some other form of injustice involving human victims if perpetuating that particular form of injustice personally benefited them, as does continuing to consume products of animal exploitation?
Fighting against a moral and ethical stance that works toward ending the exploitation of a group, the abolition of which threatens one’s personal conveniences (said conveniences being always at the expense of the exploited group), exposes a perverse form of selfishness on the part of the defender(s) of the exploitation.
Cognitive dissonance (the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual when confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values) can make it difficult to accept certain truths, but denial of reality never actually changes reality. Rather, it creates a false premise upon which to predicate one’s behavior and takes one further from the truth of a situation, always with deleterious effects to oneself and others.
Personally, when I was presented with overwhelming evidence that my behavior as a non-vegan was directly contributing to a system of animal slavery, exploitation and needless death (in essence, an animal holocaust claiming billions, and possibly trillions, of sentient beings every year), I took an immediate and unequivocal stand against this injustice and started living vegan within the hour. It was the only direction that made sense to me, the only way of living I could live with and the single best decision I’ve ever made in my life. The “transition” was fairly simple and living vegan quickly became, as vegan educator Elena Brodskaya put it, “…not second or third nature, but just Nature”.
It would take far less time and energy – and save countless lives – if those who oppose veganism would cease their mental and ethical gymnastics and stop trying to find, in the words of the Roman philosopher Seneca, “a right way to do the wrong thing”.