In my brief stint as a “vegetarian“, I puffed up my chest and very loudly proclaimed that I was “reserving my right to eat cheese, eggs and fish if I need to”.
I’m not sure what I thought I’d “need” them for but I eventually realized that when the “right” I’m reserving takes away the rights of others to live and continue their lives free from exploitation and oppression, it’s not a “right” at all.
It’s a wrong.
I’ve been living vegan ever since.
Veganism represents a return to living according to our almost universally shared belief that harming – and killing – others for no good reason is wrong. Irrespective of species membership, “But their bodies taste good!” is as morally unjustifiable a reason for taking a life as “But their bodies feel good!” is for sexually violating another individual. Each represents a terrible injustice that serves only to satisfy the pleasure of the perpetrators while causing irreparable and wholly unnecessary damage to their victims.
The analogies intersect further when one considers the fact that female non-human animals are routinely sexually violated, often under the licentious euphemism of “animal husbandry”, in order to be forcibly impregnated to produce milk and offspring for human consumption.
These violations, like all violations forced upon sentient non-human individuals to satisfy human pleasure, comfort and convenience, are unnecessary and therefore morally unjustifiable. Realizing this, the only rational response is to immediately cease one’s participation in these injustices and begin living vegan. It is, on every level, the right thing to do.
[I encourage all readers to click the blue links embedded in this essay and explore the information on those sites.]