The Vegan Abolitionist: Dearest dictatorial vegans,
Well, vegetarians too.
So. A discussion come up about vegetarian and vegan diets. And of course, I state what I always say on the matter. I respect their lifestyle, if that works for them and makes them happy, then that’s great, how could I possibly criticize them for that? But…
Animals are sentient. How sentient? We don’t know. If you can get any animal to clearly communicate it’s ideas and emotions with us, then I would probably drop meat.
And no, you’re just making assumptions. Most animals express fear and pain, that is a given. But love? We can barely define it in humans, and you expect us to do the same with animals? What IS love? And not all (even most) animals express what we’d call ‘love’.
Look at insects. Those are animals. But I highly doubt you’d say they can love, or even show most emotions except pain. Fish? A lot have eggs then leave them to fend for themselves. Bird? Very little facial expression, so it’s hard to tell what emotions they can express (once again, other than fear or pain). Mammals have the most animals that can express emotions (cats purr when in comfort, dogs whine when anxious, and humans can express all sorts of crazy emotions). However, most of these are domesticated animals.
Also, note that a lot of these animals that express emotion, also kill other animals for food. Felines, canines, ursidae, a few primates, large avians, etc, etc, etc.
So if you want me to see your point of view, you need to show me how animals in nature (that express emotion), can kill but we should not?
Homo sapien sapien is a highly cognitive species. We have good memory, cognitive skills, critical thinking and emotional capacities—more so than any other animal (how many other species have invented things beyond grinding a stick on a rock?) So I can’t really compare them as emotional being the same as something like an ant, or even a slug, or a crab, or fish, or a bird, etc.
You first have to prove to me humans and other species are on the same level of intellectual acuity. Understand?
Intelligence is irrelevant, as is ability to show emotion. Would you eat a severely mentally-handicapped person, or someone whose facial muscles were paralyzed, thereby rendering them unable to smile or frown? That’s just silly. And if your answer is no, as I’m expecting, what’s the difference in animals?
Animals CAN feel love, and there are many accounts of this (such as the cow that gave birth to twins and pulled a Sophie’s Choice to try to save one from its inevitable fate), which will come up in a Google search. However, what it boils down to is whether or not they can feel pain, not how intelligent they are. And it is scientific FACT that animals possess nervous systems very similar to ours, therefore enabling them to feel the same pain we can.
Sure, there are more complex species that can do more than that - dogs, cats, horses (which are often mixed in with cattle beef, fun fact), elephants, etc. But just because an animal doesn’t communicate in a way that is up to your standards of comprehension, doesn’t make it incapable of communicating with its own kind, and it especially doesn’t make it incapable of feeling pain.
Finally, animals that kill for food do not factory farm their food. They do not torture and mutilate their food. It’s kill-and-eat, the end. Also, they are obligate carnivores, meaning that they literally need meat to survive. We don’t. Those are the biggest differences.
Even if neither of the above points were true, think about how odd your claim sounded. “I’m going to torture and kill animals because, well, they do it, too!” If your mother killed small babies for sport, would that be justification for you to do it? Just because other beings kill doesn’t mean that gives you an excuse to as well.
But more importantly, yeah, you don’t need that meat. Big cats do. Also, if you’re so cognitively developed, you should be able to tell right from wrong, whether another animal can or not.