When having conversations with people about eating animals, both sides appreciate respect. This is true for any argument or discussion. Please respect the other’s position–try to see where they are coming from.
I ate animals for the first 15 years of my life, so I know where omnivores are coming from. I get it. When I have conversations with people who eat meat, I try my best to be respectful. Depending on the conversation and person, sometimes it’s really hard, especially when they’re being disrespectful. And while disrespect can be frustrating, what frustrates me most is when people disrespect the animals they are eating.
I get that people are going to continue to eat meat for some time to come. I know that despite hearing the logical arguments, people will still choose to eat animals. So, if that’s the case, I ask one thing of them: please respect the animals you’re eating.
Enough damage has been done to the animal, the disrespect doesn’t need to be there. No one would appreciate someone making fun of their dead family member, and we sure would be extremely angry if we knew the mortician was being disrespectful with their dead body while preparing it for the funeral.
While I know the animals on a person’s plate are not their family member or someone they have an emotional attachment to, the “food” was still once a living being–a being that deserves respect, even in its final form.
Recently, Vice.com shared an article on Facebook:
Cool, right?! It’s awesome to see a popular news-interest site sharing something pretty positive about veganism. But of course, mention the word “vegan” and you get hateful comments and arguments, even on an article that wasn’t making any controversial claims, just sharing tips on how to save money.
There were hateful comments:
And of course, this guy:
Looks like every single comment section on an article that says the word “vegan,” right? All those are super annoying, but you just have to brush it off. These people have no clue what they’re talking about honestly.
But, there were a few comments that really bothered me. Let me show you the header and picture accompanying the article one more time:
And this is what people said:
Now, I know that these people are probably trolls, just saying those things to get an uproar from a vegan so they can bash them. But, the sentiments shared are perpetuated throughout society. No one respects the animals they are eating. They see a farm animal and imagine food. That lack of respect bothers me.
Here’s an image that recently appeared on Reddit:
And some of the comments?
If we (as a society) are going to eat animals, let’s at least respect them.
Native Americans were/are extremely respectful to the animals they eat.
They shared the land with animals and while they killed them for food out of necessity, they respected that animal’s life and spirit, and did not take them for granted. They only killed when they needed to and that was out of necessity.
Hell, even movies we love have picked up on this. In Avatar, Neytiri gets mad at Jake that she had to kill all of the wolf-creatures to save his life because he doesn’t know how to respect the forest.
Jake: “Thanks for killing those things.”
Neytiri: “You don’t thank for this. This is sad. Very sad only.”
Even though this movie is fictional, it still sends a message that was originally echoed by Native Americans: Killing is not fun or good, but sometimes it is necessary and we must respect the creatures we kill. Unnecessary killing is sad, though.
That’s a sentiment I can understand in a world where you have to hunt to live, but luckily in the U.S. we don’t. Still, people will eat meat and so the least they can do is respect it.
So I ask that the next time you sit down to a meal, after you thank your deity for the food, also thank the animal that had to die so you could eat it.
May all beings be free from suffering.