I have (somewhat) recently reconnected with a very close friend from highschool. In fact we dated… well as much as two kids in the ninth grade could date in 1970-71. As we began to catch-up via Facebook, emails and phone I became quite surprised at where life has taken her.
The Readers Digest version is that her passion is being an Animal Rights Activist (ARA). She is also a vegan. I’ve never know an ARA before and to be honest my thoughts about “those people” have been pretty negative. After all my total knowledge of ARAs and their intentions consisted of sound-bites and the typical things you see in news reports. Of course, if you think about it, news organizations usually try to find the nuttiest person in any given group and portray them as the norm of that group.
I have had occasion to interact (via the internet) with some of her co-hearts and pretty much without exception they have been pretty hard-core, rude and vile. Their interactions with me left me with the feeling, “wow, if you want someone to see your point of view you sure need to change the way you approach us “non-believers.”” Honestly, if it were not for the relationship I have with my friend and the way she has approached me with this issue I would not even consider changing my views much less consider at least considering changing my diet to exclude eating things with a face. I have cut back on my meat intake and am still trying to muster the courage and planning skills to institute a ‘NO MEAT MONDAYS” in our home.
I do know that there are some companies who treat their animals as just a means to putting more money in their bank accounts. I do know that some animals are ill-treated and abused. But I must admit that I still think that while animals should NOT be abused it’s still okay to eat meat.
Then there is the other side to the Animal Rights movement. Pet stores that use puppy mills. I just can’t stand that. Heck, if there were a protest here I would even consider going out to show support or even join in the protest. However, my life is such that I wouldn’t make the time it would take to organize and lead such a protest.
I’m certain at this point that I haven’t adequately stated the case for my Animal Rights Activist friend. That was not the intent of this Blog post. I just wanted to get you thinking and ask a few basic questions.
So here’s my question. What are your thoughts and feelings toward Animal Rights Activists? Do you eat meat? Do you wear leather products, etc.? Would you be willing to at least consider adopting a lifestyle of at least one day a week with no meat in your diet?