Is Consuming Animal Products a Personal Choice?

It is often said that consuming animal products is a matter of personal choice. A vegan is expected to respect a non-vegan’s “choice” to consume animal products. I see the logic in this, but this argument is fatally flawed.

One’s freedom to live as they please certainly does deserve to be protected. That is, until it infringes upon someone else’s freedom and safety. We abide by this rule every day. We enjoy the freedom to decide what to wear, to attend school, to travel when we want to, and to practice religion freely. But once we choose to steal from, harm, or kill other members of society, we have crossed the line away from freedom of choice into harming the life and liberty of others. Our actions are then punishable by the law.

forgetting someone

Why do the words “murder” and “stealing” stop applying when the victim is an animal instead of a human? When it comes to our ability to feel pain and suffering, animals and humans are equals. Being shackled by the feet and having one’s throat slashed open is terrifying and immensely painful, whether you are a chicken, pig, cow, or human. We cannot pick and choose whose suffering matters and whose does not.

some lives matter less

If a dog, cat, or human was treated the way animals used for food are, it would be considered a crime. It makes no sense that the same action could be considered either a “personal choice” or a “crime” depending upon the species of the victim. A person’s choice to consume flesh should not take precedence over an innocent, feeling being’s choice to live.

respect

We all desire the freedom to decide how we want to feed ourselves and our families. And with a vegan lifestyle, you can still have that. There are endless cruelty-free foods and recipes to enjoy. With the huge variety of faux meats sold at your local grocery store, there is no need to harm the lives of others to enjoy the taste of meat. If you focus on the delicious meals you can eat instead of dwelling on the products you are eliminating, you will realize that you are not missing out on anything at all. As I often say, when you go vegan, the only thing you must give up is cruelty!

Best,

Leila

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16 thoughts on “Is Consuming Animal Products a Personal Choice?

  1. Thank you for this. It is truly sad that so many people don’t share that point of view. I don’t understand how a person can look at an animal and feel that it is okay to eat it. We are not in prehistoric times anymore when we had to hunt for survival. We live in an abundant world, with more than enough vegetarian foods to keep us alive and well. The reality is that there are a lot of people who truly don’t care about animals, their well being, or them being alive. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand that. Animals are so cute and sweet!!

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    • Thank you so much for the support! It is absolutely ridiculous that we are forcing billions of animals to endure lives of suffering and cruel deaths just so people can eat them, while our grocery stores are stocked with produce year round!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. jessbrewer91 says:

    This is such a great post! I always get the comment “what are you going to eat?” or “it must be really hard trying to find things to eat”. People really don’t understand that there are so many vegetarian/vegan options!

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  3. M E Cheshier says:

    What a fabulous post!!!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂 I have been a vegetarian for more that 35 years. Your pictures (inhumane pics of animal abuse) went straight for the heart. I do hope that meat-eaters will keep this in mind before their next carnivorous bite.

    TY

    Mary

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    • Thank you! I am glad you found this post and images touching. I hope meat eaters can understand this message, too. It is impressive that you have been vegetarian for so long! If you ever want to go a step further and try vegan, I would be glad to help you in any way I can. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • M E Cheshier says:

        Oh Leila! I have no intention of being a vegan, I love my cheese and butter way to much. I am 100% organic though!

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      • Vegans love cheese and butter, too! Most grocery stores carry vegan cheeses such as Daiya, and butter such as Earth Balance and Coconut Oil spread. From an ethical standpoint, dairy is just as cruel as the meat industry, if not worse. Mother cows are repeatedly forcibly impregnated for their entire lives. Their babies are taken away from them shortly after birth so humans can drink the milk. The baby is sold for veal if he is male, and the mother is slaughtered after her milk production declines. From an environmental standpoint, it requires 2044 gallons of water to produce one pound of butter. This is more than pork (1630 gal) and chicken (815 gal). So I suggest you try out some vegan versions of dairy products! No need to make the switch all at once. They are super delicious, compassionate, and kind to the environment! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • M E Cheshier says:

        I have to first say that I have been studying sustainable living, herbs, organic farming for as long as I have been a vegetarian (over 35 years),

        So sorry, I have to say that vegan cheese is not even close to the real thing.. Yes, cows can be treated horribly in a dairy. But so can workers on a farm in many countries so that people can have that exotic or superfood fruit labeled vegan.

        I am not sure where you get your stats… “it requires 2044 gallons of water to produce one pound of butter.” I have had cows on the farm and also made my own butter.

        You are barking up the wrong tree. Speaking of trees, I have planted millions.

        I am very mindful of what I eat and where my food source comes from. Most I grow myself. I won’t even buy “organic” food that does not support GMO labeling. Trust me, there are many,

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      • M E Cheshier says:

        I am truly not trying to be rude or disrespectful but:

        FYI Earth Balance uses canola oil, soy and palm oil. Did you know that palm oil is one of the most environmentally destructive edible crop oils. Production and growing destroys critical habitats, contributes to climate change and threatens forest communities.

        And canola oil comes from rapeseed, (used in ancient civilization as a fuel). It was developed through conventional plant breeding/gene slicing.

        Canola oil is processed by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial canola oil is then refined using hexane (a type of gasoline).

        Then there is soy, one of the highest GMO’d foods around. About 85% of soy products are GMO’d.

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      • There are plenty of sustainable, fair-trade, plant-based foods out there if you look for them. Locally grown fruits and veggies are a great choice. Soy products, such as tofu, often will have a non GMO label printed on the package. If soy is a great concern to you, it is possible to avoid soy altogether as a vegan. I do not eat Earth Balance myself, so it is definitely possible to avoid canola oil (and palm oil if you wish). Many vegans abstain from cooking with any oil at all. Of course, being vegan is not about being perfect. It is impossible to cause absolutely no harm or suffering at all. It is just about doing your best to minimize the suffering you are responsible for. Hope this helps! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • M E Cheshier says:

        Hi

        Yes, I know. Either vegan or vegetarian; it is all about choices and supporting companies that have clean food and care for the environment! Likewise, I am for people who try to educate others in being sustainable and not supporting companies that leach and pollute our earth.

        I am very well educated in all of the above (scholarly and hands-on). Being vegetarian is not about being perfect either. True vegans and vegetarians are pretty much on the same path. I am quite strict in my diet as you are, but in different ways. I am not looking to be educated but to educate others.

        Regards

        Mary ❤

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