A Very Long Comment I Left On Feministe About Animal Rights
I’m having trouble not getting on my Vegetarian High Horse here, because I believe so strongly that *for me* the only ethical life is one that involves NOT eating animals or using products tested on animals. However, the for me part of that is important. I believe that it is immoral–in fact, I believe it is flat out wrong–to use, for example, make up that’s tested on animals, and I have never understood why people seem to have such problems with that: non-tested products are often just as cheap as tested products. But I do understand why people eat meat, although again, I find the idea of eating factory farmed meat unjustifiable. I just cannot do it. And I would be very, very happy to outlaw hunting for sport (for food is obviously a completely different thing) and factory farming.
However. Vegetarians and vegans have to be very, very careful not to be assholes about this. It’s easy for me to say “well eating meat is immoral” because my level of privilege and the fact that I can live quite healthfully without meat means that it has never been a big deal for me (I haven’t eaten meat since I was eight).
When I was in high school at a very crunchy Quaker school, there were loads of vegans, and the smart ones would say, you do what you can. I think this is important to remember for ALL aspects of progressiveness. They are things–outright sexism, racism, homophobia–that cross the line, but the rest of the time you do what you can. If you believe the ethical and environmental arguments for eating less meat, you try to eat less meat. You give as much of your disposable income as you can to “good” companies, you point out rape culture when you can. Etc, etc. You do as much as you can at any given time to advance what you believe, to “act as if” and in our day to day lives, that’s all we can do.