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Animal "Lovers" who eat Animals

I just spent the weekend at an old friend's house (haven't seen him in 20 years). He and his wife are adamant animal lovers (have rescued several cats, have a 14 year old dog, and a huge aquarium). They would basically do anything for these pets and talk about them all the time as if they are their children (they are). However, my friend really made a big deal about how difficult and picky I am when it comes to eating. I should mention that we brought all of our own food and didn't eat anything of theirs, but the comments kept coming. I could tell it was an issue for him, just as it is with my dad (who I basically told to STFU when HE made a comment). Anyway, I just don't get how these people can be so loving towards their house pets, but won't even consider eating vegetarian meals. We wanted to check out a restaurant I like in Orlando called the Garden Cafe (all the meats are MOCK meats) and his wife wouldn't even consider going there and said she wants to eat real meat.

I had never met her before, and she was SUPER nice, and I didn't really want to raise up a debate with her (they are in their late 50's, fyi). Especially since I was a house guest, but I really wanted to ask them why they felt that cows and pigs weren't as important as dogs and cats. I just couldn't bring myself to do it, and I think it was the right choice.

It seems my sister is the same way. LOVES her dogs more than I love my kids  ::) but continues to eat the flesh of other animals. I don't like debating with her either, so I didn't say anything.

She cooked out a bunch of burgers, chicken, etc the next day, and when I was making my tofu, she said it smelled good and looked like chicken. I offered her a bite and she was like, "I have enough to eat, thanks" in sort of a snotty way. I didn't say anything but maybe she realized she was being sort of rude and she said, "well, OK" She took a tiny piece and said it didn't taste unfamiliar and sort of reminder her of chicken. I said, "yes, except no one had to die". And she just threw her head back and laughed, and that was the end.

I just don't get it.

They want to do a house swap with us next year, but I will have to decline, mostly because I don't want meat cooked in my kitchen.

Do you ever debate with people like this? If so, what is their response?

I am hoping that maybe I planted a seed (she didn't think of it that way before?). I might also email with my friend (the one I've known for 20 years) and see what his response is. I would be more comfortable talking to him than her.

Oh well, this is more of a rant for me than anything else. We all know people like this.

we had a speaker today at my school who runs some huge animal care facility in San Diego, travels around giving speeches and such. he said that we call ourselves "animal lovers," yet clearly we don't really love animals if we kill 5 million cats & dogs a year, fail to spay & neuter our pets, buy from pet shops/breeders, and stay inactive in helping the overpopulation problem. And he had lots of little horrible stories about the animal abuse cases he encountered while working for the ASPCA and the perspective of someone who euthanizes the animals in the shelter.
I think every one in my class cried today.

... but they'll go home and eat meat. =/

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Yeah I think you just have to let people come to their senses. And I agree totally that people who get overly defensive are internally probably guilty. I was.

When I first became vegan, my mom was super defensive about it. Now, she doesnt buy leather shoes or purses anymore, and keeps telling me she would be vegetarian with me if I started eating dairy again. At first I thought it was a ploy to get me to eat dairy, but I really think now that she just does see where I'm coming from and she doesnt know how to start something after 50 years of living another way. And I will do everything short of eating dairy (haha) to help her.

She called me the other day to tell me some horrible thing she read about tyson chicken and the conditions at their factory. She was saying "can you believe it!?" and I was just laughing, thinking, I've been saying this for years!

You just have to let people come to their own conclusions.

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Oh, and P.S.

A couple years ago, feeling very much irritated at the very subject of this post, I posted a blog ranting about how it was impossible to call yourself an animal lover and eat factory farmed meat.

The next day, one of my best friends call me to tell me she was going to be a vegetarian. Two years later she still is. SCORE!

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There's a great essay by David Foster Wallace --  "Consider the Lobster" (also a book by same title, a compilation of some of his editorial essays)... Got me interested in the ethics behind eating all animals (even those of "very low intelligence" that supposedly don't have a developed enough brain to feel pain the same way we do -- yeah right!). Unfortunately, Wallace kind of cops out; still, it's interesting to hear that the simple preference of a lobster wanting to be alive (presupposing they don't "feel" pain) before they are boiled alive is enough to begin a complex argument on their behalf -- particularly from an avowed meat eater. 

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If though evolution and if the understanding of life on earth, darwinism and that we evolved from fish  quite possibly consuming them could be linked or associated with cannibalism.

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It really is ridiculous when it comes down to arguing with, should i say, ignorant beings who only think that a natural diet contains meat.  I go to the Vet Tech Institute, training to be a Vet Technician and I have yet to meet someone who is Vegan, let alone Vegetarian!!! You would think I would find hundreds of people with the same food interest as mine considering this program is based on animals and their well being!!

  It also really bothers me that people say I preach about my eating habits when I get ridiculed because of them.  People say I'm picky, whenever they arent even open minded enough to try various beans for example!  everyone thinks tofu is some foreign chemical creation made in a test tube lab...besides being concerned about something that isnt even true their eating contaminated unhealthy meat products from our industry that is pretty much a chemical experiment itself!

Heres a suggestion...shut your mouth and open your eyes

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Well said vegetaBee. It also cracks me up when people say that a "natural" diet contains meat, or "animals eat other animals!"

Yeah. Animals also have sex with their immediate family and eat their own vomit, so... if thats the bus you want to ride...

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This thread also reminds me of co-workers that I had that loved their dogs just as much and wanted to hang Mike Vick when the whole dog fighting situation broke out. These co-workers could be more described as carnivores than omnivores and were like hunters, lol. They didn't just eat mass production meat like pork, beef, poultry, and fish but also ate everything from deer, possum, alligator, rabbits, and more. I think that dog fighting is wrong but aren't the omnivores the ones to point the finger. Also I watch shows on the travel channel with omnivores that show people from different cultures eating dogs, horses, camels, cats, rats, snakes, bugs, etc, and they become angry. What's so different,  ???.

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my friend was just telling me today about how she loves animals more than she loves people and that all her animals are rescues (she has soooo many animals! but it's good that they're all rescues) but doesn't disagree with eating meat, just the way they're treated before they're killed and how it's disgusting and she doesnt support it....but she eats meat from anywhere. and she was trying to make it reasonable, but it really wasn't making sense. at all. ugh. it's sad that she's so blind to how farm animals are treated.

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decided this was more appropriate here. i had forgotten about this thread!
We continued the discussion via email, and yes, the only thing she ever said was about how we might discover one day that plants feel pain.

READ this fucking ridiculous convo between me and my SIL regarding a photograph on FB of the two boys who are torturing a puppy (they have him hanging by his neck from a rope)

SIL:  My brother-in-law posted it and it made me so sick that I had to put it on my wall. You are so right the one taking the picture is just as horrible! Things like this make me so upset. As a pet owner I would do anything for them, and I can't imagine doing anything to hurt them in any way.

ME  This happens every day to millions of cows, pigs, and chickens. They have feelings and personalities too, even though they are not considered "pets". All of it is really insane.

SIL  I am sure the animals that we eat are not hung and photographed. And how can you say that fruit and vegetables don't feel pain? They are living after all.

ME well, I learned in Biology 101 that plants don't have a central nervous system. I just don't see a difference between a cat and a cow, that's all.

ME and unfortunately, the animals we eat are hung, abused, and tortured before they end up on our plates.

SIL  the earth was also once believed to be flat. so who knows a plant may feel something, it hasn't been discovered yet.

ME  But we already KNOW that animals feel pain, just like humans. You can't deny that.

Any botanist ( or educated person) can tell you that plants produce fruit so that animals will be attracted to them, eat them, and then spread their fertilized seeds.

If a carrot, a cat/dog, and a cow are potentially the same (isn't that what you are saying?), then really, we shouldn't care about any of them, or we should care about all of them, and treat them all equally.

PLANTS FEEL PAIN: A very weak, tiresome and ignorant argument, indeed.

Anything else?

love ya, SIL! ♥

jeezus kreyest!!!!

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Just finished the book 'Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat'... about the f'd up way humans think about animals... just an ok book overall, but some good stuff too, especially an analysis of cockfighting (which pretty much everyone agrees is cruel/ problematic/ 'glad it's finally illegal in every state') & Tyson/ Purdue treatment of 'broilers' & 'layers' (code words intended to eclipse the fact that we're talking about living things, here! assholes)... no comparison: if I had to choose, I'd be the gamecock... tho both, of course, are hideous!... but the main idea is that the way people justify these things, in their heads, is just... wow!-level weird.

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my friend was just telling me today about how she loves animals more than she loves people and that all her animals are rescues (she has soooo many animals! but it's good that they're all rescues) but doesn't disagree with eating meat, just the way they're treated before they're killed and how it's disgusting and she doesnt support it....but she eats meat from anywhere. and she was trying to make it reasonable, but it really wasn't making sense. at all. ugh. it's sad that she's so blind to how farm animals are treated.

i think so

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Btw: forgot to say... that whole 'plants feel pain' argument... is this really the best they've got??!! ok look, omnis: are you cannibals? no? well then, you use the same logic system I do, so quit talking crap. You eat cows but not humans, b/c a human is more similar to you than a cow; I eat potatoes but not cows, b/c a cow is more similar to me than a potato. Whether potatoes 'feel pain' in some nebulous, unidentified, hypothetical, curiously nervous-system-free way is not at issue!

We're using the same logic; I'm just being consistent with it, & you're not. So get some better arguments, or stop talking! (And if you segue into 'where do I get my protein'... someone's gonna get kicked in the shins...)

And that's just talking about the philosophical/ spiritual implications... the health and environmental advantages of eating a plant-based diet/ eating as low on the food chain as possible are incontrovertible, regardless of the 'plant-pain' 'question'.

Have you ever noticed the very limited number of pro-meat-eating arguments? there's, like, four of 'em, & omnis just pass 'em around over & over & over & over etc etc etc (til I start feeling dark, shamefully non-nonviolent shin-kicking urges)... My advice: self-medication w/ a nice cabernet, before spending family time w/ SIL... & get her some shin-guards for Christmas, just in case!

;)

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