I wish that the vegan/vegetarian lobby would recognize that dietary choices are inherently arbitrary, rather than moral or ethical. Even the most ardent vegan is still a heterotroph; the only difference is, a vegan eats species without a developed central nervous system. Until vegans learn to perform photosynthesis, they’re still required to consume organic material – usually plants – to obtain the carbon and energy they need to survive.
Now, I’m all in favour of ethical treatment of animals; I don’t eat pork or bacon because I know pigs have the cognitive capacity to understand what’s being done to them, and the other meats I consume (mostly chicken, bison and fish) are free-range or wild-caught. I don’t agree with the way slaughterhouses operate, and I fully support ethical treatment of farm animals, even when their final destination is someone’s dinner plate. But I also recognize that my choice is essentially an arbitrary one, made based on my own preferences and attitudes; I don’t pretend that my choice is inherently morally superior than anyone else’s. Human beings – like all animals – must consume other species in order for us to survive. That isn’t going to change no matter how many gruesome picture of slaughtered animals you shove in our faces. If anything, PETA-type groups are merely desensitizing us to the genuine abuses that are done by less-ethical food producers, instead of encouraging people to purchase ethically-sourced foods. By holding up vegetarianism and veganism as a moral standard, they lose a lot of credibility and lose the chance to alter peoples’ food choices for the better.
So please, until you’re able to turn sunlight into energy using leaves you grew out of your ass, keep your moralistic judgement to yourself. Don’t act superior to me because I eat species with legs, and you eat species with roots. There’s really no fundamental difference, no matter how much you wish their were; we’re a species of heterotrophs and no amount of moralistic grandstanding will ever turn you into a fucking plant.