I’m Not an Animal Lover
A vegan who doesn’t love animals. Have you ever heard of such a thing? A vegan who gladly leaves her dog at home when she goes to the park or the beach. Or who doesn’t inevitably end up petting the cat at every friends’ house party. No, I am not what you would call an animal lover. In fact, the one animal I do have drives me batty. He is a “lap dog” and I am a mom of three, three and under, so the amount of time he spends on my lap has hugely decreased over the years.

Simply put, I became a vegan because I know that all earthlings, who are capable of feeling fear and pain, should never feel those feelings. And while I did not become a vegan because I feel some overwhelming spiritual pull towards animals, to me, the bigger oxymoron is the fact that so many who claim to be animal lovers… eat animals.

I’m talking about the sort of people that break car windows to save a dog from dying in a hot car…on their way into a burger joint. The ones who spend their Saturday volunteering at an animal shelter, and their Sunday at a family BBQ eating hotdogs. The ones who are on social media, sharing their outrage over the death of Cecile the lion, all while eating their chicken salad sandwich.

This is speciesism. To look at some animals as companions, and others, who have the same ability to feel love and pain, and who have the same (or higher) intelligence levels, as FOOD, creates this overwhelming disconnect between our values and our practices. Pigs, cows, and chickens, along with all farmed animals have personalities. They are lovable. They are affectionate. The reasons we love and bond with our cats and dogs are the exact reasons one should choose a vegan life style.

  • Ruth Eisenbud

    Beautifully said…. There is a lot of confusion about compassion for animals in nations that are guided by dominion. The crux of the issue is a belief that human lives are more important than animals lives. This fallacy results in the killing of 4-5 million dogs a year in american shelters by people who claim to love animals.

    A more humane approach towards street animals exists in India, where it is against the law to kill a dog. Street dogs are neutered, vaccinated against rabies and given medical care. The ethic that saves so many lives is ahimsa, which does not grant humans the right to control or kill animals or each other. It would be safe to assume that the rescuers in India do not eat meat…. they understand that all lives are important.

  • Ruth Eisenbud

    The word love is so ambiguous…. I love chocolate, I love my family, I love animals, but I eat them…
    How many times have spouse abusers said they love their victims?

    The word love is relative…. which makes it possible for some dog rescuers to say they love animals, but they eat meat?

    If we are to have a more meaningful version of compassion a more accurate word is needed to claim compassion for animals than love….

    The term that comes to mind is not emotionally charged, but is appropriate guidance for alleviating the suffering and ending the slaughter of animals:

    “In my opinion, the most beautiful word ever written, in any country, in any language, at any time, came from India. Ahimsa: non-violence to any living being” Philip Wollen