"But What I Eat Is My Personal Choice"
“But what I eat is my personal choice,” say most non-vegans when defending their dietary choices.
While you do have the physical ability to make a personal choice to eat what you want, if we go based on that viewpoint, then it’s my personal choice to eat your newborn baby or my neighbor’s cat.
I could also rape someone or murder my boss.
“Hey, it’s my personal choice to do what I want.”
Now, you may think I’m being facetious, but the cold, hard truth is that I’m not.
Here’s another angle.
Throughout history, it’s been socially acceptable to own a slave.
And, not only has it been socially acceptable, it’s been legal!
When non-slave owners would question why someone would enslave another human, they likely replied, “It’s my personal choice [or right] to own a slave.”
If law and society are backing you up, you’re in the clear, right?
As humans living in the 21st century, we can see the immorality behind owning a slave.
Even though most of us scoff at the concept now, there are still millions of humans enslaved in the modern world today.
But that’s a very important conversation for another day.
“Wow, our ancestors really screwed up,” one might think when recognizing how strange it is to own another human.
We don’t go down to Walmart and buy a slave today, do we?
No, because we know it’s wrong, immoral, unjust, and, frankly, just completely screwed up.
So, when someone says to me, “But it’s my personal choice to eat what I want,” here’s what I think is really going on.
As a meat eater, you want to feel respected with the choices you’re making.
You don’t want some pretentious vegan telling you what you can and can’t do.
I get it.
I’ve been there, too.
But, going back to our previously explained logic, many slave owners would have wanted to feel respected as they showed up at an auction to acquire a new human.
It’s their right and personal choice to do so after all.
As a vegan, I do not want to be, or come off as, pretentious.
I don’t want to be on a high horse (bad vegan metaphor, isn’t it?).
I don’t want to be in a position where I need to explain to people the deeper meaning behind their choices.
So, if you’re thinking I — or other vegans — enjoy bringing up what non-vegans do, I promise you we don’t.
All we are trying to do is unveil the lie you’ve been fed that it’s acceptable to eat, use, or wear animals…
Other living beings…
Creatures that can make choices when given the chance..
…in hopes you’ll recognize the parallel between that and the mentality of what a slave owners once was.
When given the chance, animals will run, fly, or swim away from danger or threats.
Slaves would escape when they found a chance.
Animals and humans both have the instinct to stay alive.
As creatures with the upper-hand, we’ve decided it’s okay to keep animals in captivity — as slaves — to benefit us.
We can choose to eat them, wear them, use them for entertainment…because, well, it’s our choice.
But when there’s a victim involved, ask yourself honestly, is it a moral choice?
When we have the ability to choose something that doesn’t involve a victim, why wouldn’t we?
When we have plant-based options that provide all the nutrients we need, why not pick those instead of the ones that caused harm, suffering, and torture?
That’s where vegans are coming from.
Personal choice is deciding what kind of hair cut you want or whether you want to print photos in black & white or color.
Those personal choices have no victim.
You may not see human slavery and animal slavery on the same wavelength, but when we look at morality, it’s exactly the same.
Yes, society says it’s okay and acceptable to eat chicken wings, bacon, and burgers.
But remember, society also once said it was okay to own another human being and do with them what you wanted.
Now, it’s illegal, socially unacceptable, and scoffed at.
To put it frankly, your choice to eat, use, or wear animal products matters more than just how it affects you.
Each one of our choices is a vote for how we want the world to be.
How we want our lives to be.
With each beef burger eaten, it’s a vote towards global warming, animal cruelty, and poor health.
With each vegan burger eaten, it’s a vote for compassion, a lower carbon footprint, and better health.
I’m not trying to be condescending, these are just the facts.
So when you say, “What I eat is my personal choice,” you’re saying, “I don’t care about you, the animal I’m eating, my impact on the planet,” and so much more.
Your health needs you to care.
The animals need you to care.
Our dying planet needs you to care.
And I’m begging you to care.
Future generations depend on us to deliver a beautiful, safe world to live in.
The sooner we recognize how every one of our personal choices plays out in a domino effect, the sooner we can take charge of our “personal choices” and live compassionate, intentional, healthy lives.
If this article struck a chord, comment below.
If this article helps you feel empowered in your decision-making, comment below.
If you think what I’ve written is total crap, comment below.
The more we talk about the health of planet, the lives of animals, and our overall declining human health, the more conscious we’ll become in personally choosing to make the world a better place.
I’ve written this article with nothing but love for you.
All my best,