I agree with those of you that emphasized that vegetarianism and veganism are NOT just diet choices, or even lifestyle choices. In my view, whether a person has no moral qualms about killing another innocent and defenseless creature for frivilous reasons like gluttony speaks DIRECTLY about the quality of their heart and measure of kindness and compassion contained within it. I would never date a murderer, so, subject to the qualifications I set out below, why would I date a meat eater? Killing a living creature is murder, plain and simple, even if that creature ain't human. Perhaps I feel that way because I am not speciest, as most if not all meat eaters are. IN fact, speciesm is what makes animal exploitation in all its various forms possible. And, at the risk of being controversial, I might add that it is that same "us versus them", "they are different from us, they are not like us" attitude that makes genocides and holocausts possible. I know this because my great grandparents were massacred in the Armenian genocide in 1915 by the Turks, who justified the mass slaughter of men, women and children on the grounds that Armenian people living in Turkey at that time were "inferior" beings to the Turks in Turkey. That "Us versus theM', "they are not like us", "we are superior" attitude is one that is extremely dangerous and should be rejected by everybody, not adopted let alone encouraged. Unfortunately, most humans have that attitude. A few short decades ago, it was used to justify genocides and holocausts, like I said earlier, and even slavery, etc. As somebody whose people were oppressed and slaughtered, I cannot understand why any human being whose "people" have experienced oppression and exploitation cannot empathize with the plight of animals, since animals are BY FAR the most oppressed, exploitated and abused class of beings on the face of this planet. So when I see Armenians or other formerly oppressed groups wearing fur or eating meat, I get ESPECIALLY enraged and
ed. Never mind, sympathy, where is the empathy
of these people?
Just because consumers who eat meat are not the actual
people who slit a cows throat and hang it upside down until it bleeds to death, or scald a pig alive, that does not mean that they are less culpable than the actual butchers. There is no morality in paying somebody else to do something that you cannot even bare to watch,
and most people (I would like to think) would not be able to watch, up close and live, the slaughter of innocent animals and not be affected by their squeels and shrieks in terror and their physical struggles to escape their executioners. If they can
so watch and be utterly indifferent, then they must have hearts of stone and ice water for blood.
BUt again, most people are generally decent and so I think that like one of you said, it is a matter of habit, of convenience, and of the feeling of superiority over all other life forms on earth that allow people to exploit animals and not lose sleep over it. But in view of the fact that eating animals is not necesary or even good or you, meat eating is a purely gluttonous exericse, and wearing animals, whether in the form of leather, fur, wool or silk, is vanity plain and simple.
As far as smoking and drinking, I used to smoke but quit several years ago. However, I will light up a cigarette once in a blue moon if I am feeling extremely stressed (so I cannot say that I am 100% smoke free). yes, it is stupid and so feel free to hit me on the head if you ever see me. And I enjoy an occasional Martini, shaken, on the rocks with exactly 9 olives, or a glass of red wine. While these may not be good for me, they cannot be compared with meat eating because I am only hurting myself
by engaging in these choices, NOT innocent animals who are utterly at my mercy. People do have the choice and freedom to do whatever they want, and indeed, meat eaters, smokers and drinkers will defend their actions on this ground. BUT in my view, your choice and freedom stops at the point where you begin causing suffering to others beyond just yourself
, particularly where those others are vulnerable and defenseless against you and your kind.
Conclusion, I would date a meat eater if I knew that the reason why they ate meat was not
because they genuinely did not care about the suffering of animals. This is because, as many of you stated, I would hope that I could positively influence them into seeing the "light" as I eventually did. I would hope that this evolution in consciousness would come sooner rather than later though. And make no mistake people, it IS an evolution in consciousness. Vegetarians, and even more so vegans, are more evolved humans than their meat eating, fur and leather wearing counterparts. This is an inescapable conclusion, although one to which most meat eaters are not receptive. The reluctance to see it as an evolution in consciousness, though, is understandable - nobody likes to think of themselves as a neanderthal or anything other than a good kind person. That is why vegetarians/vegans are looked up by society with such hostility. It is because they represent an uncomfortable and inconvenient choice: either change your lifestyle, or your self-image, but you simply cannot have it both ways - the facts don't support it because there is nothing kind or moral or decent or civilized or "un-neanderthal" like about eating animals for the simple reason of pleasing your palate
. Meat eating for that reason is one of the most blatant examples of human selfishness and self-indulgence.
However, even though I would, and have dated meat eaters, I would NOT date anybody who I realized genuinely
had ZERO charity and mercy in their hearts for innocent creatures. I would like to think that few people on this earth fall into the latter category.
Interestingly enough, Mahatma Ghandi, one of the most peaceful men on earth, would go on hunger strikes and subject himself to suffering in order to try and change his opponents hearts. Ghandi reasoned that people had two components: their "inner essence", and their "outward personality." Often, indeed in most cases, a person's outward personality clashes with their inner essence (whether they themselves realize it at the time or not). According to Ghandi, a change of heart in your opponent is possible only when this inner essence is different from the outward personality. And when a person does
undergo a change of heart, that means that their outward personality has finally gotten in sink with their inner essence. When I studied Ghandi many years ago, I really did not fully appreciate the meaning of any of this. When I first became vegetarian, what he was talking about finally made more sense to me. My inner essence finally was in sink with my outward personality. It is like "I met myself for the first time"
when I realized that I was NOT cool with eating or wearing animals, even though I had been doing so without much thought for the first 22 years of my life.
So compassion, empathy, kindess, integrity are musts for me in a man. of course, you need chemistry as well. I like a man who is not so "happy go lucky all the time" because frankly, that irritates me. Sometimes, one must be serious and since I am an extremely pasionate and intense person, I look for those qualities in others. LOYALTY though, is probably right up there with compassion. Finally, nothing to me is sexier than a big strong fit guy who is tough with people and can kick anybody's ass, but is gentle with animals and is mezmorized by, and drawn to, the innocence and vulnerability of the non-human animals with which we share this earth. I guess you can summarize it by saying a reverence for innocent life.
And, it is difficult for me to admit this because it is going to turn the stomach of most of you but if it helps animals or the environment then I will take that chance. To any of you out there that think you are too much of "die hard carnivore" that you simply could never give up indulging your lust for animal flesh, I GUARANTEE that nobody out there was a bigger, more die hard meat addict than I. Without getting into too much detail so as to turn all of you off and make you sick to your stomach, I could eat RAW seasoned ground beef without so much as blinking, and I would have all my carnivorous meals pretty much as rare and bloody as possible (not because I was evil, only because I liked to indulge my lust for animal flesh). And, unlike most meat eaters, I did NOT get sick of eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No other food interested me - not pasta, not bread, not pizzas. Just steak, especially prime rib, BBQ chicken, bacon (I could even bacon raw), etc. So don't anybody give me this CRAP about how THEY are too die hard of a carnivore and it would simply be too much to ask of them to give up animal flesh. I think I could pretty much have "carnivored" anybody under the table, and I guarantee that I could have made the most avid meat eating neantherdal pale in comparison to me. MY POINT: If I
could become vegetarian (being the vampire
that I was), I guarantee that ANYBODY
could become vegetarian.
But, after I viewed the video "Meet your meat"and really put my mind to the fact that my lust for the taste of animal flesh was causing the death and suffering of literally billions of animals a year, and since because in my inner essense I was a compassionate girl, I stopped eating animals just like that, cold turkey. When you are confronted with the facts and images of the suffering you have no other choice but to stop. If you don't, you are inexcusably failing to carry your moral weight, which, in turn, must be carried by others
who care about the delicacy of the planet and the vulnerability of the creatures with which we share it. And even while I ate meat, I was NEVER proud of it like most meat eaters curiously are. I was saddened that I liked meat so much
. TO all "proud"
meat eaters, at least have the courage to admit the obvious: there is nothing to be proud of a habit or addiction that causes suffering and death to billions of innocent beings, directly contributes to world hunger, and is responsible for grave environmental degradation!!
We will leave my thoughts on the religious aspects of vegetarianism for another day, but there is much to be said about that as well.