I understand what you are saying, but don't agree with the "no matter what you eat, you are eating animals and animal byproducts" statement.
So you think that there are foods that are free from all non-plant life-forms?
I agree that we should do what we can practically to avoid harming or killing non-plant life. Esp. in avoiding animal based products. I'm not telling anyone else that their boycott means nothing because of the other complications of life, or that they shouldn't bother. I think it's very important. I just have a hard time reconciling my own conscience when it comes to actions that kill so much life. The computer example is a good one. All of it. Harvesting vegetables and how many animals and rabbits etc. who get killed in that process, and in the processes of all industrial life. Just driving on the freeway to another state I was horrified at how many moths got killed by flying into my windshield, just so I could get from one place to another. Not to mention how many animals have been killed in the building of these human cities and houses and societies etc.
I don't think it's totally necessary, because we don't "have" to live this way. We don't have to live and go along with living in the modern way, but we do it because we want to and enjoy living this way.
I don't know, it's hard to come to terms with my conscience and my own guilt, and wishing that it didn't have to be so hard to avoid. But one thing that is quite clear and obvious is that humans put a lot more value on certain animals over others. Chickens are important and important not to kill but moths and other insects are not. For instance.
In light of it though, I just don't understand the idea that someone who found an unfertilized egg on their land or in the forest for instance and ate it would no longer be vegan. An unfertilized egg is not a living thing. It never was alive and is not alive and therefore nothing died, was killed or got hurt by eating the found egg. Yet so many would consider that person now not vegan, I don't get that. At least it is vegetarian as opposed to all the living things in our plant foods that got killed in the process and that we are eating.
Again, I do still and always will advocate avoiding purchasing or consuming all animal based products, food and clothing etc. For the cruelty and even just for the environmental and energy impact alone. But I just can't feel good or reconcile my conscience with the fact that I save possibly 93 animals a year or whatever, when I know that many at least probably die each day because of normal actions and living. Does the size of the animal really define the morality?
I feel the same way, about living everyday life, and causing death / suffering because of it. It is depressing. I try to look at it in terms of difficulty / necessity etc. Although I agree that we could in theory cause absolutely no harm to animals, it would require huge adjustments in how we live (if we're living in 'western' civilization or whatever), and it actually would be really difficult to do. Choosing to not eat animals and animal products, and avoid animal products (in general) isn't very difficult, and so it's a choice I make. I think that to stop yourself going crazy you have to draw a line, and I know that sounds cheesy and lame, but really you do. I still feel guilty for it, but I've decided (pretty much) what I am doing, and accept that things suck. Like, I am going to drive a car, I am going to use a PC, I am going to go to the cinema etc. Even though I know those things are bad, that's just kind of how the world is right now, in my society, and although it sucks, that's how it's got to be if I choose to stay in the society. On the other hand, just avoiding meat, milk, eggs, animal tested products etc, isn't difficult, and doesn't require me to remove myself from society AT ALL, so that's why I can do that easily. It is a selfish decision to stay in society, but it would be such a drastic change that I think it's understandable. Similarly, I could kill myself and that would mean I am not causing animal suffering, but that's something I am not willing to do because I am too selfish.