Feeding Kids Meat is Child Abuse — Change My Mind
In my thirty-six years as a vegan, I reckon I must’ve heard just about every excuse under the sun for eating animals and their excretions. I’ve written about some of the commonest excuses that people use in their attempts to justify the unjustifiable, in 10 Reasons NOT To Go Vegan.
I make it clear in that article, in a slightly satirical way, that I’ve yet to hear anyone give a valid reason why they’re not vegan — only poor excuses. In fact, I end that article by stating that the only valid ‘reason’ not to be vegan is that you don’t care about anyone but yourself.
No-one really uses that excuse in real life because no-one wants to be that person. In truth, maybe I was a little harsh in that article. In truth, most people who really take the time to think about the issue actually do care, but they have been so indoctrinated into eating meat, dairy and eggs since infancy that they are literally addicted to it and cannot imagine ever giving it up.
Arguments that being vegan isn’t about ‘giving up’ anything, but is simply about no longer taking what was never yours in the first place, tend to fall on deaf ears when those ears belong to someone who is literally addicted to meat and dairy.
The problem is, you see, that meat and dairy contain three highly addictive substances which get people both physically and psychologically hooked in much the same way as heroin does. Carnism can be hard habit to kick.
Consequently, even though most ordinary people say they would never deliberately hurt an animal, and many even consider themselves ‘animal lovers’, they are trapped in this addictive cycle of paying for animals to be abused and killed on their behalf.
This puts them in a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance — the mental conflict created when one’s beliefs don’t align with one’s actions. It’s a similar situation to a smoker who knows their habit is likely to kill them but feels powerless to change.
Such inner conflict can lead to chronic stress, anxiety and shame — one of the main reasons why people tend to become so defensive about their meat-eating habits.