I overheard a friend of mine explaining to a meat-eater, “Yes, but vegans believe meat equals evil.”
This is another subtle but pervasive opinion of vegans which I take issue with.
A phrase like “vegans believe meat = evil” trivializes the belief that killing innocent beings is immoral.
“Evil,” these days, is a hard notion to take seriously. “Meat” is a faceless, tasty product that most of us in the United States grew up eating. Most importantly, I think, a phrase like this keeps the animal out of the picture and the emotionless product, meat, as the focus.
A non-vegan listening to my friend would likely construct in his head an image of a wobbly, little, pink cut of meat and a red-eyed fringe lunatic vegan screaming “evil” at it.
Many vegans think killing innocent beings is immoral. Meat is a product of killing those beings, just like a black eye might be the byproduct of getting punched in the face. No one would scream that black eyes are evil, yet nearly everyone would object to an old lady receiving one (unless she works at the DMV).
In all dealings with those who think like us and with those who disagree, we absolutely cannot forget about those who, for food and entertainment, are stabbed, bludgeoned, slit open, drown alive, electrified, gassed to death, prodded with hooks, chucked with their brothers and sisters into grinders, chainsawed and even thrown into pits of despair (for “science”). At this very moment, by the thousands, all of that and worse is occurring.
If we think anything is evil, that is it. Not “meat.”