There is often an argument from vegetarians/vegans etc. that if you eat meat then you shouldn’t be an animal rights activist because it is hypocritical. It is worth responding to this argument to say that you can eat meat and be an animal rights activist.
Firstly we have to accept that vegetarians are pretty fair with their argument; if you eat meat then it is a bit (maybe a lot) hypocritical to say you advocate the rights of animals.
But you could argue to say that we are all hypocrites; basically every single one of us, in one way or another. How many of us moan about corporations blocking taxes but owns an iPhone, or has a Vodafone contract, or shops at Amazon some times? How many of us complain about tax hikes and yet fight for to keep the NHS out of private hands, or moans about the state of our roads or public transport provision? How many of us keep most of our disposable income instead of giving the majority of it to charity; yeah it would be nice to save for a bigger house, but when there are people and other animals dying from very preventable causes it seems vaguely ridiculous! Do you ask for a present for Christmas and your birthday or do you say ‘give the money you would spend on me to charity’; some people do, obviously but if you don’t then you too are hypocrite; that’s just the way it is! There is some fantastic psychology on cognitive dissonance discussing this; see the link at the bottom for more info on this.
Animal rights issues are vitally important for moving the world forward to a more compassionate state where we care for other animals with the same compassion we often show for humans. A lot has been achieved but there is a still a long hard fight ahead. So, how many people in the UK are vegetarian/vegan etc? 1 in 10? Sounds reasonable? How many of these are active animal rights activists? Let’s say 5 in 10, to be kind. That’s 90% of the population not allowed to be animal rights activists and 5% who actually are! These are important issues and only campaigning together can a voice be loud enough to be heard and to make a change. Let’s allow everyone to campaign. Say 2 in 10 meat eaters join the campaign, you have multiplied by a factor of five your number of campaigners! Your voice is five times louder!
Yes eating meat is wrong, and people should campaign for this, and there are scientists looking at manufacturing meat without having to kill animals, but getting the whole world to go veggie is going to take a long time, if it is even possible. So let’s prioritise, let’s stop people who hunt animals for sport, who make money from killing endangered species, for ensure as many animals as possible are treated with dignity and respect. As change occurs, and our compassion for other species increases the campaign to stop people eating meat will become so much easier, and getting to this point will happen so much quicker by working together and not against each other!