The only way to view my attitude towards non-humans non-hypocritically is by admitting that I am morally okay with killing non-humans and/or eating them/researching with them (as long as its not unnecessarily cruel). When I say “unnecessarily cruel”, I mean that any pain induced to a “higher species” is not induced haphazardly. I’m okay with AIDS viruses injected to mice if it’s meant to help find a cure or vaccine to the virus, I’m completely repulsed, however, at the idea of kicking a mouse and killing it for the sake of sadistic satisfaction. I find this admission to be rather casual, but I suspect that most, or at least many, people would find it repugnant.
Animal rights activism is quite widespeard in Israel, and I can’t help but cringe when I see bumper-stickers that say “eating meat is murder”. To that, I say: nope, eating meat is lunch, a nourishing, tasty lunch. It’s a valuable source of protein and micro-nutrients and, if well-dieted, an important part of daily nutrition. Of course, you could replace it with other foods, but once you eliminate the moral issue, there’s no reason to.
Of course, I sympathise with the idea that unecessary cruelty to animals is mean, while mostly I admit that I’m rather impervious to said cruelty being acted upon animals. It’s not an admission of endorsing such cruelty, just of enough apathy towards it that allows for non-action, and for any hypocrite who scoffs at such indifference to violence, I’d say: “when’s the last time you adopted an orphan? Oh, you DID adopt an orphan? What about all the other orphans you left to starve because you picked the cute one?”.
At the same time, I find it personally okay to eat meat and I really, really don’t care what the animals have to say or what they feel about it. Most carnivores would devour me alive if they had the choice. Not that that “makes it okay” in any way, but it goes well to show that eating is not a moral issue unless you find the species you eat to be cuddly. I’m sure PETA protests very little against eating snakes, insects and molluscs, even though snakes and arthropods are just as “alive” (and in the case of some arthropods, quite clever) as amiable cows and ducks are. The whole premise of “animal rights” is pathetically childish and hypocritical: save the “animals” (meaning Metazoan species only), and at that, only the ones I like.
I can’t help but thinking of Poison Ivy and her pathological deference for plants, and how she’d probably flay people alive for eating corn (and if she wouldn’t, a person who would is no different than a terrorist animal rights activist who bombs researchers’ homes for conducting experiments on animals)/
Animal rights actvists are peurile pick-and-choosers, hypocritically defending the animals they like while abandoning the species they don’t care about: they’re simply okay with killing different kinds of species, making them just as “murderous” to “plant right activists” as meat-eaters are to them. Anyone aware enough of the biological reality knows that any heterotrophic animal has to “murder” (read kill) a different organism to survive. This isn’t a question of “right or wrong”, it’s merely a question of natural imperative. What you eat or what you’re okay eating is completely arbitrary, and in that respect, I find it completely reasonable to eat anything that’s not human (while also being aware of cannibalisms and frankly all for sending canniabals people to prison for being murderers).
At that, I wish to say that I completely endorse animal right activists who promote non-violence against animals that are, say, used for slaughter. Personally, I’d prefer that all animals being slaughtered would not suffer at all before being slaughtered. If it was up to me, I’d make sure their death is completely painless.