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i believe each persons body, soul and belief system is different therefore i wont push my beliefs on them and accept them for who they are... i do tell people that i would prefer if they were vego, but i dont tell them that they should be, because it may not suite their bodies, or abilities. as long as people are respectful to me i try to be respectful to them, even if i disagree with them.
I just have one simple statement; There are two kinds of evil in the world, those who do evil and those who do nothing to stop it. Religions are different as they are a belief system that does not involve the torture and rape of innocent creatures for sensory pleasure. If somebody were to support those things without feeling bad about it and continuing it on, i would not want them in my life, because the lack of empathy and values it takes to ignore such a thing is scary.
I'm sorry but you're wrong, saying that eating meat is a choice is forgetting someone. The animals do not have a choice in their own life, so i don't agree. If somebody has been shown how the animals are treated and have had their eyes opened to the truth and still continue to eat meat than they are lacking something. You asked for an opinion and you received one, just because it isn't "nice" enough for you does not make it any less true or valid :)
you are right in that the animal has no choice. but the humans do. if an animal is farmed and slaughtered humanly at a decent age, rather than in the horrendous conditions that most meat eaters are unaware of that makes a difference too. i have no qualms with people that raise their pets for food, this is a kinder form of cruelty, one that makes more sense than the mass farming and slaughter. after all there are degrees in all things. the difference between a paper cut and a machete for example. ;) humans have used animals throughout history and it will be hard to when them off this practice, but to educate them and show them that doesnt need to be done with force, but with patience and understanding their needs. to try with force will be met with force.
There truly is no such thing as humane slaughter though, just because the animal might meet a swifter end does not change the fact it does not want to die. Throughout history many things have had to be done with force such as abolishing slavery for example, a person would not say "i would never own a slave but respect your choice to have them" and they certainly wouldn't say "you're being more humane to your slaves by feeding them nicer food" while still owning them. There has to be an equal set of values in life that doesn't change depending on species or circumstances. All life has a right to live, period. Just because it's been done for a long time does not make it justifiable, murder has been done since the beginning of time and yet we find it wrong. Double standards...
In my experience trying to push one's own idea's onto another person (no matter the good intention) usually results in rebellion!
I prefer to lead by example & gently inform others of the facts (usually via my face book wall). Have a dinner party with lots of delicious vegan food on the menu & show them how tasty vegan/vegetarian food can be! Wear cruelty free clothing & if complimented tell them what they are.
Many people do not know the cruelty involved in the meat industry & are horrified when they discover the truth, while others simply don't care, so trying to convert them is a waste of time.
People are much more willing to change if guided by a gentle hand, soft word & a little enlightenment. Never use shock treatment as it will only scare them away!
Tell them just enough to peek their interest (plant the seed so to speak) & if they care enough to delve further the hard facts will hopefully do the rest!
As for dealing with Children. Give them an informed choice! Explain the reasons why you/ they don't eat meat but let them decide for themselves! If they are aware of all the facts & given a choice I like to think they will make the right choice.