When someone says they “love animals” – and eat meat

December 7, 2010

Ely asked for ideas on ways to engage nonvegans who claim to love animals, even though they participate in killing animals every day.  I’m pretty sure everyone’s met someone like this – for instance, I’ll never forget the day that a co-worker saw a bird with a wing problem on the way into the office, and spent the whole morning worrying about this bird, and at lunch had – you guessed it – chicken wings.

I don’t have snappy comebacks for this situation, or at least not ones that will help the situation.  In fact, it’s more about what you don’t say that matters, I think:

Pop quiz: this video quickly covered 3 areas of a topic in 6 minutes. Would it be better to do 3 videos of 3 or 4 minutes each to dig a bit deeper, or is it better as a package? I’ve done it both ways in the past, but would really like some feedback, so let me know in the comments, along with the stuff I asked at the end of the video!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa O. December 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Hi, Jason! I just discovered this blog and I think it’s great. Bearhino was pretty funny. Unfortunately, I’ve been confronted with this very issue many times. My mother-in-law regularly says things like “no one loves animals more than I do” or “you know [my sister-in-law] and her animals, she just loves them so much” and I just scream inside, because here my husband and I are as vegans, and I feel like she’s completely discounting the commitment we’ve made to cause as little harm to animals as possible. It’s like she’s always trying to prove or claim that she loves animals more than we do, and I think part of that is because she realizes somewhere deep down that there’s a disconnect between her feelings and her actions. I think taking a trip with her to a farm sanctuary is a fantastic idea. I’ll try bringing that up next time we’re visiting. I have another friend who actually helped me raise money for a farm sanctuary and went to visit it with me but kept on eating meat even though I tried several approaches of talking with her about becoming vegan, since she is very compassionate. Sorry, I guess this hasn’t been very constructive feedback, but I’ve been so frustrated with this subject matter in the past that I guess I’m taking this opportunity to vent. I think 3 in-depth videos on a topic like this would be great.

Jason December 8, 2010 at 12:57 am

Thanks Lisa! We’ve got to come up with a super-special Staying Vegan codeword for that internal screaming we’ve all experienced. Any ideas anyone?

Amanda December 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Veg Rage!! [IMG]http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g294/Pandochka/CA0HQZ85.gif[/IMG]

Amanda December 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Oh and I suck at embedding pictures…it’s a kitty cat holding a machine gun, like cats do.

Jason December 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I will try my very best:

kitty rage

Jason December 8, 2010 at 2:16 pm


Sayward December 8, 2010 at 3:34 pm

“Veg Rage” is my new favorite phrase, and imagining that gif will serve me so well turning the anger into giggles next time the Veg Rage strikes me! =D

This topic is one that’s particularly hard for me to bite my tongue about. Jason I know you’re right about calling them out, but it’s so hard to be faced with such poignant hypocrisy. And, I think a lot of people genuinely don’t realize how hypocritical they’re being. They honestly haven’t made [allowed themselves to make] the connection between the pet they love and the animal on their plate. So I feel like if it could be gently highlighted, it could be a profound moment IF they could make that connection.

My father-in-law was once telling us about some news story he heard about a man who beat a dog, and he said “There’s a special place in hell for people who abuse animals” . . . VEG RAGE!!! YOU ATE COW FOR LUNCH!

I love your idea though, I’m planning on taking my in-laws to Pigs Peace sanctuary next summer. My son will be old enough then and I’m totally planning to use ‘outings with the grandkid’ as opportunities for outreach. Is that evil? haha

Colleen December 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I have called people out, but I tend to do it under the guise of precision in language, which I’m usually allowed to get away with because of my educational background. Several times when I’ve been confronted with flesh-munching animal lovers, I’ve said, with my calm professor voice on, “Wouldn’t it be more precise to say you love *some* animals?” Response is usually something like “What…?” And I have said, “You love animals traditionally kept as pets in the western world. You do not love chickens (or whatever) in the same way.” And their response is usually to look uncomfortable and be quiet. Now, I have rarely used this, generally only with people who are as irritated by imprecise language as I am – yes, I use that connection to get them thinking about something unrelated. It hasn’t negatively affected those relationships but they are particular kinds of relationships.

In all other cases (the majority), I usually just say “Me too!” and take another big bite of my delicious vegan lunch/dinner/breakfast. Some get it, others don’t.

The point, which you make so well Jason, is that getting angry in situations like this is wasted energy on our parts.

As for your format, I’m neutral – I like both approaches.

Erin December 8, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Is it too confrontational to say, “I love animals too, that’s why we don’t eat animals or the products that come from them.”

Instead of making it about what the speaker does or does not do to show their love for animals, leading by example seems gentle enough. At some point when you are talking to someone eating something dead, gentle seems to be giving a bit too much credit.

Today I had a mom-friend say to me that she is really trying to avoid preservatives, like MSG. I mentioned that MSG is similar to (or that same as?) miso, and that I personally don’t see a lot of harm in it. She said, “Oh well, I’ve just heard it’s bad.” Meanwhile she was feeding her kid string cheese even though she is a vegetarian and her husband was raised vegan and she DOES know that cheese is NOT good for her child. It is so hard to be civil, let alone nice, when people are so hypocritical!!!

Sorry, that took a tangent.

Amanda December 8, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Thanks Jason, I swear that machine gun-weilding cat speaks to my soul.

Epicurean Vegan December 9, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I have found, that when people say they “love animals”, they’re talking about the furry, cuddly kind that sit on your lap and purr, or the ones who fetch a tennis ball–not the farm animal variety. Consuming meat and dairy as a way of life, is so ingrained in people, that they don’t associate dinner with a live animal–same with wearing leather or fur. I don’t think people intend to be hypocritical–and what you said, Jason, about people not being aware of their hypocrisies is exactly right! It’s a fine line that you don’t want to cross, otherwise, you lose friends. I think taking someone to a farm sanctuary is an awesome idea. And btw, even though “Veg Rage” gave me a chuckle, I hesitate to use it in front of meat eaters because many tend to think that to be a vegan, you have to be angry. “Passionate” somehow translates to “angry” with some people. Love the machine-gun totting cat though! (and your blog as well-just discovered it). 🙂

Jason December 9, 2010 at 10:41 pm

EV, isn’t it weird that meat eaters think vegans are peace-loving hippies AND angry at the same time?

Epicurean Vegan December 10, 2010 at 12:49 am

Ha! You’re right!

SillyString December 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm

The worst thing you can do is present a holier-than-thou attitude. You may not be doing it intentionally, but that’s the first thing omnivores think when you say ‘vegan’. As an omnivore myself, I’m trying to cut down on my meat consumption drastically for health/nutritional reasons.
Meat eaters see Vegans as a more extreme version of Vegetarianism. not as extreme as Frutarians, but you get the idea. Frutarians use basically the same argument against Vegans who eat fresh tomatoes as Vegans use against meat eaters. So if you’re inclined to think Frutarians are nutters, then you surely must understand why meat eaters think Vegans are nutters. The question being, how do we get them to listen to reason and show them we’re not?
When someone says “I’m Vegetarian” and begins with nutritional and health arguments, it always goes down better with a meat eater than starting with “I’m a Vegan” and beginning with moral reasons for your eating choices. Most people can respect a story like “I started Vegetarianism for health reasons, and after a bit found I no longer cared for meat. Then I discovered why…”
Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t change hundreds of thousands of years of evolutionary evidence of omnivorous ancestors in an afternoon. Before gaining converts, you must gain acceptance.
Is it not acceptable to claim vegetarianism first, then ease into Veganism? Technically Vegans are a subset of Vegetarians, are they not?

Jason December 10, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for the insights, SS – though if you’re not vegan I’m not 100% clear on who you’re referring to with “we” and “them” references.

I’m growing less convinced that vegetarianism and veganism are logically connected for a lot of people. Working on a video about that for next week.

Molly Horn December 17, 2010 at 2:02 am

I was an ocean/marine activist who still ate seafood. A trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium raised my own hypocrisy to my consciousness. I questioned the staff there if they ate seafood (some do, some don’t), and still I felt torn. I decided to give up fish. Then I read/saw some staggering statistics re. the pollution and waste runoff produced by factory farming. Became vegetarian immediately, but couldn’t/wouldn’t give up cheese and yogurt for months. Finally read “The China Study” and other ‘health argument’ books, and kicked dairy. Only then did the ethical side of veganism finally sink in.

Long story… long… I came into my veganism through the back door. But no one ever asked me why I wasn’t vegan/vegetarian, when I claimed to be an animal lover. But that’s probably because I live in Fort Worth, Texas, aka “Cowtown,” where we do nothing but kill cows and eat them.

My cognitive dissonance: I claim to want to be the most healthy, to eat purely, to only put whole foods in my body, and yet I eat more artificial sweeteners than anyone I know.

Strangely enough, I don’t feel Veg Rage toward the animal lovers who still eat meat. I feel it towards the “I only eat grass fed organic pastured beef and free range eggs because it’s better for the aaaaanimals” assholes. No, you jerks. “Better for the animals” would be NOT EATING THEM.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

Debra January 5, 2011 at 12:38 am

Cognitive dissonance- A condition of conflict resulting from inconsistency between one’s beliefs and one’s actions.
A psychological concept I became aquainted with in studying why so many Americans could be so duped by “persecution politics” as practiced by Glen Beck and others.
At some level most people by now are aware of how commercially raised livestock live and die. It’s not like they ever get to be the animals they evolved to be and then they have one bad day! They exist as tormented, sick animals and then are slaughtered inhumanely. How could anyone feel good about eating these tormented creatures and it’s true most everyone loves animals, so those that do need to justify their actions loudly enough to thwart that inner voice that tells them THIS IS WRONG and don’t you dare make me think about it!
All this and I haven’t even touched on the hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides involved………………………………………………………

C June 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

Perhaps I’m alone in that I don’t have a problem with people eating animals. Other animals eat animals after all and it’s a fact of life that things have to die to allow other things to live. Be it plants or animals (and to be honest, I dislike the concept that somehow animal lives are more important than plants. What, wheat doesn’t have the same right to live and grow as a cow does? As for arguments about pain, well, 2 centuries ago animals were considered mindless machines. Who’s to say our preconceptions about plants won’t be wrong in a centurys time?).

My issue is more with the type of farming and the fact that it’s more sustainable to eat plants. I do love animals, but I think people are within their rights as animals (equal to all other animals) to eat other animals to live. MY personal rage comes when people say they love animals then eat products that have obviously come straight out of a factory farm. I don’t mind so much if it’s pastured beef and free range (though I have my doubts about how ‘free’ free range products are), but factory farmed stuff? No. If you love animals, you simply wouldn’t buy your meat from those hell holes.

C.B. June 8, 2011 at 10:20 am

Having stumbled upon this in my quests in better food preparation, I read though the writing, and I can’t help but wonder about something. I care deeply for animals and plants. Using the logic contained within this article, I suppose I should be quite capable of living on just the air alone? If I were to say “I love plants” because I have my own garden and that I tend and cultivate wild plants for their bounties. Am I being just at hypocritical when I sit down and tuck into a serving of gingered carrots?

It is not about “love” but rather respect for your food. Know where it came from and how it got to your plate. If you disagree with the methods of farming, then avoid that product brand.

And lastly, in a more smart-alecky tone that needs to be said, many people do love animals, like bovines, especially on a plate.

Dee July 19, 2011 at 8:47 am

Just found this as I was looking for a kinder way to talk to people. Thank you Jason for pointing out some fantastic ways to deal with this comment (I luv animals). I have been trying VERY HARD to just say, ‘Me too’ or ignore them, but it’s very difficult. I’m one of the Angry Tree Hugging Hippies LOL my comeback is usually just ignorant… Yeah you love animals to huh? (let me shut up now) Well you won’t mind me eating your cat/dog then would you? I’m going to refer to this as many time as needed until I realize it’s better to move on 🙂

Kiara July 22, 2012 at 8:47 am

Such a lovely discussion; I appreciate all the great comments!

I was thinking that perhaps a kind of compromise between saying something like “I love animals too, that’s why I don’t eat them!” (which is usually my first inclination) or, “I love animals too!” with a forced smile, or taking someone to visit a farm sanctuary, would be to say something like, “I know! I just adore animals too… I was actually at a farm sanctuary just the other day, and I completely fell in love with the baby calves!” By saying something of this nature you would be gently and indirectly bringing up the idea of loving farmed animals, and providing them with love, care and sanctuary, without calling them out at all… if fact, by saying “me too” you are even verbally accepting their premise and not differentiating them from you at all. Chances are they would just say something like “yeah, they’re cute!” without making any cognitive connection at all, but at least it’s planting a seed of some kind. Any thoughts?

Kiara July 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

Also, to address the comments of C and CB:

Your concern for the welfare of plants is admirable. Of course plants don’t have brains or a central nervous system, and so to best of our scientific knowledge they do not feel or experience pain and suffering in the way that sentient beings do. But of course our scientific knowledge is extremely limited, and ability to analyze and comprehend any living thing is rudimentary at best. Similarly, our understanding of spirituality is not at all advanced, and so in all these realms it is possible that plants will ultimately prove to be far more complex than we currently give them credit for. Throughout the ages we have attempted to justify torture, abuse and murder of living things by claiming that they are somehow less intelligent or valuable than other living things, and we know that plants are absolutely vital to all life on earth, so it would be a grave error indeed to not cherish plant life.

With this in mind, anyone with a concern for killing plants should definitely be vegan. Vegans consume anywhere from 5 to 20 times fewer plants as compared with carnists. This is because we eat the plants directly; animals raised for food must themselves be fed an extraordinary amount of plants and grains just to produce just a few ounces of meat. In fact, the majority of the edible grains produced worldwide are fed to livestock, while people starve. There is no dietary reason whatsoever for humans to voluntarily consume animals – in fact, it is highly detrimental to our health – and so by eating plants you are doing the least possible harm while maximizing your own health, welfare and nutrition, naturally. And in fact, by eating a vegan diet you saving not only the millions of plants that would have been fed to the cattle, you are also saving the plants, rainforests, coral reefs, and other irreplaceable eco systems that are being completely destroyed by animal agriculture. Raising animals for meat is arguably the most environmentally destructive of all human activities; scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. Biologists say this is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate, and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65 million years ago. To quote Thom Hartmann, “In the 24 hours since this time yesterday, over 200,000 acres of rainforest have been destroyed in our world. Fully 13 million tons of toxic chemicals have been released into our environment. Over 45,000 people have died from starvation, 38,000 of them children And more 130 plan and animal species have been driven to extinction by the actions of humans. And all this just since yesterday.”

And worst of all, it is animal agriculture is the primary cause of this worldwide environmental destruction. Scientists have confirmed that we are now indeed experiencing the sixth mass extinction in global history and that our very survival as a species is in jeopardy. Meat production contributes to pollution and global warming more than all modes of transportation in the entire world combined, and the majority of all fresh water and consumable grain around the globe is reserved for livestock to produce meat for a few greedy nations. Even the United Nations is calling for a worldwide shift to a vegan diet as the ONLY way to avert mass starvation and global disaster, and to ensure the survival of the human species.

Furthermore, local “family farms” and “grass raised, grass fed” cows are not a viable solution to these problems, as you and others suggest, because these “ethical” farms are actually exponentially more damaging to the environment in terms of land-use, energy use, water consumption and especially methane nitrous oxide production (greenhouse gases more potent than carbon that contribute greatly to global warming) as compared with factory-farmed animals. Additionally, to satisfy the American meat habit, every single one of the 2.25 billion acres of United States land would have to be given over completely to cattle grazing… and additional land would still be needed. To sustain the world’s meat habit we would need the resources of two entire planet earths… and in case you hadn’t noticed… we only have the one.

The reason that some of us are upset by the dietary choices of others is not because we are “self-righteous” or trying to “force our ideals on others;” it is because we don’t consider ourselves to be better than other living things, because we believe in the preservation of the planet, because we think it is important not harm, main, hurt, torture or kill anything unnecessarily, and most importantly, because eating meat is not a personal choice; it is the greatest social justice issue of our time, and the survival of our entire species depends on people giving up this harmful, destructive, unnecessary, and highly unethical habit. Just as Einstein said: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Also, to address your implied argument that eating meat is natural for humans, it is essential the same as this classic statement: “Neanderthals and cavemen ate meat, so it’s natural!” I would remind you that infanticide, rape, murder and cannibalism are at least as ancient as meat eating, and yet we don’t use this fact to justify these immoral and unhealthy behaviors today. In any case, I wouldn’t recommend using the Neanderthals as the standard by which you measure the morality and wisdom of your current life choices. In any case, with the rise of the meat industry we are now consuming far more meat today than our ancestors (or even many people in other nations around the world today) ever could have imagined, and the effect of this increase in meat consumption has been a host of diseases, from heart disease and cancer to diabetes and obesity.

In fact, despite some people’s insistence that “humans are omnivores” there is actually a wealth of scientific information to suggest that humans evolved to be capable of eating meat occasionally, but that our bodies are not at all optimized for it. If you look up anatomy and taxonomy comparisons of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores, you will find that we are much more similar to herbivores on virtually every count – for example, carnivores and omnivores have very short intestinal tracts that are only 3-6x the length of their body, while herbivores have intestinal tracts 10-12x their body length; the ratio for humans is 10-11x. Similarly, animals optimized for eating meat have stomachs that are twenty times more acidic than the human stomach, which has the same acidity as that of herbivores. These features, and many others, allow carnivores and omnivores to process and move rotting flesh through their systems very quickly, and protects them from the effects of cholesterol that are so devastating to humans. As for human “canine teeth,” a quick review of animal and human anatomy will reveal that many other plant-eating animals have the exact same so-called canine teeth, for biting into fruits and vegetables, but that only plant-eating animals have molar teeth and jaws that move from side-to-side.

If you really think we are omnivorous by nature, please show me a child that will catch, kill and eat a rabbit or a squirrel by choice, without any training. I have yet to see a child tear up and eat the family dog or cat, no matter how hungry they might be… but they will most certainly eat fruit or seeds without any prompting if they are lying around. Most children cry rather than salivate when they see an animal killed. In fact, when children first realize that they are eating dead animals, the vast majority are horrified. We have to teach children to eat animals, and actively convince them that it is natural, normal and okay, because really carnism is not part of their true nature at all.

The fact that our bodies are not optimized for processing meat is overwhelmingly supported by research that shows that “Americans will not reduce their rate of cancers, cardiovascular disease and other chronic, degenerative diseases until they shift their diets away from animal-based foods to plant-based foods,” to quote Dr. Campbell at Carnell University. As a carnist your chance of getting heart disease – the number one cause of death for both men and women – is approximately 50% (flip a coin). As a vegan your risk would drop to less than 4%. Even a very small amount of meat has been shown to increase your risk of developing a myriad of cancers, and both Carnell and Harvard have now stated that the optimum amount of meat in the human diet is precisely zero, to borrow the words of Philip Wollen.

Helen August 24, 2012 at 1:33 am

Well said, Kiara. You pointed out a lot of great facts and arguments for veganism. Since becoming vegan 2 months ago due to watching Mercy for Animal’s “Farm to Fridge” video on their website, I immediately felt like the most ignorant person in the world. How can I not know so much about where my food comes from?! I became a vegan overnight. And I told my friends why and some of them understood and said they understand but don’t think they can or would watch the video. I don’t know which is worse: being ignorant or choosing to be ignorant.

As soon as I saw the video, I immediately decided that it is one thing to not know, but it is quite another to know and don’t do anything about it. Hence, I am a vegan now and even though I am very new to it, I still get frustrated if someone say they love animals and eat meat. I guess, Jason is right that vegans cracked the secret and we have made the connection and other people haven’t. What’s also frustrating is that most people know that it is easy to know the “secret” but choose to be ignorant anyway – in that case, I do feel superior than them – at least I choose not to be ignorant because I am not a coward who can’t face reality.

I do believe that most humans are naturally good and want to do the right thing. And I believe veganism will inevitably grow – more people just need to be educated – the meat industry tries hard to keep their cruel practice a secret. Thanks to websites like this one, I am sure veganism will grow.

Vrinda August 31, 2012 at 7:01 am

I have been vegetarian since childhood and vegan for three years. I don’t consider myself an animal lover. Just like the people who love cute furry animals who sit on laps, I love a few animals, most notably, cats. The reason I don’t eat animals is because of my sense of justice. I believe factory farming is cruel. I believe slaughtering free range animals is less cruel, but still it is cruel. But I don’t judge people who eat animals. I would kill roaches, termites, rats with not even an ounce of regret. I also know people who eat meat who have shown compassion in other aspects such as helping people in trouble at great cost to themselves that I am not capable of. I don’t hunk vegans have cornered the market in either love or compassion. I wish more people would lose humaity’s tendency to be desensitised to cruelty, including in meat eating. But I don’t think I or any other vegan has the right to judge others who eat animals.

Selina March 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hi, Jason

I just found your site and I am loving it!! I have to add a different perspective to this whole eating animal thing. I cried and cried at earthlings..I have watched it about three times, well, listen to a lot of it for it is just too painful to watch.
Sad to say, I have over the years tried to be vegan, but then, I have to say, “food addictions” overcome…and I would end up going back to that fast food comfort bood. I seriously believe it is an addiction…..I think the younger you are the easier it is to go “cold turkey”….for in my 40’s, was a junk food queen! I am very ashamed to admit.
I, once again, am a vegan. I should say, for the most part, still have leather things, etc…but I do not consume animal products. I am now fighting the addictions to sugar..
I hope to do a juice fast for a good 30 days and I hope that helps with my addictions.
But I think ALOT of people just do not want to stop eating what they have been eating for sooo many years and it is so widely accepted.
I think the best thing to do is keep on leading by example.
Lately, I have been overwhelmed with the crap in our world. The toxins all around us, in our shampoos, the food they tell us is good but it is full of chemicals and toxins, the gmo’s, etc. And I get soo upset and frustrated!!!
But that quote from Gandhi is now strong in my mind..Be the change you want to see in the world….Well, It is best to make the changes in your own life, be an example, share when you can, teach our children, and be loving about it.
Speaking of children, my children has adopted the vegan lifestyle sooo much easier than I have. They have said goodbye to eating animal products soo much easier than me. And I truly believe it is the addictions we have, harder to overcome as you get older. I am speaking in a general sense…I may be wrong. But I do know I struggled big time!! I would force myself NOT to think about what I am eating to “fill” that need I had in me to eat!!! 🙁 I am ashamed to say…I am very ashamed to say. I need to keep the visual alive in my head about the torture of animals. I now force myself to picture the images for then I get a nauseated feeling in my stomach when I think of consuming an animal….
I hope this sheds a different light. I hope that I am not attacked for admitting, in the past, I struggled and gave into the consuming of animals. I am disgusted by it now…but may help understand the middle aged and older generation on their difficulties to change their ways….Lead by example and dont give on them….Love Love Love…never forget to share with them in Love! 🙂

mike April 1, 2014 at 5:21 pm
Crystal May 14, 2014 at 2:11 pm

I think that it is wrong when people say that they love animals, yet they eat them. One reason is the animal may have never done anything to this person, so I think that it is wrong to kill a animal Another reason that I think that it is wrong is the thought of a animals body parts going through mine is just wrong. So as you can see, that is why I think that it is wrong when people say they love animals, yet they eat them or kill them.

SalubriOutcast December 31, 2015 at 4:27 am

Life feeds off life.
I eat meat, I’ve tried going meat free before. It didn’t work well for me.
I have cats, they eat meat. They are cats, anyone who feeds cats vegan is an animal abuser.
I have a snake, she is a fussy little thing who will starve herself if not given live rodents.
The only being in the apartment who doesn’t eat animal protein is the bird. And I’m pretty sure that he’d eat bugs if offered the chance.

I don’t deny my biology. I’m an omnivore. I try my best to eat meat where there was minimal suffering. However, I look at myself, I have forward facing eyes. I know my ancestors evolved as persistence predators. It’s part of the reason why we sweat. We chased animals until they dropped dead from heat exhaustion, there are still tribes of humans who do this. We are not just scavengers, we are predators. We’re apex predators.
We have teeth that are equally meant for tearing flesh and grinding plants, as well as teeth for nipping leaves.
We have a gut that is neither super long with multiple stomachs or a large gut for digesting a diet of plant matter, but our guts also aren’t super short like a pure carnivore.
Our closest living relatives hunt and eat meat.

I’m fond of animals. I think bunnies are cute, I think mice are cute.
I’d still eat rabbit. I eat duck, I find them cute (though I don’t love them since they’re necrophiliac rapists with freaky genitals).
Mice are cute. I feed them to my snake ever week, live.
I’m simply aware, that Life feeds of life.

Unless something is completely depended on photosynthesis, everything preys on something. Such is the way of things.

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