Originally Posted by Mirinae
I find this to be a fairly trite and somewhat demeaning statement. I'm not superceding my conscience in any way by eating meat -- my conscience has no problem with it.
My statement had nothing to do with eating meat. Other people can eat meat as much as they want, and I never try to preach vegetarianism to anyone. My statement was specifically about the comment `I just say whatever, and then go about doing what I want', which I found to be jawdroppingly selfish. I don't know any people with that attitude, so it shocked me. And that wasn't a meat-related comment, either. It was a comment about finding out about business practices.
|Finally, while I think it's perfectly laudable to follow your conscience and refuse to eat at places like McDonalds, or refuse to purchase products that have been tested on animals, how much do you really think you're accomplishing? There are still going to be meat-loving, life-loving jerks like me who go there and buy their stuff, and your voice is not being heard. If you disagree with McDonalds' practices, let them know it! Start a letter-writing campaign. Be the next Morgan Spurlock or Eric Schlosser and make a documentary or write a book. Start a petition. Write to your congressperson. Get others involved. But most importantly, do something about it, don't just think that by not supporting these companies you're actually having an impact.
If you think that the only people who achieve things are the people who speak out and make movies and write books, you are sadly mistaken, and somewhat naive. Every single person has the power to change things for the better. Climate change, global warming, for example. Do you think these things are just going to be solved by our politicians and activists? Not so. If each person changes their lifestyle enough, the products they buy and the companies they patronise, HUGE changes can be made. No, one person can't do a lot, but a million people all doing the same things - a BILLION people all doing the same things can achieve miracles.
And it's not always about what I'm accomplishing. No, me not eating McDonalds means nothing to them, but it means a great deal to me. Just about your whole post was about YOU and what YOU like and how things affect YOU. Which is fine, but I don't eat McDonalds because I don't want to be a person who buys products that are not essential to my life, that have been built on a great deal of suffering - not just of animals, but the environment, the labourers who work for McDonalds in those distant places we don't hear about and to line the pockets of greedy corporate giants. Again, my decision doesn't affect them at all, but it certainly makes me feel like a nicer, better person, and that's important too.
I'm am happy for you that you are morally flexible. It must be very easy for you to sleep at night. I wish I were more that way, because it would certainly
be easier for me
to sleep at night. I worry all the time about the way the world is going, politically, environmentally, in terms of animal welfare. It p!sses me off because it gets in the way of me being able to enjoy my life completely. And that's fine. You don't have to be that way, I never used to be that way, these days, the more I learn, I can't help
being that way.
You assume that I don't do anything other than not patronise these companies. You tell me to get others involved. I do things on a daily basis - a daily basis. I do write to senators, I do try to educate others, I do change people's opinions through talking and listening and debating. I do it all the time. But MOST importantly, I change my own practices - you cannot preach what you do not practice. And trust me, if you think the voices of people like me aren't being heard, again, you are naive and misinformed.
People like Morgan Spurlock and Al Gore and Eric Schlosser started out as people like me! They believed in a cause and they took it all the way. If they didn't change their lives or their worlds or thought their voices weren't being heard, they wouldn't have bothered.
I'm not sure what you meant about being dead without animal testing. Is that because of medication you've been given? That is not because
of animal testing - that is because of the hard work of incredibly dedicated people who have spent their whole lives trying to help others, mostly anonymously. Something that you seem to think is pointless, because individual efforts don't make a difference. Animal testing is a component
of manufacture of medications. And whilst at this point it seems as though companies think it is needed, there are still better and more efficient methods of vivisection. In fact my last employer (a doctor) and I worked very closely together on establishing a new trend in the treatment of animals in labs, and he is doing very, very well with it.
It sounds to me like you think it's wonderful if other people want to make an effort to change their lives and change the world, and it's going to work fine for you because you won't have to do anything and you'll reap the benefits of others' hard work anyway. I'm not talking about vegetarianism, I'm talking about a better world altogether, where environmental and ethical considerations win out of corporate consumerism and greed for power. Because those days are ending just as life as we know it is ending, and I hope that when hardworking people who care more about the planet than lining their pockets or living convenient lives finally fix this beautiful world of ours, that people who feel the way you do, and don't think that the individual should bother trying to change things, appreciate all the hard work they've done.