I Love Dogs. I Love Cats. Yes, I Still Eat Meat. So What?

People LOVE their dogs and cats. In fact, Americans love their dogs and cats so much they spend nearly $60 billion a year on them! And they should: Companion animals are sensitive and sweet, and fill our lives with joy. They are truly family members and we should take care of them accordingly.

So what does this have to do with eating meat?

Well, for starters, the animals we raise and kill for food are just as sensitive and intelligent as the dogs and cats we adore at home. Consider, for example, that chickens can recognize more than 100 individuals, cows form close friendships, and pigs are thought to have the intelligence of a three-year-old child.

In all the ways that matter, farmed animals are very similar to dogs and cats. Yet we relegate them to intense and unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement, brutal mutilations, and bloody, violent deaths. The truth is that if we treated just one dog or cat the way the meat, dairy, and egg industries treat billions of animals, we’d be behind bars for animal abuse.

So how can we say we’re animal lovers and eat animals? I would argue we honestly can’t.

No one needs to eat animal products to survive; it’s quite the opposite. In fact, there are tremendous health and environmental benefits to ditching animal products. Right now millions of people are thriving on a delicious and humane plant-based diet.

So if you love your dogs or cats and see them as the unique, sensitive, and intelligent beings they are, it’s time you opened your eyes and started seeing farmed animals the same way.

Love animals, you say? Then stop eating them. Really. Start today.