Help Me Peta2: Can You Care About Animals and Still Eat Meat?

Alright, gURLs, Rachel here—and it’s almost my last blog with you for peta2 month! Sad, I know—but you can always keep in touch by e-mailing me at RachelO@peta2.com and adding me on Facebook! Now let’s get to more of your questions!

Can a person really care about animal rights and still eat meat/wear leather and fur/use products tested on animals?

Some people may think that yes, this is possible, but peta2 and I disagree. Consider this: Anyone can say they care about animals, but if they pay for them to be mutilated, tortured, and killed for a reason as silly as taste buds, lipstick, or a new coat, then how much do they really care?  We think eating and wearing animal products is directly participating in the abuse of animals—unfortunately, there’s no way around it.

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Luckily for us, buying products that weren’t tested on animals, avoiding fur, leather, and wool, and going vegan have never been easier, with vegan options and alternatives at places like Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger, and more.

We should all remember that as consumers, we have the power to influence corporations that exploit animals. Every time we open up our wallet and pay money for a product, we have a choice; It can be a compassionate one, or one that hurts animals.

|Want to take the first step to helping animals? Take the quiz and see how you should get started!|

How do you feel about loving animals but still eating meat? Do you agree or disagree with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Rachel from peta2

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Posted in: Being Different, Beliefs, Help Me Heather, peta2 Answering Your Questions
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  • KelseyTremainee

    I completely disagree. Not caring for animals and eating meat have almost nothing in common. My sister and I care deeply for animals of all kinds and we still eat meat. I read my sister this article and she was very hurt. She cares deeply for all animals and she loves meat. How long have humans lived on planet Earth? A really long time. In all of that time, meat was a staple in diet. Meat is a large source of protein. I understand that nuts are, too, but some of us are allergic to nuts. Some people say that it is healthier to eat vegetables and tofu than to eat a balanced diet. I disagree. A balanced diet is meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, fats, sugars, etc.
    I agree that animal abuse and animal testing is one of the most disgusting things on this planet, but just because I eat meat doesn’t mean I don’t care about the animal. I don’t use animal tested products, or wear leather or fur as it really expensive.
    WalMart and Target may carry vegan products, but it is still expensive. Not everyone can afford to buy vegan everything.

  • tOtAlLyOuRs

    i only eat chicken.. and that too sometimes, and i love animals.. <3 all of them.. i care about them. i help them. even i cldnt quite figure out y i eat chicken and help them at the same time, but well i eat them and still love them and if the whole world goes veg , i have no objection. after all guys, they are living..and we take some ones"" life for our satisfaction. really? we want that?

  • Lindsay

    I agree. How can a person claim to love something and then support an industry that tortures these creatures? I’m not even hung up on the whole killing part, because I think what they do to the animals while still alive is the sickest part of all.
    We don’t need to eat (much less torture!) animals to live, so there is no excuse. It is simply laziness and liking the taste of food. If you knew that eating donuts caused animals to be tortured, wouldn’t you stop eating donuts? I don’t get why it is such a big deal to not eat meat. It doesn’t cost much, I actually costs me less to buy veggies than meat at the market. Nearly everyone grows up eating meat, that’s not an excuse.
    These comments are rediculous: asking a question does not mean anyone is forcing anything on anyone (much less a dictatorship!), saying that there are worse problems in the world (such as child labor) doesn’t mean that this isn’t a problem, these are not even valid arguments. I am done reading these absurd attempts at justifying torture for the sake of your tastebuds.

  • nicole

    I disagree with you saying the person doesn’t care. I eat meat and I love animals deeply, but it’s just the way I’ve been brought up. Animal abuse is terrible, but it’s not us who’s killing them. If people didn’t shoot animals then I wouldn’t eat meat. It’s the food chain, and many predators eat prey. Circle of life.

    • Julia

      the thing is, if they didn’t kill them you wouldnt eat them, but if you wouldnt eat them, then they wouldn’t kill them… really its just a back and forth thing…

  • Christie Belanger

    I love meat. I love steak, ham, bacon, chicken and so on. But I care a lot about animals. I think that fur on any type of clothing is tacky even if it is fake so I steer away from fur clothing anyways. I also make sure that any “leather” I wear is fake anyways. But its better to use all of the animal than to only eat the meat and call the rest waste. So any animal that is used in the meat industry should be also used in any other way it can and be mad into other materials. Native Americans did it and they lived in a type of harmony with nature. they used the meat for food. the bones as tools and the hide for clothing and shelter.

    Hunting is not wrong when it is hunting for the food, but hunting just to shoot and then waste it and let it deteriorate without any use doesn’t help anyone. If you don’t want to eat it donate it to another family who will. Pretty simple.

    I have friends that are vegans and vegetarians. I respect them they respect me. I have instances where I only want veggies or fruit but I can’t rule out the iron and protein found in meat that isn’t as easily found in plants.

  • Martin Guest

    Can you really care about animals and eat them etc.? For those who think they can I’m afraid they are deluding themselves. It is a twisted logic that you can cause such pain, suffering and discomfort and care about the victims. A bit like a man who beats his wife but truly ‘loves her’.
    I am vegan, not because I love animals, but because I respect their right to live the life they have been given to the full. Free of interference from myself or anyone acting on my behalf.
    I ask that those disagreeing to think a little deeper and accept your share of responsibility for the plight of our fellow beings.

  • Katie

    I love animals and I want to be a vet. But I eat meat. So i deffinatly think its possible but Everyone has their own opinion and not everyone will change.

  • Katie

    i love animals and I’d love to some day be a vet and I meat. Everyone has the right to their opinion but obviously not everyones going to change.

  • Skyrider

    Wow. I would find vegan and vegetarian lifestyles so much more appealing if people didn’t act like it was a cult or something. Could you guys be any more pious and patronizing? Some people eat meat, some don’t. Some people like it once in awhile, some not at all, some like it all the time and get heart disease. I disagree with animal experimentation and I look for organic meat, but I still enjoy meat once in a while. Milk is not alive, and the eggs are unfertilized, I really don’t see a problem, but if you do, be a vegan and be happy about it. Just don’t act like you’re some superior group. Again, that is directed only at the people patronizing others.

    • Sheereen

      I agree with you 100%

  • Venus

    I think this is really foolish! And Rachel give me a break with this “we’re not meant to eat this or not meant to eat that bull crap because of our teeth etc.. You know that it’s so much more to it, if you’re going to go down that road. But, to be honest I don’t care whether you agree with me eating meat, and still loving animals or not. You want to know why because it’s your business, not mine. Frankly, You’re not gonna agree with me ever, because of your reasons as you stated above, and I’m not going to agree with you because I know I truly love animals, but I eat meat, because it’s my choice. Someone eating meat doesn’t mean their this evil, animal hating asshole! And when I think about it I can’t even believe I commented this pathetic post, this debate won’t stop, and we all have our different opinions. So goodbye!

  • amanda

    Why do factory farms treat animals this way? Do they have no hearts?

    • Hey Amanda,

      Factory farms have grown to use the quickest and cheapest killing methods. Ones that allow them to kill hundreds of thousands of animals every single day. This is because so many people demand meat, dairy, and egg products and at such a cheap price. This is why simply choosing not to eat animals is the best way to fight back and save animals :).

      -Rachel

      • Nicole

        Hey Rachel
        We can’t eat meat because it’s cruel? You’re ####### ridiculous. Other animals eat meat, and humans are made to eat meat. Whether or not you chose to be vegan, vegetarian, or a meat eater is none of my business and it’s none of PETA’s business on my opinions of meat eating and animal testing. PETA is being a total ##### about this. So am I going to hell for being honest and eating meat because it’s my choice? This is the same as saying that a certain religion is right and all other religions are wrong. See you in hell.

  • Amber

    Was this article written by a 12 year old? “We think eating and wearing animal products is directly participating in the abuse of animals—unfortunately, there’s no way around it.” That should have been a semi-colon not a dash.
    Beyond your obvious lack of grammar, have you given us any statistics about this exploitation? Have you explained who this “we” is – beyond you and peta2? And, you only “THINK eating and wearing animal products is directly participating…” but you don’t know. OF COURSE you want to write an article on your thoughts instead of real evidence, because, again, you are obviously too young to understand the importance of facts.
    On top of that, why use a seal to accompany this article? Do the masses eat seals? No, the majority of the Earth’s population do not eat seals. You used this picture because seals are cute and fluffy, and the idea of bashing one’s head and stripping its hide is disgusting – because they are just so dang cute. Would the article still send the same message if, perhaps, you had chosen a blob fish or the star nosed mole? Of course it wouldn’t have. People would have seen those pictures and thought, “Gross! Who would want to save those creatures!”
    When it comes down to it, saving animals – even the ugly ones – from a torturous death IS important and I grant you that. Torturing anything is mean. Although, if I was starving and there was a herd of cows around, I’d be eating beef.

    • Dee

      Omg I think I love you

    • Hi Amber!

      First of all, I appreciate you taking the time to read this and commenting, even if you disagree. I am not a teenager, nor did I choose the photo used with this article. It is a fact that eating animals (and paying for them to be slaughtered for a product no one needs) IS directly participating in their death. Animals wouldn’t have their throats slit while fully conscious, they wouldn’t be castrated without any painkillers, and they wouldn’t be hacked up while still alive and struggling, if no one wanted to eat them.

      In this hypothetical situation where you’re starving and there is a herd of cow around, pending you have the correct tools to hunt and kill, you would eat beef. I don’t know what that has to do with anything. That isn’t the same as purchasing a burger at McDonald’s or grabbing a package of ground beef at the grocery store. It’s nearly the opposite.

      The simple fact is that every time you sit down and decide to eat an animal, you are choosing to support this kind of an industry: http://www.meat.org. One that thinks it’s OK to forcibly impregnate female cows on things they call “rape racks,” throw live chicks into a grinder, and sexually abuse, beat, and harass animals simply because they can. You’re also choosing to contribute to the number 1 cause of climate change, and you end up contributing to world hunger.Check out this study released last year by the United Nations: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet/. It states that a global shift towards a vegan diet is the way to save the world from hunger, climate change and from basically running out of fuel.

      I would love to share statistics with you on anything specific you have questions about, just let me know!

      -Rachel

  • Bailey

    I think it is possible to care about animals without being a vegetarian, but not intensely. Unless you are consistent in ONLY eating meat from organic farms that you KNOW treat their animals well 100% of the time.
    Nothing gets to me more when I hear my friends say things like, “I will NEVER buy from Lancôme because they test on animals,” if they aren’t vegetarian/vegan. Testing makeup on rabbits to see if it affects them in a harmful way before giving it to humans obviously isn’t a good thing, and I am totally against it. I just think that if you are eating meat every day (or not even every day, but if you eat meat, period), then you can’t go around talking about how much you hate a company for animal testing. The way your chicken is treated before it lands on your plate is a million times worse than the rabbit that is tested on.
    I am a vegetarian by choice of 3 1/2 years and have not been swayed by my family’s constant pressure to make me an omnivore again.

  • Dee

    Can I just say the Peta2 has become like politics. You know I even said a bunch of stuff about eating animals and stuff like that. But I’m starting to realize this is really stupid. The vegans arn’t gonna convince the Omnivores that slavery=bacon. And the Omnivores arn’t gonna convince that it’s a load of bull####. Basically when this month is over everyone will forget about this so why are we trying to prove something that’s bound to be forgotten?

  • hanna

    DISAGREEEEEE!! What the hell are pigs ever gonna be useful for other than being in the foodchain??

    • Bailey

      What the hell? Pigs are live beings, they feel pain and they have brains. When you kick a pig, it hurts. Industrial farms treat their animals TERRIBLY, throwing chickens against walls and chopping off their beaks and dumping them live into boiling water. They are defenseless.
      What are bunnies ever going to be useful for? Would you go and pick one up out of the park and pull out it’s intestines and watch it suffer so that you could have a brief, nice meal?

  • Alphonse

    Absolutely agree with Alyssa. Come on, guys – just because humans have been eating meat for millennia, this doesn’t mean it’s justified. It’d be like if a murderer said, \Well I care about people a lot – I love my parents and my friends – but I still like to kill people – it makes me feel good. Other animals kill, and we’re naturally killers – we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.\ Does this sound ridiculous? Yet, it’s true: we as a species have been killing each other for eons, to the extent that I’d guess humans are the number one cause for unnatural human death.

    Yet, this by itself does not justify murder. Animals, like people, can feel and have social networks and thinking skills, and if we truly care about them, there is no rational way we can justify murdering them to feed. Any responses such as \It tastes good,\ \veganism is hard,\ or \it’s too expensive\ are rationalizations that show that, while you might care about animals, you don’t really love them.

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, and I know it’s hard for some people to change for a variety of reasons. Change, especially in the right direction, is usually hard. But try it – eat vegan for a while, and every time you think about stopping, look at pictures of cows and chickens and other animals and say to yourself, \Because I’ve changed, I’ve stopped you from being separated from your mother when you’re just an infant. I’ve stopped you from living in a cage smelling nothing but excrement your entire life. I’ve stopped you from being killed just so I could eat your muscles and organs and excretions. Because I’ve changed, less animals have to suffer and die.\

    • Imani

      Alphonse, you rock!!!

    • You are awesome, Alphonse! 🙂

  • Jack

    No, this annoyed me. It’s basically accusing people who care about animals and still eating meat as being cruel to animals and not caring about them? That annoyed me because I still eat meat – not too much – and I am 100% against animal cruelty. I care about animals so much so, that people have told me I care more for them than I do myself or humans. So, no, I don’t agree.

    • Alyssa

      Well, if you care so much how can you eat them? and no they weren’t raised for that..man enslaved them and NOW they are raised for that but that’s not why they were put here. If you donthardly eat meat at all then what’s stopping you from going vegetarian. You’d be saving the lives of the animals you care so much about. Don’t be annoyed or offended, take this opportunity to change the lives of the animals who would otherwise be killed.

      • Sheereen

        Why don’t we change our lives to stop the killing of our own race, HUMANS??
        Don’t you think that is something important to?
        Just because someone doesn’t stop war, doesn’t mean they hate humans..am I correct?

        • Nicole

          Exactly!!

  • Alyssa

    Uh, wow people you all really feel offended? Maybe you feel guilty. Its simple you can’t love an animal but then pay for someone to MURDER it so you can eat it. How does that not sound sociopathic to all of you? People who eat meat, their common sense gets thrown out the window. Its only logical to know that you don’t kill someone you love. We aren’t carnivores, I know you all want to believe we are, but we aren’t. Do our teeth look like a true carnivores..a lion, tiger, etc..no our teeth are flat and our mouths move side to side when we chew which is meant for grinding not tearing through flesh. You want to be a true carnivore step outside and the next squirrel you see let those carnivorous instincts kick in, no weapons cheaters, use your speed and agility to catch that squirrel and IF you catch it tear it apart with your teeth and eat every part of him. No time to choose which parts, season them and grill them..we are NOT carnivores. Please people you only feel offended because you know what you are doing is wrong and YES paying for a product is just like you going and putting the money directly in the abusers hands. Just because you aren’t the one weilding the knife doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible.

    • Britt

      You’re putting words into our mouths. I never said we’re fricken carnivores. We eat meat AND plants. It’s called an omnivore. And why is it wrong for us to eat meat? Humans are technically animals. And animals eat other animals, right? I definetly don’t feel guilty.

    • Sheereen

      Let me repeat
      “omnivore”
      We don’t have teeth like cows, natural selection didn’t want us to just eat grass…
      We don’t use our appendix because it had a germ that was used to help break down cellulose in herbivores, because humans grew to eat meat, we don’t use it anymore.
      How come we still have our canine teeth?!
      Don’t say we weren’t meant to eat meat when there is science behind it.
      I’d suggest you read up on Darwin’s theories.
      I am in no way feeling guilty of my actions.
      I do feel offended because many people who are animal activists do not RESPECT our way of life.
      How come we must respect yours when you don’t do the same?
      You cannot force anyone into something they don’t want to do.
      It’s not simple to just give up something you’ve been living with all your life.

  • Britt Poteet

    This actually made me mad. I truley care about animals. I don’t want to see a bunch of dogs being treated horribly in puppy mills or cats being stepped on in online videos. I DON’T want animals to be abused and hurt like that. But I sill eat meat, because it’s what humans were meant to do. Animals eat other animals. Say a fox is eating a chicken- is that animal abuse too? This is untrue. You can still care about animal rights and eat meat.

    • lalala

      Totally agree!!!

    • Sarah

      Exactly! Being a vegiterian or vegan doesn’t stop people from killing animals. They will continue it and keep doing it. There are more meat-eaters in the world then vegs, and being a veg/vegeterian doesn’t stop anything! I would hate to see puppies being beaten with a baseball bat or a cat being tossed from a window, but humans need meat which gives them protein. I hate how PETA is trying to make meat-eaters feel bad about what they eat. I was a veg for about a year until my doctor told me that I could mess up my growth if I didn’t eat meat, and protein bottles that you buy at the store are EXPENSIVE. If you want us to stop eat meat, make proteins and other things that help you with your veg lifestyle less expensive, and show us stuff that makes us know being veg is better then being a meat eater rather then attempting (and failing) at making us feel as if eat meat and supporting animals can’t be possible. I went to the Bahamas to help take care of beaten and abused animals and you know what they served us for lunch? Meat. I cared for animals and I ate meat. So wrong?

    • Hey Britt–

      Eating meat is actually NOT what humans were meant to do. There are more than ten physiological differences between humans and carnivores; our teeth are that of an herbivores, our intestines is that of an herbivores, etc. Just because we CAN eat animals, doesn’t mean we should.

      Yes, animals eat other animals, but they only do so to survive. Humans don’t need to eat meat, and are actually healthier eating a plant based diet. Humans put animals through a system of extreme abuse in order to eat them. If you don’t support what’s happening in this video: http://www.meat.org, than you shouldn’t eat animals.

      I’m glad you care about dogs suffering on puppy mills, but isn’t it a little hypocritical to care about one animal because they’re cute, and let another one suffer so you can eat them? Pigs are actually smarter than dogs (and 3 year old kids!) and have unique personalities, just like a dog or cat does, but because we’ve been told it’s OK, we torture and eat them. Doesn’t that seem wrong to you?

      Humans eat meat and ignore the suffering of animals because we’ve been conditioned to do so, we’ve been told it’s normal. But torturing and killing a living being who would otherwise want to live isn’t normal, and it’s NOT OK. Luckily, it’s easier than ever for us to stop this by going vegetarian or vegan. You still get to eat all of your favorite foods, just vegan versions of them, and no one has to die for your plate.

      What’s the harm in that?

      -Rachel

      • Britt

        First of all, I never said I don’t agree with animals abuse on dogs because they are cute. I don’t want to see any animal being tortured. I realize all animals think and have feelings. I LOVE all animals. And there is this thing called the food chain. And some people can’t afford the vegan and vegitarian foods, or physically can’t eat them. And i’m not saying going vegitarian is wrong. I’m just mad that PETA is making the meat eaters look like the bad guys. And I have a great aunt that owns a farm and they take very good care of the cows, and treat them right. Eating meat doesn’t mean you want to torture the animals.

        • Unfortunately, the reality is that even if you don’t WANT to torture animals, if you eat meat, you’re paying someone else to. That’s just the truth, and if you don’t feel good about that, then stop eating them, it’s pretty simple.

          No, you didn’t say you care about dogs because they’re cute, but c’mon, they are, and we’re raised to view them differently than we are raised to view farmed animals–but ask yourself, what’s the real difference?

          The “food chain” is no excuse for systematic murder. There’s nothing natural about factory farming, again, see for yourself here: http://www.meat.org.

          Vegan and vegetarian foods are some of the cheapest you can buy. Rice, beans, tofu, vegetables, those things are available at your local grocery store and aren’t more expensive than meat. Obviously if you’re going all out and buying tons of vegan meats, cheeses, etc, it can get pricey–but in the same way that eating non-vegan foods can.

          I understand being defensive, but you should realize that you have the power and ability to take a stand against this cruelty by going vegetarian or vegan, it’s that simple.

          -Rachel

          • Bailey

            Amen Rachel!

          • Britt

            I guess we just see things differently. I’m sorry if I sounded rude or offended you. I was just trying to express my opinion. Thanks for answering me 🙂

          • Venus

            That is all you can say! I hear that from so many other overzealous animal supporters, but they have no human morals. How can you make someone else feel bad, because you don’t agree with their way of living? You can’t change anybody, the most you have is showing the facts (which both sides have), and your opinions, and then taking all that and stuffing it down their throat. That doesn’t make anybody listen to you, but instead attacks you. I stopped actually getting upset about this debate, you might not think so because it’s you, but I have nothing to get upset about, because you’re not living my life, and I’m not living yours; we can’t make eachother see eye to eye, and I could care if we see eye to eye or not, it waste my time (like I’m doing now), and wasting yours. You could never understand my feelings about still loving animals, but eating meat, nobody could. So anything else would just be us repeating the same words, ideas, over and over again in different sentences. If you respond back you can, but I have already typed one too many opinions of mine, and this is monotonous.

          • Sheereen

            I agree with everything Venus said.

            You can’t change the way people think. You can’t change how someone lives their life.
            “That’s just the truth, and if you don’t feel good about that, then stop eating them, it’s pretty simple. ”
            Again, ignorant comment. It isn’t simple. In my culture and ethnicity most of our food consists of meat. I don’t like the taste of tofu, It is not appetizing to me. I still am hungry after I eat it. I have weak bones, SOY is not good enough for me to get calcium from plus it is also unappetizing..I’ve tried being a vegetarian. I can’t do it. It is NOT simple. My body can’t survive on meat alternatives, that is how I was born.
            BUT that does NOT mean I DON’T care about animals.
            I think pigs and cows and chickens are cute too, they all are, but at the end of the day what does your culture say about it?
            Now you complain about animal cruelty on farms..
            How bout child labour?! Most clothing we buy today are made by children.
            Leather or not leather..human abuse is just as important..
            But today, the reality is that it is difficult for anyone to do anything.
            I do NOT go around telling people who wear a brand that uses child labour that they don’t like humans..
            It isn’t the consumers fault. This is life, this is how we survive.
            You can persuade people and give them an option to change
            But, you can never FORCE someone to do what YOU want to do.
            Most of us live in a democratic life, not a dictatorship!

  • Sheereen

    Honestly, I disagree. I think is a really ignorant and bias to say people who eat meat or use products containing animals don’t care for them. I feel very offended. I love all animals! I think they are all so adorable in their own way, and have feelings too. However, since humans have been on this planet, we’ve used animals as resources. It’s call the food chain. Many people need milk and meat to survive. I’m not eating meat and wearing leather shoes cause I don’t care about animals. I think animal abuse is terrible so is testing on animals but, clothing and food that contain animal product is just a form of surviving. Yes, I get there is alternatives, but sometimes people don’t have the money, don’t have the time or don’t have the right digestive system to do that. It’s how most people grew up, you can’t judge them by it.