The beliefs of omnivores have been so carefully constructed that despite how obvious its flaws, we do not question them. In elementary school, you learn about the four required food groups. You learn that protein comes from the muscle tissue of animals, but for one reason or another, they don’t mention broccoli, or bananas, or beans. We are taught not to inflict pain on other living creatures, and so we don’t. We let anyone else do it for us. And so there is a disassociation between the product and the cruelty. A child that tortures a dog is sent to therapy, as would be a child that tortures a cow. But if we move that cow into a factory it becomes a product, and despite there being no difference in suffering, we do not question that this conflict arises. If we did, we might wonder why we value certain living animals more than others. We might see the extent of our selective compassion for life.

We are guided to believe that because we think, we are entitled to the planet and everything on it. We are not. Because we think, we experience more of the world around us, but it is not ours. We did not come to this world, we came from it.

All matter in existence is made up of the same atoms arranged differently. Some of those atoms form cells, and some cells form living creatures, and within those creatures, some cells form a complex system of nerves that feel a sensation known as pain. Human beings are not the only ones with this system. The pain we feel is exactly the same as the pain any living creature feels. It has been guided into our mentality that we do not acknowledge this, or that if we do, we are not affected by it. When a person consumes an animal, they know that it has died. They know this, but they do not understand it because they are detached from the physical act of killing. They do not hear the animal crying out as its life is taken for reasons beyond its comprehension. For reasons beyond our needs.

We claim ourselves civil but that does not explain the horror that we either perform or ignore when we consume animals. We claim ourselves rational, but that does not explain why we maintain a system that we cannot justify; not ethically, not economically, and not nutritionally. Man is the only animal on the planet that must cook muscle tissue in order to safely consume it, yet it is engrained into us to overlook this and insist that it is natural. It is not. The natural consumption of animals leaves our bodies weakened and sick. Early man did not hunt and cook animals because it wanted to. Preference was not the objective; it was to survive. And we are not early man. We have communities, and gardens, and technology. We have changed our habits but our objective is still the same. To survive.

To believe that animal consumption is necessary is to ignore all reasoning proving otherwise. To believe that our personal tastes justify the inconceivable pain inflicted on living animals is barbaric. To believe that animals give us their lives without resistance, without fighting with every last bit of strength they have, is naive. And to know all of this and not be affected by it is a tragedy.

Our detachment from the action of taking a life gives us complete ambivalence towards it. Animals that we consume were once breathing, just like us; they were feeling, just like us; and they bled, just like us. What separates us is the extent of our choices and to feel the sensation of joy or guilt that comes from those consequences.

The longer a person remains of a belief – no matter how questionable – the harder it is for them to analyze this belief objectively. I have found that nearly all omnivores are resistant to the information that I present in my arguments towards vegetarianism. It is important to understand where that resistance comes from. Carl Jung said that people will do anything but examine their self. If your mind is closed, then no matter how compelling the evidence is, you cannot evaluate it without bias. All communication is wasted. I do not blame anyone for their consumption of animals, but I do blame them if they have not questioned it. Anyone can question anything at any time; we are all entitled that freedom of thought. And if you have questioned it but not changed your mind, you have not considered it enough. You have heard a section of the orchestra but not the entire song. And the song is beautiful, the song is life.