Opinion Staff Writer
With animal rights activism, the biggest problem ensues from the many supporters ignoring human issues in favor of animals rights. The meat industry is cruel and unethical in many ways, or at least where big businesses are involved, but that does not excuse putting animal lives above human lives. A lot of the attitudes they take towards animal rights activists stems from a place of privilege.
Most commonly, activists for animal rights tend to be both white and upper middle class. In their activism, often they recommend going entirely vegan in order to boycott the meat and dairy industry. The issue lies in the fact many lower class families simply cannot afford or survive on a vegan diet. The time and money it takes to to survive on a vegan meal plan is simply not a reasonable option when a faster, cheaper and hardier meal is available.
In rallying for animal rights, many activists have a tendency to compare issues in the meat and dairy industry to very severe human issues. They have compared the treatment of the animals in these industries to issues like rape, slavery and even genocide.
This is inexcusable. It dehumanizes those who faced these issues and undermines the struggles of the histories of those who fought against it. It is also worth mentioning many minorities who have historically gone through these atrocities were often compared to animals by their oppressors. Comparing the meat industry to these struggles is a mockery.
Striving for a more ethical manner of producing a product is not a bad thing by any means. Rallying for more humane treatment of living creatures is also good. Fighting to have stricter regulations on health codes for the animals, which also makes it safer for people, is admirable. Shaming people who cannot afford to go vegan is not acceptable. Dehumanizing people for the sake of shock value for a cause is unforgivable.