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You know you guys love this debate. I swear, it's not atheism.

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If you choose to not eat meat, that's totally fine. Humans are omnivores, so we can eat whatever we want. Obviously, red meats can lead to high blood pressure, so avoiding them is a legit health reason. I still choose to eat it, but I counter that through moderation and balancing it out with veggies/fruits/etc. A healthy, well-rounded diet combined with regular exercise and avoiding things like smoking, excessive caffeine, excessive alcohol, etc. is what leads to the best of everything.

Our success as a species relied heavily on our omnivorous ways, currently ignoring the other reasons such as coming together in packs, etc......just follow me here for a moment. Can't find any meat to eat, or just a shitty hunter? Go find some plants to eat, get some rest, and try again later. If we were strictly either carnivorous or herbivorous, then our chances for survival would've been drastically reduced. Being a generalist is far better than being a specialist in terms of survival. Look at other omnivores like skunks, raccoons, and foxes. These animals proliferate just about every-fucking-where you look; the forest, the tundra, caves, urban environments, deserts, and so on.

But I digress. Ignoring for a moment all of the health reasons for choosing a strict diet, the main point that always rings the loudest is death. Many vegans will regale you for hours about the many different ways that animals are killed for food, and how apparently even the most legitimately humane means of slaughter are cruel. For the most part, though, they'll only bring up the actual cruelty cases. Cruel means of slaughter, or simply being cruel to an animal being lead to slaughter, are not the norm in meat production. There will always be a few bad apples in the bunch, so don't throw the whole thing out based on the sins of those few.

What this entire thing seems to boil down to, no matter how many different ways I've had people approach this subject, is that they can't stand the thought of something with eyes and the ability to directly express suffering being killed for food. They try to empathize with an animal being killed, equating it to people being slaughtered by some other being. "How would you like it if some advanced alien race came down and started eating us?!", they will possibly hilariously cry. Seriously, that would suck a giant bag of dicks, but that's life. Yet, in all of this, they seem to outright ignore the fact that plants are living organisms as well.

"But I thought plants WANTED to be eaten?", oh you silly humans. *BOOP!*

No plant wants to be eaten, just as no animal wants it. We're all designed to survive and flourish. We, plants and animals alike, have all developed natural defenses to ward off potential predators. Since we have no spikes or poisons/venoms and such, which would be TOTALLY rad, we have to craft our defenses and use our minds to outwit our predators and prey alike. Take a look through a botany book sometime. Do you know how many plants are poisonous?! Even without poisons/venoms; there are carnivorous plants, plants covered in spikes/thorns, and the list goes on and on. Plants are just as astutely geared toward surviving as any animal out there, which means it's pretty varied. Some are pretty dumb and easy to slaughter, while others are wildly dangerous or quite simply nigh impossible to extract anything useful from.

Through my 30 years of living as an omnivore, I've learned to respect both plants and animals alike. I'll eat both of them, but I still respect them. I understand that they're living things that we're killing to eat. They didn't just go "You honour me with your feast", they're all "HOLY FUCK, GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!!!! OH GOD, THE BLOOD IS EVERYWHERE!!! glarglallableleblebleble.....". The difference is that plants tend to lack the ability to express such a point. Now, if you're going to immediately spring to "Well, they don't have a brain", then fine, go eat insects. Insects don't have brains, they have ganglia. Ganglia are nothing more than a small clump of nerves that act like a pseudo brain. It's a pretty simple, direct-feed system that cycles electrical impulses in response to internal and external stimuli. There's no consciousness in there, assuming that it requires a brain to possess that. Most insects don't even feel pain in the sense that we do, but then again the fruit fly apparently does.

So do we need a brain to tell us that we're suffering? Is suffering simply a synaptic response to our defeat? Is it a punishment for not doing well enough in the struggle to survive?

It's been proven through scientific research that plants do react electrically to stimuli such as physical contact. Slap a plant, and a small signal will fire off inside of it. Without such a system, flowers wouldn't open to the sun and turn to face it, nor would they close up during the rain. They're clearly sentient to some degree, whether as individuals or as visible groups (e.g. a group of flowers being counted as one "consciousness", as an example). Then again, is it the same as ganglia vs. brain? Does our "advanced brain" mean anything other than we can build useless shit and argue for years over benign crap? Are we just full of ourselves, thinking that it's our duty to not kill animals for food, because it hurts those individuals? Is it truly better to have this advanced brain? Without it, life would be much simpler. There would be no need for morals, religion, etc. We would all be simply surviving, eating whatever we're programmed to eat. Then again, with this brain, we have things like art, philosophy, science, math, etc.

Again, eat what you want to, but NEVER make someone else feel shitty about their choices......well, maybe cannibalism, but I guess I have no problem if the food agreed to it or it's post apocalyptic times and there's nothing else to eat or whatever. One last time, I digress. Even with the shaming aside, let's just agree to drop the whole killing thing, as it's practically infantile at this point; considering the scientific evidence stacking up against it. Something usually has to die in order for food to be produced, whether it's a currently existing life, or a potential one (I'm looking at you guys, fruits).

Life is beautiful.......almost as beautiful as death. Without it, life is meaningless. Respect the things you eat, for they have died so you can go on living. Raise some animals and plants (not for eating, or maybe for eating....your choice, I suppose) of your own and be a part of this wonderful thing we call existence.
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