"I respect your decision to be vegan, so you should respect my decision to eat, wear and use animal products," many people tell me, wondering why I can't respect someone else's choices.
The thing is, this isn't just about you and your choices. It isn't like making a simple decision whether to listen to pop music or rock music, which of course I wouldn't get in the way of, because you're free to listen to whatever you like.
But there are victims here. Living, breathing, feeling victims.
For every non-vegan choice, someone was enslaved, exploited, and murdered. I can't respect the decision to participate in such violence, when clearly, there are so many other options that don't involve the intentional harming of others.
Would you respect someone's decision to beat a puppy or a kitten?
Would you respect a cannibal's decision to kill and eat another human, just because they like the way the flesh tastes?
Would you respect a person's decision to abuse their child, or their spouse?
Would you respect a rapist's decision to rape someone?
I hope you wouldn't. I hope that you would stand up for the victims. For what is right.
I am not just voicing an opinion when I talk about veganism. I am speaking out for the victims of animal exploitation.
In the end, the choice is yours. I can only educate and be here to offer help and support if you're interested in becoming vegan. But please don't expect me to respect a decision that unjustly exploits and harms others.
I just can't do that.