Where’s the beef?

Don't let your love for animals determine what you eat

I’ve always considered myself to be an animal lover. I’d rather spend time with dogs and cats than other people. If I find a bug in my house, I let it outside rather than step on it. I spend more money on things for my pet fish than I do for myself.

Despite all of this, I still eat meat. I love steak, chicken, milk and eggs. I was raised this way and I’m not sure this part of my life will ever change. As much as I love animals, I don’t think I’ll ever stop eating meat and animal products. It’s just the way I am.

I know plenty of animal lovers that are the same way. I also know some people who took their devotion to a new level and became a vegetarian or a vegan. I give props to those who took up that lifestyle; it clearly takes a lot of dedication and willpower, and they are doing a great thing for the environment by not eating animal products.

However, it doesn’t make those who still eat meat – myself included – any worse because we haven’t cut meat from our lives.

Aside from its taste, meat has a lot of nutritional value and there are so many recipes centered around meat. I don’t usually eat meat with every meal, but it is still a huge part of my diet. Just because I won’t give up meat doesn’t make me a hypocrite and it doesn’t make me love animals any less.

There are so many different ways other than veganism to show your love and appreciation for the animal kingdom. You can volunteer at animal shelters. You can clean up beaches to keep trash out of our lakes, rivers and oceans. You can avoid places like Sea World because of their inhumane treatment of aquatic life. Veganism isn’t the only option to help animals.

If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, I understand why you made that decision and completely give you my support. Likewise, I hope you can see where I’m coming from and support my decision to continue eating meat while showing my dedication to the environment in other ways.

The community of animal lovers shouldn’t be divided over who eats meat and who doesn’t. Instead, we should all work together to help the environment, regardless of what everyone has on their dinner plate.