Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I suspect this topic may have already been discussed, but it intrigues me.
I first became a veggie when my sister and brother stopped eating meat. I lived with them, and rather than me taking a decision to stop, I just kinda evolved into not eating meat. There was no concious decision to stop, it happened naturally. However, as my meat consumption reduced I did become more empathetic with the idea of vegetarianism. As I say not a concious decision.
I remember very vividly that when I was eating meat I never attached any human like qualities to the animal I was eating. Quite bizarre considering I had a dog which I could never dream of eating. So this got me thinking.
Is the brain playing a few tricks on us. It suspends our empathetic part of our brain so we can consume meat. As humans we are clearly susceptible to humanising animals (dogs etc...). Not until we fully understand eating meat is not required for survival, like what happened with me, then do we stop suspending these emotions. Empathy and attaching human qualities to animals is obviously a useful tool in survival. but our brain does appear to have a function to switch them off if needs (or a perceived need) be.
I remember watching animal cruelty videos and so on and it really didn't effect me in the slightest,. I recognised it was wrong in a kinda of emotionless way, but certainly not on a level which made me question what I ate or did. There was something there beyond my own thoughts that was stopping me attaching sympathy with these animals. it's something very strong.
The strength of feeling meat eaters have, to me anyway, goes beyond a concious choice. I was once the same as them so I can sympathise with their position. My brain couldn't really understand veggies. However the fact 90% of the population wouldn't eat their dog demonstrates on some level they have the same potential make-up as a vegan.
To a certain extent it is still a battle I rage with today, but I certainly avoid judging meat eaters because to me it's not as if they're ignorant or evil. For me there's something very real in the brain blocking normal human sympathy to animals created for food and that's demonstrated in the fact they don't eat animals they attach human qualities to.