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Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

‘Practical Vegetarians’ Help Save Animals

Written by PETA | October 7, 2010

While some caring Huffington Post readers might pooh-pooh “The Practical Vegetarian”—which was written by Google’s usually vegetarian Gopi Kallayil—by saying that it doesn’t pack enough punch against animal abuse, we at PETA beg to differ.

Believe: We would love to have a magic wand that could wave away the rampant, stomach-turning cruelty endured by billions of animals who are eaten by naïve or uncaring bacon and egg lovers. We daydream about seeing all meat-eaters instantaneously snap out of their sirloin-induced slumbers and go vegan.  

But there is no magic wand, and dismissing the efforts of meat-eaters who dip their toes to test the waters before diving into vegetarianism doesn’t help end the living nightmares experienced by animals. That’s why PETA works 24/7 to document abuses, educate the public about all the veggie pluses, and bring tasty, humane options to the masses. It’s also why PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk recently told Time,”Anybody who witnesses the suffering of animals and has a glimmer of hope of reducing that suffering can’t take the position that it’s all or nothing. We have to be pragmatic. Screw the principle.”  

No doubt many of yesterday’s “Meatless Monday” devotees are today’s “practical vegetarians” who are on their way to becoming tomorrow’s vegans. For them, becoming The Conscious Cook is a process—a vegolution.     

Look at it this way: A financial advisor doesn’t tell his or her clients that if they can’t save their entire paychecks, they might as well blow all their earnings and forget about saving for retirement. Why would we vegans tell someone who wants to eat fewer animals not to bother? After all, one more “No Blues” BBQ sandwich on a practical vegetarian’s lunch plate means that one more pig has been spared the crate, the truck, and the slaughterhouse. Surely he’d agree that that’s a good decision.  

Written by Karin Bennett

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  • Susan says:

    No because Meat is Murder. You wouldn’t say to a rapist–well they’ve stopped raping woman one day of the week–so that’s a step in the right direction. No, it’d be all or nothing. Why isn’t it the same for eating meat?

  • Dan Hickerson says:

    It is so true. One step at a time is much better than standing still. I became a vegetarian last November, and have been moving toward a 100 percent vegan lifestyle. It’s hard to do it all at once, and those who are part way there need encouragement, not judgement.

  • CurtBader says:

    If a buildingis on fire, do you save none if you cant save them all? Incrementaly is how things get changed in this country.

  • Robyn says:

    I agree. It’s important to welcome people wherever they are on the spectrum. People come to their choices in their own time when they are ready. The self-righteous all-or-nothing attitude just pushes people away. Becoming 100% vegan is not an easy choice for many people.

  • VariousShadesOfGreen says:

    YES YES YES!! It put me off trying to be vegan for YEARS because some “angry” vegans made me feel I didn’t do enough. We all have to start somwhere and even cutting meat out once a week os the start on the road to education!! The goal is Veganism but if no one is rooting for you at yhe start you’re unlikely to make it to the finish. ******Vegan for life!*******

  • CN says:

    Amen. Thank you for a dose of reality.

  • animals are my friends, an I done eat my friends says:

    I agree so much with this. If you “can’t” or wont quit eating, animals you can atleast reduce the amount of “animal products” you use. An animal is more than an animal its a life, just as good as anyone elses.

  • Jen says:

    Great article! Everyone has to start somewhere and any animals it saves is an animal that’s saved.

  • Christine Johnson says:

    Beautifully put and I’ve been touched over the years at the increasing number of people who are thoughtfully leaving meat out of their diet for the sake of the animals. Every little bit counts. Thank you for a great article Karin!

  • Anita Svensson Jensen says:

    Thank heavens, I have chosen to be vegetarian!

  • andeep63 says:

    A well written and thoughtful article. Thank you Karin. Perfectionism can thwart the ideal. It´s baby steps to some and giant leaps for others. We need to applaud any and all actions that promote a better future for our animal friends.I say let´s get caught up in the positive of the vegolution movement:)

  • Md123 says:

    This article is true! I was originally a ‘practical vegetarian’ too, but then you see how simple, healthy and easy a vegetarian diet is.

  • Bonnie says:

    I totally understand what you are saying here.  But, why not push for people to only buy meat products that are labeled certified humane?  I think that is the first step, because people like me are not going to go veggie. I believe that animals are on this Earth for us to enjoy, whether by means of eating or enjoying their company, but not for us to abuse.  

    Please answer my question!  

    http://www.certifiedhumane.org

  • ocean17 says:

    being vegan is a moral and ethical choice, built upon a strong foundation of compassion and logic. clearly being vegan means causing less harm to animals and the earth. it is the only compassionate choice.

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