Animal rights: you’re doing it wrong.
First of all, if animal abuse pisses you off more than abuse of actual human beings, then you are a terrible person. At the very least, you should consider them equally bad.
It’s like that scene in Community where Britta says “I can excuse racism, but I draw the line at animal cruelty,” and then Shirley says incredulously, “You can excuse racism?”
There is a long and storied history of privileged white folks completely missing the point and making dumb comments that ignore the very real struggles of oppressed groups (See: pretty much everything PETA does).
And yeah, I know that people like to point out the POC, women, LGBTQ people, and other oppressed groups who make those comparisons, and that’s fine. They can make those comparisons. Alice Walker can make the comparison between factory farming and slavery as much as she wants, because she has ancestors who were sold as chattel. I, as a white man whose ancestors may very well have owned some of those same people, cannot make that comparison. Israeli vegan activists can tattoo themselves with numbers to compare animal abuse to the Holocaust because they lost family members in the concentration camps. I, as a Gentile who has no personal connection to the Shoah, cannot make that comparison.
And if I were dumb enough to make those comparisons, I would be severely criticized for it… and for good reason. Animal abuse is not the same as the Holocaust, or the Atlantic slave trade, or the rape and murder of indigenous Americans, or any other horrible thing that has happened to humans in the course of our history. To quote something ryanvoid once said:
They are both fucked up situations, but they are not the SAME fucked up situation.
Besides, if you’re going to say something that paints vegans/vegetarians in a bad light, the least you can do is actually be a vegan/vegetarian. Comments like yours are the sort of stuff that makes us look bad, and you’re not even one of us.
99% of the vegan/vegetarian/animal rights activists I know are sincere, compassionate people who try their best to not be assholes and who are aware of the intersectionality between the animal rights movement and broader kyriarchy. It’s that last little bit that gets the most attention, however, and makes the rest of us look like assholes. Comments like yours certainly don’t help.
So yeah, go home and make yourself a big ol’ plate of bacon and feel good about the brave stance you took for animal rights, and let the rest of us catch all the heat for your ridiculous comments the next time we order a salad at a steakhouse. (“Why are you so preachy?” “But meat tastes good!” “Privilege denier!”)