I was first inspired to start writing about animal rights last spring, when I found out that Maharashtra, India had banned beef. I shared a link to a news article on Facebook, and while my friends usually tolerate my animal rights shares, this time people disagreed. My cousin, who is herself a vegetarian, called me out for supporting the ban (which I actually think should be international, and apply to all animals) and said that by supporting this ban I was infringing on the rights of others. Although she chooses not to eat meat, she supports people who do.
There are many people who believe animal rights infringes on the rights of humans.
Just like there were many people who don't support women's rights (what about the men?!), gay rights (they're destroying marriage!), or civil rights (if black people can also get good jobs, where will whites work???), there are also scarcity-minded people who are worried that if we care about animals, we will somehow stop caring about ourselves.
This myth is so unfair and so unfounded that I vowed to spend the rest of my life trying to dispel it. I had all of these thoughts welling up inside of me, and I just knew that if I didn't get them out, I would go mad. I started a blog, and I wrote about my feelings about the beef ban.
A few days later, I was harassed.
Someone who really loved beef and felt passionately about it contacted me through my cell phone, and wrote me some very strange ad hominem attacks via text message:
I found it strange that the perpetrator chose to attack me from a religious angle, since I did not mention religion in that post at all. It was a little creepy, but I shared the texts on Twitter and moved on. After all, the best way to deal with bullies is to expose them.
Some months later, I also earned the wrath of The Cattle Network. I was featured in one of their articles, wherein my writing was called "a rambling diatribe." I wasn't able to make much more sense out of the article than I could from those peculiar texts. After doing a little bit of research on the writer, I found out that he routinely attacks vegetarians and vegans online.
When I first started writing about animal rights, I didn't realize that there were so many beef advocates who felt so strongly about maintaining their current way of life. But then again, Cowspiracy revealed that over 1,000 activists have been killed in Brazil, all in the name of killing cows, so I guess it shouldn't be too surprising to me.
It's a little scary, but it's a matter of life and death for these animals, who are unable to use a voice of their own.