Can't you love animals and eat them?

Do you have a dog? Would it be possible to love your dog if you mutilated and murdered them?

What? I would never do that!

I don't have a dog

I can't do this

The answer is no, of course you can’t, because the two ideas juxtapose one another.  Saying you love animals whilst eating their bodies and secretions is like saying “of course I can love my child and beat them.”  If an abusive parent said that they loved their child but were also beating them we would think they were a psychopath.

If you love someone the last thing you want to happen to them is for them to be forcibly impregnated, tortured, murdered and eaten1, let alone pay for these things to happen to them. If you love someone then you want to avoid bad things happening to them at all costs, so if you love animals then by default the last thing you would ever want is to see their murdered body parts2 on a plate in front of you.
To be a lover of animals is to love, respect and show compassion to them, all of them, not just the ones society tells you to love. To truly be an animal lover, you have to acknowledge that all animals are worthy of life and deserve to live that life free from human oppression.

So no, the excuse you can love animals and eat them is not a valid justification for someone to eat animals, in fact it’s not even possible.  Can you really be an animal lover if you pay for animals to be hurt? 
Content copy adapted from "30 Non-Vegan Excuses & How To Respond To Them" by Earthling Ed

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