If the principle of nonviolence means anything, it means that you cannot justify any killing or suffering for transparently frivolous reasons such as pleasure, amusement, or convenience. And doing something “with compassion” that is not morally justifiable does not change the fact that it’s morally unjustifiable.
When you decide what you want to eat, wear, or use, you are not acting under any sort of compulsion. You are simply indulging your palate pleasure, sense of fashion, etc., or allowing what is convenient to trump the interests of another sentient being.
So if you embrace nonviolence and you are not vegan, you need to think about what is unquestionably a serious inconsistency.
If you are not vegan, please go vegan. Veganism is about nonviolence. First and foremost, it’s about nonviolence to other sentient beings. But it’s also about nonviolence to the earth and nonviolence to yourself.
Gary L. Francione
Professor, Rutgers University
©2012 Gary L. Francione