Vegans and Violence?

meat labelsThough we sympathize with vegans and understand their stance, we also believe in freedom of choice when it comes to whether one eats meat. In fact, Freezer-Labels.com makes some of the best meat labels in the business. It's just part of our commitment to provide quality freezer labels to the whole food-processing industry.

Vegans are vegetarians who believe in using no animal products at all, from wool for sweaters to leather and meat products, and we salute their dedication to their cause. Their entire philosophy is based on avoiding cruelty and violence to animals. That's why we were so shocked recently when international news from France reported that some small French butchers have recently been the target of militant vegans who have broken windows and vandalized their shops.

To be clear, these aren't meat-packers or slaughterhouses we're talking about. We oppose those places of misery on principal ourselves. Nor are they striking large supermarkets where most people buy their meats. No, these protestors are hitting small family-owned butchers with no real capacity to either defend themselves or strike back. Ironically, it's these neighborhood shops, with their close-knit clientele and hardworking owners, who obtain meat from dedicated farmers and rangers who slaughter their animals in small numbers, as humanely as possible. In many cases, these markets know exactly when the animals were born, how they were raised, what they were fed, and when they were slaughtered. One butcher featured in a National Public Radio story displayed a fresh, well-inspected side of beef covered with meat labels and stickers proving the meat's origin. There was even a picture of the cow while alive displayed.

Now, people like this gentleman, who's been building his business for almost 20 years, are fearful for their livelihoods... and their lives."Militant vegan" seems a painful oxymoron to those of us with sympathies for the cause. It's one injury or death away from "terrorist." Local vegan organizations have condemned the attacks, but of course they can't control all vegans, nor do they speak for them all.

Within very broad limits, no one has the right to dictate what another person eats. Nature made humans omnivores, able to eat anything. It's up to individuals to overcome their willingness to eat meat. Gentle persuasion is fine; damaging the livelihoods of small businesspeople and their families is not. In fact, the tactic is likely to backfire.

It may take time to win most people over to veganism, but let's remember, it's their choice. We're happy to keep making meat labels, but if people decide they don't want them anymore, we can shift to other products easily enough.

But we'll only do so when people make that choice on their own, not when fear forces them into it. We'll be adding our voice to the general condemnation of these militant vegans—while hoping no one in America is foolish enough to emulate them.

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