If there were ever a liberal group that could eventually be swung to the pro-life side, it would be vegans and animal-rights activists. It's a very short leap in logic that if it's wrong to slaughter animals for our consumption, then it's wrong to slaughter unborn children in the womb.
This blog entry is coming out of a discussion with one of my vegan GFs, who's always trying to work me into adopting her dietary lifestyle. I have been countering with trying to get her to adopt my pro-life views. We are at an impasse, because I can eat a hamburger with no guilt and still believe that we must end our massive slaughter of unborn infants, while she can see the abortion issue as a "woman's decision" and not blink an eye to the end result of a life snuffed out before it takes its first breath, and yet she can be moved to tears with mere images of emaciated and caged animals.
She accuses me of an illogical inconsistency because of my views of the unborn and their inherent value of life, and yet not be moved as she is with the slaughterhouse imagery that are often part of the discussions we have. Not to sound flippant, but cows make damn fine hamburgers. Yes, it SOUNDS flippant, but I am actually making a point. My point is, we are a meat eating society - it's ingrained in our history and our culture - so her cause is an uphill battle. VERY uphill.
It's so uphill that when she embraces the logical inconsistency of being vegan and yet pro-choice, it undermines her credibility of just how much she values life. What her actions are saying that life is valuable and sacrosanct so long as it's animal life. Human life, meanwhile, is ours to use and dispose of as we see fit. While she may genuinely feel that responding with "I support a woman's desire to make decisions about her own body" is a perfectly legitimate response, it's actually a cop-out from an opportunity to demonstrate just how much she values life.
In other words, her arguments about the worth of animal life would be a LOT stronger if she also had the same burning desire of the worth of unborn human life. When I type that out, it seems kinda goofy that anyone couldn't see that logical flaw of viewing animal life as sacrosanct and not human life, but for her, she doesn't see it. Now don't get me wrong about her - she's a beautiful and wonderful person; otherwise, she wouldn't be one of my GFs!
But, so long as she is unable to see this contradiction, then she will be undermining her arguments with meat-eating prolifers like me. I think I have a pretty good idea on what you're thinking: Maybe if I become a vegan, then she'll become prolife. Trust me, it won't work. As embedded as being a carnivore is in my psyche, her pro-choice views are even more embedded. That is, I can give up meat much easier than she can give up her pro-choice views - so radically liberal is she.
No, if this is going to work and she is going to change the hearts of steak-lovers everywhere, then she'll need to make the shocking conversion of becoming a prolifer, and I mean full-bore, marching-at-Planned-Parenthood prolifer - and not a mere "I personally oppose abortion, but..." types, because "personally oppose" prolifers are in truth de facto pro-choicers.
The thing is, while she is in the process of adopting prolife views, she will find that she loses absolutely nothing in regards to her vegan views. In fact, in light of what she'll come to learn along the way, she'll find that being prolife and vegan is not only entirely consistent, but actually go hand-in-hand - it will actually complete what she believes about life and its worth. She will then see that if she is going to be changing hearts and minds, then she must be willing to view the lives of babies as beautiful and wonderful - just as much as the cuddly little forest critters or little lambs and baby chicks that are often stock imagery for vegan literature.
GF, you asked what it would take to win me over to your side. Well, here ya go. Do this, and you will win me over to your side. Now my question to you is this: Is your dedication to the animal rights cause deep and true and strong enough for you to venture exploring the pro-life side of the abortion debate? I promise you that it will be worth the struggle. :-)
And who knows - you might even change my mind one day on the vegan issue.