I'm so happy I found this group.
A good portion of people have trouble thinking more than a few months into the future unless they are reminded very, very often. And diet is something that currently has huge effects across the board: shipping, packaging, health (human and animal), land use, water pollution, and plenty of others.
It seems to me like a majority of people either assume that there is plenty of time to fix the issues we have (tell that to the species already on the brink of extinction, or already extinct), that humanity has a right to keep doing it because we have in the past, or that it's a non-issue because animals aren't as smart as we are and are meant to be used by us, just like all other resources. This demonstrates a clear lack of education on the matter of ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the definition of sentience.
Just like with atheism and rationality, if someone doesn't talk about this we can't expect it to get better. The reasons to switch our diets (where possible) aren't just hippy-dippy mumbo-jumbo based on how cute little baby chickens are. We need to speak out and educate.
So yes, I am speaking out (politely, but firmly). I care about the planet. I care about life. I want all people in the future to come into a world where respect is the norm, not exploitation. I want responsibility to be important, not desire.
I have noticed that some vegans only feel justified in speaking out about those aspects of meat eating that affect them personally, like pollution. Why is it less acceptable to speak for the other animals who are tortured and killed, than our own interests? Whatever serious and terrible environmental effects meat eating has on the planet, most vegans who I know became vegan because of compassion for the other animals. It is also MY business if someone is hurting and killing my friends and distant relatives.
It is none of our business! Just as it was none of our business when witches were being burned at the stake in this country, and when black people were held in chains, when women were not allowed to vote, and when bear baiting was legal. Wouldn't America be a better place if nosy, pushy, self-righteous people just backed down and shut their mouths.