In an ideal world ‘but bacon?’ wouldn’t be justification for animal abuse.
Unfortunately we live in a world where showing the mass torture and slaughter of animals isn’t enough to turn people away from the industry, and it is usually met with them typing on their MacBooks in their comfy homes, while their microwave meal heats up that they are just like lions and this is how nature works. Kill or be killed, without getting any blood on your hands apparently. Not sure what is natural about eating the dead flesh of animals your whole life, despite never having the nerve to kill one yourself. It is odd to me that you can feel Alpha eating pre-packaged flesh, whilst still cringing every time you accidentally step on a snail and thinking that people who put cats in bins deserve to go to prison.
Aside from the obvious objection to ‘but bacon?’ the question I want to answer is, should we even respond to such a redundant statement? I am split on this, it depends on how much energy you want to waste on strangers but there are some benefits to responding to these people, yes, even when they believe that a response to a well thought out argument is to post a gif of a steak. This is basically because there are more people online than just trolls and idiots, as hard as that can sometimes be to believe. There are genuinely people out there who believe that vegans object to meat because we dislike the taste of have never tried it before, and despite this being ignorant, it is a good time to educate. Someone is bound to come across your response and if it makes one person think, even if it is not the one you are responding, to then it is worth it. We were all very stubborn before turning to veganism, humans are very protective of their diets, to attack what someone eats to attack their life choices or their health, touchy subjects. It is only when you look past your diet and realise veganism is a moral stance that you can truly change. The idea that vegans are just people who hate the taste of meat and dairy is to forget that for you to become vegan, you must first be consuming animal products. For most of us we had no say in our eating habits in childhood, just because we have grown to enjoy the taste of meat/eggs/dairy doesn’t mean we should condone consuming it, we are no longer children and are fully capable of making our own decisions. Of course, children who wish to become vegan usually face a harsh backlash from their families and are not given the choice, but that is an article for another day. Those typing ‘but bacon?’ are not these enlightened youngsters, however, they may see your response! I know when I was first researching veganism, I found my strongest arguments for it in online responses to dumb straightforward questions from non-vegans.
On the other hand, I think there is a wrong way to respond, and that is either by saying that bacon isn’t delicious ( there is no correlation between something feeling good and it being moral) or that pigs are intelligent and therefore we shouldn’t kill them. The truth is, people, on the whole, don’t care about the intelligence of an animal if they are used to seeing that animal as a product. I would tell you that a chicken can do algebra and you would most likely smile at a clip of it working out an equation on The Dodo whilst eating chicken nuggets. There is a huge disconnect between our food and the animal it came from, people don’t make the link between their meal and a living breathing creature so easily. Yes, pigs are highly intelligent, one of the most intelligent creatures on earth, but the way they are treated is disgusting not because of their intelligence but due to them simply being living creatures. Ask someone if they would eat a dolphin and they may object, stating a dolphin’s high intelligence as the reason. However, place sushi in front of them and say “this is a rare delicacy, dolphin meat,” and many would happily chow down. It is now no-longer an animal, it is food. And here lies the issue, for many there is a difference between a pig and bacon. Bacon is what they have for breakfast, a pig is a cute pink thing that rolls around in mud, a pig is a character on a kids’ show, a pig is a fat greedy Wall Street banker in a newspaper political cartoon, slang for someone disgusting. To interact with a pig as simply a creature deserving of life is so far gone that sometimes the ‘but bacon?’ the crowd can’t comprehend what you are even upset about. Because to them, nothing hurt, or bled, or suffered for their bacon, it is just food. So why are you trying to dictate what they can eat? “Live and Let Live!” they type without a hint of irony.
Of course, when you are in a bad mood feel free to hit the block button, it is truly a blessing I wish we could also have in reality, but that is a Black Mirror future that has yet to arrive. However, if you do write something thoughtful about veganism, and the ‘but bacon?’ crowd arrives, feel free to approach the topic calmly but forcefully. You don’t have to defend an animals right to exist or your right to abstain from the meat industry. All you have to do is explain that you are either for animal cruelty or against it, and let them make their minds up. In the meantime, keep cheating the system by eating vegan bacon and continue fighting the good fight!