Pro-Choice Vegetarian

It's so ironic to me when I argue with "pro-lifers." As a vegetarian, I've spent a LOT of time thinking about when something is "alive", and when it isn't. I don't even draw the line at things that have a face or a brain. I won't eat a clam, because it has respiration and voluntary movement. On the other hand, unlike strict vegetarians or vegans, I do eat eggs. Eggs are not chickens. I know that most chickens may be kept in inhumane conditions, and later killed for their meat. To me, though, an egg by itself is still not murder, and I only use cage-free eggs.

What I don't understand is how people can be so passionate about the "sanctity of life" when it comes to a fertilized human ovum, and yet not care anything about the death penalty, war, or eating meat. They would never understand that I'm much more disturbed about the cows, pigs & chickens they eat, than the abortion of a first-term human fetus.

Pro-lifers try to convince me that the sanctity of unborn humans is proven by biology. Believe me, I understand the biology. I just don't think anything counts as a corporeal being that has no consciousness. I suspect that underneath all the bogus "fetal brain wave" arguments, most pro-lifers are thinking about a soul. It happens that I don't believe in souls. If I did, I would certainly believe that animals have them every bit as much as humans.

The final thing that connects my pro-choice views with my vegetarianism is my concern for the earth, and all other life on it. We've just reached a population of 7 billion. It's simply inconceivable to me that this number isn't front-page news. How could anyone know this fact, and still think that we need vastly more human babies to be born than we currently have? As far as I know, there is nothing in the bible about god creating another planet for us to live on when we use up this one.

No matter how much pro-lifers believe that they can convince me that an embryo is a human being, I simply don't believe that human life should be valued so much more highly than the life of every other creature on the planet, and the overall life of the planet itself. While I don't believe in gods or souls, I do sincerely believe that we must live in harmony with nature and the earth.

One hard fact that you know if you've ever lived on a farm, or in other close contact with the ways of nature, is that not every embryo that is conceived is even meant to be born. Despite the idea that god personally manufactures each & every human fetus in "his" image, many horrible things can, and do, go wrong in that process. I'm certainly not saying that every child with a birth defect should be aborted. It is a fact, though, that not every unborn child can even be brought to term. It's also my belief that not every child with a congenital mutation should be born, especially if what life they have is doomed to be short and full of suffering. I certainly don't think that anyone should have the right to saddle another family with that burden. It's also a burden on our health care system, social services, and society in general. When it comes to genetic defects, I don't understand why we would actually encourage people to pass those mutations on to subsequent generations.

The final argument about whether or not it should be a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy always seems to come down to the idea that it should be up to god to decide what children should be born. In my view, that's the worst argument of all. If we were leaving all of our health decisions up to god, we would stop getting vaccinations, treating cancer, getting blood transfusions, etc. We would just leave all of those life & death decisions up to god, or fate, or whatever. However, we don't do that. We don't do that because we now have the ability to do something about disease and death. We have a choice. I can respect someone who makes whatever choice they want for themselves. However, I reserve the right to also make those choices for myself, based on my own beliefs.

If you want to argue with me about the sanctity of life, that's fine. If you want to have me take you seriously, please first stand up against capital punishment, and stop eating animals.

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