I begin this post with an explanation as to how my fake plant died- I forgot to pretend to water it :( poor plant suffered from my neglect, and died of dehydaration. I am not writing this to convince anyone to switch to my opinion, but simply because it's an interesting topic :P so don't be offended by anything I say, and if you don't want to, you don't have to read it. However, I'd still like it if you read, just cause I like to be listened to.
Now onto the topic at hand. This isn't to upset anyone, but the object of vegetarianism and veganism is a bit strange if you look deeper into it (unless there are certain physiological or religious reasons to not eat meat). Now I can understand, after seeing some of the grossly inhumane videos posted on the Internet would make one not want to eat meat; however, they must realize that these videos only depict the extremes, and are not representative of the population as a whole. There are even regulations on how animals must be treated. The few that are immoral and treat the animals horribly are the ones targeted by the media and animal rights activists, while those abiding by the laws are merely ignored; therefore, the statistics are grossly skewed.
If you think about it, though, being a vegetarian does not deter farmers and retailers from making and distributing meat products. Even if this were to happen, many farmers, as well as butchers and anyone involved with the use of animal byproducts would suffer a dramatic increase in job loss and poverty. Our economy is already bad enough, and this wouldn't help. Even entry jobs, such as those at restaurants and supermarkets, would be affected.
Furthermore, the argument that animals have feelings too, because they have vascular and nervous systems is an invalid response, for plants also have these systems, they just aren't as complex as those of animals. Plants are also rooted to the ground somehow, with the inability to run, as well as the inability to communicate fear or pain. So how do we deduce that they feel no pain or fear? Furthermore, they suffer through the application of pesticides as well as modification of genes to produce more, fuller, bigger plants to increase profits. Isn't that a bit immoral as well? However, there are no statistics to back this up, simply because it's not considered to be as large of an issue.
Humans are meant to be predatory by nature- hence the development of our teeth. Our ancestors hunted and ate meat, but now it's inhumane to kill animals? We are a part of the food chain for a reason. There is a reason for the creation of a food chain!! Animals are meant to eat plants and other animals as part of this system; plants are at the bottom because they are photosynthetic (make their own food) as compared to the animal kingdom, made up of beings that are consumers and cannot create their own food. It also helps with population control.
Other animals eat other animals, so how is it wrong for humans to do so? Yes, we are moral beings for the most part, but by defining ourselves as such, are we inferring that other consumers are less morals or without morals because they eat other animals? This is a bit absurd.
I realize, however, that people have the freedom of choice, and I will not discard those choices