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Libertarians and Vegetarians

It is sometimes hard for non-libertarians to understand why libertarians feel the way they do. Perhaps this parallel between libertarians and vegetarians will help. There are many different reasons for being a vegetarian. Some are vegetarians because they believe it is healthy, or inexpensive, or that it conserves natural resources.

Consider those who are vegetarians because they don't want to be guilty of killing animals. They don't have to watch the animals struggle, hear their screams, or see their blood flow to know that to put meat on their plate an animal had to die. It doesn't help to tell them the deaths are painless or that the animals were bred and raised only for meat. To them it is still killing and they want no part of it. They are fortunate to live in an age when they can avoid it and maintain a normal life style. A hundred years ago those who refused to wear leather shoes probably went barefoot. They realize that they are a small minority and most people don't share their feeling. Some practice their vegetarianism quietly while some argue and march to convince people that it's just plain wrong to kill animals.

There are many different reasons for being a libertarian. Some are libertarians because they dislike being told what to do, or think that politicians are crooks, or appreciate the wonders of a free market.

Consider those who are libertarians because they don't want to be guilty of threatening violence to humans. They don't have to see the people rotting in jail for victimless crimes, or feel the hard choices between health, safety, and paying taxes. They know that behind every regulation or tax there is the threat of violence or even death for disobedience. It doesn't help to tell them that most taxes are painless or that the majority voted to give their power to the government. To them it is still threatening violence and they want no part of it. They are unfortunate to live in an age when they cannot avoid it an maintain a normal life style. Those who refuse to travel on government built roads are immobilized. They realize that they are a small minority and most people don't share their feeling. Some quietly practice their libertarianism while some argue and march to convince people that it's just plain wrong to threaten violence to humans.