I've been sitting here for the last 30 minutes, trying to come up with an answer to this, and I dont think I can do it justice.
Why do animals deserve to live? Why isn't it okay for them to die? And not only that, why isn't it a good thing for them to be tortured and abused in cramped cages. Why isn't it okay for them to be ripped away from their parents and then be mutilated and brutalized their entire short lives before being murdered in agony, just to be consumed by somebody else?
I don't think I know. Im not a philosopher. Im just an 18 year old guy who wants to do some good things. Im sure there are people out there who could argue with that, saying things like - It is hypocritical to teach children to be kind and empathetic to others while simultaneously enforcing the belief that it is okay for animals to be tortured, abused and murdered. By enforcing this belief we are at the same time teaching children that they don't need to respect those who think, look and act differently to them. These people are essentially 'animals' in their eyes. (Melanie Joy makes a great case for this in her ted talk 'carnism awareness' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VrZPBskpg )
(offtopic) I still remember the time when I was a child at a petting zoo with all my friends as we hurriedly grabbed bags of feed to play with the animals. It seemed so simple at the time, and it made so much sense to me. Animals (goats) just deserve to be happy because they're so great and they have friends and a mum and a dad and even though they can't talk they act a lot like we do. And theyre really cuddly, all my friends can see that. Everyone can see that, right?
I was unfortunately brought to a cold reality not soon afterwards, typically by people who had never even viewed a video on the reality of the animal industry - let alone seen it happen before their eyes. No, these were people who were happy to say that animal lives dont matter simply because they taste good, or the bible says its not bad. But isnt there more to it? It seems to me that we as a society love animals. We are inspired when they are rescued, we laugh when they do something goofy, we aww all over them, be it the animals in our life or the millions of kitten videos scrawled over the internet. In fact, when we see someone, usually a child, who doesn't show empathy or kindness to animals, we are shocked. I mean, how crazy does it sound for a kid to be able to watch an animal in pain, let alone sit in a slaughter house, and not feel anything? We know that children react badly to animal deaths. Why don't you think more children know about how animals are treated until they are well into puberty? Why don't you think we serve them chicken heads as well as legs? Because it's easy to create a disconnect when the pig on your plate is called bacon and you're eating what doesn't even barely resemble an animal of any sort. When the life that was taken happened so far away in concrete walls that you would never have to see or hear. It's all about creating a disconnect. I think we should also keep in mind that children who abuse animals (Again, many argue this is not an inherent desire, but one brought about by abuse) are often psychologically damaged and grow up to be cruel and unsympathetic to other human beings. Some of the most renowned serial killers started off torturing animals. When we see animals in need, many of us have an inherent desire to help them, (in fact, we are often shocked by their mistreatment, even if we don't know why. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=268360756678961 ) and when we see children showing kindness and compassion to animals (the inspiration for many stories such as charlottes web) we feel proud.
What surprises me most is the fact that the person on the other side of the screen who is aggressively replying to me is not a teenager with a superiority complex, but an adult with extensive knowledge on the scriptures. Someone who, throughout your comment history, has repeatedly preached the good word, advising people, teaching god's word of goodness and kindness and compassion, yet when it comes to the basic moral act of treating other sentient beings as at least deserving of life - you fall short.
I really don't know what to say to you, other than this probably mirrors the way men viewed women in the early 1900s. This was probably the same kind of thinking the KKK had when they were lynching black people. The same kind of thinking that certain people had / have against the LGBT community. The same kind of thinking that Hitler might have had. After all, it's very easy to say certain lives don't matter when they're dying so far away, either by gas or machines.
I don't think I've ever had someone on the internet send shivers down my spine the way you do. You scare me, a lot. The cold, calculating way you think of animals petrifies me, but it also reveals a lot about the kinds of thinking I noted above. They all seem to connect in some way. But that doesn't matter. What matters is the question, right? Why can't we just slaughter and torture all animals? They're only animals after all. Only animals. Just things to be abused at one's leisure, right? So you ask me why you shouldn't stand for the rape torture and murder of billions of animals annually, there is clearly nothing I can do to change your mind. I cannot teach you to be empathetic or kind and frankly, I think if the bible was full of quotes about being compassionate and kind to animals - you would follow them out of duty rather than actually feeling anything at all. But I also feel somewhat sad, knowing that you might be disconnected from your inner kid who probably had plenty of wonderful experiences with animals. Where did that all go? Was it ever there? Knowing that you will likely not that you would care never relive the simple joy, awe and humbling wonder of appreciating another form of life. Not that you would care, but I just feel so sorry for you.