If you love animals but think that veganism is extreme, then you are confused about the meaning of love. – Gary L. Francione
Dr. Fancione is considered one of the fathers of the abolitionist theory of animal rights, which basically argues that all sentient or self-aware beings, like animals, share the right to life with us, and should not be treated as property or product. Dr. Francione is also a committed vegan, and other abolitionists believe that all animals – although not persons in the strictest sense – possess an inherent personhood as well as an ability to perceive and even understand what it is to suffer. Strong animal rights activists maintain that it is this innate personhood that makes the production and consumption of any animal-based product inherently immoral. In fact, the production and consumption of animal-based food products is the ground zero of the abolitionist cause, and not surprisingly, ethical veganism is the abolitionist’s most passionate expression of their cause.
To be fair, there are other reasons – beyond the love of animals – that people become vegetarians and vegans. To be equally fair, many vegans view their lifestyle as an important expression of love for another living, self-aware being with whom they share the earth.