I don’t want this to turn into the whole vegetarian debate all over again, but I just had to comment, the argument that eating meat is good because it’s subsidising the farming industry more is a rather unusual one; Normally I hear the exact same thing as a provegetarian argument, because they’re consuming less resources. But I suppose if you were to denounce vegetarianism for that reason I wouldn’t really have a problem with it – I wouldn’t agree with it, but I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Unless you did so rudely or obnoxiously, or advocated mistreating or harassing vegetarians, or anything like that. Obviously, there are more ways to be a jerk than just those expressed in the original post.
At any rate, with regard to the whole “maybe some people think it hurts people” thing, yeah, that’s true in some cases. A good example is drugs. Someone might say “Hey I’m just smoking some pot in my basement, how is this anyone else’s business.” But if they bought it from a dealer who’s part of a gang that murders people to keep people from testifying against them, then guess what, you’re financing murder. (I’m specifically thinking of the infamous K Street Crew that existed in D.C. when I was growing up in the area – Fortunately for me, in the area means across the river in not-so-crime-ridden Arlington, VA.) Not to mention you’re financing people who are pushing drugs to kids and such.
However, there are also some times where the only reason someone thinks another person’s actions are hurting them is because they think “Making them uncomfortable” is the same as “hurting them.” If seeing someone breast feed their kids freaks you out, that’s your issue, not theres. Likewise, if some vegetarian is just sitting there minding his own business but you’re convinced that all vegetarians think meateaters are the AnitChrist, then that’s your problem. If on the other hand a vegetarian comes up and starts lecturing you on your meat-eating habits, by all means feel free to tell them off is you’re so inclined.
Another example that’s come up in my arguments about homosexuality is the issue of gays in the military. My Christian conservative friends think that straight men who are perfectly willing to shower among straight men but uncomfortable showering in front of gay men should not be forced to do so. Personally, I think that if you as a straight man are so freaked out by the thought that a gay man might possibly be attracted to you, despite the fact that they aren’t acting on that attraction, then that’s your problem. Why should the gay man have to make accomodations for you, when the problem is all in your head?
Of course, it’s easy for me to say. If I find out that a gay guy is attracted to me, I think “Great! Now I just need to find a woman with similar taste.”