And most importantly, nonhuman animal interests matter morally
Consuming animal products is not a given—it’s a decision that each of us makes. Most of the time we blindly accept it as if there were no moral reason to reject it, because we are raised in a culture where this exploitation [is] normalized, belittled and erased. The reality is, we have every reason to reject it. It is not in line with our values of nonviolence and caring about animals. And most importantly, nonhuman animal interests matter morally. They value their lives and have interests in not being harmed. We ought to respect and protect these interests, just as our interests are respected and protected. The least we can do is be vegan, and not contribute to the unnecessary harm, suffering, mutilations, bereavement, sexual exploitation, murder, etc, of these vulnerable beings. They are not things for us to use, they are someones for us to respect.
~ Nicole Monaghan (October 24, 2013)