“If you’re against using pain to train dogs, but you’re not vegan, then you’re a hypocrite!”
There are two main suggestions here I think.
If you’re really against animal abuse, then you wouldn’t be eating meat.
Because buying meat is supporting animal abuse.
To which I respond:
To buy meat is not necessarily to support animal abuse. I have raised animals for meat before. Nothing about it was abusive. They all lived happy lives during which they were well-fed, protected from predators, had shelter from the elements, and plenty of space to engage in their natural behavior. The chickens got to walk around the yard, scratch, peck, eat bugs, take dust-baths, and be their chicken selves. The rabbits were allowed to hop around, dig, chew on things, and run around and do that thing where they jump up and kick their feet out to the side in midair. (It’s called a “binky.”) And they were killed swiftly. There was never any suffering involved, and they had no idea what was coming. I believe that factory farms are incredibly cruel and I do my best not to support them. But that does not by necessity mean going vegan. If I don’t raise it myself, I get it from our local farmer’s market, from people whose ethical standards are the same as mine.
Dogs themselves are meat eaters. This is probably the most laughable thing about the argument. If you’re going to argue that eating meat is more cruel than hurting a dog in the name of training, then why do you even have a dog? Dogs themselves eat meat. So by owning a dog, you are guilty of the exact same hypocrisy you are accusing me of. Unless you’re feeding your dog vegan… now that is abuse. Though I have just demonstrated the ridiculousness of the argument, I admit that this is not a good defense. In this paragraph, I have engaged in…
…Tu Quoque. Tu Quoque is a logical fallacy in which one attacks the arguer instead of the argument. It essentially responding to the argument by saying “well you’re a jerk, so there.” The person may be a jerk, but that doesn’t mean they are incorrect. You can be a jerk and also be right about something. The two are not mutually exclusive. In this case, the argument is basically:
“I think it’s wrong to hurt dogs in the name of training when there are better ways that don’t include pain and work just as well.”
“Well, you hurt animals too, so there.”
This doesn’t address the argument at all. It’s just taking the argument and throwing it back at the arguer, responding to the argument by saying “well you do that too.” Even if the other person was guilty of the same thing, that does not make their argument incorrect.
In short, this is an argument that anyone with an ounce of intelligence can see right through.