Love is a tricky word because it’s almost impossible to find two people using the word to mean the same thing. If I say that I love my job it means I get some good feeling from being useful or at least the fact that I get money for working. If I say that I love orange juice it means I like how it tastes when I drink it. I have no problem with using the word love in those contexts because there is no misunderstanding of what I mean.
However when it comes to humans, I have a great difficulty in saying “I love you”. This is because people often say that they love somebody or that they are “in love” with somebody. However this is dangerous because so much of the time it implies some kind of sexual or romantic attraction. It’s certainly not something I can say to a co-worker for example and only might get away with saying it to a close friend that I know well who does not misunderstand.
However, when I first went vegan because I learned about how animals were being treated, I started to define love differently than others do. I simply can say that I love the animals and it means I care enough about them to change everything in my life that I can to avoid funding industries which continually breed and kill them.
Compare my love for animals to the common type of sexual desire that people are mistakenly calling love. People hit puberty and then all of a sudden they start “falling in love”, dating, or doing sexual acts with people. However this “love” does not last very long. Look how quickly people break-up or divorce the person that they said they loved? Is there no committment to anybody in this world anymore?
As for myself, I’ve never dated anybody or tried to seek a sexual or romantic relationship. I don’t know what it’s about and it’s something that I’ve never experienced nor do I hope to.
However I do treat nearly everyone better than most people treat their friends, relatives, and partners/spouses. I’ve been committed to non-violence and the golden rule for years and to me it seems that the very least a person can do is not murder, rape, or say things intentionally to others that they know will hurt their feelings.
And yet I live in a world where everybody talks about love and yet are constantly fighting about religion, politics, and most are still paying for the murder of billions of animals unless they are vegan and consciously try to avoid buying products that can only be obtained by the death of animals.
I feel that until people learn to love the animals the same way I have, how can they love other humans? Just what DO people mean with all this talk about loving people? I’m still confused about it myself but one thing I know for sure, if there is any kind of love that matters at all, it must be permanent. Not something that exists one day and is gone the next.