The “animal loving” meat eater idea has now become so embedded in mainstream thought that it warrants it’s own fallacy category. It entirely ignores the impact behaviour has on your identification, or what you can/cannot claim to be. If my past behaviour is of a racist nature, in that I have engaged in racist behaviour by abusing persons of colour, I am a racist, regardless of how I identify. Likewise, if I contribute towards an industry that is responsible for 98% of all animal abuse on this planet (according to the USDA), I cannot legitimately claim to be other than a speciesist. My past behaviour makes this identification true.
The feeling of “loving” something is no justification for calling yourself a true “lover” of a thing. How you feel is less important than how you behave- many domestic abusers identify as being in love, yet their behaviour is wholly inconsistent with that position, and no sane person would uphold that definition of “loving.” So why do we allow this same logic to be applied to meat eating animal lovers? We can see the absurdity to these arguments if we break it down further:
A) I love animals.
B) I treat animals in a loving manner, and requires others to do the same.
C) I pay others to abuse, exploit and kill animals on my behalf.
D) I do not care about animals.
B & C cannot be true at the same time. If a person holds A true, their conclusive action must be B, no other behaviour is consistent with the position outlined in A, under any socially accepted definition of “love.” Even the most illogical carnist must surely look at D, and think it most suited to C as it’s paired attitude. If you refuse to give up meat, that is one thing. But you cannot have it both ways. You cannot both be homophobic and an ally, you cannot be misogynistic and a feminist.
You cannot eat meat and be an animal lover. The two positions are wholly incompatible.