Valerie, What you eat certainly matters , since animals are not objects, but feeling individuals.
"“Thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless. Christmas dinner's dark and
blue. When you stop and try to see it From the turkey's point of view.
Sunday dinner isn't sunny. Easter feasts are just bad luck. When you see
it from the viewpoint of a chicken or a duck. Oh how I once loved tuna
salad Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too Till I stopped and looked at
dinner From the dinner's point of view.” Shel Silverstein "Animals do
not 'give' their life to us, as the sugar-coated lie would have it . . .
They struggle and fight to the last breath, just as we would do if we
were in their place." [John Robbins]
Please don't exclude the animals from your definition of compassion!!!!!!
I really recommend you and everyone to watch this: http://earthlings.com/ ; and this book: www.worldpeacediet.org
and I believe that after this you will also embrace the animals in the compassion you show.