1. Go do something useful instead.
This implies that a) caring about animals is useless, because there are other better things to care about and b) animals don’t deserve care as they aren’t of much use.
Caring doesn’t necessarily mean having a liking or affection for. It could mean paying attention or giving consideration to. Some people care about animals in the sense that they deem the provision of health, welfare, maintenance and protection to them important. Others care about animals because they are the means of earning a living – farming, production of goods, transport, trade. One can easily dismiss the former, writing them off with broad categorizations: idealistic fools or gushy wimps. Try telling the latter that they should “go do something useful instead”.
Usefulness: able to be used for a practical purpose or in several ways. Stripping away all forms of emotional argument and going by the pure definition of “being useful”, animals are used for many practical purposes, in many different ways. Animals play a part in therapeutic treatments, but the effects are measured via subjective means and highly debatable. However, can animals truly fall into the category of “useless” going by its basic definition? If they were useless, where does our food come from?
2. Save a life instead.
Scientific/Common knowledge: animals are classified as living organisms.
Living, i.e., life. Unless our textbooks are wrong and scientists need to re-evaluate. D’oh.
3. Go and die.
Similar to telling someone with a different belief to go f*** themselves.
A christian telling a buddhist that he/she is stupid for believing in Buddha. A banker telling a singer to go kill himself/herself because he/she is not exactly doing anything substantial in terms of changing the economic climate. An animal rights activist telling a human rights activist that he/she is wasting his/her time because people are ultimately in charge of their own lives, so leave them be.
Every one has a different view. People have varying beliefs. There aren’t lesser beliefs or passions. No one deserves to “go and die” because of a differing opinion.
Unless of course, you believe in things that are easily refuted by just looking at facts and referring to common knowledge.
One can only hope the younger generation are not that impressionable.