Hi all. I know this thread is long dead, but I found an article that I thought would help explain why I think choosing to become a vampire is in almost every case an immoral decision (and why Edward was right in trying so hard to dissuade Bella). I've long thought that the appropriate analogy to a "vegetarian vampire" is a "gold-star pedophile," a person who is sexually attracted to children but who does not act on that attraction. This person recognizes that acting on his desires would be incredibly harmful to the child, and so he denies a fundamental part of himself, his sexual orientation, in order to protect innocents. But I didn't think that a lot of these types of people were around until I ran across this article in Salon: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/01/meet_pe ... mean_well/
All men interviewed for this article are non-offenders.
To be a vegetarian vampire, you have to be self-negating in a way that almost anyone would consider masochistic; a respect for human life requires that you deny the very essence of who you are. Being a human vegetarian does not compare; we can live perfectly well without animal meat. Even being a human heroin addict doesn't quite compare; taking heroin harms yourself and no one else has to sacrifice their life for your habit. To be a vampire is to be a monster and so to choose it is a monstrous choice. I've often wondered about Carlisle's ethics; he saw vampirism as so awful as to require his own suicide, but then went on to make several more vampires over whom he will ultimately have no control? His inconsistency here is one of the most "human" things about him.
Anyways, those are my thoughts! I'm glad that Bella found a "happily ever after," but the more objectively you think about her choice, the crazier it seems. (Remember even she at first was a little worried she would attack Renesmee, the daughter she nearly sacrificed her own life in order to bring into existence.)
Update: Whoa, I'm blown away! This is a quote from one of the founders of the website referred to in the article, "I consider pedophilia to be similar in certain respects to diabetes. It's a serious chronic condition, but a manageable one. Another helpful comparison is the Cullens in the Twilight saga: vampires who are able to resist their thirst for human blood and live morally upstanding lives." http://www.virped.org/index.php/who-we-are