For and Against Vegeterians

1 Feb

There are three types of people in this world. The people who are vegeterians. The people who eat meat, but support vegeterians. And, the people who think vegeterians are crazy.

I used to fall under “people who are vegeterians” until this past summer. I didn’t eat meat for about 4 years. I would have continued to only eat like bunnies do, but I became a live-in nanny and I didn’t want to make the family’s shopping trip any harder.

With this in mind I present you arguements in favor of eating meat (and the objections).

1. In Favor-The Bible says we shall have dominion over the animals and I take that to mean that we can eat meat and use animals however we want.  Therefore, we can eat meat.

Objection– If you want to take what the Bible says to support your position, you will have to believe that a wife must submit to her husband, homosexuals are immoral, you cannot eat cloven-hoofed animals (pigs), rebellious sons must be taken to the center of town and stoned to death, etc. You cannot pick and choose between points in the Bible without being unfair and arbitrary

2. In Favor– I’ve been brought up eating meat and never questioned it. Our culture accepts eating meat as well. Therefore, I should be able to eat meat.

Objection– The fact that you have been raised to eat meat is more of an explanation of why the meat-eating started, but cannot, by itself, justify the claim that eating meat is ethically good.  What if you were raised to hit people on the heads with hammers anytime you felt like it?  To use more real examples: “My culture states that people of color are inferior.” And, “My culture states that women should be submissive and stay at home.” These statements reflect the predominant opinion in the United States up to two generations ago. Are you going to accept them as “proper” in perpetuity?

3. In Favor– I love the way meat tastes. I wont deprive myself of this. Therefore, I should be able to eat meat.

Objection– If this argument can justify current practices of raising and killing non-human animals for food, then it justifies raising humans in the same way. In other words, you are saying as long as it tastes good, I should be able to eat it. So if babies taste good or your new puppy…are you going to eat them?

4. In Favor– Our teeth are made for eating meat.  All animals that have teeth like ours eat meat. So we should be able to eat meat.

Objection–  Just because our anatomy is able to do something does not imply that we should do that thing, or that it is morally acceptable to do that thing.  Biologically, I am able to spit.  But it is not usually considered morally acceptable to spit in other peoples’ faces.

5. In Favor– We need the protein that is provided in meat. Therefore, we should be able to eat meat.

Objection–  It is not difficult to obtain protein from other sources (beans, grains, plants).  It may be inconvenient for some, but it is not difficult.

6. In Favor– Animals are a-moral beings. Animals cannot question their actions like humans can, and this is what makes humans special. If beings cannot question how they live, then they have no intrinsic worth or rights. Therefore, we should be able to eat meat.

Objection– Animals are not the only beings who cannot question how they live or act: fetuses, infants, comatose, senile, or severely mentally disabled persons cannot as well. How can we still, on this argument, reasonably claim that these beings have intrinsic worth or rights?

If you have any more “in favor” or “objection” ideas, please comment or send me an email.

 

 

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