v is for vegetarian

I was reading my daily blogs this morning and stumbled past one man's description, or rather reasoning points, for why he is a vegetarian. This is probably the closest thing I have read to my feelings, and he put it out there so well, that I might just adopt it word for word when people question me on why I choose not to eat meat/poultry. Without further ado . . .

1) I do not deny that people have the right to eat meat. If you are religious and follow the teachings of the Hebrew and/or Christian Bible, I believe it unequivocally supports an omnivorous diet. Though there is at least one example of a vegetarian diet in the Bible (Daniel 1:12--though the context is Daniel rejecting the king's food, not Daniel rejecting meat), it is by no means the norm. For the non-religious, I agree that it is "natural" for animals to kill and eat one another. Lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!) are carnivores and the history of humanity has been a history of meat eating. In short, I agree that there are no natural or supernatural mandates to refrain from eating meat.

2) I do believe, however, that not everything that is lawful is expedient, that just because "you can" doesn't mean "you must".

3) Ultimately, the moral decision of eating or not eating meat comes down to the value you place on the lives of animals (here is were, by necessity, I get "preachy").

4) I agree that the lives of humans are more valuable than the lives of animals. If it came down to a choice between an animal's life and my own (or any other human), I would choose the human without hesitation. This is my unabashed "speciesism".

5) I do not believe, however, that we are commonly faced with the choice between the life of an animal and the life of a human. Instead, we are faced with the choice between the life of an animal and a taste sensation.

6) Though the body undeniably benefits from the intake of meat, it does not require it. There are ways to get the vitamins and proteins that one needs through other means (even for vegans).

7) In the process of preparing animals for food, there is no small amount of suffering (warning: extremely graphic video from PETA--a group that is often way too radical, but sometimes factually presents information).

8) This suffering is unnecessary. The human body can survive without meat.

9) People usually suggest that they eat meat because they "like it". It is a matter of taste.

10) I believe it to be a generally true moral maxim that it is best to reduce suffering whenever possible.

11) I believe that it is generally true that it is immoral to cause needless suffering in animals (I'm a pet owner and would be devastated if someone hurt my cat for no reason).

12) I believe that there are some cases in which the choice to eat meat actually does come down to the life of an animal versus the life of a human, but that this is rarely the case in the US and is probably not the case for any of my readers.

13) Because eating meat is often a choice between an animal's life and suffering and a mere taste sensation, I believe that the more moral choice is to choose the animal's life over the taste sensation wherever this is possible.


Blogger bleedingisaac said...

No one commented on this when I put it on my blog either. So, I guess that either the reasoning is just too sound to say anything to or it is so unsound that no one feels they have to respond to it.

Thanks for linking it.

1:28 PM  
Blogger shannonO said...

Hey, thanks for thoughts worth linking too.

I really enjoy your blog - thanks for reading mine.

10:32 PM  

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