T Nation

The Morality of Eating Meat

How do you reconcile the apparent inconsistency of eating meat from animals raised in often horrid conditions facing brutal, painful deaths, and putting pets like cats and dogs on some higher moral pedestal by treating them with respect and letting them live with dignity? Do animal rights exist? If not, what’s wrong with raising dogs to slaughter and eat as you would with sheep, pigs, and chickens?

I’m genuinely curious and am not advocating vegetarianism or veganism. I myself eat meat 4+ times a day, but this topic still gets me scratching my head.

I don’t know what you’re talking about, I eat cats, dogs, rabbits and any other animal - in general, I’ve found the cuter they are, the better they taste.

“Well, we’d have to be talking one charming motherfucking pig.”

Some believe that pigs have the intelligence of a two to three year old child. Just something to chew on. :slight_smile:

[quote]Brown_Lifter wrote:
“Well, we’d have to be talking one charming motherfucking pig.”[/quote]

Thank you Sam “Futha Fucken” Jackson!!!

Try not to think about it to much your head might explode.

There has to be a disconect between your food and your friends. This is something that goes back thousands of years. Humans domesticated Dogs and cats to be our companions and the cow and pig to be our food.

[quote]Himora22 wrote:
There has to be a disconect between your food and your friends. This is something that goes back thousands of years. Humans domesticated Dogs and cats to be our companions and the cow and pig to be our food.[/quote]

Some cultures will gladly partake in feline or canine delicacies.

I’m trying not to merely appeal to tradition or how meat tastes. Human may be fucking awesome, but I would only eat it under extreme circumstances. I’m trying to logically pinpoint how some animals can be considered friends and given more moral standing, while others(often more intelligent and cognitively fit) can be place on our menus of acceptable food. Also, given how many animals are slaughtered, how does that differ from the pain suffered by, say, dogs in a dog fight? Sure one’s for entertainment and one’s for food, but in the end the act and pain suffered by the animal seem equivalent.

what does cat meat taste like?

[quote]Brown_Lifter wrote:
what does cat meat taste like?[/quote]

Sesame chicken.

Booo! Hiss!!! Aw that’s racist…

lol

I just learned today of this book today from a review in our local independent weekly …

http://www.compassionatecarnivore.com/

Sounds like a good read. It’s written by a woman who raises fully pastured herds.

It’s true. It is a moral dilemna. I’ve spent hours thinking about this very issue and have read books on the subject. After reading “Dominion: The Power of Man, the suffering of Animals, and the call to Mercy” I cried. Actually I cried during the reading as well. How does one reconcile the fact of eating meat and being an animal lover and animal advocate? It’s not easy. I buy cage free eggs and have started buying free range meat. One likes to think that the animals didn’t suffer when the ultimate sacrifice was made. But the reality is that the meat business is cruel and dirty. One also likes to think that certain hoofed animals are prey and therefore part of the food chain. Of course this is just rationalizing.

I don’t want to get into what other countries do or don’t eat, but I find many of them unnecessarily cruel to the animals, especially when it comes time to slaughter. For example, throwing a live animal into a boiling kettle to get the adrenalin or whatever it is flowing in the animal is barbaric and sadistic.

When there is finally good engineered meat on the market, these questions won’t exist.

They already grow ears and stuff. Not for mass market yet though.

I think one of the most solid reasons for reducing meat intake (not that I avoid meat at all, quite the opposite) is the huge amount of resources that go into producing it.

what would be the natural predator of cattle? bear? <_<

We use animals because we can.

Some for food, and some for companionship or protection. This varies by culture.

There is no moral dilemma for a carnivorous human who respects his dog but eats cows. (Or conversely, in India they might respect cows and eat dogs) They just serve a different purpose.

Nature operates on this principle. (The small animals are used as food for the larger ones and so on…) Some ants use aphids as nectar producers and not as food.

The problem is that getting high quality, responsibly raised meat to the masses is impossible while our populations are so large. I feel no guilt eating local farm raised meat but mass produced meat feels like an abuse of power.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
We use animals because we can.

Some for food, and some for companionship or protection. This varies by culture.

There is no moral dilemma for a carnivorous human who respects his dog but eats cows. (Or conversely, in India they might respect cows and eat dogs) They just serve a different purpose.

Nature operates on this principle. (The small animals are used as food for the larger ones and so on…) Some ants use aphids as nectar producers and not as food.

The problem is that getting high quality, responsibly raised meat to the masses is impossible while our populations are so large. I feel no guilt eating local farm raised meat but mass produced meat feels like an abuse of power.[/quote]

So, animals are merely tools for humans? With that reasoning, how could you object to animal cruelty such as dog fighting or neglect? If animals, in and of themselves, have no rights or expectation to be treated a certain way, we could theoretically treat them as we like, with no regard for any discomfort they may be going through. Thus, using animals to fulfill an entertainment need(say, by having them fight) is perfectly acceptable and there are no grounds to object against it or imprison those who partake in it coughMICHAELVICK*cough

Practical tools yes, like I said some things could be constituted as an abuse of power.

I think using animals for food, protection, companionship, or an essential service is our right, if done responsibly. (Not causing undue harm to the animal)

Using them for entertainment at their expense or as an absolute commodity is an abuse of power in my opinion.

My belief is that we are designed to eat flesh. People have the moral problems since they no longer are involved with the process of killing the animals.

Now I do believe that the animals we raise for our consumption should be treated in a humane way, and also killed in a humane way.

But for millennia we have been killing and eating animals in a very inhumane way, just to live. And if you look at nature, it is a very brutal place. Spend a few minutes watching animals hunting on Animal Planet, National Geographic, or any of the science channels, and you will see animals being killed in very inhumane ways that are very successful for the hunters.

Animals are injured so they will bleed, and will be followed until they are too weak from blood loss.

Alligators will clamp on, and spin ripping a prey to shreds. Snakes eat animals alive.

I have watched shows where cats are being prepared for a meal, and since I do have a different relationship with cats then I do for other animals, I do have feelings about the situation. But I also know that there are plenty of animals being treated the same.

Then there are plenty of humans suffering right now. People who do not have food, have a terrible disease, or as a result of a disaster.

There is so much suffering in the world, to actually think about it would be absolutely depressing. If we cry for one, should we not cry for all? (Sorry, got a little poetic there.)

The point is that we should strive to make things better, but try not to get too emotional over negative things.

Do not spend your time upset over things you have little control over when you can enjoy life. Just make sure by the time you leave it, it is a better place because you were in it.

(You know, I ended this post completely different from where I thought I would when I started writing it.)

[quote]abcd1234 wrote:
Some believe that pigs have the intelligence of a two to three year old child. Just something to chew on. :slight_smile: [/quote]

Pigs are the smartest animal (except for humans of course). They are even smarter than monkeys supposedly.

They taught a pig to play Pong on an Atari. Fucking amazing shit.

I still love bacon though and don’t get a shit about animal rights.

Fuck PETA and the RSPCA. There are plenty of humans who are in worse shape than some pets and I say we worry about feeding them first.

If man is not intended to eat animals, why are they made from such tasty meat?