Sunday, April 8, 2012

Glad to be a Carnivore

I've been fascinated by the New York Times call for arguments as to why it is ethical to eat meat.  Hundreds of people commented online and I assume that even more emailed their ideas to the Times directly.

For the record, here is why I eat meat:

It is no more unethical to eat meat than it is to subsist only on plants.  Raising any kind of crop leads to killing of some type: clearing land for farming kills off the native flora and fauna and maintaining farmland requires the elimination of pests (or eventually there are no plants for you to eat).   Even if great care is taken to protect living things, there are inevitably creatures such as earthworms that are slaughtered by planting or harvesting processes.   The bottom line is that something must die so that we can eat – and live.  Certainly, ethics require that animals being raised for food be treated in throughout their lives – and their deaths – as kindly and compassionately as possible.  And ethics also require that we move away from industrial farming and livestock practices toward more ecological and sustainable food production.  But if it is ethical to want to live, it is ethical to want to eat all that an omnivore’s diet offers.

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