The ethics of eating meat

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

There are a number of questions here which have to be pulled apart. We can start with the top line question. What are the moral implications of eating animal flesh? In a vacuum, there don’t seem to be any compelling moral issues here. Even vegans dont tend to argue this point. The next question is what are the moral implications of killing or an animal to eat its flesh? (We can include here any practice of taking flesh for an otherwise living animal) Here we have some of the issues and questions OP has highlighted. This is, by far, the spikiest category and involves the most discussion. The next question is what are the moral implications of mass producing animal meat as a commodity? To me, this is the category with the clearest moral issues. There are environmental issues in meat production. There are public health issues which economic equity issues.. The torture of intelligent animals raises issues, as does forces separation. All of this means, to me, that there are substantial and serious moral concerns associated with the mass production of meat There MAY be issues around killing for the purposes of eating flesh. Particularly in a non-human philosophical approach. There dont seem to be any issues directly from eating flesh alone and in a vacuum.


I’m not sure ethical hunting is feasible in a world with 7 billion+ people.


Whole lot of non-philosophy in this thread. I’m going to bed and don’t have time to type a thesis, but if you want to know what real animal rights philosophers say, read Gary Francione’s *Animals, Property, and the Law* or Tom Regan’s *The Case for Animal Rights*. Peter Singer wrote groundbreaking work with *Animal Liberation* but his approach (utilitarianism) is less highly regarded these days than the rights-based approaches of the preceding two authors. I’ll just leave by saying that because it’s true that we can live healthy lives without eating animal products (this is not disputed, it is a fact, there are millions of vegans to prove it) the only reason that a person who has access to plant-based foods (which is basically everyone in the developed world who isn’t homeless or living in a food desert) would have for eating animal products is palate preference. I contend that this is a shameful reason for killing a conscious being, whatever dressing is put on the idea (like hunting).


How can you ethically and humanely kill something that doesn’t want to die? For no other reason than pleasure.


I was born into a Hindu family so I was also born a vegetarian. I’ve tried meat before and it does taste good, but I have an issue with designating which animals we deem are fit for slaughter. Why is it it taboo to eat dogs and cats? It’s literally the same principle of eating a cow or a chicken. In my eyes it’s like playing God, for that reason I choose not to eat meat but to each his own, chicken is fucking delicious The question about why we don’t eat cats and dogs IS PURELY RHETORICAL. I understand their value