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The ethics of eating animals. Some argue that god granted man dominion over all living things. Others point out that most animals wouldn’t even be alive it it were not for the fact they were bred to be eaten so that gives them purpose.
Perhaps we can have a dialogue about the ethics of eating meat (cows, pigs, fowl, exotic animals, dogs, cats).


HelenRoseBuck 6 July 22

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I no longer eat much meat, but sometimes I do, and I enjoy it.
That said, I don't think I have any business telling anyone else what they "should" or "shouldn't" eat, or why.

Vegans, vegetarians, and everyone else are free to do whatever they please.
As long as they don't get all preachy about it.


I have been a vegetarian for many years ,but being a vegetarian is a option that many on this planet do not have the luxury of choosing for a variety of reasons especially developing countries..


I am a livestock farmer, small scale and my animals are loved and cared for and sent to humane slaughter. Factory farms are another story. I do eat meat as part of my meal and not as the star of it. I also eat a lot of meals with no meat whatsoever. As Angloph pointed out, we are Omnivores and we do need protein. Soybean is the only complete protein and you need all of the various parts to be healthy. Meat gives a lot of healthy benefits. I am against factory farms as I believe an animal should have a happy healthy life if it is going to give that up to feed us.

Sorry. I am a doctor. Soy protein is very unhealthy and incomplete. A healthy person never puts any soy based food in their body including tofu.


So are bugs included? I don't mean to be confrontational at all and really wonder - Is meat an ethical issue because animal pain is observable to us and pain is something we share and avoid? If not and the ethics are around taking life, then what exempts plant life? We have to eat, so ethically, where do you draw the line? I can understand an injunction on taking any life as I can see life as an ethically axiomatic good, but then all that leaves is fallen fruit and already dead animals, which is not workable. The day that all food can be produced in a lab from material that was never living - in a cost effictive way - then I might adopt the "meat is unethical" position. Extended to all living things. Until then I feel that seeing meat as not ethical would be based upon a contrivance of subjective appearances which some may not share.
And I am ignoring the microscopic in this argument. Any injunction against taking microscopic life would make movement, including and especially bathing, impossible.


If I could eat lab grown meat that had the same nutritional value as normal meat i would.

Tejas Level 7 July 22, 2021

I agree about eating lab meat.

I'm more concerned with taste. Lab grown meat that tastes like real meat then we can start having a discussion. There are still things you probably can't substitute, like a nice rack of baby back ribs.


I don't have any ethical qualms about consuming meat, but I do have qualms about the health and welfare of animals raised in factory farms. There's also a lot of ecological damage done to the planet in the process of raising animals for food at scale.

I doubt I would ever completely eliminate meat from my diet, but I am very excited about the progress being made in cultured meat production. Some of the benefits are, it's cruelty free, better for the environment, and potentially healthier. Although the process is currently expensive, reaching scale production should drive down prices until its at parity or even cheaper than slaughtered meat.

Ditto on factory farms and the ecological issues.

You overlook the massive ecological damage done by raising corn, soy and canola and the fact that they contain cancer causing herbicides like Roundup.

@Healthydoc70 I don't get your point. I thought we were talking about the ethics of meat consumption. Plus, we wouldn't need to grow near as much corn if it weren't used for animal feed.

@OldMetalHead The cows are force fed corn. That's not their natural diet. Soy, corn contain GMOs.

@OldMetalHead You can't rant about the ethics of meat consumption without talking about the ethics of the production of what factory farmed animals are fed. You can't separate the act of eating meat with how the meat was raised. And cultured meat is extremely highly processed and is decidedly unhealthy. The impossible burger "meat" now sold at clover stores and at Burger King is made from soy and contains wheat, so fail on a huge scale. The assayed proteins found in impossible meat was 48 previously unknown proteins never before seen in the universe. Our immune systems are programmed to attack foreign proteins, so if you eat impossible meat, you activate your immune system and create inflammation. All bacteria and viruses are essentially foreign proteins. People in California have died from eating impossible burgers.

@Healthydoc70 I think we're mostly in agreement. I addressed the ecological damage done in the process of raising animals for food, I just didn't specifically call out animal feed. I felt it was implied. impossible Meat, Beyond Meat, etc, are not cultured meat, They are not made from animal products. The only currently commercially available cultured meat is Eat Just, which was approved to sell chicken nuggets in Singapore. There are several companies working on everything from cultured beef to cultured sushi, but none are yet approved for sale in the US, Long term it seems a much better alternative, especially as compared to raising beef.

@OldMetalHead I know about this. I would never eat this so called meat. It is ultra processed and can never have a positive nutritional profile by any standards and it will have negative energy that the body will reject and will induce inflammation and probably activate the immune system. How could it not?


There's nothing in eating meat. The problem is more the ways animals are bred to be eaten. Nothing is made in a sustainable manner, it's made to be profitable. In my opinion, that's the core question of it all.

I think you are right to make this the point.

Then there is also the mindless consumption of all foods. Many indigenous peoples who hunted a killed for their food made efforts to use every part of the animal and to express gratitude for the sacrifice the animal made.


Gods had nothing to do with humans eating meat. Meat is protein. Humans are animals that need protein. The animals that you mentioned, the ones that we have selectively bred, have been bred to be more docile and more stupid than their ancestors so humans could obtain them more easier.
Ethics? Well, most people don't want to think about how an animal dies, nor get their own hands bloody anymore. I don't hunt because I never liked taking a life; but I can, and I have in the past. Animals eat animals. I may fear being hunted by another apex predator, but I don't blame that animal. Tribal people don't have an ethical dilemma with killing and eating animals. I, too, don't have a problem eating most meats. I do think animals should not needlessly suffer so I won't eat veal or liver patte. I believe cruelty to animals is wrong; I also know that statistically those who hurt animals for pleasure are more likely to hurt another human.
Now, for a real leap, if it came down to survival, I believe humans would eat other humans. I took Naval law in the early 80's (so not sure this is still true) and if shipwrecked, it is legal to eat those that die. Up until the late 1800's it used to be legal to draw straws when near starvation occurred (that was finally changed after a case of, did these guys wait long enough). Anyway, I rambled long enough.


Humans evolved to eat meat. Our teeth and digestive systems are testament to it.

Humans are omnivores not carnivores and meat was originally a very small part of our diet.
Eating too much red meat is detrimental to our health particularly meat from farmed animals which has a high fat percentage.

@Moravian I never said anything about humans being solely carnivores or making a statement on how much meat we should eat. Besides, I have known quite a few women who lived on a vegetarian diet and had problems not having regular menstruation cycles. When they started eating meat again, their flows came back and they felt better

@Heavykevy1985 Human teeth are not designed for eating meat but for grinding nuts grains and roots and are quite different from carnivores teeth. True the digestive system has adapted to cope with meat but too much is unhealthy.
A true vegan diet can be deficient in particularly vitamin B12 and they may need supplaments but I have vegan friends who are among the healthiest people I know.

@Moravian no. We have canines are designed to grip and shred meat. Ever hear of Hunter-gatherers?

@Heavykevy1985 Yes, they had a proportion of meat in their diet but nothing like the percentage that most people in developed countries eat today. Hence the obesity epidemic in many countries.
It is thought that a diet higher in animal protein and fat was instrumental in increasing the brain size of mans early ancestors but this is more likely to be have been from shellfish than animals.
Have you tried eating raw meat with your human canines ?.

@Moravian, @Heavykevy1985 I always find this debate interesting even if it doesn't go anywhere. I do think it's odd that we can digest almost all of an animal, yet we can't digest the most prevalent energy storage method in the plant world, cellulose, at all.

@JeffMurray Good point but it does serve a useful purpose in helping to carry waste through the digestive system.

@Moravian You'll still poop without it. I promise.

@JeffMurray Have you ever smelt the breath of someone on the Atkins diet ?.Yuk.

@Moravian That's a different argument altogether. That is a discussion about not eating carbs causing your body to go into ketosis, instead of not eating vegetables.

@JeffMurray []

Sure ,you can poop alright, with a bit of help

@Moravian Point taken. But we're not exactly bedridden cancer patients easing the pain with tons of opiates either.

@JeffMurray I think the moral of the story is. Don't date a heroin user. Apparently it makes the user constipated but when the effect of the drug wears of the result can be instantaneous and explosive.

@Moravian That is true. Saw it with my own eyes. Plus they'll steal your Magic cards for drug money.

@Moravian the Hunter-gatherers did not eat a lot deep fat fried or processed food with lots of sugar and salt

@Moravian also, those living in the interior did not have as much access to shellfish. The Neanderthal diet was 80% meat, which Europeans trace some of their DNA to

@Heavykevy1985 []

There is obviously a lot of speculation but this article is very interesting, Early hominids probably had a diet similar to chimpanzees with only occasional meat in their diet.I think one of the most interesting comments is about the adaptability of homo sapiens to eat virtually anything. A good example is the Inuit people who happily survived on animals and seafood and are now suffering from ill health due to the increase of processed Western food in their diet.


I don't eat cows or pigs but I eat fish and fowl. I was a vegetarian for three years and could never quash the need for meat protein.

I know why people in the USA raise a fuss about eating cats, dogs, and horses, but I can't see it any different from eating cows and pigs.

On the other hand, as I have stated many times, I would a human if he/she were made into a green cracker.

I have not eaten cows or pigs for so long that the thought of eating bacon nauseates me. The smell of hamburger cooking also nauseates me.

I strongly believe that animals for slaughter need to be raised humanely--that is where the ethical issues arise for me.

Same here. I don't eat mammals. I eat mostly vegetarian (99% of the time); but I will eat a little chicken and turkey and what little seafood I like. I call myself a pescafowlatarian.

If vegans eat any soy or corn based products you're exposed to GMO products. I have so much trouble trying to get protein I have to eat chicken, turkey or fish.

@Joanne That's what I am! However, I do not eat much fish as I do not care for most freshwater fish and dislike saltwater fish that has been frozen. I lived on the coast for 40 years where it was always fresh.

@K9Kohle789 I avoid process foods as much as I can. Even vegetarian foods are processed.

@K9Kohle789, @Gwendolyn2018 : I am limited on what I like when it comes to seafood/fish. It has to be extremely mild: cod, halibut, etc., sometimes shrimp; and, oddly enough, I will eat scallops on occasion. Again, it must be very mild in both smell and taste.

@Joanne I am with you! I like cod, and love halibut and fresh tuna. I liked smoked salmon but not much on it prepared in other ways. I really like shrimp, crab, and scallops. To me, freshwater fish is more ""fishy" than saltwater.


I see no ethics in the eating of animals, only the care of them while they are being raised for slaughter. That is where my objection comes into it.

Humans are omnivores so there's no ethical question about eating what is natural to our species. We don't question the ethics of lions or predatory birds or fish or any other creature that eats other animals so why make us special. I do object to mistreatment of animals, whether they are wild, domesticated or a food source. It's not humane of us to make their lives miserable.

When I raised animals on the farm (calves, lambs, goats) for food or for pets (rabbits, cats, dogs, reptiles ect.) our animals ate the best feed, had the best living habitat and the best vet care. We nurtured them lovingly even though some were destined for slaughter. They ate before we did and their quality of life was as good as our own. Ethical animal husbandry is doable, even on a grand scale. It will cost more but it's still doable.

Leelu Level 7 July 22, 2021

Vegan is a religion and I'm agnostic, so, my smoker is going.


This is a two dimensional argument. One side will say its ok to eat meat and are not willing to give it up. And the other side will say, no do not eat because of .... Neither side is right or wrong, they just are.


Something must be said about MONSANTO, the billion dollar company that is poisoning our soil and our seeds and subsequently, the food we all eat. Poison is their product, such as Agent Orange in the war with Viet Nam. In their quest to eliminate weeds and pests, they have only created super weeds and super bugs. They monkey with seeds to make them open to receiving lots of their glyphosate, a cancer-causing insecticide that permeates our food supply. Already there have been successfull suits for millions in the courts for having caused cancer. DON'T BUY AND USE THEIR ROUNDUP ON YOUR LAWNS. Then these nasty greed mongers actually demand that farmers only use their seeds and throw away any excess so that they have to keep buying this garbage every year. In India there has been an epidemic of suicides by farmers who were caught up in their snare. The country of Paraguay, a land locked country in South America, was once verdant, richly green, until Monsanto sold them on using their new "scientific" products. Green turned to brown. They destroyed the richness of this country's agriculture. Monsanto is banned in many countries in Europe. Why not here? The answer is money and bribery and Bill Gates. My advice: EAT ORGANIC. It's your best bet even though it can't be perfect.

This is an example of why I point out the difference between SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY. They snow everyone by claiming this is science. It is Technology that bastardizes science. Let's get very clear in our thinking so that those greed mongers can't confuse us!!!

It makes me so angry when I see these products still on the shelves. And our food is no longer nutrient rich because of these products. It’s so infuriating

I think that Monsanto has now been offloaded to the German competition Bayer because of the weight of claims now being made against them.

The following link is of a report by Shane Dowling "Why hire a lawyer when you can buy a judge" on his Kangaroo Court newsite written on the subject two years ago.


Don't even need to look at the report. I passed that issue over 20 years ago. Eating is a sensuous experience. It includes most of not all the senses. We, here in the 21st century do not need to eat something that is horrible for the environment, violent for the animals and bad for our bodies. For me to eat meat would add an unacceptable level of guilt. Pleasure should not include guilt and pain to other sentient beings.

Well, don't forget, the farming of vegetables harms animals, too...


If we don’t eat cows what are we going to do with all this grass? Cows are essentially the only critter capable of converting grass and forages into something edible for us humans.

We will smoke the grass instead.

Although I enjoy the occasional steak I always buy from a local butcher. We will soon be seeing imported US beef in our supermarkets along with the chlorinated chicken. Much of the beef from cows raised of feedlots where they never see a blade of grass and are pumped full of antibiotics, No thanks.
Getting protein from cows fed on grass and soya is very inefficient and millions of cows worldwide are producing millions of tons of methane which as we know is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2

@Moravian I'm not sure why, but I think grass-fed beef is gross. Give me the corn packed shit from the farms and let me die of a heart attack ASAP.

@JeffMurray Grass fed beef doesn’t taste as good but it’s a lot better for you health wise. I think if we worked on our breeding programs we could improve the tastes of grass fed beef. I have eaten some grass fed beef that was quite good.

@Trajan61 If I was worried about what was better for me though there's about a million things I wouldn't eat...


To each their own.


I love animals. Well, not ALL animals. But most. So I don't want to eat them. I gave up eating red meat over 15 years ago, and I'm certain that has contributed to my health. So, I'm almost a vegetarian. More and more each year.

mischl Level 8 July 22, 2021

Humans have evolved to be omnivores. I see introducing ethics into the discussion as being diversionary.

However, if you were to raise the topic of animal husbandry, I would give you quite a different response.

Fair enough but to clarify a bit, I was initially asking because of the Asian markets where they eat dog and monkey brains. One person I know was sickened to witness a long table set with what looked like domes at each place setting. At once, all domes were removed. I can’t go on as it is horrific. In any case, the ethics of eating animals includes these instances as well as factory farms that are responsible for not only the abuse of animals but also pollute water and air.

@HelenRoseBuck I see your point. Thanks for sharing.

@HelenRoseBuck I have no problem with people eating various animals that many use for pets. I eat rabbit and have kept rabbits as pets. My objection is the lie of buying a "pet" and claiming you'll make it a pet and then taking it home to eat it or feed it to other animals. That does happen and it is wrong. Intentions matter.

If people want to eat cats or dogs that's fine but don't lie and say you'll make it your pet or steal someone else's pet.


There still are animals about who regard (wo)man as food. A discussion on the ethics of meat eating, yes please!


I see nothing wrong with eating meat. Humans raise animals to be eaten. I do disagree with farm factories.


I have hope for lab grown alternatives coming down the pipeline in the future. Though I doubt they will ever entirely eradicate the meat farming industry, such meats don't have too. If such meats become cheaper to produce enmass than factory farmed products, hopefully this will allow smaller farmers to earn more value from their real meat. In the same way that people idolize the organic label today, frankly.

Though I am not against the trend of the impossible vegie burger (and other non-proprietary such types), they are definitely not the same. And at the moment, WAY overpriced in comparison to good ole ground beef.

Reminds me of the ass backwards reality of it being cheaper to heat a home with natural gas in comparison to mostly climate neutral electricity (at least where I live).

Mb_Man Level 7 July 24, 2021

I like some veggie burgers. But they are pricy


I'm a member of PETA.


redhog Level 7 July 23, 2021

Gone are the days of the small family farms that cared for their animals before they slaughtered them for the table. First, the way commercial farming treats these animals is beyond disgraceful. We pay the price when we eat animals that have been tortured and living in their own excrement. I refuse to support this. Secondly, whether or not to become a vegetarian or least it is healthier to eat much less flesh food. The extreme demand for meat leads to clogged arteries and shortened say nothing of the damage done to the planet. As for fish, we are over fishing so that we are depleting the supply. Add that to the wanton polluting of our oceans that are turning from alkaline to acid, overrun with lice from too much farmed fish...What a mess. And nothin is worse than eating farmed fish. You should see the gray corpses loaded with lice that we eat before they are painted pink. Vegans are healthier people. And there is much that can be learned from researching vegan sources of protein and B 12 plus creative ways to prepare all sorts of vegetables and salads plus fruits. All those antioxidants...Wow! what a feast!!!!.


Whatever ethics one applies to eating animals, can also be applied to plants.

There’s a level of hypocrisy, to discuss.

Mvtt Level 7 July 22, 2021

A plant has never looked me in the eye as have animals.

@Gwendolyn2018 so the criteria is: consider living things only with eyes?

@Mvtt I am not sure what you mean by "criteria." However, people make their own criteria.

Yes because plants thrive if you talk to them. Some are connected underground by roots and they do have some plant type emotions.

@Gwendolyn2018 My daughter won't eat anything with a face.

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