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Hartford Area Socrates Cafe Message Board Socratic Questioning › Is it Ethical to eat Meat?

Is it Ethical to eat Meat?

user 6706597
Hartford, CT
Post #: 77
Hi all!smile I have been really struggling with this issue recently. As an average person who has taken my food for granted the duration of my life, startling new opinions have been brought to my attention. And, these opinions were accompanied by horrific and sad animal abuse videos captured at meat industries/slaughter houses. The worst being of veal calves. crying So, I am not asking at all about the health benefits or lack of here. I am specifically speaking of the issues around use of land, global starvation issues and of animal suffering and their lack of choice to be bread for kill. I have been back and forth and spun myself emotionally sick over this dilemma. It is so hard with trying to be vegan (I learned) without resources, time, enough money and support from people. Not to mention every food ad is meat and dairy related. Again, my agenda for this topic though has only to do with the ethical question of whether humans should consume meat if in fact, they do not have to in order to live healthfully????? I have been on both sides of this therefor you will have no judgement from me!!!wink
user 3841461
Group Organizer
West Hartford, CT
Post #: 29
For my reply, I'll use my running definitions of ethics being rules determined by an individual over what that individual finds acceptable to do/not do, and morals being determined by an individual or group to dictate "for everyone" what one should/n't do.

I've been vegan for 14 years. It matches my ethics to eat meat, but also, not to judge/preach to others.

Industry practices being what they are, it's difficult to not bend the latter ethic when someone does know what goes on, but continues to eat meat.

I also know that many don't know, or want to know where their food comes from. Whether it is morally wrong for a person to avoid available information, despite the presumption that suffering is taking place, is morally wrong (meaning judge-able by "the many" to be a negative) is an interesting question.

I started seeking true information about food production, and stopped eating meat because of a feeling of empathy towards animals, and a desire not to contribute to what I judged to be suffering, but at the same time I seek to not be insufferably preachy, nor judgmental, so I say nothing to meat eaters. Whether it is moral for me to decide not to seek to convert others, when I believe they are creating suffering that they too may well wish to avoid contributing to, is another good question that I grapple with (when I pop my head out of the sand on this issue). I default to non-judgment, because some sincerely hold beliefs that allow for animal consumption, like some hold differing opinions on when life begins. It's a matter of picking one's battles, and I err on the side of respecting different beliefs, as I hope others do.
Greta F.
user 54611562
Ipswich, MA
Post #: 51
It's interesting to see the extent to which issues of animal welfare in food production are described through the physical purity of the human consumers. We operate on a moral spectrum of vegan>vegetarian>omnivore.
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