Who among us hasn’t considered what it would be like to be a vegetarian? Our answers might range from that’s definitely not my bag, man; I love meat, and meat loves me to veggies are rad; maybe I could get used to it over time.
Seeing animals in pain makes me feel sad, bad, and a tad mad. Especially when I see folks hunt for fun. Why is it that if a seven-year-old strangles a bunny, we assume he’s a psycho, but when a grown man does a buck with a rifle, he’s a man’s man? Fuck people who hunt for fun—useless sacks of shit. One is tempted to include how it’s usually religious people who like killing animals for sport, but that’s a non-sequitur, and one must always be logical, mustn’t one?
There are so many questions that go along with this one: What would it do to the world if we all stopped eating meat tomorrow? What would happen to the animals? The economy? Humanity?
A hypocrite is one of the worst things to be. Can I think people who hunt for fun are scum and still eat meat without being a hypocrite? This thought worries me often. Squaring with your own morality is difficult.
I’ve heard people say that they have no moral qualms about the mass production and demise of animals for fodder because “those animals are born to die.” They say this as if it constitutes an argument. Would they feel any worse about it if humans were the ones being raised specifically to die? They would. “Humans aren’t animals” (straw man). That’s not strictly speaking true. We are one among millions of species of animals. And some of us are fine with any “lesser” lifeform being constricted, tormented, and tortured so that we might have a nice slab of meat on our plates.
This is clearly an emotional issue for people. That’s why I used the
strong profane language above. While I do eat meat unapologetically, I often question whether that decision fits in with my moral view of the world. There are other ways to get the nutrients we get from eating meat. So why do I feel the need to keep on eating meat? Because it’s tasty.
It’s hard to be logical on this question simply because of the far-reaching consequences of its answers. The economist in me says, “Let them eat meat.” The part of me that cries during movies says, “Baby pigs are cute. We shouldn’t eat pigs.” Hell, life can be described as being a ceaseless power struggle between these two competing parts of ourselves—the Rational and the Emotional. It’s hard sometimes to know which is which, and harder still to know which one to obey.