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mk  ·  3324 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The 4 Ways People Rationalize Eating Meat

    Nothing you say here sheds light on the moral status of eating meat. I can honestly say all those sentences myself, and I believe most meat consumption in the United States is morally objectionable.

That much is true. I guess I wasn't trying to make a statement about the morality of eating meat specifically. I was saying that I see enjoying it as a reasonable part of the decision.

But is it morally objectionable? To a degree, I think it is. Meat causes suffering, and demand for it creates more suffering, not only animal, but justifiable links to human suffering can be made as well. If I saw meat-eating as one of a few ways that my lifestyle resulted in such suffering, I might be more inclined to minimize it, or find alternatives. However, I find that my lifestyle is linked to similar types of suffering, some of which I perceive as being worse than my meat-eating. Higher on that list would be the products of cheap human labor that I wear and consume, as you point out.

I suppose the question comes down to whether or not we exit a morally objectionable system that we find we are a part of, or not, and whether or not staying within the system can be justified. Does my better understanding of an animal's suffering make me morally culpable whereas a less intelligent carnivore is not? Does my being part of a system that cannot be changed by my actions make my choice to remain within it any less objectionable?

Is all suffering to be avoided, or can minimizing suffering be enough, and when?

I don't know the answers to these questions.

My father was a hunter, and I learned to kill and eat animals from him. It did not feel unethical, at least how we went about it. In some sense it felt as if I had assumed another role, that I became a player in the system of predator and prey that plays out without us. I do see some hunting as objectionable, however. Such as baiting a bear that you don't eat.

Oddly, I don't think avoiding meat would make me feel better about my behavior.