The Meat Question: Our Pleasure vs Animal Beings And Their Right to Life

cow-314274_640Is taste, our sensory pleasure, more important than the entire life of a sentient being? From a strictly utilitarian standpoint, that of the greatest happiness for the greatness number, we deem our fleeting oral pleasure to be of greater value that the entire lives of billions of living, feeling animal beings. Let us consider this point more deeply.

The question that we are asking ourselves is this: given that there are healthier, tasty alternatives to meat that are not massively destructive to the environment – the home of both ourselves and trillions of other beings – what possible justification is there for continuing to kill and ingest fellow beings?

The answer is of course, none. This is the question posed to the billions of humans that live in developed societies, communities where there is no need to kill and consume animal flesh.

Are we so selfish, has unbridled consumerism made us so self-absorbed, so self-centred, that we care more for our guilty pleasures  than entire lives? In the past we could claim ignorance, however the last few decades has seen the argument against meat consumption become clearer and undoubtedly certain – we now have no excuse. The increased understanding of the impact of meat consumption upon human health, the planet and billions of sentient beings makes our dietary wants completely unjustifiable.

Does our oral pleasure outweigh the natural desire for self-preservation of an entire living, thinking being? This is what the entire ethical argument boils down to – a painfully easy question that our species really seems to struggle with. It is not nutritionally necessary to consume animals, so therefore any tangible argument for eating animal flesh falls apart in the face of the ethics and compassion. Our temporary pleasure is a woefully inadequate reason for killing animal beings. The intrinsic moral worth of an animal is infinitely more significant than our dietary desires.

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