Essay on The Ethics And Morality Of Eating Meat

Essay on The Ethics And Morality Of Eating Meat

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I used to not have an opinion about eating meat, in the past few weeks that has changed drastically. I was reading an interesting article on the ethics of eating meat and it dawned on me that I had no substantial outlook on this important topic. I had always eaten meat and had no reason to stop. Never before had I thought in depth about why I eat meat and what effect eating meat has on myself and the earth. This prompted me to investigate and learn about the conversations regarding the ethics and morality of eating meat. Three points of view quickly revealed themselves: the meat eating argument, the conscious omnivore argument, and vegetarian/vegan or anti-meat eating argument. Of these three points of view the conscious omnivore argument is the most morally and ethically acceptable.
While researching it quickly became apparent that the definition of key ideas is critical. For the sake of this argument, ethics, in the context of eating meat, is defined by Jay Bost’s definition. He defines being ethical as “living in the most ecologically benign way” and making the lest amount of negative global impact as one can (Bost). Although ethics and morality may seem similar they are in fact vastly different as Hsiao’s definition of morality shows. One is moral if they belong to “the moral community” which is “a community of rational and free beings” (Hsiao 285). Those who think meat eating is morally right and acceptable and that humans may eat as much meat from as many sources as they wish compose the meat eating argument. The vegetarian and vegan arguments debate the opposite. They believe that eating meat is not morally right and extremely resource consuming, thus we should not eat meat in any circumstances. The conscious omnivore a...

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... argument made by vegetarians and vegans is that animals are moral beings and their consumption is therefore not morally acceptable (Stijn). Since animals are not moral, this part of their case is removed and only the ethical portion of their argument remains. As with the meat eating perspective the rigidity of the non-meat eating argument is its downfall. In some circumstances not consuming meat is more energy consuming and thus less ethical, which is why the vegetarian and vegan arguments are not optimal.
All of these sources and competing perspectives are meant to show how the argument behind the ethics and morality of eating meat is not two sided but rather a multifaceted, complex topic. Furthermore the most logical take on this topic is a middle ground that uses the moral ability of human rationality to make the most ethical choice in diet, conscious omnivorism.

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