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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