Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Eating Animals Wrong?

Eating Animals Wrong?

       I believe that animals do have the capability of feeling, whether its fear, happiness, or any other emotion. I’ve took into consideration of what animals to eat I was once a pescetarian, but now I started back eating chicken and turkey. Meat eating at one point just became unpleasant to me, facing the health issues, treatment of animals while their being produce for food was pushing me towards the idea. Also in a way I became more passionate for animals and wanted to join the movement of not eating animals. In Buddhism and other religions they forbid meat eating, considering eating meat is like the form of killing and showing compassion for other living things on earth, certain religions do allow it but make it a decision amongst the person who is practicing the religion. Although this has a strong view but eating meat has been around for many years. Through survival, animals even eat other animals for me this made me think perhaps this is the way the world just is or can’t rule out. If animals themselves eat other animals is it wrong? There is no justification to how it can be lead to a sin or a wrong doing to eat meat in which its some organisms can’t live without it. In some cases people have the problem that people who raise animals is it right for them to eat them later http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/eating_1.shtml. I believe that if people choose to eat meat it is their choice, it is a bias decision.


  1. This is a difficult dilemma, especially for us modern American Buddhists. As you mention Buddhism, can we figure that this is your religious belief system?
    My grandparents raised animals as a food source. Each year as a child, I would help with the killing, gutting, cleaning and cooking of a hog. We respected the animals. We appreciated their lives, gave each creature a name and treated it kindly. The day before slaughter we would give it all sorts of treats (although we stopped 12 hrs before killing to ensure the gut was empty, that can be nasty). Peter the lops was made into chili. Bessie the cow produced many large meals, and each year a hog (Buford, Chester, Hank, et al.) fed scores of people that arrived for a family reunion. Many indigenous Americans (the REAL Native Americans) survived on animals. Peoples that were so in tune with nature, life and death. The real difference was the respect that each of these cultures bestowed upon the animal. Perhaps it is not the consumption of meat entirely, but perhaps the care ta is put into the consumption. So many meals include meats with mystery origins, pepperoni on the pizza, taco bell, mcdonalds. And even if we determine the source and cleanliness of the meat, if there is no respect for the life of the animal and the energy it sacrifices for our survival.
    I struggle in also another direction with this conundrum. As a microbiologist, I sometimes wonder if eating bacteria can also be considered harmful to life. Although some bacteria live within the gut and some even further all the way through the digestive tract, but to what extent does the suffering reach? To cause no suffering to any living organism seems a bit ideological and unattainable. To cause no harm ever? Can we say that a plant does not suffer? plants can sense touch, even retract form it to preserve themselves. Some bacteria can sense the suffering of the other colony members and trigger spore formation. (About bacteria, it is still being studied which bacteria are killed within the gut and which are expelled from our bowels and which set up shop inside us, further complicating this discussion.) Could I be killing entire populations as I eat cheese? And if I try to do the more “natural” thing and eat cheese made with raw milk, is that even more offensive? WHERE DOES IT END???
    What about insects? Another conundrum? There are a few cultures that consider insects to be common fare. There are even a few restaurants across our modern nation offering an entirely insect menu. I, myself have eaten grasshoppers, crickets, ants, roaches and my mom tells me I ate a wasp once as a toddler. Is it just as wrong to eat an insect as it is a bird or fish? And where is the distinction between bird a fish and a worm that makes one more acceptable than another?
    Again, another dilemma is the survival adverb. Do we need meat to survive anymore? Not really, I think it would benefit Americans to eat more veggies and fruits. The only thing we can control is ourselves. The best way I have come to rationalize meat consumption is to limit myself to animals that eat other meats and would eat another of its kind. So, I would never eat a guinea pig (even though it is not naturally occurring animal and the animal is a hybrid that was originally bred as a food source). Additionally I would never eat a plecostomus as it eats only decaying matter. But if survival was a necessity, trapped in an avalanche, yes, I would seriously consider eating the toes of my companions, and of course I would sacrifice a toe or two for the survival of my mates (after all the other consumables, leathers and organic fibers were gone, of course).
    This is a long rambling comment, but you have touched on something very deep and I hope that you are able to find a place of comfort within this dilemma. I have been struggling with this very topic for nearly two decades. The only correct answer for you is an answer that you must determine on your own. May your resolution bring you peace. Namaste.

  2. Seems to me the issue of whether animals eat other animals is beside the point, so far as human conduct is concerned. We're the animals with the bigger brains and the developed capacity for ethical reasoning, we have to think for ourselves and not model our behavior on that of other species. Sophia makes a strong case for the thoughtful and respectful carnivorous lifestyle, as just such a product of ethical reasoning. The co-evolutionary relationship between ourselves and the animals who've come oddly to depend on our carnivorous ways cannot be ignored.