General Question

Nially_Bob's avatar

Aside from individual health or financial issues is there any valid and rational reason an individual should not become a vegetarian?

Asked by Nially_Bob (3841 points ) April 5th, 2011

I pride myself on being an objective skeptic, well pride myself is a bit much perhaps as the lifestyle’s always seemed rather natural to me. A better description would be that I’ve long felt an inclination towards the more rational “balanced” side of things.

With this stated, I’ve been through a thousand wonderful debates. Fought for gay rights, defended the existence of a God one day and questioned it the next, participated in the grand argument of Coke vs Pepsi, and yet one of the subjects that always sends me through a loop is vegetarianism.

I love meat, nay, I adore meat. I have a dependency on meat to the point that I’ve noted issues with my energy when I haven’t had some for a day. However, every discussion I’ve had with intellectual vegetarianism advocates has left me lost for words.

The best argument I’ve presented is that it’s unnatural to not eat meat (the ol’ “LOOK AT MA OMNIVOROUS TEETH MUNCH MUNCH” avenue of thought) but even that, with evidence showing people living active, healthy and longer lives without meat, fails to meet the bill. In addition to this it’s a common use of the naturalistic fallacy (if something’s natural then it’s presumed to be inherently good).

Ethically and logically vegetarianism offers the better argument to anyone who can support a vegetarian lifestyle (that is, anyone who won’t have iron intake issues and has the available finance).

Now this leaves me in something of a dilemma. I generally live my life according to what I believe is rational and presents the better argument, but I love meat to the extent that, if I’m to be honest, I’m not that bothered about killing an animal personally to get it. So do I instead purchase “free range” chicken presuming it to be a reasonable trade-off knowing that the chicken’s life was pretty cool, or perhaps disregard the logic entirely or what?

My good people, it would be most dearly appreciated if you’d share with me your opinion on the justification behind eating tasty meat products.

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50 Answers

troubleinharlem's avatar

There isn’t much of anything left to say if you don’t include the individual health or financial issues… so are you asking for personal opinions that do not include those aspects?

Nially_Bob's avatar

@troubleinharlem Not at all, I want to hear everything people have to contribute :)

My point was that if you physically or fiscally can’t go without meat then that’s an obvious reason not to do so. But I would appreciate people elaborating on such.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Aside from there being nothing inherently wrong with eating meat? Humans evolved to eat meat when a plant based diet did not provide enough energy to support our growing brains. Of course, most of us who have a choice in what sort of diet we want to eat are probably not in short supply of food… but that still doesn’t make it wrong to eat meat just because you can consume your calories in other ways. I’m comfortable with both sides of this argument. I’ve spent my life bouncing between vegetarianism and barely eating meat, only because I don’t have that love for meat like many people do. It has never been there, and I have to assume it never will be.
Personally, my health is considerably better when I include a bit of meat in my diet. It is a moral dilemma for me, because I’d prefer not to eat animals. However, I have a malabsorption disorder, and the years that I spent as a vegetarian left me sickly and nutritionally deficient, despite always trying to be conscious of the nutrition in my diet. So, perhaps what is healthy for some is not healthy for all.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Nially_Bob : Oh, okay, okay.

I physically cannot bring myself to eat pork or beef, so I guess that counts in a way. It’s partly because of my religion and there are other things that I eat instead, but it works for me! I don’t like the texture of burgers (so I’ve never had one) and so I can only assume that I wouldn’t like eating steaks. It might not work for everyone, obviously.

syz's avatar

I suppose the response that you could offer is that that’s nothing “unnatural” about eating meat (evolutionarily and culturally), and so your best option is to mitigate the negative impact of meat as much as possible. Eat locally produced, humanely farmed meat, eat smaller (but higher quality) amounts, and see how many times a week you can skip meat in a meal without suffering withdrawal.

john65pennington's avatar

Only one comment:

Tell me one smell that drives you crazy, when its cooking on an outdoor grill?

Answer: a T-bone steak or BBQ chicken.

Seelix's avatar

Aside from potential health issues that would make it unhealthy for a person to avoid meat, there’s no reason not to be vegetarian. One has to be more careful about getting certain vitamins and proteins in their diet, and maybe take some supplements. But there’s no reason not to.

Nially_Bob's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf You make good points, but the main issue tends to be that if you can get your calories eating food others than meats shouldn’t you do so as it saves animals having to die? Or would you deem it a reasonable exchange to trade their lives for our energy? That’s a genuine question by the way. I couldn’t think of a better way to term it sorry.

@troubleinharlem Fair enough. If you simply don’t enjoy eating meat and it works for you that’s fine. Otherwise it’d be like you not liking mushrooms and people force feeding you them and that’d be silly, or potentially a really weird gameshow.

@syz But there being nothing unnatural about eating meat isn’t a valid argument as it presumes something natural to be intrinsically good which isn’t necessarily true.

The whole humane animal farming matter has always struck me as noble, but odd. People don’t mind eating meat so long as the animal it came from got to frolic in a field first. It’s like having a last wish on death row.

I’ll take your suggestions to heart thank you, but given my general lifestyle I’d need some seriously calorie rich alternatives.

@john65pennington Frying smoked bacon. No competition.

@Seelix Do you think the particular care that needs to be given to ones diet when being a vegetarian would justify meat-eating?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

You cannot live without other things dying. What makes animals so superior that they deserve our compassion where plants do not? Eating meat is a natural part of the circle of life; the sooner you embrace it, the better.

Seelix's avatar

@Nially_BobDo you think the particular care that needs to be given to ones diet when being a vegetarian would justify meat-eating?

Maybe for some, but for those who choose not to eat meat for cruelty reasons, no, I don’t think it’s enough of a reason to justify doing something that one personally views as cruel.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Nially_Bob sure. That is the biggest argument for vegetarianism. I’m inclined to agree with it to a degree, but I don’t disagree that it is natural for something to die in order for something else to live. Dogs have omnivorous traits, but that doesn’t mean that I am trying to feed them a meatless diet because I don’t want another animal to die to feed my pets. (Not that it is even remotely identical to a human vegetarian, just making a point.) Human beings are the only omnivores in nature that struggle with a decision regarding whether or not they will consume flesh. No other animal on the planet has any qualms about taking a life to sustain their own.
Now I sound like the devil’s advocate here, but I do lean more toward the vegetarian side of the argument. It isn’t necessary to eat meat to survive, and I think that reducing the overall consumption of animal products as an entire society would be beneficial in a number of ways. I just don’t see anything wrong with someone choosing to eat meat. I understand that many people think it’s cruel, and I simply do not find it to be cruel to kill something with the intention of consuming it. Now, torturing, neglecting, confining, devastating that creature’s life prior to killing it is a completely different story.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I think we in our modern culture consume way too much meat. Don’t get me wrong, I am a steak-lover, and an avid consumer of the Six-Dollar Hamburger® from Carl’s Jr. That being said, it seems to me from a cursory overview of cultural history, that meat consumption as an every-meal or every-day event is a fairly recent development. We don’t even know where our meat comes from, except that it is from ”a cow” or ” a chicken” or ”a turkey”. It is not too many generations back that the meat consumer would either have personally raised the animal, or at least personally knew the butcher, who would know which animal this particular meat came from.

thorninmud's avatar

I’m vegetarian because I personally found meat-eating hard to justify on many, many levels. Sure, I liked meat. But I like eating lots of other stuff, and I’m not sitting there with my curry in front of me wishing it were a steak. With so many great alternatives (fortunately) open to me, I choose the one that I feel uses less of the Earth’s resources and engenders the least amount of suffering to get it on my plate.

But since this question is about reasons to eat meat, I’ll just say that convenience is one; it’s often far quicker to build a meal around meat. Culture is another; not eating meat can disrupt certain links to one’s cultural heritage. Many of the ways we affirm our cultural connectedness revolve around traditional foods, and not eating meat kind of throws a kink into that communion.

BTW, I never felt any health or energy impact from not eating meat. Maybe some do, but I’ve got to wonder how much of that is psychosomatic. And believe me, I really don’t devote much effort to plotting out my dietary requirements. I mostly just eat what sounds good.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Maybe I enjoy the thrill of stalking an animal through the woods and the rush when I see them in the crosshairs of the scope and the bloodlust when I put a bullet through their body.

cockswain's avatar

I’m completely with @ANef_is_Enuf, she’s saying what I was thinking but better than I could. Meat consumption played a huge role in the evolution of human brain size.

Obviously one can lessen one’s meat eating though, since humans were able to evolve to this level without Foster Farms and what not. There are definitely lots of environmental and cruelty problems associated with meat eating. But I think if one pays extra for wild caught fish, or eats free range chickens, or grass fed beef from a local farmer, then one is just following their biological imperative.

thorninmud's avatar

Meat may have played a role in the development of the human brain, but one happy result of that development is that we can now use all that brain power to come up with ways to eat more rationally.

Brian1946's avatar

I think a carnivorous diet consisting of only fish and fowl might have health advantages over a diet that gets most of its protein from dairy products, in that it would have somewhat less cholesterol and less fat, and would provide more Omega 3 fatty acids.

However, I respect vegetarianism because it involves a lot less cruelty than omnivorism, so I see no morally compelling reason to eat meat.

If one can get all 23 (I think that’s how many humans need) of their amino acids from a vegan diet, then I see no reason for humans to eat meat.

However, I know there are some very strong biological reasons for carnivorous non-human animals to eat meat.

How about an Animal Planet reality show where some zoological meddlers try to convert sharks, tigers, and lions to vegetarianism? ;-p

I’ve read that bowhead whales can live from 150–200 years, so I’m looking into a krill and plankton diet. ;-)

Taciturnu's avatar

I just have to way in, as a vegan.

There are no potential health issues with vegetarianism that are greater than that of an omnivore. Yes, you need to eat a balanced diet to be healthy and vegetarian- but if you take someone who snacked on Ho-Hos and potato chips daily and called themself a vegetarian, they would probably just snack on Ho-Hos and potato chips and fried chicken if they were an omnivore. There are way too many omnivorous Americans with dietary deficiencies. That comes with the territory of pre-packaged and processed foods. I know people who really and truly won’t touch a vegetable.

Financially, I’ve found it’s more expensive to eat meat. If you don’t see that as possible, I challenge you to take your average weekly shopping bill and instead buy your regular purchases without meat. Purchase nuts and vegetables and fruit to make up the difference. You’ll be shocked at how much food you have in your cart.

So, I have to say the only reason one does or does not eat meat should be based on their morality. Not that either one is better, just that they are different.

@Brian1946 Just wanted to mention that there is a difference between vegetarians and vegans. vegetarians don’t eat meat, but will eat eggs and dairy or one or the other. Vegans don’t eat eggs or dairy. Strict vegans don’t have honey or white sugar or anything else that used animal products in its production. Algae is a great source of Omega 3s for vegans. Vegetarians don’t need to worry about B-12, but vegans require a supplement. (I take a vegan multivitamin that includes B-12. I have no idea what the source is, just that it is a vegan multi.)

cockswain's avatar

if you take someone who snacked on Ho-Hos and potato chips daily and called themself a vegetarian, they would probably just snack on Ho-Hos and potato chips and fried chicken if they were an omnivore.

I like that quote. So true.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Taciturnu : GA, beautifully said.

@Brian1946 : Even when done exactly right, a vegan diet is not necessarily good for everyone, (I speak from personal experience) but it certainly works well for many, and can be a very healthy alternative.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I am a vegetarian but I do not think there is anything morally wrong with eating meat. I don’t eat meat because of the way most of our meaning American meat is gotten. I’m not even talking about how inhumane our food animals are treated, though that is certainly a factor. Humans evolved to eat meat and our prey animals evolved to be eaten. However, we used to benefit animals evolutionarily when we hunted them. We could hunt the slowest and the weakest which would, in turn, improve the herd. We would then have to be faster and smarter to be able to catch them and so on and so forth. Now, however, there is no evolutionary advantage from the way we get our meat. We are not making ourselves better by having to be better able to catch our food and our prey animals are not evolving by having to be faster and stronger. The slow but steady evolution and population control that results from hunting has stagnated.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m a vegetarian, and I agree with your analysis: not eating meat is the morally responsible thing to do. It’s better for the environment, it’s better for your body, and it doesn’t involve slaughtering animals that experience pain and terror during the killing process. The naturalistic fallacy is a way of rationalizing behavior we all know to be wrong; it is not a convincing defense.

You can make the decision that your own pleasure outweighs the pain and suffering these animals experience. That’s one way to defend meat eating. I personally don’t agree with it—I would prefer not to be eaten for someone’s pleasure, especially considering the many alternatives available.

If you really cannot give up meat, though, I think it is completely morally indefensible to eat meat from a factory farm. Aside from the unbelievable suffering animals are put through, factory farms are an environmental disaster and a serious public health problem. If you must eat meat, get it from animals that were ethically, humanely, sustainably raised and slaughtered.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@KatawaGrey You make some good points about hunter/gatherer societies. In addition to the culling effect the hunt has, most hunter/gatherer societies hunt with honor and respect. In the story “The Gods Must Be Crazy” there is a part where the hunter first stuns the animal with a blow-dart, then lovingly thanks the prey for supplying meat for the hunter’s clan, before the humane kill. Contrast that with modern meat packers, who drive the cattle (or other animal) into the pens for the slaughter.

cockswain's avatar

@KatawaGrey we used to benefit animals evolutionarily when we hunted them. We could hunt the slowest and the weakest which would, in turn, improve the herd. We would then have to be faster and smarter to be able to catch them and so on and so forth.

That’s an interesting hypothesis, I like it.

@nikipedia If you must eat meat, get it from animals that were ethically, humanely, sustainably raised and slaughtered.

Totally agree with that. I try to only eat meat that way.

crisw's avatar

I see many people bringing up a naturalistic argument for eating meat- we evolved to do it, it’s natural to do it, other animals do it etc. etc.

This is not a good defense for eating meat. The reason is, there are a great many things that are natural, that other animals do, and that we evolved to do, that we now consider totally immoral and would not attempt to defend in this way. Rape, murder and infanticide are three examples.

The biggest difference between us and other animals is that we have the capacity to make decisions based on ethics. In order for something to be right, being natural is not sufficient, it must also be ethical. Therefore, simply pointing to meat-eating being “natural” is not a sufficient argument for continuing the practice.

crisw's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs

“What makes animals so superior that they deserve our compassion where plants do not?”

Most animals can feel pain and experience pleasure, have lives that matter to them and can go better or worse for them, and have preference autonomy- the ability to prefer one thing over another and to chose what they want. Because of this, most animals are subjects of a life, rather than mere objects. Plants do not have this capacity; they cannot experience pain or pleasure, they cannot make choices, what we do to them does not matter to them. That is the difference.

We can only have true compassion for those that suffer, and plants cannot suffer.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I am much healthier as a responsible omnivore (within my personal abilities, i.e. I don’t kill my own chickens, but I do buy from sources that I believe to be responsible and humane) than I am as either a vegan or a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I don’t believe that people who choose, for whatever reason, to not consume meat to be morally superior because of that.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@crisw So slaughter them in a way where they won’t feel pain. But the ability to feel pain doesn’t make something any better than something that can’t – and plants are just as essential to our ecosystem as animals.

thorninmud's avatar

Huge amounts of plant material get used in raising livestock. The amount of water, arable land and grain that go into beef production (the worst) would feed many times as many people as the meat that comes from the beef industry. So even if you put plants on a par with sentient animals, meat production kills both far more plants and then the animal.

crisw's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs

I think you misunderstood what I said.

Subjects of a life prefer to go on living that life, and killing them when it isn’t necessary to prevent an equal or greater harm robs them- I feel unethically- of that ability to continue to enjoy life and fulfill preferences. No matter whether the death is humane or not, the animal that is killed loses its ability to go on living.

The ability to feel pain does not make animals “better” than plants. It does, however, highlight a morally significant difference between animals and plants; one that is extremely relevant in any discussion of vegetarianism.

cockswain's avatar

@crisw You are making some excellent points that have provoked more thoughts in my mind, particularly this statement: ”The reason is, there are a great many things that are natural, that other animals do, and that we evolved to do, that we now consider totally immoral and would not attempt to defend in this way. Rape, murder and infanticide are three examples.

Since you argue it is immoral, at what point in human history do you think we reasonably should have stopped eating meat? 100 years ago? 50,000 years ago? Should we have never started?

crisw's avatar

@cockswain

“at what point in human history do you think we reasonably should have stopped eating meat?”

It really, really depends on the culture and area.

I believe that harming an innocent sentient being is wrong unless that harm is needed to avert an equal or greater harm. The converse, of course, is that harming an innocent being is permissible when it’s what’s needed to allow you (or others) to survive. In some societies today (such as many hunter-gatherer societies), it’s still impossible to survive without consuming meat. In other societies (such as much of Europe and the US) it’s been possible to survive without meat for quite a long time.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@crisw: What about over-population? If no one and nothing ate animals, they would eventually breed so much that they drained their resources and died of starvation. I think this may be part of the reason why humans have such a huge population. We don’t have to worry about getting food so we breed and breed and breed and now millions of us are starving. The relationship between predator and prey is an advantage to both. When there are too many predators to feed, the predators start to die and the prey flourishes. When the reverse happens, the prey starts getting eaten and the predator population swells. Then the whole cycle starts over again. I don’t see anything wrong with that system. I see the system as flawed now, which is why I do not eat meat.

@Yetanotheruser, @cockswain: Thanks guys! This is exactly the kind of thing I think about all the time. :)

crisw's avatar

@KatawaGrey

“What about over-population?”

If we stopped eating animals, we would stop breeding and raising them. End of problem.

crisw's avatar

@Yetanotheruser

The problem with the “respect” view you offer is that it really is a lack of respect- for the rights of the animal. It makes absolutely no difference to the animal him- or herself if someone prays beforehand or not. It may make the killer feel better, but it does nothing positive for the animal.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@crisw: Did you even read the rest of my answer? It’s not as if the prey animals of humans control their own populations just because humans won’t eat them. If an animal humans included has no predators, its population will grow until the population cannot feed itself. I think that we should hunt animals as opposed to raising them for food because that will be natural and that will restore a balance of both our population and the populations of our chosen food animals.

crisw's avatar

@KatawaGrey

I did read it, and I was unsure of what you meant.

Modern humans are lousy predators compared to wolves and mountain lions. Many studies have shown that human hunters actually impede the evolution of prey species, by selecting the fittest, fattest, best animals rather than the weak and sick. In addition, human hunters do not tolerate competition from true predators- witness the furore over wolves in the Rockies, with hunters calling for their extirpation. Game animals in most states are “managed” purposely to provide a surplus for hunters, and the last thing hunters in these states want is an actual reduction in the supply of targets.

“It’s not as if the prey animals of humans control their own populations just because humans won’t eat them. If an animal humans included has no predators, its population will grow until the population cannot feed itself.”

This is very, very wrong. Populations of native predators in the US, such as mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, wolverines, etc., are self-regulating. It doesn’t matter that “nothing eats them.” Their populations are controlled by intraspecific factors such as territoriality, reduced mating opportunities, etc., as well as availability of prey. Again, many studies have shown this- some great work in Washington state, for example, showed that hunting mountain lions, by disrupting their social and age structure, actually results in more livestock depredation incidents, not less.

“that will restore a balance of both our population and the populations of our chosen food animals.”

No, it will result in the decimation of the “prey species” and no change in our own. Humans aren’t going to let themselves starve.

cockswain's avatar

I had to look up extirpation. Nice word.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@crisw Why is it morally significant?

crisw's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs

At the base of any ethical system is the definition of what counts as a being worthy of ethical respect in and of itself. That definition hinges on sentience. Only sentient beings can suffer, only sentient beings care about what happens to them, only sentient beings are subjects of a life.

Non-sentient beings (such as plants) have instrumental value, and often may be conserved or protected for this value. However, they are not sentient, cannot suffer, are not subjects of a life. This is why you are an ethical monster if you slowly cut a dog into tiny pieces with a knife. If you do it to a carrot, you’re just making dinner.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@crisw Well, I disagree.

crisw's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs

Well, how about some explanation of exactly what you disagree with and why?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@crisw I’d rather not. I haven’t seen any argument yet here on Fluther that gets you to change your mind on any issue, so I think I’d rather agree to disagree and go to bed.

crisw's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs

sigh- another ad hominem attack :>(

I am always willing to change my mind if I’m presented with an actual logical reason to do so (after all, that’s what being a skeptic is all about). What frustrates me is when people state “Well, I disagree” or “Well, I don’t believe that” but then refuse to back up their disagreements with any actual reasoned arguments for their own position, or to attempt to counter any logical flaws that are pointed out in it.

I have been very clear in stating what I believe. If there are any logical holes in what I say, I want to know about them. However, if you can’t find a logical flaw, then there really isn’t any reason that I should change my mind. Simply saying “I disagree” is not quite the same thing.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, in some regions of the Earth it’s more damaging to be a vegetarian or vegan than not (though in the vast majority of areas it’s the other way round). Particular soils and climates can favor hill vegetation and grazing by domesticated herbivores. Transporting food that is needed for a healthy diet over long distances consumes energy and resources, while herbivores make use of local photosynthesis and transform cellulose into carbs, protein and fat.

But when you live in Kansas it’s not necessary to eat a lot of meat.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Thank you for all of your comments. It’s a pleasure to see the variation of views on the matter.

@mattbrowne That’s an interesting thought. So would you argue that not wasting energy morally justifies meat eating as the alternative could potentially be more immoral in the long run?

@nikipedia I concur, the naturalistic fallacy is one of many cases of appealing sophistry.

Regarding your views on factory farmed animals: is the moral difference between eating factory farmed animals and free range animals not negligible? Because although free range animals do get to enjoy a decent quality of life it is only for the period of time it takes for them to become “processable”.

@thorninmud It’s possible that it’s partially psychosomatic but I doubt that’s the main cause of the effects. Ones body will need time to adjust to significant alterations in it’s regular nutritional intake. Though the amount of time will differ between individuals.
-
The most rational argument against vegetarianism I can conceive, given what I’ve gathered thus far, is an extension of the “innate morality” argument. It goes as such:

Given that there seems to be a clear distinction between those that perceive the killing of other animals as unjustified and those that do not it’s reasonable to deduce that morality, being directly affected by human culture, is rather relativistic with regards to this subject.

Following this accordingly, would it not be valid to state that there being no moral certainty involved means that no behaviour need be altered.

To illustrate, if @Adirondackwannabe enjoys hunting and does so with respect for their prey and within reason what makes that intrinsically more immoral than vegetarianism? What makes the killing of other animals so cruel and malicious through the eyes of some?

Any critiques would be appreciated.

crisw's avatar

@Nially_Bob

If we demand moral certainty before we alter a behavior, then no behavior would ever be altered. After all, a great many behaviors that some groups see as unethical are viewed as perfectly ethical by others (female circumcision, for example.)

As far as I’m concerned (and I am out the door in a minute so this will be brief- more later if you have questions), I think I’ve explained most of from where I derive the moral status of animals above. If a being is sentient, if it’s the subject of a life (in the way that plants and nonsentient beings are not)then reducing that being to the status of an object is immoral, unless it’s the only way to prevent an equal or greater harm. If we cannot point to a specific morally-relevant difference between sentient beings, then it’s immoral-it’s discrimination- to treat them differently in morally relevant situations.

Any valid ethic must be consistent. Our treatment of animals is usually wildly inconsistent.

RareDenver's avatar

My wife is a vegetarian and more than her care for animals what really lies at the heart of it is the thought of eating something’s dead flesh absolutely repulses her. I wonder if 200, 500, 1000 years from now that attitude will be the norm?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nially_Bob – Yes, I would argue that not wasting energy morally justifies meat eating as the alternative could potentially be more immoral in the long run. If we manage to transform all forms of traffic to renewable energies an Inuit kid living on the coast of the Arctic Ocean could be fed corn and soy and sunflower oil from Kansas.

Otherwise we are faced with moral dilemmas. @crisw argues that we need to honor the moral status of animals. Is it okay to kill a seal? Is it okay to let an Inuit child starve to death? If it okay for all Inuit to become vegans if this means overusing our atmosphere with climate change disrupting our food chains as a result which means that millions starve to death in developed countries.

There are no easy answers for moral dilemmas. Wild rabbits are used to being eaten. They developed a highly successful strategy to deal with this: high rate of reproduction, early maturity and a rapid growth rate. It’s nature’s way.

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