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Deelon_Pearson's avatar

For all you non-vegetarians out there, why is it good to eat some animals and not good to eat others?

Asked by Deelon_Pearson (206points) December 20th, 2011

I grew up near a farm as a kid. I would hang with some pigs and cows. They were fun and kind animals. But, they were eaten. Now, I sometimes can’t sleep cause these punk pit bulls on the block keep yapping. Seems to me that they would be finer on someone’s dinner plate than some good ol’ sweet pigs and cows. Something seems wrong with this picture.

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38 Answers

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I associate dogs and cats with cuteness… and pigs and cows with deliciousness. Yeah, you’re right… it’s not good logic. Still, though.

DaphneT's avatar

There are some cultures that do eat dog. Many do not. Perhaps because of illnesses associated with dogs, like rabies. Perhaps from watching what dogs eat and thinking, ewww. The phrase you are what you eat applies to all animals. Many taboos stem from health concerns, valid or not. And really how much meat is on a dog anyway, not enough to feed a body.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think you are on to something. I love hamburgers, but would hesitate to eat dogs.

I have never lived on a farm, but the only answer I can give you that seems honest is as follows:

The dumber an animal seems to be, the less I care about eating it. Dogs and cats, to this city boy, seem more clever than pigs and cows.

gailcalled's avatar

As with most of life’s questions, it depends on whose ox is being gored.

Think of the cultures that love guinea pigs.

I keep things very simple by choosing the vegan method.

I see farm animals all the time in my rural area. The pigs, sheep, cows, goats, geese, chickens, horses and llamas no more deserve being eaten than Milo, my cat, does.

Deelon_Pearson's avatar

@DaphneT. I hear you. Probably, why I’m thinking of eating those “dumb” barking pit bulls. hmm, maybe, they’re actually more like cows; you know, being pit “bulls.” So, maybe, its okay if I pick one up and stir fry him.
@gailcalled. I hear you too. But, why eat a defenseless beautiful plant. I say go for the vicious ones first. ... Anyway, gotta run, getting my leash and a club. :-)

WestRiverrat's avatar

Some of them are poison, others just don’t taste good. Other times it is just necessity, they can’t afford a cow or a pig so they get a dog or a cat.

I generally won’t reject specific animals outright. You get hungry enough even rats can look appetizing.

incendiary_dan's avatar

One of the reasons is size (don’t need to kill as many, as in the case of many of the preferred fish like tuna) but for the most part it has to do with what some people were able to domesticate easier. This of course doesn’t hold true for people who eat more game meats. Carnivores are also less likely to be eaten, because it’s harder to raise them, both in terms of feeding and attitude, and for those of us concerned about environmental toxins, carnivores bioaccumulate them more.

Personally, squirrel is one of my favorites.

ohVaNiLLaGoRiLLa's avatar

People in other countries do it all the time. In America since lots of people have them as pets i does not occur as much. My dad told me that we worked with a Korean man before who would say “old cat young dog” in reference to eating them that old cat taste better than young cat and young dog taste better than old dog.

Deelon_Pearson's avatar

@WestRiverrat—Make sense. But, squirrels? Did you know that size-for-size, a squirrels brain is larger than a man’s brain? How can you eat such smart and sweet little fellows.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Deelon_Pearson They taste great, especially their brains mixed in with scrambled eggs.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Deelon_Pearson I have spent much time watching squirrels. They are not a particularly bright animal on average. When using a type of trap to catch them called a “squirrel pole”, for instance, the presence of a dead, hanging squirrel will not dissuade other squirrels from climbing on. And I’m pretty sure that their brains aren’t proportionately larger.

Sunny2's avatar

Only squeamishness and bad taste (as in flavor) keep us from eating any meat available. Humans are omnivorous, after all. If you’re starving, any protein is game (pun intended). If we’re fortunate, we can choose what we want to eat or not eat. Personally I’d have trouble with warm blooded pets. I also have trouble with organ meats except for sweetbreads and liver. I’ve eaten chicken feet, but couldn’t see why anyone bothers.

sneezedisease's avatar

To answer your question I think a lot of it is cultural and just what you’re used to. These standards probably came about based on what was easier to catch/domesticate.

Deelon_Pearson's avatar

@WestRiverrat – See http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ThinkTank/TheBrain/default.cfm which says: “For example, when relative brain size is used, it shows that squirrels actually have a larger brain than humans.” Yes, their still stupid little critters though!

WestRiverrat's avatar

I didn’t say anything about their brain size.

judochop's avatar

I eat meats but not if I associated with it on a personal level or called it by its name. I love me some cow meats and some pig meats and I will chew and chew on them but not the ones I’ve personally known. I know a little piggy named Rosey. I would never eat Rosey. Same goes for other animals. If I had to, in the need of survival, I will eat anything that can be cooked or pulled. Horses, dogs, cats and humans are surely last on this list but I will not rule them out. I think it takes a sadistic bastard to cook up a dog that just runs up to give you some love. Dogs love unconditionally. I bet it would taste like Catholic guilt and gym sweat. Plenty of people have swallowed worse.

partyrock's avatar

I’m not sure. I love pigs and want a pet pig someday so I don’t eat bacon. I haven’t consumed bacon in probably over 4 years now. It just grosses me out. The only meat I do eat is fish..

JilltheTooth's avatar

Cultural bias, in my case.

Aethelwine's avatar

I have no problem putting Bambi or Thumper on my dinner plate. ;)

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jonsblond : Venison pepperoni = Bamberoni…..yummiest of snacks!

ucme's avatar

Speaking as a strict vagitarian, i’m quite fond of munching on pussy myself.

comity's avatar

I was a city gal and moved to the country when I retired. I ate meat that came in packages in the food store and never really made an association with a live animal. Now I see calves kept in little stalls, beautiful cows grazing, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, hens and I find it hard to eat meat. I really keep it down to a minimum. So, I would say that I’m not comfortable eating any animal. But hey, you might taste good! ; )

JilltheTooth's avatar

@comity : I’m aged, well-marbled and tender. I’d be yummy.

Deelon_Pearson's avatar

@comity: I hear you. I think eating animals is kind of a both sides of the coin thing. Good/bad. Not something to be celebrated, but understood as necessary, with respect to the animals. Long ago, and in other countries, like in some places in Africa, when an animal is killed it is for necessity and respect. Here, folks are out of touch with things—shooting animals for sport with high powered weapons and flasks of bourbon. We don’t eat dogs here because we don’t need to. While they do in other countries, where food is scarce. Who knows, with all this global warming and global financial problems… just maybe, dogs will make it to our menues before you know it. :-) At least, then I could shishkabob those nasty pit bulls without anyone complaining about it… well, except for maybe their owner.

comity's avatar

@Deelon_Pearson I see you’re new and a good writer to boot!! I’m a relative newbie myself. Welcome to Fluther. I think you’ll enjoy it!

KatawaGrey's avatar

As a vegetarian, I’m quite interested in this question. It seems like it may be in the same broad category as those people who whine about hunting and then happily eat the factory-farmed meat from the grocery store.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@JilltheTooth In a long conversation with my students one day, we all came to the conclusion that I would be very juicy if slow roasted.

@Deelon_Pearson It’s not just places where food is scarce that eat dogs. The Aztec’s only domesticated animal was a dog raised for food. But scarcity does make one change standards; during and after WW II, there were scarcely any cats or dogs in Germany.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@incendiary_dan : I think you’re pretty juicy now ;-)

Qingu's avatar

Intelligence and capacity for feeling. Mussels, for example, lack a rudimentary nervous system. To me, a mussel is ethically little different from a fungus or plant. The reason plants are not controversial to eat is because they do not have a nervous system with which to feel and think.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s a cultural thing. It’s all in our heads. The only animal that I think humans wouldn’t really want to eat are carnivores. I think they’d taste nasty.

OpryLeigh's avatar

It all depends on your culture. I couldn’t imagine eating a dog or a horse but their are people that do and think nothing of it. I was raised with cows and loved them. It hasn’t stopped me eating meat but it has made me think about where I get my meat from.

Qingu's avatar

I also think there’s a pretty steep moral difference between eating meat that comes from happy animals that have been killed quickly and painlessly, and meat that comes from animals bred in confinement and force-fed their entire lives in sunless factory farms.

downtide's avatar

On the whole, meat from carnivorous animals is not good to eat.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Actually Mtn Lion meat is some of the best you can get on the North American continent.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Some are more delicious than others, that’s why. Other than that, I’m with @incendiary_dan and @Qingu.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Many of the large fish people like to eat are carnivores.

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