26 April, 2008

"The Animal Was Already Dead (By the Time It [S/he] Reached My Plate)"

I'll respond to this in two ways.

Response 1:

This statement might be true if you scraped roadkill off the highway and ate it. (Although even then, there is a valid argument that you should leave the heap of rotting flesh to the scavengers who are truly dependent on it.)

The meat on your plate (and, indirectly, the eggs and dairy products on your plate) came from animals who were created and killed only for one reason: You, and others like you, were going to buy the flesh, bodily fluids, and eggs from the animals. In other words, you are financing - in effect, dictating - that those animals be killed. They are killed because of your demand.

If you stopped eating meat, fewer animals would be killed. If many people stopped eating meat, the number of animals killed would drop precipitously.

The choice is in your hands: You decide whether animals are going to be bred and killed for your pleasure.

Response 2:

You're not that stupid. You know this rationalization is bogus. Imagine an alien shooting and killing you, chopping up your body parts, and feeding it to another alien who says "The human was already dead."

You may not be an expert on animal agriculture, but you know that animals are killed because the meat industry can bank on people like you buying the killed animals' flesh.

So I have to ask, why bring up such a flimsy, illogical, unsupportable defense? I think it's ultimately because you have a conscience. You know at some level that killing - and inflicting torture - for pleasure is wrong. Instead of confronting that harsh realization, you make up woefully unconvincing excuses. It's an avoidance mechanism.

With full respect and best intentions, let me make this proposal: Don't fight your conscience. Superficially, maybe you get some satisfaction from making up excuses for doing something that you know is wrong. Maybe they're even clever sometimes. But you're not fooling yourself or anyone else - or the victims. Moreover, it's never really satisfying when you engage in activities that you know deep down are morally troubling. There is still turmoil inside, and one way or another, it will manifest itself, and it could be ugly and could get in the way of your leading a fulfilling life.

Give in to your conscience. Thank God and/or biology that you have one. It is perhaps humanity's best feature, and saving grace. Follow your conscience, honestly, even though it may be difficult at times, and you're likely to have a truly satisfying life, and help others - humans and non-humans - do the same.


  1. I think that you're right when you identify the impetus behind this failed defense of consuming flesh:

    "You know at some level that killing - and inflicting torture - for pleasure is wrong. Instead of confronting that harsh realization, you make up woefully unconvincing excuses. It's an avoidance mechanism."

    I also see this impetus driving those individuals who ask "What about plants?" and other similarly illogical arguments against veganism. Cognitive dissonance has some prowess in our minds, which often results in arguments that amount to "blah blah blah...I just like the taste of meat...don't give me the details I want to enjoy my meal."

  2. I love this blog! Such awesome answers to the depressingly frequent questions asked by omnis in all of their absurd glory. Thank you for keeping me sane in this anti-vegan world.

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  4. While you do have some valid points... Meat's good so I'm gonna keep doin what I'm doin ������

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  6. I agreed with you until you brought up an alien invasion.