Post # 688   ON ETHICS IN FOOD CHOICES

We have noted that debate on the subject of proper human diet, when it comes to the subject of eating meat, tends to get acrimonious. The arguments, empirically, tend to reside in various contexts, evolutionary, biological and simply ethical. We would like to consider both sides of the issue, as we see them, in an objective, analytic fashion, prior to offering our position, on the sensitive subject.

Arguments for the propriety of eating meat:

  • The natural structure of man’s teeth is demonstrably, omnivorous. There are teeth specialized for eating meat as well as plants.
  • Our bodies produce chemicals designated for, and specialized, in the breakdown and absorption of meat
  • Plants do not provide certain nutrients contained in meat; the latter provides 83% of our protein
  • The farming of vegetarian foodstuffs is responsible for 70% of harmful pesticides and fertilizers and, further, requires deforestation to provide sufficient farmland
  • Meat-eating is a significant part of our culture

Arguments in favor of vegetarianism:

  • Killing animals for food is cruel, atavistic and immoral
  • Necessary protein can be obtained from eating many other foods such as tofu, beans and nuts
  • Eating meat is among the causes of colorectal and other cancers
  • Slaughtering animals for food brutalizes man and diminishes the unique sanctity of life

 This issue is the sole instance in which candor obliges us to admit to a measure of hypocrisy. Despite our eternally consistent opposition to hunting, guns, animal cruelty and abuse, we do confess to eating meat as well as fish, salad and vegetables. However, we have found it, emotionally, and morally, necessary to, for example, consider the quarter of chicken on our dinner plate, alongside the rice and vegetable as ”dinner,” rather than a bird murdered, to satisfy our appetite. Despite our eternal disapproval of duplicity, at times when we eat meat of any kind, we confess to its personally emotional and acceptable identification, as “dinner” or “food.” Absent the utilization of such convenient and accommodating fiction, it would be impossible for us to enjoy any meal containing meat.

We have consistently aspired to avoid hypocrisy, aside from the above singular instance, regarding which we, humbly, confess (mea culpa).

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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