Monday, January 14, 2013

The Ethics Of Meat And Vegetables

It has widely been thought that the most ethical way to eat is eating only vegetables and avoiding meat, as vegetables are not sentient beings. Nothing in life is so simple and clear cut.

But let's follow this train of thought. Where is this food sourced? It's not gathered, it's farmed. If we were to feed every human being non-meat substances to survive, meaning grains like wheat and rice, vegetables, legumes, etc, where would we find the land to do this?

Secondly what about the natural life and environment already there? How do we keep "pests" from invading our farms? Will we dispose of them humanely? What about loss of natural vegetation for the common monocultures we survive on, mostly corn and soy? This has had disastrous ecological damage already.

It's ultimately a question of land, politics, money, and whenever there is land and displacement involved, there is an ethical price as well. It may be inconvenient but its part of eating the the modern way, whether it's with or without meat. Unless you are hunting and gathering everything, there is always a price on the land.

Australian researchers came up with some numbers for their own country and its astounding and further complicated the ethics of food.
  • At least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
  • more environmental damage, and
  • a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat.
In saving the cow and the hog, what price does the natural wildlife pay? Furthermore without the need of cows and hogs, what do we do with all of them?

Like I mentioned in my previous post about food sourcing and the genetic modification of our food, there are a lot of politics, lobbies, subsidies, misinformation, and money involved with food

Now if somehow you were a vegetarian who gathered and picked all their own food without aid of a farm, now we are talking about ethical high ground.

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