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Ethics of Eating Meat

Autor:   •  April 2, 2011  •  Essay  •  462 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,177 Views

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"I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics" (Schweitzer). According to Albert Schweitzer, winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, to respect and have compassion for life is the basis of ethics. However, many people argue that eating meat is ethical and can be beneficial for human's nutritional needs and supports the food chain. How can it be ethical than that over 100 million cows, pigs, and sheep are slaughtered in the United States alone each year? (Singer 57) Eating meat is unethical because it violates human ethics, animal rights and environmental ethics.

Eating meat defies the ethics of humans. It is morally wrong for a human to consume meat. Animals are sentient and therefore should be considered under utilitarian ethics. Humans desensitize themselves to the suffering of these animals. They console themselves that they are just eating beef, poultry, pork or venison when in reality, they are eating flesh. It would be harder for humans to continue eating livestock when they grasp that they are eating a sentient being. In addition, humans do not have the right to take the life of another sentient being simply to satisfy their taste buds. In fact, humans, as the "higher developed species", are conscious of their behaviour. As such, it is the moral responsibility of humans to protect those who are more vulnerable. It is fundamentally wrong for humans to kill animals unless under extreme circumstances. Yet, humans are killing animals for its nutritional value, enjoyable taste and convenience. Additionally, humans should be obligated to live with integrity. Man is rational and moral, but most of all, man "put his intellectual nimbleness in the service of his desires" (Scully). For example, humans can easily eat a cow but will love a dog like a family member at the same

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