Friday, March 23, 2012

Ethics Contest: NY Times

Stolen photo (sorry): Gaucho BBQ

I found this contest on my girlfriend-in-law's (that would be my son's girlfriend's) Facebook page and swiftly entered it. My chances of winning being zilch, I thought I'd give all of my readers out there—let's hear it for another big zilch—the chance to read the essay online.


That’s like asking is it ethical that cars run on gasoline? We’re designed to eat meat. Eating meat is a design question, not an ethical one.

Department of Further Amplification:

We are only one of hundreds of thousands (millions?) of meat-eating species. All animals eat other living beings for their sustenance, many of them eat other animals. It’s how they’re designed. Apparently, it’s an inevitable step in life-form development. We’re just one more meat-eating species. There’s no ethical question involved.

As far as I know, we’re the only animal to have extended empathy into ethics, but there are no ground rules. We’re, obviously, not the only animals with empathy, but we’ve taken it to uncharted waters. Whether or not one considers eating meat ethical depends on a host of personal experiences and understandings, but, like all morality, there is no a priori right or wrong.

Likewise, there are debates as to the ethics of raising animals for food which differ from the debate of meat as food per se, and the two shouldn’t be, although frequently are, confused.

It’s good to remember we’re only vegetarians because carrots don’t flop around when we pull them out of the ground. We can’t hear them scream.

Another stolen photo: Moroccan BBQ

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