Why it is unfair to say that eating meat is unethical

by Abby Stern, Staff Writer

Since the dawn of time, animals have eaten other animals.  The hawk eats the snake which eats the mouse. Meat sustains animals, and humans, as animals, eat meat to sustain them.  The food chain is a natural part of life, so to claim that eating meat is unethical is unnatural.

The only reason a person can become a vegetarian and claim that eating meat is unethical is because we live in a day and age where food can be processed to imitate the properties of meat.  One hundred years ago, if a person did not eat meat, they most likely would not survive. Eating meat was and for some is still a way of survival.

If everyone in the world stopped eating meat, all of the people that work in the meat industry would lose their jobs.  Is it ethical to cause worldwide poverty and rural upheaval? There is only one answer to that question. Much of Earth’s land is proven to be able to sustain only livestock agriculture instead of raising crops.  We would be losing a business and its revenue and have no industry to replace it with. There is no alternative solution. We would be backing people into a corner of poverty and giving them no way out.

Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is a choice, and people have the right to choose whether they dine on a hamburger or not.  If I eat meat it will not affect the fact that someone else may not, however if someone else forces me to comply with their views then I am losing my right to choose.  To me, that is as unethical as it gets. As a matter of fact, only 3.2% of the U.S. population is vegetarian and only 0.5% are vegan. That leaves the other 96.3% of us pretty forgiving when others eat meat.

In the meat producing industry, there are undeniable reports of unethical treatment of animals.  This inhumanity should not be tolerated by the carnivores of the world, and the solution to this problem is not to cut out meat altogether.  When the branch of a tree is dying, do you cut down the whole tree or do you simply amputate the branch before the disease spreads? Cutting down the tree may solve the problem in a convoluted way, but one diseased area should not result in the demise of an entire system.

If you feel that animals are being treated unfairly, and you want to change this, there is so much that you can do.  Advocate for your beliefs, right letters to congress asking for legislation, go to rallies, educate others on the inhumanity of the industry.  The meat industry does not need to be killed, it needs to be saved.

Though the negative outcomes of eliminating meat are prevalent, I must admit there are benefits of vegetarianism, for the body, for the environment, and for the economy.  However, to deny the world these benefits by choosing to eat meat is not unethical. It is merely a reason for us as humans to come up with alternative solutions to these issues.  Eating meat is unavoidable for the entire human population. There is no situation where the governments of the world could collectively force the human population to stop eating meat, so it is not fair to suggest that those who do eat meat are denying the rest of the population the aforementioned environmental and economic benefits.  Banning the consumption of meat is not the solution to these problems.

For the American carnivores, we live in a society where majority rules, and the majority has established that they are more than ok with eating meat.  I respect vegetarians a lot for doing what they feel is right for them. But what is right for you is most often not what is right for others. It is unethical for a small group of people to force the larger population to comply with their minority opinion.  

The non-vegetarian population is the majority, and we have decided that eating meat is ethical.  As a proud omnivore, I believe that my right to eat meat is undeniable. Eating meat is a natural part of animal existence, and even though humans have evolved enough to create substitutes and survive without consuming meat, this doesn’t mean that we can’t or we shouldn’t.  Meat is a natural part of life, and ethically, to have a nice steak is just keeping the food chain in motion.