You make a sound argument and in an ideal world I'd agree with you. But this isn't an ideal world. yes there are hundreds of athletes that maintain peak physical condition on a vegan or vegetarian diet - in fact I'm pretty sure I read the human stomach is only designed to digest one food group at a time so you should exclusively eat fruit and veg or meat and protein. But the reality Is that eating a fully nourishing vegan diet costs $$$$$$ and is really only doable by the privileged. I personally couldn't afford to get balenced diet without meat and as selfish as you may think it is, I'm not going to downgrade my standard of living for the sake of a few animals that will be killed anyway. I did try once for about 3 months to replace meat with quorn products and it basically bankrupted me! Believe me I actually work for a marketing company that does fundraising for many charities including the rspca and animal welfare and I do believe in animals being treated morally but in terms of food consumption for many there is no practical alternative.
I'm "working class" and I can afford a vegetarian diet. I don't mean this to sound harsh to you or any one else but people need to start taking personal responsibility for things instead of looking for excuses. "Oh I don't get payed enough" "It's not my fault I'm fat, It's Mcdonalds fault" "The government are to blame". Everyone likes to point the blame at some one or some thing else other than themselves without taking a hard look in the mirror and realising that the reflection staring back is the real problem. I can afford a vegetarian diet just fine and I don't consume much. I live by the motto "Eat to live" not "live to eat". Perhaps look to cut back on your food consumption and get a juicer. Juicing your fruit and veg is HUGE if you want to adopt a vegetarian diet in this day and age. A couple of glasses of fruit/veg juice can fill me up for most of the day. Just right now actually I'm on day five of a juice fast and I've eaten absolutely no solid food for five days.
Edlavis said it best. I wouldn't mind being a vegetarian ( I would ) but it consumes Both time and money. And really I'm at a time of my life where I can't lose both.
In a perfect world every kind of meat I eat. I'd hunt.
Just because humans are more intelligent doesn't mean that we can't kill animals and eat them. There's a food chain, and we're at the top of it.
Might does not = right. So then, you're agreeing with my Alien anaology. Humans are at the top of the food chain, so we can do what ever we want to animals "below us". So you're agreeing then that if a superior race landed on this planet (there's always a bigger fish) and they were above us on the food chain, you'd have absolutely no problem with this race of beings throwing you and your family into cages, butchering them, consuming them and then doing the same to you? After all, we'd be lower down on the food chain, so it just doesn't matter. We would be bred for death and suffering.
Personally, meat is tasty. It's also cheap, easy to get, and fills my stomach. I don't hunt but I fish on a consistent basis (and let's be real, fishing and hunting are basically the same thing) and eat almost everything I catch. I don't have to eat the fish or catch them, I can go to the store and buy food, I do it because it's fun and because I love the taste of fish and fish is very expensive, much cheaper (and far more fun) to catch and eat them that way. When I'm at the store buying food and come across a steak, I think "this will taste great with steak sauce" not "aw, poor cow". I just don't, it may sound harsh but I'm just being honest, people eat meat all over the world.
That's because you are brainwashed (and so was I for the vast majority of my life). What if human flesh tasted even better than steak? What if a human baby tasted absolutely delicious and it was on the shop floor in Walmart, would you consume that dead human flesh then? Or is there a line you won't cross. You'll consume any other dead animal on the planet, but not a human being (even if human meat were to taste really really nice!).
The fact of the matter is your diet is responsible for the unnecessary death and suffering of countless animals on this planet, and the key word is unnecessary. They don't have to suffer, it's a choice we make. You can choose to adopt a different diet where no animals are slaughtered and live perfectly healthily, but being honest with yourself you just like the taste of the meat too much and don't care enough about their unnecessary deaths to change your diet. Ultimately, you're selfish. I'm not just calling you out by the way, I had to look my self in the mirror and ask myself the same questions. "Is my diet contributing to the unnecessary deaths and suffering of countless animals?" Yes. Is that fair? Is that right? No. Am I willing to change my diet to stop the suffering? No. That's what I said to myself for a long time until I couldn't do it any longer, until I found the will power to stop.
Now if you want to say that it should be done in a way that the animals don't suffer, I'd agree. No need to torture or hurt the animals anymore than it takes to get them packaged and in the store, it is sick when that kind of stuff happens.
edit - also, bacon... yeah. That stuff is greasy as hell, but tastes delicious and I don't think I could give up my eggs/hash brown/bacon breakfast.
Please watch the documentary. Slaughtering/murdering some thing some one/some thing against their will is suffering which ever way you look at it. These animals don't consent to being slaughtered and locked up in cages their entire short fear riddled lives the same way we wouldn't consent. We don't have the right to do what we're doing ultimately. Might does not = right, this is a choice we make. We should protect those weaker than us, not exploit and use them how ever we want to.
The other thing you have to look at is this. The saying "you are what you eat" Do you think it's true? I do. So what are you? You're consuming DEAD animal flesh from animals that have only known fear and suffering their entire lives. You're consuming that fear based energy every time you have one of your tasty steaks. That dead animal you're consuming has spent it's entire life crippled with fear.
If animals are so different from us that they can't be held accountable for killing, as they clearly do not have human consciousness as you pointed out, I question why we should analogize them to humans as you did in your opening paragraph.
I'm not comparing them to humans. Every living thing on this planet knows pain from pleasure. Every living thing on this planet understands what suffering and fear feels like. Can a cow understand the laws of physics like a human can? No. Can a cow feel the intense fear and suffering when it is barbarically locked into a cage pressed against several other cows knowing it is going to be slaughtered? Yes. Can they feel pain? Yes. Why would you want to make any animal suffer in that way? Why would you want to make them go through this level of fear and suffering? Would you want to experience this kind of fear and suffering (see Alien analogy)? I assume you haven't watched the documentary. Please, when you get the time, watch it, it's a must.
Eating meat is just something that has stayed with us from the past. We killed animals to survive. Maybe in self defense, maybe because it was getting too cold for plants etc. Same with livestock, we learned to raise animals so it would be easier to survive and we wouldn't have to be some cavemen who attack a bear with a stick. That is just something that has stayed in our genes from generation to generation, as a matter of fact, eating meat is completely natural imo.
From the OP I'm guessing you are a vegan, and since you mentioned choices we can make.. do you not use anykind of transportation except lets say a bike as well? No secret that cars etc. pollute the air a damn lot.
One last thing I would like to add, I'm no zoologist, but I'm pretty sure that a lion could survive with a vegan diet as well (not the best example because of its environment, but you get the point). And how can you use an argument of taste? I can name plenty of things that one dog wouldn't eat if its life depended on it whereas my dog would see it and think it's christmas already. Same with cats. Most likely same with every other animal on the planet, but we just don't notice it as much because they are not pets. Why should I eat something that makes me vommit and feel bad?
I agree that eating meat is hard wired into us the same way raping and oppressing women years and years back was hard wired into us. Take a woman, she's inferior, can't really defend herself, if you want her, just **** her, no problem. That was also a way of life back then.
If you're living to survive where it's do or die, unfortunately animals will have to die for you to live. But in that instance there is no choice in the matter, it's do or die and every animal on the planet including us has a high priority to ensure survival to do any thing it can to survive.
I'm don't adopt a vegan based diet currently, vegetarian, how ever in the forseeable future I see myself adopting a vegan diet as the next logical step, how ever I admit that right now I don't have the will power to completely cut dairy out of my life (mainly milk chocolate and cheese I struggle with).
Makes you vomit and is bad for you? I'm not sure what fruit and veg you've been consuming, but I'm sure that isn't really the case. If you don't like eating whole fruits and veg (like me), then buy a juicer (you can get them cheap), it makes them taste GREAT. I've just had kale, spinach, cucumber, apple and ginger as a fruit/veg juice and it tastes amazing. The dead animal flesh you're eating is much worse for you then the fresh, vibrant fruit and vegetables teaming with life and nutrients.
I don't think a Lion would survive eating vegetables. It's body has evolved and is designed to eat flesh, all you need to do is compare it's teeth to ours to understand that.