I love meat. Whether a nice hamburger, chicken breast, or even, dare I say it, a tender veal chop I cannot get enough delicious hot juicy meat in my diet. You can imagine my dismay when I found out that our guest lecturer, Professor Evans, was a vegan and would be explaining, through decently sound philosophical argument, why we perhaps should be vegetarians. According to professor Evan’s eating meat, eggs, or dairy is morally wrong because of the great amount of pain that factory farming causes to animals. I never thought that the simple task of consuming the burger I had for lunch or the chicken breast I ordered for dinner could be considered a morally incorrect action. This lecture forced me to look inside myself and ask, for the first time, if I honestly thought that continuing to eat meat on a regular basis constituted my direct “cruel” treatment of animals. I quickly decided that it was not. Whether this was a result of the realization that I simply could not live without meat or the result of rational sound moral reasoning I cannot honestly say.
Humans are the dominant species on the planet. We build roads in the middle of desserts and jungles, we throw bridges between land parted by water, and we kill animals, a class below us hierarchically, for their food. Humans have always utilized, or exploited depending on how you look at it, the resources of their land. We as a species are all about convenience, productivity, and satisfaction; three factors accounted for in the current factory farming system employed in the United States. Eating meat is the most efficient way for us to obtain our daily protein requirements. Without daily meat consumption it would be more difficult to consume the appropriate amount of daily protein and other nutrients. In terms of the argument against the cruel treatment of animals perhaps there needs to be reform in the system in which we raise our animals for food rather than a movement to stop eating a type of food which our ancestors have eaten for millions of years and many people continue to enjoy today. I’m not saying that I don’t understand the intentions of the animal rights activists but rather I am perplexed as to why they do not initiate movements for healthier and more humane raising practices. No one can ever make me feel guilty for eating an animal because we, humans, are above animals with the prerogative and free will to eat as we please and look out for our own best interests and the needs of our families. We are the superior species in all regards. We are the more intelligent and industrialized species and with global hunger running rampant and an economy in dismay we cannot give up eating meat because of the way in which that meat is treated before it even hits our local butcher shop.