Ethics

Meaty matters

Neel Mukherjee comes to the conclusion that no rational arguments can be made for eating meat:

It slowly dawned on me that there were no rational, intellectual or moral arguments to be made for carnivorousness.

However, he has come to a problem:

yet all of this is kinked by the fact that changing my mind hasn’t led to changing my habits. To understand intellectually is one thing, to put it into practice quite another, a whole untraversable territory away. I still haven’t been able to stop eating meat. In any restaurant, my eyes alight first, as if by an atavistic pull, on the meat dishes on the menu. In any dinner party I throw, I think of the non-vegetarian dish as central. I view this as a combination of weakness, greed and moral failure. Someone please help.

Here is my suggestion. Eating meat does not have to be a moral failure, or a sign of greed. There is a perfectly rational reason for your eyes alighting on the meat options on a menu.

Perhaps you like meat.

Liking meat is perfectly rational. Afterall, we like other things: sunsets, wine, cigars, puppies, cars, the company of friends and a breeze on a summer’s day.

The fact that a price has to be paid in the case of meat (by the environment, the animal, or your own health) is not a sign that the choice to eat meat is not rational, unless you think all personal enjoyment is irrational.

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