Are those that eat meat and are aware of the arguments for vegetarianism bad people?

So here is a question.  

I am currently eating a steak.  It came from a dead animal - one who most likely didn't have the greatest life, one could say suffered - One could go so far as to say the animal I am eating used to live a life of torture.  

I am perfectly well aware of the arguments for not eating meat.  The arguments against animal abuse.  I have watched the videos of animals being slaughtered because I wanted information to make an informed opinion.  

It wouldn't be a lie for me to admit that I agree with all the arguments from the non meat eater/vegetarian crowd.  I agree with them almost completely.  That the animals do in fact suffer more than they should.  

But honestly - eating this steak makes me feel good.  I enjoy chewing it, tasting it - the red and bloody steak it becomes with butter and pepper.  It's delicious to me.  

I guess it's more that I just don't care about the suffering the animals enough for me to give up my delicious steak.  Or veal chop.  Or rack of lamb.  

What say you, rational minds?  Am I a 'bad person' for admitting that the arguments make sense and yet I choose to simply ignore them for my own one could say - selfish and short-term desires?  

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Yes.

Caveat emptor: I don't have an answer to the question -- that seems personal. I just have thoughts on how to consider the question.

If we were to apply this same line of thinking to all facets of life, large numbers of us would be feeling conflicted about many of the things we do. We will all cause harm to others in life. the question is, how accountable do we really hold ourselves to the harm we cause?

I don't deal well with good and bad in this sense, but I do think ethical consistency is important. I think there different factors to evaluate in a situation like this. For example:

  • Do you face the reality of your situation, or do you preserve ignorance and/ or lie to yourself and others to assuage your conscience?
  • Are you directly responsible for the harm caused or do you have a more passive role?
  • Do you have any power or responsibility to mitigate the harm caused, and do you take any steps to that effect?

The questions aren't necessarily that easy to answer. Something like facing reality would mean that you've gone to the depths of your empathy to understand the impact of your actions on the suffering animals as opposed to admitting logically that they are suffering in the abstract while shielding yourself from the actual thought of it.

How responsible you are is also filled with grey area. I'd argue that you bear some direct responsibility, but that your actual direct impact on the situation is fairly limited. Statistically, you are not significant in the larger issue. You don't define farming practices, and you don't define the overall market. Does that mean you should be complacent? I don't think so. By supporting harmful practices, you tacitly approve on some level, at the very least. There just isn't a simple binary 'do' or 'do not' in this situation.

Perhaps you are a bit of a monster in this scenario -- I dunno --, but even if you are, I don't have a method for determining if that is a right or wrong thing to be.

Heres the real question: If meat can be raised an eaten ethically, why are we torturing it in the process?

Why are calves taken from their mother, crammed into a 1.8 square meter cage, and fed nothing but milk to become veal when they could be raised on pasture and milk, and still become veal without the tiny cage and awful diet?

The point I am getting at here is this: eating meat is not necessarily a bad thing. It's entirely natural after all, and our bodies are somewhat used to it. It's the means of production that isn't good. In my mind, that should be controlled by an industry regulating group, and if they fail, government.

What is this, vegetarian troll thread of the month club?  I thought we just got done discussing this issue.

"What is this, vegetarian troll thread of the month club?"

No, it really doesn't seem to be.

"I thought we just got done discussing this issue."

You have an odd sense of humour. Haven't you been on the site long enough to know better?

Yep. I'm wondering why you ask...it doesn't seem too difficult of an answer to divine.  Are you feeling guilty, looking for excuses, or trying to get other people to change their eating habits...what?  This so weird. Hey guys, 'I'm doing this thing, which I know is wrong because it causes suffering, because I like to do it. Am I still a good person?' WTF. Please don't apply these ethics when making decisions in other, more impacting areas of your life.  Not meaning to get personal about this but unless you're coming at this from the Peta perspective of recruiting vegans, I'm a bit worried about the types of choices you might be making.

If you think that the average head of livestock lives a life of 'torture' then you are either ignorant and incredibly mislead or else you are just a twit looking for a new religion.  Either way you are not a bad person - just brainwashed like any other theist.

Perhaps you should actually spend some time at a livestock operation rather than letting a single book, written by a single activist, who collected anecdotal 'evidence' to support a specific agenda, shape your views.  If you are willing to let your views be so easily shaped by someone with so little experience with reality, then please stay away from the bible.

That sounds like a company whose products I would like to avoid.  I would like to avoid a lot of factory farmed products - and I do make an effort to do so.  That isn't enough for the vegan, however, who feels that the very definition of livestock infers some immense suffering.  If you've spent a good portion of your life on farms them you know this is not the case - and anyone suggesting otherwise is either grossly misled or deluded.

That being said, please explain why the vegan religion is the only means of eliminating companies like Tyson Foods.

Well then we think alike.  I just find the vegan religion's view of "livestock = torture" to be ridiculous and that was the point of my comment.

Even if Tyson slaughtered livestock on fluffy white pillows using anesthesia while playing them classical music, I still wouldn't buy anything from them. Tyson is an ultra-religious company with squads of chaplains and libraries of religious books, and even without all that they're still too snuggly with anti-gay hate mongers Chick-Fil-A. Tyson can shove it.

I never saw the point of calling veganism a religion. Vegans don't share an imaginary friend, they don't have a god.

If you don't like veganism; don't become one!

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