Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why is it Ethical to Eat Meat? Give Us Your Answer, Win Some Knives

Syndicate

Syndicate content
Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!

Newshound Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments

Archives

Newshound
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

March 20, 2012
Why is it Ethical to Eat Meat? Give Us Your Answer, Win Some Knives - 78

Believe it or not, the New York Times is rallying a defense for eating meat. A Times' column, called The Ethicist, is hosting a contest asking readers to send in a short essay on why it is ethical for people to eat animals.

This from the Times

"Some of the more conscientious carnivores have devoted themselves to enhancing the lives of livestock, by improving what those animals eat, how they live and how they are killed. But few have tried to answer the fundamental ethical issue: Whether it is right to eat animals in the first place, at least when human survival is not at stake."

This is actually a pretty interesting question. It's not whether we like eating meat, or if it's nutritious to eat meat, but rather, why it's ethical to eat animals.

As a carnivore, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. Answer the Times' question in the comments section below! The reader with the best answer will win a set of Buck skinning knives to help prepare his or her next meal. Contest ends April 2.

Comments (78)

Top Rated
All Comments
from elhanon wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

We have three arguments to the rightness of eating meat: our eyes, our teeth and our stomach. Our eyes face front, giving us the depth perception of a predator. Our teeth have the tearing (canines) and cutting edges (incisors) of a predator. We have one stomach, not four, as may be found in a herbivore. We can blind ourselves to the basic facts of our bodies, but we cannot change them. We are meat-eaters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Simply put, We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, established the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)which is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of MEAT, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Is it natural?
Are we designed for it?
Are we capable?
Do we feel GOD approves?
Have we done it since the dawn of time?
Do we feel it is necessary for our survival?
I'd caution using these as support for eating meat when they all also apply to perhaps every war that man has entered into ... would killing another man also be considered ethical by these standards?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Deioma wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

The quick answer is simple. Yes. by the current definition of ethics and ethical, it is a behavior that is considered "acceptable" in our culture. I wonder how many people will have actually looked up the word Ethics before attempting to answer the question.

The deeper meaning is still a yes. If you believe in God the answer is yes. If you don't believe in God the answer is still yes. It is our nature to be meat eaters. Is it moral and ethical for a Lion to eat meat? The real answer is, It is neither ethical nor unethical for humankind to eat meat. It is nature. It is against nature to train ourselves to not eat meat. Regardless of the reasons and I'm not condemning it, I'm just pointing it out, it is against human nature to not eat meat. Nowhere on the earth are there aboriginal or tribal peoples who do not eat meat. There are still places where human beings still live at the most basic level and they eat meat. If you asked them if it was ethical or moral to eat meat, they might eat you. Which is another question altogether.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Ed wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Meat eating predators have eyes in the front of their face to better stalk and focus on their prey. Plant eating prey animals have eyes more on the sides of their faces to have a wider field of vision to avoid predators. My eyes are on the front of my face. By nature and design I am a meat eating predator.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The 1st, apex predator response by Nieke22 was best. Evolution doesn't need to be justified.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Bob wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Humans are in their deepest genetic code "Hunter-Gatherers." Hunters hunt and eat meat. Why is this even a question. It is as a Louisiana Friend of mine says, "in the blood."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Since what is considered "ethical" is determined by the group that establishes the accepted standards of conduct, I'm not certain any response, no matter how well-written, is going to convert members from one side to the other. This holds true regardless of whether or not the practice is considered "legal". Interestingly, the fact that we are omnivores, having incisors & canines, and bicuspids & molars, suggests that the choice is ultimately ours - whether one is a Christian, Evolutionist, Atheist, Agnostic, avid hunter, card-carrying PETA member or none of the above. Perhaps the only "truth" for both sides is that to kill an animal only for sport would be considered unethical by all but a select few.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from froglaps wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethically, yes is it ok. I don't think because we are an evolving, species that we should have to re-identify themselves in order to appease those who have have who have issues. In today's world people have issues with all sorts of things, that in days past were part of normal life. We have eaten meat for ten's of thousands of years. I believe our bodies, have the need for protein from red meat. I think that 99% of population as a whole is disillusioned about life in general. The reason this comes up is because some people don't like what it takes to provide meat. I find it amusing that to some fish is ok, but if it has hair... that is taboo, even "murder". They should read the definition.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hatchieriver wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Because Genesis 9:3 tells us "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." That should pretty well settle any questions about whether or not to eat meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from peteyraymond wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Protein is absolutely vital for a healthy, optimally functioning human body and mind. Animal flesh is the most optimally perfect form of protein.

Humans, at least in the United States, have an inalienable right to choose the source and type of protein they feel necessary to maintain their bodies and minds.

No human has the right to dictate what form of protein another human must choose. THAT would be unethical.

I choose to eat meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from papajocu wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I have to revise my earlier post, it seems like I turned it into more of a right to hunt. I stand by my convictions though that it is not a question of ethics or religion, it's just a choice. I choose to eat bologna, beef, chicken fish and game as well. I don't slam those who don't and I expect the same respect from them.
If you want to eat meat, it's ok and healthy. If you don't want to, then don't.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dan.and3891 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It is ethical for us as human beings to eat meat because it gives us a sense of responsibility and dare I say "ownership" over animals. When I say ownership I don't so much mean the buying and selling of like for live stock, but the pride and duty that leads to conservation of wild game and their habitat. If we were not actively invested in the eating of these animals then because of human nature we would have very little incentive to pour as much time, energy and money into ensuring the continual survival of game species. Despite what non-hunters would like to believe; if the money and labor of hunters, was no longer used of habitat conservation and the protection of species then many of these animals would have vanished form the landscape simply because people have such a dramatic effect on changing their environment if we had no reason to step in and restore the balance that we have disrupted the damage would be incalculable. But since we do eat animals we are personally vested in protecting them and even restoring them to habitat from which they have vanished from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from papajocu wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Sorry folks, its not a question of food chain, the Bible, or ethics - it comes down to a choice. Simple as that. I don't bash those who choose NOT to eat meat and I expect from them to be treated with the same respect. I enjoy the outdoors and spend a lot of time hunting wild plants, mushrooms, berries, fruit nuts and yes, animals. My grandkids are as fascinated when I show them wild salads as they are when I dress out an animal or fish. Nothing is more fun than for me to show them how to hunt or catch meat then cook it with wild spices and serve it up with salad and veggies we picked out in the woods. And I teach them to protect the environment and its resources. So again, I say it's a choice and I choose to eat meat. If you want to talk ethics then here are my views. Hunting animals that are endangered is unethical. Poaching without buying a hunting license or permit is not ethical. Killing for no reason or wasting game is unethical. Telling me I don't have the right to hunt is unethical. So, there are my ethical views. Thank's for reading. jmc

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

don't get caught on a deserted island with me,I know it's not ethical but it is survival

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayrjoe wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

because God gave us permission too!!! also because in todays enviroment there are so little nutrients in our food that we NEED venison and other forms of meat to boost our immune system............ Believe me I did a research paper on the benifits of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayrjoe wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

because God gave us permission too!!! also because in todays enviroment there are so little nutrients in our food that we NEED venison and other forms of meat to boost our immune system............ Believe me I did a research paper on the benifits of it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IsleBeWild wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Webster’s Dictionary defines Ethics as the system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, profession, etc. It defines Ethical as conforming with moral standards; conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession or group.
Given the definition of ethics and ethical the different groups have different standards or morals and we will not be able to agree that eating meat is ethical.
I have no issue with those who prefer to be vegetarian, but I do have issue when they espouse to others that eating meat is unethical. Even before this nation’s founding, “Under God we Trust” it has been ethical to eat meat. In the Bible, Timothy 5 mentions that some shall command to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
Those close to the earth, farmers, homesteaders, and hunters know the many emotions of taking an animal’s life, but in the end it is a very thankful feeling for what has been provided.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold Rougeux Jr. wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I only have on this matter (READ YOUR BIBLE)The Lord tells us man does not live by bread alone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dptowne wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Finally, the Times gets it right. The eating of meat is the most "fundamental ethical issue" we face in society today. I can't believe it took them so long to figure it out. Maybe now they will stop reporting on silly ethical dilemas such as corruption in politics or financial fraud.

Of course eating meat is unethical! But to get to the heart of the problem, we need to focus on the worst offenders. Did you know that a lion's diet consists almost entirely of meat? Everyone knows that they are the most unethical animals in the animal kingdom. What we really need is a good protest movement to show them the error of their ways. We could call it "Occupy the Serengeti." I am sure that they would listen to reason and switch to eating a nice plate of bean sprouts instead of those poor, defenseless gazelles.

Just imagine how great it would be to totally eradicate predation. All animals in the forest would be happy partners and since food is limited, we could totally eliminate the second most fundamental ethical issue; overweight deer. Perhaps we would all become better drivers as we spend more time dodging these skinny deer as they roam our unethical roads. Thank goodness the Times had the forethought to raise the awareness of the most critical issue we face in society today.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from diegfris wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I rely on conservationists to manage animal population at best levels through efforts including hunting. As a hunter, I'm a contributor and not only enjoy eating the harvest but feel it would be unethical not to eat the meat!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Yes, it's ethical to eat meat!! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'ethical' as "Conforming to accepted standards of conduct", and unless someone is a vegan, or claims to be, we conform. Moderation in all things, I don't think it's healthy to get into an eating contest, or try to eat a 32-oz steak in one setting, but it's moral, ethical, and HEALTHY to consume protein, and animal protein is the most easily processed by our bodies.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Maurice Francis wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

yes yes, to eat meat or fish alone or just be a vegan , well ,,me, i have not yet heard of a 3rd generation vegan

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jason shirey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Read your freaking Bible! if you dont agree with that you are not worthy of reproducing offspring you tree hugging nut-jobs. jason

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rjamison1955 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I'm going to eat meat no matter what others think ethics be dammed!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pafanasiw wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Eating meat is older than the oldest profession in the world, period.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Hi...

I think that as soon as early man "discovered" meat...they realized that meat sustained them. They had the teeth for eating meat, and they didn't know about farming at the time.

Then came COOKED meat...and boy...was it tasty...!! And it still sustained us.

Ah, yes...the good old days...!!

And, for most of us, meat STILL sustains us...and STILL tastes good.

If everyone on earth suddenly stopped eating meat...exactly what would be left to sustain us?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Hays wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics are not the issue, the fact is that in most instances we (humans) are at the top of the food chain. Unless of course we venture into Bear/Lion or shark country. We have the choice to eat what we want, when we want. Is it ethical for the Bear to eat the hiker? Is it ethical for the Shark to dine on a diver? It's not ethics its the food chain.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat because we were designed to eat meat. I eat four legged animals, birds, and fish, as well as frogs and turtles.
Why should ethics be involved at all? Ethics is an abstract concept invented by humans.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark Broderson wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Yes, it is ethical to shoot your own meat because if you don't, the population of the animal will increase allowing disease to actually kill more animals than hunting would if one did not thin the populations.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Glick wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The circle of life and the food chain are all linked together. Humans and animals are all part of that chain. humans can't get the necessary diet from just grasses and berries, animals on the other hand can get the proper nutrition from grasses. Therefore by animals consuming grasses and humans consuming meat. the link in the food chain is connected and the circle continues to let life live on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdawson2 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Many people throughout the world are undernourished because their diets are lacking in protein. There are extensive grasslands throughout the world. Grass is generally not directly usable as food for humans. Grass-fed animals, either wild or domesticated, convert grass to high-protein meat that can be made available for human consumption. Grasslands can sustainably produce meat indefinitely with proper stewardship. It is therefore ethical and desirable to provide meat sustainably, while conserving grasslands, to prevent starvation and sickness of our fellow humans.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lee Nancie Bryant wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics or moral philosophy requires a concept of right and wrong. This concept requires a standard which is normally associated with God. God is good. God directed His people to eat meat in His instructions for living. The Holy Bible in Genesis 9 directs people to eat meat. God does not instruct His people to do anything unethical.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from minzwa wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Were our estimated 100 billion ancestors all unethical?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckmeister2 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As is generally the case with media surveys, the question is incorrectly worded, and non-qualified. Specifically, the reference to "when human survival is not at stake" needs qualification. What does "survival" mean? A 25-year life span will allow our species to survive. Most humans would be able to live 25 years on a diet of various plants and water-based liquids. However, most of us do not want to merely survive, we want to flourish, prosper, and otherwise achieve fulfillment in life. Fulfillment will mean different things to different people, and part of that fulfillment may be derived from eating game, or even farm-raised animals. As for diet and nutrition, meat consumed in moderate amounts provides many humans with basic and complex nutritional needs which cannot be provided by vegetation alone, or the addition of manufactured supplements. Due to the vast differences in nutritional needs of the world's population, eliminating either plant-based or animal-based foods entirely from a diet will result in the severe health decline of some individuals. Is the New York Times willing to say, "those individuals who's nutritional requirements for health include the intake of meat will not be missed"? Regardless of how large or small that number of humans may be, some will suffer serious health consequences if meat is not available. How ethical would it be to deny those people their health for the sake of not killing an animal?????

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Teal wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Forget about the Bible telling us that God created the earth and all the animals and plants etc for our control, forget about the fact that we need meat to survive, forget about all the ethical issues regarding meat. We have canine teeth to eat meat, canine teeth are to tear meat while eating, the front teeth and molars are for eating other things, but the canines were meant for meat and only meat, subject closed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from minzwa wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Is a shark unethical?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arlyn wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethicality is not the issue. Rather, is the human consumption red meat practical and healthy? Human practice began with hunting and gathering, then evolved into agriculture that included raising animals and crops to maintain itself. Along the way, our ancestors discovered fire, how to control and use it to their benefit. Heat plus meat, grains and vegetables provided sustanance. As time went on, preferences developed; among these was the demand for the flesh of living creatures, other than human beings. Agriculture and hunting became and remain important components of modern western economies.

Is it healthy? The jury is still deliberating. Moderation seems to be the best approach to consumption of any kind!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rollinson wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Because it tastes good and if you don't eat it; it will rot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fischbil wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Since it is virtually impossible for the human body to intake enough complex protiens to survive without ingesting meat, and survival of and propagation of the species is a primary objective of any species: It is not only ethical but required.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from sangcoacc wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Eating nutritious food is necessary. The government tells me I need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. The government goes so far as to provide me with pyramids and guidelines to ensure I understand how to eat healthy. Michelle Obama wants me to be healthy. Therefore, it is my ethical responsibility to eat meat as a part of my nutritious, balanced diet.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dietary101 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As a nutritional director I think a simple answer to the question at hand is that it is still very much a part of survival. A necessity, no, but definitely a benefit. We all need protein in our diets and although there are other sources of protein available not all are edible for everyone due to allergies.

We DO need the protein, found in meats, in our diets to sustain a healthy body and mind. People who do not eat meat would struggle far more than most to survive disease, injuries or life threatening complications without a healthy and strong and supportive inner structure.

Eating meat is still very much ethical and an enormous part of “survival” in our lives.

Respectfully submitted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jake Golden wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I beleive the most basic answer to this question can be derived from the bible. This passage is from Genesis 1 verses 24-31. Some others have used verses from Genesis but i like this one as well. It is basically telling us that God has created the earth and all the creatures and plants on earth for us to rule over or "use" for our benefit. Here is the verse: And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:24-31 NIV)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Ziert wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

"In the beginning". Look it up! It's all written in divinity for those who will read, yet listen. In the beginning a vegetarian way of life was the way it was meant to be. After the flood of Noah, God gave us permission and where-with-all to eat meat as well. In the beginning there was no competition except with Satan. As the population grew and competition as well as sin increased, the need for a higher level of protein was obvious, Vitamin B (nervous system), and so on - it simply became more "necessary" to survival. After the flood, there was no vegetation left on earth. And you thought all those animals Noah collected were purely for the continuation of the species. You probably never thought that some of the animals collected were not also giving birth even on the arch while it was afloat. Well, you are right and you are off center if you think "continuation of the species" doesn't first mean man over all else. God gave up the command and the will to be good stewards/shepherds over "all" that we prevail; (conservations first appearance on the scene). While open to naive argument, those that eat only vegetation will find themselves to be (on a whole and by comparison) physically weak, less alert, and subject to being over run by those who are more aggressive - those that eat meat. God gave us the means to survive under all conditions. Those that refuse to listen are lost to His commands.

Z

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethical ?

It is a choice for each person to make, and in this country we are granted the right by our Constitution to have the freedom of choice. "Is it right", you ask? In this country, it certainly is. You have the right to the pursuit of happiness only as long as it does not infringe upon my right to do the same, both in according to the law.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dek0609 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Oh, I thought the question was is it ethical to eat mice... Of course the answer is yes, but only if they are caught in sticky traps or by your cat. If it is the latter make sure they are fresh and well cooked.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from neubauer6 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Meat contains protein and other essential nutrients that our bodies need to properly function. Without eating meat, you would have to take supplements to receive these nutrients. Skip the pills and eat the pork!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from floridahunter wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

All animals with canine teeth eat meat. We have canines. 1+1=?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from frogcarver wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It's Part of the nutrients we need for life and to keep our body's healty.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ahaugen wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics has nothing to do with it. As the pelican says in "Finding Nemo" "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat."

Ethics is a human construct, defined and enforced by man and therefore, subject to man's whim and change of mind. It has nothing to do with survival.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rob Bailey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As an indirect vegetarian, I prefer to get my vegetables in high concentration doses from red meat. I vary my vegetable/mast intake by eating a variety of different animals. Farm raised beef for the benefits from alfalfa, Elk for benefits from buffalo grass, Whitetail deer for the benefits from corn & soy beans, Omega 3's, squirrels for benefits from nuts, rabbits for the benefits from green leafy plants, Waterfowl for the Omega 3's.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Life Feeds On Life!
It's as simple as that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tduke wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Because I get hungry and I like meat.
Keep the Tofu.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Hall wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." (Acts 10:13) If it was good enough for Peter it works for me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Genesis 9:2
The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands.

Genesis 9:3
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jabin Miller wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Ethics arises from an internal sense of justice toward other life forms. Since the question is about eating animals (rather than the meat that makes them), this is more a question of the justice of unnecessarily preying upon the lives of other, lesser beings.
What makes an action ethically 'right' is the sense that it would be justified if it happened to our own person. Considering this, do we feel it is 'wrong' when a human is killed/consumed by predatory/scavenger animals? No, simply because the animals are acting according to their nature.
So if we, in the role of predator, act according to our natures, including our rational and empathetic capacities - respecting the life of our prey by humanely killing and efficiently utilizing that life - then there is no reason to consider consuming animals ethically wrong. This does not prove that it is ethically right, but it shows how it is not wrong.
Of course, this raises a distinction between the ethics of inhumanely farmed livestock vs that of fairly hunted game animals, but that is for another topic.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joyce Petriseva... wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Living in a world and area that has abundant wildlife the question has come up before why it is ethical to eat meat. First off as a hunter I am also an environmentalist and conservationist. I take into consideration the habitat that these animals live in and what it takes for a healthy ungulate herd to survive weather it is Deer, Elk, Moose, Cattle,and yes even predators. What we are facing today is smaller habitat areas for wild game livestock to live. The human populations are growing and the demand for for for millions of people demand that we continue to raise livestock.Is it ethical for man to manage these animals weather they are domestic livestock for human consumption or the wild animals to keep them from starving to death or spreading disease? My answer is yes. From the point of view of a retired rancher is it ethical for me to make a living raising beef cattle for human consumption? It is not only ethical but is my right. It would be unethical not to eat the animal we kill,and letting the meat go to waste. It would be unethical to allow wild game herds to starve to death because of lack of habitat, and room to propagate in a healthy environment. It would be unethical not to manage predators to the point they are spreading disease to humans and domestic pets. So yes it is ethical to eat meat from that stand point as we were not intended to let anything go to waste. The Native Americans used everything from meat, to tendons to bones on any animal they killed, that was the ethical thing to do.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Spencer wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

simple,circle of life,one must perish for another to survive.humans were meat to be meat eaters

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from akferraro1 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

How about 2 million years of human evolution that’s resulted in incisors, pepsin and frontally rotated eyes.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Stephen Jens wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Many of us are forgetting that the goal is to answer why it is ethical to eat meat. We are omnivores, we eat meat and vegetables. I think the most logical answer is that we are now in almost all area's of the world a apex predator, intwined so closely with so many species population numbers (often times replacing native predators, purposefully or accidentally) that many populations would collapse. We also support many habitats simply to grow animals for meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from cuz wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Having not grown up in a hunting household and coming to hunting later in life I find myself thinking about the ethics of killing and eating animals more often than I did before I hunted. Like all good questions this one, for me has just brought more. True to form F&S has chosen a topic that is sure to warrant a response, and what could be more galvanizing than what you believe to be right or wrong. Besides what I believe to be hard evidence that man is an omnivore based on body type characteristics developed over tens of thousands of years, we still have a choice. We can eat meat or not. I think that a large percentage of our eating habits are socioeconomic and societally influenced, taking into account the current trend in India from a largely vegetarian society to a middle and upper class now embracing meat. Whether in line at the deli or staring down the barrel of a rifle we choose. For me the satisfaction of bringing home food to the table and feeding my family outweighs any guilt I feel. I earned this food with my own to hands. I think that hunting is a crucible that tests meat eaters more thoroughly than buying meat at the store. I am glad that I found hunting and that it found me and for the questions it has asked of me. For now I think that my actions are right and not wrong and that is the nature of man.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigkfisher wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Yes it is ethical. Our ancient ancestors ate meat. The individuals that were best suited for their environment survived and passed on their traits. Our bodies have evolved to acquire, ingest, digest, absorb and use the basic components of meat (amino acids). Eating meat has literally been bred into us. If there is ever a change in our current environment that puts an advantage in being able to find and acquire food I would be willing to bet that the individuals who survive and reproduce will once again be plant and meat eaters. Plus meat is delicious and who wouldn’t want to be the one doing the reproducing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I'm just curious. What on earth was offensive about my earlier post?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alwaysWRIGHT wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I believe it ethical to eat meat because,
A.Natural part of life,Survival of the fittest.
B.Come on, I dont think just vegetables could satisfy my palate.
C.Why let the meat go to waste, I think thats disrespectful to the animal. Its dead enjoy what it has to offer.
D.I know I mentioned this before, MEAT IS DELICIOUS!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

To me it's not so much ethical to eat meat, as much as it is not unethical to eat meat. People can abstain from eating meat, there is nothing unethical about that, but there is also nothing unethical about consuming it either.

In addition to that, I see it as wise and personal decision over ones personal assets. We are all entitled (and in this country guaranteed) to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness in my mind is the pursuit of personal property and the right to do with that personal property as I see fit.

When hunting, fishing or farming, those animals I've taken unto myself as personal property, either through purchase or harvesting, will be used as I see fit. They will be utilized wisely and not wasted. Some may not agree ideologically with what I do with them, but the care, processing and consumption of that property is not unethical.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There sure a bunch of minuses gettin laid on here. What, no one is entitled to their own opinion? My answer: I was raised on a farm that produced hogs, cattle, milk, and chickens for consumption. I never considered not eating meat. These animals were raised to provide nutrition and a livelihood for my family. I still hunt and if I am going to hunt I must eat the things I harvest. To do otherwise would not be ethical in my minds way of thinking.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bow-king2010 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Its the circle of life.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pfettig77 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I think we, as sportsmen, need to stop pretending that we do everything we do as a matter of ethics. I hear this a lot from the hunting community: "I hunt because I care about wildlife management" or "if I didn't shoot deer, they'd starve or get hit by cars". Those are added benefits, but the honest fact is that we really enjoy stalking and killing animals (and eating them). I don't choose my hobbies because of their benefit to the greater good. I like watching professional football and waterskiing, but I don't scrounge for "high calling" types of justifications for doing them, so why should I feel compelled to do so for hunting and eating animals.

The question really ought to be, "is it unethical to eat meat?" That answer to that, of course, is "no", and I don't feel like I should have to defend my position to anyone, because what happens when the ethics argument falls short for some?

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

ONE word as to why? omnivore , beef eat grass,lions eat meat,the OMNIVORE EATS BOTH AND THRU A WIDE SELECTION OF BOTH I INSURE THE NUTRIENTS A HEALTY BODY REQUIRES. BESIDES ,WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN A FEW RARE STEAKS AND A BUCKET OF SUDS?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bennyfreeze wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There’s an ethical dilemma in being a vegetarian that most vegetarians don’t see. Farming strips the land to a level that it won’t support the majority of wildlife for an extended period of time. And this is to a bacterial level. How is that ethical?
Eating meat also ensures that a watchful eye is upon the environment, far greater than the EPA or any of the liberal non-profits. From animal population numbers to diseases, there are a number of reasons why hunters have a better idea of how animals are getting along in the wild than anyone else does. You can’t really know something unless you actually witness it on a daily period. Hunters know this better than anyone. I’m not trying to get into an “ethics of hunting” debate, but you hunt so you can eat meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat in the same way it is ethical to go to work. The ability to be self reliant by raising crops, animals or by hunting is the pinacle of freedom. God placed the animals on earth so that we could use them as a resource. A resource that is renewable, sustainable and has few negative impacts on the environment should be celebrated and enjoyed by all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Clark wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat, when the animals are consuming their food supplies at a rate that will not sustain them through the next year.
It is both practical and ethical (but not necessary) to eat any animal that you have harvested. Even a deer that you have just hit with the family subaru while you were driving home from the supermarket (not all people practice this just for the idea of it being "roadkill", but there are plenty of people who do, and gain quite a bit of meat that they other wise would not have, but in this, as in all things, one should check with the local laws and regulations before even attempting such a thing).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Martin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There are quite a few buzzwords floating around the food world. "Natural" is one of the most used, and even when it is not used, whether a certain food is "natural" or not seems to be the underlying question. For a human, eating meat in itself is a natural activity, especially when it comes to wild meat. Humans are natural predators. There is no way around it. Some of us would like to forget this basic truth, but the canine teeth in our heads and the binocular nature of our eyes will not permit us to forget. Some who avoid meat like to say it is because animals are our equals. As a hunter I could not agree more. The wolf who chases down an elk is my equal. The bear who takes salmon from a stream is my equal. I have the same natural right as they do to consume the flesh of my prey. I see no quandary with eating my fellow predators either. My fellow animals seem to see no problem with it. The hawk that eats the snake seems to have no quandary with it. We are all just animals after all, humans included.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from tpbesone wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

The ethics surrounding eating animals should be categorized into two groups. Animals that consume food that humans could otherwise eat and those animals that don't (such as wild game and grass feed domestic animals). Though I personally consume both types of animals the ethics surrounding the second group is much more straight forward. If the animals we consume are eating plants inedible to humans then we are effectively converting calories from a source unuseable to us to one that is useable. Animals that are feed corn and other grains edible to humans are effectively an energy loss and the ethics behind eating those animals is much less straight forward.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Yoda wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

From a hunters stand point it is ethical to eat meat because you've taken the time to harvest wild game, hopefully in a quick manner, so the animal shouldn't be wasted.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Eating browsing animals such as deer in particular makes use of wooded land to provide protein for human consumption without the ecological impacts of turning it into pasture.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SW1964 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

If God didn't want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nieke22 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

because we are on top of the food chain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from pfettig77 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I think we, as sportsmen, need to stop pretending that we do everything we do as a matter of ethics. I hear this a lot from the hunting community: "I hunt because I care about wildlife management" or "if I didn't shoot deer, they'd starve or get hit by cars". Those are added benefits, but the honest fact is that we really enjoy stalking and killing animals (and eating them). I don't choose my hobbies because of their benefit to the greater good. I like watching professional football and waterskiing, but I don't scrounge for "high calling" types of justifications for doing them, so why should I feel compelled to do so for hunting and eating animals.

The question really ought to be, "is it unethical to eat meat?" That answer to that, of course, is "no", and I don't feel like I should have to defend my position to anyone, because what happens when the ethics argument falls short for some?

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dcast wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Genesis 9:2
The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands.

Genesis 9:3
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rob Bailey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As an indirect vegetarian, I prefer to get my vegetables in high concentration doses from red meat. I vary my vegetable/mast intake by eating a variety of different animals. Farm raised beef for the benefits from alfalfa, Elk for benefits from buffalo grass, Whitetail deer for the benefits from corn & soy beans, Omega 3's, squirrels for benefits from nuts, rabbits for the benefits from green leafy plants, Waterfowl for the Omega 3's.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckmeister2 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As is generally the case with media surveys, the question is incorrectly worded, and non-qualified. Specifically, the reference to "when human survival is not at stake" needs qualification. What does "survival" mean? A 25-year life span will allow our species to survive. Most humans would be able to live 25 years on a diet of various plants and water-based liquids. However, most of us do not want to merely survive, we want to flourish, prosper, and otherwise achieve fulfillment in life. Fulfillment will mean different things to different people, and part of that fulfillment may be derived from eating game, or even farm-raised animals. As for diet and nutrition, meat consumed in moderate amounts provides many humans with basic and complex nutritional needs which cannot be provided by vegetation alone, or the addition of manufactured supplements. Due to the vast differences in nutritional needs of the world's population, eliminating either plant-based or animal-based foods entirely from a diet will result in the severe health decline of some individuals. Is the New York Times willing to say, "those individuals who's nutritional requirements for health include the intake of meat will not be missed"? Regardless of how large or small that number of humans may be, some will suffer serious health consequences if meat is not available. How ethical would it be to deny those people their health for the sake of not killing an animal?????

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joyce Petriseva... wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Living in a world and area that has abundant wildlife the question has come up before why it is ethical to eat meat. First off as a hunter I am also an environmentalist and conservationist. I take into consideration the habitat that these animals live in and what it takes for a healthy ungulate herd to survive weather it is Deer, Elk, Moose, Cattle,and yes even predators. What we are facing today is smaller habitat areas for wild game livestock to live. The human populations are growing and the demand for for for millions of people demand that we continue to raise livestock.Is it ethical for man to manage these animals weather they are domestic livestock for human consumption or the wild animals to keep them from starving to death or spreading disease? My answer is yes. From the point of view of a retired rancher is it ethical for me to make a living raising beef cattle for human consumption? It is not only ethical but is my right. It would be unethical not to eat the animal we kill,and letting the meat go to waste. It would be unethical to allow wild game herds to starve to death because of lack of habitat, and room to propagate in a healthy environment. It would be unethical not to manage predators to the point they are spreading disease to humans and domestic pets. So yes it is ethical to eat meat from that stand point as we were not intended to let anything go to waste. The Native Americans used everything from meat, to tendons to bones on any animal they killed, that was the ethical thing to do.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from sangcoacc wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Eating nutritious food is necessary. The government tells me I need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. The government goes so far as to provide me with pyramids and guidelines to ensure I understand how to eat healthy. Michelle Obama wants me to be healthy. Therefore, it is my ethical responsibility to eat meat as a part of my nutritious, balanced diet.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat in the same way it is ethical to go to work. The ability to be self reliant by raising crops, animals or by hunting is the pinacle of freedom. God placed the animals on earth so that we could use them as a resource. A resource that is renewable, sustainable and has few negative impacts on the environment should be celebrated and enjoyed by all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jabin Miller wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Ethics arises from an internal sense of justice toward other life forms. Since the question is about eating animals (rather than the meat that makes them), this is more a question of the justice of unnecessarily preying upon the lives of other, lesser beings.
What makes an action ethically 'right' is the sense that it would be justified if it happened to our own person. Considering this, do we feel it is 'wrong' when a human is killed/consumed by predatory/scavenger animals? No, simply because the animals are acting according to their nature.
So if we, in the role of predator, act according to our natures, including our rational and empathetic capacities - respecting the life of our prey by humanely killing and efficiently utilizing that life - then there is no reason to consider consuming animals ethically wrong. This does not prove that it is ethically right, but it shows how it is not wrong.
Of course, this raises a distinction between the ethics of inhumanely farmed livestock vs that of fairly hunted game animals, but that is for another topic.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fischbil wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Since it is virtually impossible for the human body to intake enough complex protiens to survive without ingesting meat, and survival of and propagation of the species is a primary objective of any species: It is not only ethical but required.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdawson2 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Many people throughout the world are undernourished because their diets are lacking in protein. There are extensive grasslands throughout the world. Grass is generally not directly usable as food for humans. Grass-fed animals, either wild or domesticated, convert grass to high-protein meat that can be made available for human consumption. Grasslands can sustainably produce meat indefinitely with proper stewardship. It is therefore ethical and desirable to provide meat sustainably, while conserving grasslands, to prevent starvation and sickness of our fellow humans.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from IsleBeWild wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Webster’s Dictionary defines Ethics as the system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, profession, etc. It defines Ethical as conforming with moral standards; conforming to the standards of conduct of a given profession or group.
Given the definition of ethics and ethical the different groups have different standards or morals and we will not be able to agree that eating meat is ethical.
I have no issue with those who prefer to be vegetarian, but I do have issue when they espouse to others that eating meat is unethical. Even before this nation’s founding, “Under God we Trust” it has been ethical to eat meat. In the Bible, Timothy 5 mentions that some shall command to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
Those close to the earth, farmers, homesteaders, and hunters know the many emotions of taking an animal’s life, but in the end it is a very thankful feeling for what has been provided.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alex Martin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There are quite a few buzzwords floating around the food world. "Natural" is one of the most used, and even when it is not used, whether a certain food is "natural" or not seems to be the underlying question. For a human, eating meat in itself is a natural activity, especially when it comes to wild meat. Humans are natural predators. There is no way around it. Some of us would like to forget this basic truth, but the canine teeth in our heads and the binocular nature of our eyes will not permit us to forget. Some who avoid meat like to say it is because animals are our equals. As a hunter I could not agree more. The wolf who chases down an elk is my equal. The bear who takes salmon from a stream is my equal. I have the same natural right as they do to consume the flesh of my prey. I see no quandary with eating my fellow predators either. My fellow animals seem to see no problem with it. The hawk that eats the snake seems to have no quandary with it. We are all just animals after all, humans included.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bennyfreeze wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There’s an ethical dilemma in being a vegetarian that most vegetarians don’t see. Farming strips the land to a level that it won’t support the majority of wildlife for an extended period of time. And this is to a bacterial level. How is that ethical?
Eating meat also ensures that a watchful eye is upon the environment, far greater than the EPA or any of the liberal non-profits. From animal population numbers to diseases, there are a number of reasons why hunters have a better idea of how animals are getting along in the wild than anyone else does. You can’t really know something unless you actually witness it on a daily period. Hunters know this better than anyone. I’m not trying to get into an “ethics of hunting” debate, but you hunt so you can eat meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

There sure a bunch of minuses gettin laid on here. What, no one is entitled to their own opinion? My answer: I was raised on a farm that produced hogs, cattle, milk, and chickens for consumption. I never considered not eating meat. These animals were raised to provide nutrition and a livelihood for my family. I still hunt and if I am going to hunt I must eat the things I harvest. To do otherwise would not be ethical in my minds way of thinking.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Hall wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." (Acts 10:13) If it was good enough for Peter it works for me.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ahaugen wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics has nothing to do with it. As the pelican says in "Finding Nemo" "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta eat."

Ethics is a human construct, defined and enforced by man and therefore, subject to man's whim and change of mind. It has nothing to do with survival.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from frogcarver wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It's Part of the nutrients we need for life and to keep our body's healty.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethical ?

It is a choice for each person to make, and in this country we are granted the right by our Constitution to have the freedom of choice. "Is it right", you ask? In this country, it certainly is. You have the right to the pursuit of happiness only as long as it does not infringe upon my right to do the same, both in according to the law.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Ziert wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

"In the beginning". Look it up! It's all written in divinity for those who will read, yet listen. In the beginning a vegetarian way of life was the way it was meant to be. After the flood of Noah, God gave us permission and where-with-all to eat meat as well. In the beginning there was no competition except with Satan. As the population grew and competition as well as sin increased, the need for a higher level of protein was obvious, Vitamin B (nervous system), and so on - it simply became more "necessary" to survival. After the flood, there was no vegetation left on earth. And you thought all those animals Noah collected were purely for the continuation of the species. You probably never thought that some of the animals collected were not also giving birth even on the arch while it was afloat. Well, you are right and you are off center if you think "continuation of the species" doesn't first mean man over all else. God gave up the command and the will to be good stewards/shepherds over "all" that we prevail; (conservations first appearance on the scene). While open to naive argument, those that eat only vegetation will find themselves to be (on a whole and by comparison) physically weak, less alert, and subject to being over run by those who are more aggressive - those that eat meat. God gave us the means to survive under all conditions. Those that refuse to listen are lost to His commands.

Z

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lee Nancie Bryant wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics or moral philosophy requires a concept of right and wrong. This concept requires a standard which is normally associated with God. God is good. God directed His people to eat meat in His instructions for living. The Holy Bible in Genesis 9 directs people to eat meat. God does not instruct His people to do anything unethical.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Hays wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethics are not the issue, the fact is that in most instances we (humans) are at the top of the food chain. Unless of course we venture into Bear/Lion or shark country. We have the choice to eat what we want, when we want. Is it ethical for the Bear to eat the hiker? Is it ethical for the Shark to dine on a diver? It's not ethics its the food chain.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Yes, it's ethical to eat meat!! The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'ethical' as "Conforming to accepted standards of conduct", and unless someone is a vegan, or claims to be, we conform. Moderation in all things, I don't think it's healthy to get into an eating contest, or try to eat a 32-oz steak in one setting, but it's moral, ethical, and HEALTHY to consume protein, and animal protein is the most easily processed by our bodies.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayrjoe wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

because God gave us permission too!!! also because in todays enviroment there are so little nutrients in our food that we NEED venison and other forms of meat to boost our immune system............ Believe me I did a research paper on the benifits of it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hatchieriver wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Because Genesis 9:3 tells us "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." That should pretty well settle any questions about whether or not to eat meat.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from froglaps wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethically, yes is it ok. I don't think because we are an evolving, species that we should have to re-identify themselves in order to appease those who have have who have issues. In today's world people have issues with all sorts of things, that in days past were part of normal life. We have eaten meat for ten's of thousands of years. I believe our bodies, have the need for protein from red meat. I think that 99% of population as a whole is disillusioned about life in general. The reason this comes up is because some people don't like what it takes to provide meat. I find it amusing that to some fish is ok, but if it has hair... that is taboo, even "murder". They should read the definition.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Eating browsing animals such as deer in particular makes use of wooded land to provide protein for human consumption without the ecological impacts of turning it into pasture.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Yoda wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

From a hunters stand point it is ethical to eat meat because you've taken the time to harvest wild game, hopefully in a quick manner, so the animal shouldn't be wasted.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tpbesone wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

The ethics surrounding eating animals should be categorized into two groups. Animals that consume food that humans could otherwise eat and those animals that don't (such as wild game and grass feed domestic animals). Though I personally consume both types of animals the ethics surrounding the second group is much more straight forward. If the animals we consume are eating plants inedible to humans then we are effectively converting calories from a source unuseable to us to one that is useable. Animals that are feed corn and other grains edible to humans are effectively an energy loss and the ethics behind eating those animals is much less straight forward.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Clark wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat, when the animals are consuming their food supplies at a rate that will not sustain them through the next year.
It is both practical and ethical (but not necessary) to eat any animal that you have harvested. Even a deer that you have just hit with the family subaru while you were driving home from the supermarket (not all people practice this just for the idea of it being "roadkill", but there are plenty of people who do, and gain quite a bit of meat that they other wise would not have, but in this, as in all things, one should check with the local laws and regulations before even attempting such a thing).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

ONE word as to why? omnivore , beef eat grass,lions eat meat,the OMNIVORE EATS BOTH AND THRU A WIDE SELECTION OF BOTH I INSURE THE NUTRIENTS A HEALTY BODY REQUIRES. BESIDES ,WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN A FEW RARE STEAKS AND A BUCKET OF SUDS?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bow-king2010 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Its the circle of life.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MazPower wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

To me it's not so much ethical to eat meat, as much as it is not unethical to eat meat. People can abstain from eating meat, there is nothing unethical about that, but there is also nothing unethical about consuming it either.

In addition to that, I see it as wise and personal decision over ones personal assets. We are all entitled (and in this country guaranteed) to the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness in my mind is the pursuit of personal property and the right to do with that personal property as I see fit.

When hunting, fishing or farming, those animals I've taken unto myself as personal property, either through purchase or harvesting, will be used as I see fit. They will be utilized wisely and not wasted. Some may not agree ideologically with what I do with them, but the care, processing and consumption of that property is not unethical.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I'm just curious. What on earth was offensive about my earlier post?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigkfisher wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Yes it is ethical. Our ancient ancestors ate meat. The individuals that were best suited for their environment survived and passed on their traits. Our bodies have evolved to acquire, ingest, digest, absorb and use the basic components of meat (amino acids). Eating meat has literally been bred into us. If there is ever a change in our current environment that puts an advantage in being able to find and acquire food I would be willing to bet that the individuals who survive and reproduce will once again be plant and meat eaters. Plus meat is delicious and who wouldn’t want to be the one doing the reproducing.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Stephen Jens wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Many of us are forgetting that the goal is to answer why it is ethical to eat meat. We are omnivores, we eat meat and vegetables. I think the most logical answer is that we are now in almost all area's of the world a apex predator, intwined so closely with so many species population numbers (often times replacing native predators, purposefully or accidentally) that many populations would collapse. We also support many habitats simply to grow animals for meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Spencer wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

simple,circle of life,one must perish for another to survive.humans were meat to be meat eaters

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tduke wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Because I get hungry and I like meat.
Keep the Tofu.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from floridahunter wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

All animals with canine teeth eat meat. We have canines. 1+1=?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from neubauer6 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Meat contains protein and other essential nutrients that our bodies need to properly function. Without eating meat, you would have to take supplements to receive these nutrients. Skip the pills and eat the pork!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dek0609 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Oh, I thought the question was is it ethical to eat mice... Of course the answer is yes, but only if they are caught in sticky traps or by your cat. If it is the latter make sure they are fresh and well cooked.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jake Golden wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I beleive the most basic answer to this question can be derived from the bible. This passage is from Genesis 1 verses 24-31. Some others have used verses from Genesis but i like this one as well. It is basically telling us that God has created the earth and all the creatures and plants on earth for us to rule over or "use" for our benefit. Here is the verse: And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:24-31 NIV)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minzwa wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Is a shark unethical?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Michael Glick wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The circle of life and the food chain are all linked together. Humans and animals are all part of that chain. humans can't get the necessary diet from just grasses and berries, animals on the other hand can get the proper nutrition from grasses. Therefore by animals consuming grasses and humans consuming meat. the link in the food chain is connected and the circle continues to let life live on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louzianajones wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It is ethical to eat meat because we were designed to eat meat. I eat four legged animals, birds, and fish, as well as frogs and turtles.
Why should ethics be involved at all? Ethics is an abstract concept invented by humans.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jason shirey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Read your freaking Bible! if you dont agree with that you are not worthy of reproducing offspring you tree hugging nut-jobs. jason

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Maurice Francis wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

yes yes, to eat meat or fish alone or just be a vegan , well ,,me, i have not yet heard of a 3rd generation vegan

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayrjoe wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

because God gave us permission too!!! also because in todays enviroment there are so little nutrients in our food that we NEED venison and other forms of meat to boost our immune system............ Believe me I did a research paper on the benifits of it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dan.and3891 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

It is ethical for us as human beings to eat meat because it gives us a sense of responsibility and dare I say "ownership" over animals. When I say ownership I don't so much mean the buying and selling of like for live stock, but the pride and duty that leads to conservation of wild game and their habitat. If we were not actively invested in the eating of these animals then because of human nature we would have very little incentive to pour as much time, energy and money into ensuring the continual survival of game species. Despite what non-hunters would like to believe; if the money and labor of hunters, was no longer used of habitat conservation and the protection of species then many of these animals would have vanished form the landscape simply because people have such a dramatic effect on changing their environment if we had no reason to step in and restore the balance that we have disrupted the damage would be incalculable. But since we do eat animals we are personally vested in protecting them and even restoring them to habitat from which they have vanished from.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peteyraymond wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Protein is absolutely vital for a healthy, optimally functioning human body and mind. Animal flesh is the most optimally perfect form of protein.

Humans, at least in the United States, have an inalienable right to choose the source and type of protein they feel necessary to maintain their bodies and minds.

No human has the right to dictate what form of protein another human must choose. THAT would be unethical.

I choose to eat meat.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Simply put, We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, established the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)which is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of MEAT, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nieke22 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

because we are on top of the food chain.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from SW1964 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

If God didn't want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from alwaysWRIGHT wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

I believe it ethical to eat meat because,
A.Natural part of life,Survival of the fittest.
B.Come on, I dont think just vegetables could satisfy my palate.
C.Why let the meat go to waste, I think thats disrespectful to the animal. Its dead enjoy what it has to offer.
D.I know I mentioned this before, MEAT IS DELICIOUS!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cuz wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

Having not grown up in a hunting household and coming to hunting later in life I find myself thinking about the ethics of killing and eating animals more often than I did before I hunted. Like all good questions this one, for me has just brought more. True to form F&S has chosen a topic that is sure to warrant a response, and what could be more galvanizing than what you believe to be right or wrong. Besides what I believe to be hard evidence that man is an omnivore based on body type characteristics developed over tens of thousands of years, we still have a choice. We can eat meat or not. I think that a large percentage of our eating habits are socioeconomic and societally influenced, taking into account the current trend in India from a largely vegetarian society to a middle and upper class now embracing meat. Whether in line at the deli or staring down the barrel of a rifle we choose. For me the satisfaction of bringing home food to the table and feeding my family outweighs any guilt I feel. I earned this food with my own to hands. I think that hunting is a crucible that tests meat eaters more thoroughly than buying meat at the store. I am glad that I found hunting and that it found me and for the questions it has asked of me. For now I think that my actions are right and not wrong and that is the nature of man.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Ox wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Life Feeds On Life!
It's as simple as that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dietary101 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

As a nutritional director I think a simple answer to the question at hand is that it is still very much a part of survival. A necessity, no, but definitely a benefit. We all need protein in our diets and although there are other sources of protein available not all are edible for everyone due to allergies.

We DO need the protein, found in meats, in our diets to sustain a healthy body and mind. People who do not eat meat would struggle far more than most to survive disease, injuries or life threatening complications without a healthy and strong and supportive inner structure.

Eating meat is still very much ethical and an enormous part of “survival” in our lives.

Respectfully submitted.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rollinson wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Because it tastes good and if you don't eat it; it will rot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arlyn wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Ethicality is not the issue. Rather, is the human consumption red meat practical and healthy? Human practice began with hunting and gathering, then evolved into agriculture that included raising animals and crops to maintain itself. Along the way, our ancestors discovered fire, how to control and use it to their benefit. Heat plus meat, grains and vegetables provided sustanance. As time went on, preferences developed; among these was the demand for the flesh of living creatures, other than human beings. Agriculture and hunting became and remain important components of modern western economies.

Is it healthy? The jury is still deliberating. Moderation seems to be the best approach to consumption of any kind!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary Teal wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Forget about the Bible telling us that God created the earth and all the animals and plants etc for our control, forget about the fact that we need meat to survive, forget about all the ethical issues regarding meat. We have canine teeth to eat meat, canine teeth are to tear meat while eating, the front teeth and molars are for eating other things, but the canines were meant for meat and only meat, subject closed.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark Broderson wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Yes, it is ethical to shoot your own meat because if you don't, the population of the animal will increase allowing disease to actually kill more animals than hunting would if one did not thin the populations.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Hi...

I think that as soon as early man "discovered" meat...they realized that meat sustained them. They had the teeth for eating meat, and they didn't know about farming at the time.

Then came COOKED meat...and boy...was it tasty...!! And it still sustained us.

Ah, yes...the good old days...!!

And, for most of us, meat STILL sustains us...and STILL tastes good.

If everyone on earth suddenly stopped eating meat...exactly what would be left to sustain us?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pafanasiw wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Eating meat is older than the oldest profession in the world, period.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rjamison1955 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I'm going to eat meat no matter what others think ethics be dammed!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from diegfris wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I rely on conservationists to manage animal population at best levels through efforts including hunting. As a hunter, I'm a contributor and not only enjoy eating the harvest but feel it would be unethical not to eat the meat!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harold Rougeux Jr. wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I only have on this matter (READ YOUR BIBLE)The Lord tells us man does not live by bread alone.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

don't get caught on a deserted island with me,I know it's not ethical but it is survival

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from papajocu wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Sorry folks, its not a question of food chain, the Bible, or ethics - it comes down to a choice. Simple as that. I don't bash those who choose NOT to eat meat and I expect from them to be treated with the same respect. I enjoy the outdoors and spend a lot of time hunting wild plants, mushrooms, berries, fruit nuts and yes, animals. My grandkids are as fascinated when I show them wild salads as they are when I dress out an animal or fish. Nothing is more fun than for me to show them how to hunt or catch meat then cook it with wild spices and serve it up with salad and veggies we picked out in the woods. And I teach them to protect the environment and its resources. So again, I say it's a choice and I choose to eat meat. If you want to talk ethics then here are my views. Hunting animals that are endangered is unethical. Poaching without buying a hunting license or permit is not ethical. Killing for no reason or wasting game is unethical. Telling me I don't have the right to hunt is unethical. So, there are my ethical views. Thank's for reading. jmc

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from papajocu wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I have to revise my earlier post, it seems like I turned it into more of a right to hunt. I stand by my convictions though that it is not a question of ethics or religion, it's just a choice. I choose to eat bologna, beef, chicken fish and game as well. I don't slam those who don't and I expect the same respect from them.
If you want to eat meat, it's ok and healthy. If you don't want to, then don't.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Since what is considered "ethical" is determined by the group that establishes the accepted standards of conduct, I'm not certain any response, no matter how well-written, is going to convert members from one side to the other. This holds true regardless of whether or not the practice is considered "legal". Interestingly, the fact that we are omnivores, having incisors & canines, and bicuspids & molars, suggests that the choice is ultimately ours - whether one is a Christian, Evolutionist, Atheist, Agnostic, avid hunter, card-carrying PETA member or none of the above. Perhaps the only "truth" for both sides is that to kill an animal only for sport would be considered unethical by all but a select few.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Bob wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Humans are in their deepest genetic code "Hunter-Gatherers." Hunters hunt and eat meat. Why is this even a question. It is as a Louisiana Friend of mine says, "in the blood."

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josey wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

The 1st, apex predator response by Nieke22 was best. Evolution doesn't need to be justified.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big Ed wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Meat eating predators have eyes in the front of their face to better stalk and focus on their prey. Plant eating prey animals have eyes more on the sides of their faces to have a wider field of vision to avoid predators. My eyes are on the front of my face. By nature and design I am a meat eating predator.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert Deioma wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

The quick answer is simple. Yes. by the current definition of ethics and ethical, it is a behavior that is considered "acceptable" in our culture. I wonder how many people will have actually looked up the word Ethics before attempting to answer the question.

The deeper meaning is still a yes. If you believe in God the answer is yes. If you don't believe in God the answer is still yes. It is our nature to be meat eaters. Is it moral and ethical for a Lion to eat meat? The real answer is, It is neither ethical nor unethical for humankind to eat meat. It is nature. It is against nature to train ourselves to not eat meat. Regardless of the reasons and I'm not condemning it, I'm just pointing it out, it is against human nature to not eat meat. Nowhere on the earth are there aboriginal or tribal peoples who do not eat meat. There are still places where human beings still live at the most basic level and they eat meat. If you asked them if it was ethical or moral to eat meat, they might eat you. Which is another question altogether.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

Is it natural?
Are we designed for it?
Are we capable?
Do we feel GOD approves?
Have we done it since the dawn of time?
Do we feel it is necessary for our survival?
I'd caution using these as support for eating meat when they all also apply to perhaps every war that man has entered into ... would killing another man also be considered ethical by these standards?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elhanon wrote 2 years 15 weeks ago

We have three arguments to the rightness of eating meat: our eyes, our teeth and our stomach. Our eyes face front, giving us the depth perception of a predator. Our teeth have the tearing (canines) and cutting edges (incisors) of a predator. We have one stomach, not four, as may be found in a herbivore. We can blind ourselves to the basic facts of our bodies, but we cannot change them. We are meat-eaters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from akferraro1 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

How about 2 million years of human evolution that’s resulted in incisors, pepsin and frontally rotated eyes.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from minzwa wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Were our estimated 100 billion ancestors all unethical?

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dptowne wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Finally, the Times gets it right. The eating of meat is the most "fundamental ethical issue" we face in society today. I can't believe it took them so long to figure it out. Maybe now they will stop reporting on silly ethical dilemas such as corruption in politics or financial fraud.

Of course eating meat is unethical! But to get to the heart of the problem, we need to focus on the worst offenders. Did you know that a lion's diet consists almost entirely of meat? Everyone knows that they are the most unethical animals in the animal kingdom. What we really need is a good protest movement to show them the error of their ways. We could call it "Occupy the Serengeti." I am sure that they would listen to reason and switch to eating a nice plate of bean sprouts instead of those poor, defenseless gazelles.

Just imagine how great it would be to totally eradicate predation. All animals in the forest would be happy partners and since food is limited, we could totally eliminate the second most fundamental ethical issue; overweight deer. Perhaps we would all become better drivers as we spend more time dodging these skinny deer as they roam our unethical roads. Thank goodness the Times had the forethought to raise the awareness of the most critical issue we face in society today.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)