This is a question that a colleague asked me a couple years ago, and it just keeps coming back to me. If one becomes informed about the damage that our meat consumption is causing on the planet, does it become immoral for one to consume meat? Say, if you watch a couple documentaries on Netflix and continue consuming meat, does that make you a bad person? I don't really have an answer. I think about it every time I eat a burger.
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Given that some amount of meat is healthier than none, you'd probanly be fine reducing your consumption by an order of magnitude. What I'd argue would be immoral is continuing to eat meat while eschewing genetically modified vat meat when that becomes available. It's hard to say whether or not cutting consumption now will bring that to market any sooner.
Maybe splitting the big industrial production livestocks into smaller local ones and the promotion/support of it could be part of the solution. Idk. Also, the pesticides/chemicals massively used in agricultural production should be pointed out and it's just as bad. So I'm just trying to eat local as much as possible, meat and vegetables. Not going to stop eating good meat (I don't tell people they are bad based on what they eat). I might test a veggie burger out of curiosity.
That is very true, and a very good approach to the problem. Do you buy your produce from farmer's markets? I found that they rarely have any meat where I live.
If it's all done in one place, waste can be dealt with at scale. I'd argue local is worse for the environment, while what's best would be moving food production into highly industrialized vertical farms and vats colocated in the cities where people are. China relied on small local farms and it resulted in famines, which is why they started moving people to cities and industrializing food production. Self-sufficiency is the road to poverty.
Eating meat isn't immoral. We damage the planet in countless ways, humanity is a burden on the planet. If your goal is planet preservation over all, the only real answer is extinction of humans.
I don't think it makes you immoral. I just nowadays don't understand *why* anyone eats meat. Once upon a time it made sense - it was tastier, there wasn't much vegetarian food that was any good and we had little/no evidence about the env or health damage. Nowadays? It's *really* easy to be a vegetarian, it's incredibly tasty food *AND* you're doing so, so much good for pretty much everything: environment, your health, animal wellbeing, your weight, etc.
No, we still need those proteins
Veggie burgers man, they come in hundreds of types and they're delicious, cheaper, pain free and easy to store in the freezer! (and you can still eat steaks now and then)
Instead of just using eating choice cuts, try eating nose to tail. Also, treat meat like it used to be treated--a luxury. Our ability to get meat any time without having to hunt it has screwed up a lot.
Driving a car, flying on a plane, buying products that are shipped on boats overseas - all of these are destructive to the environment. Should you stop driving a car? Does it make you a bad person if you fly on a plane? Maybe. Alternately, some people see it as a challenge to do better - electric cars, more efficient planes, in this case... 3D printed or Lab grown meat. Maybe, it's not black and white.
I really like your perspective! There are ethical problems in almost every aspect of modern life (probably not just in modern life though). Where do you think should change start (if you think it should)? On policy level, personal level, cultural level, or all of those?
I like your point of seeing it as a challenge to do better. To be fair, some people don't have the option to *not* drive to work. It's just part of what they need to do to survive. On the other hand, there are easy alternatives to meat that cost the same and keep you alive just as well. I think that's where the thought of immorality comes from.
I know what the meat industry does. It ain't good, but it's all about making that bottom dollar. I do my best to pick out meat and produce that is organic. Ethically produced pork & beef is beautiful! Fuck chickens, though. Actually being around big livestock farms/auctions and seeing the way they live in pens, eating and shitting on themselves is horrible. Stress does not make good food. Know your meat!
I put meat eaters in the same category with smokers, I do enjoy a ciggy every now and then.
The moralistic tone that this debate has taken I think had the positive effect of making a bunch of people vegan/vegetarian very quickly, but the (larger?) negative effect of paralyzing everyone unable to make that leap. I think the right way to look at this is that you now have some new information about the 'true' cost of per unit of meat you eat. It's up to you each time you consume to see if that consumption is worth the cost to you.
I still have to be convinced by one of those documentaries. Every time I watch one, I do some fact checking after, and I always find something pointing out that the documentary is not scientifically correct, is opinionated, is using wrong numbers, has an agenda...
I find it hard to be a vegetarian, but someone pointed out to me that being N% of a vegetarian is about N% as good as being a vegetarian. In other words, if you can forgo meat for even one day or meal, that's better than not.
I completely agree with that. Reducing meat consumption has been my approach this past year.
Totally agree (about the "cutting down" bit) - but I'm curious about what you find hard about being veggie? I suppose I've been doing it so long I don't notice any more - but I'm quite rare [see what I did there] in that I'm a vegetarian who once upon a time quite liked meat. I gave it up purely for the hell of it and haven't really ever looked back.
Once you know you're doing harm, I do think it's your responsibility to try to do less harm. But I don't think it requires an instant 180 change. Doing better is better than doing nothing.
That's pretty much the approach that I've taken. I don't know of I'll ever be 100% vegetarian. I'm glad to see other people reaching the same conclusion as I. Also, I am excited about the mainstream adoption of Impossible and Beyond replacement meat brands.