Six Absurdities That Defend Eating Animals as a ‘Choice’

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I continually hear from people that “choices” must be respected. “You eat what you want and I’ll eat what I want.” And don’t judge other’s for what they choose to eat.” This comes from both vegan and meat eaters alike. If eating animals is a choice, then we must believe in at least the following six absurdities:

1. that we as humans have some sort of unspoken and inherited “right” to kill and eat animals no matter how trivial our reasons and just because we can;

2. that humans are “superior” to all other species and that somehow that superiority translates into a justification for doing whatever we want to animals. In this way, human interests always “trump” animal interests, even when the human interest is trivial and the animal interest is a matter of life and death;

3. that all animals conveniently exist only to serve one species — our own (even though most have existed in some form for millions of years before homo sapiens);

4. that just being a member of another species somehow justifies exploiting someone;

5. that we can turn animals into objects without making them victims;

6. that the victim does not exist or does not care what happens to him or her.

On the other hand, If you take the interests of animals at all seriously, then you recognize that eating animal products violates their most fundamental interest in living as free agents, staying alive and avoiding pain and suffering. A choice necessitates ownership over the options. While we may legally treat animals as property, no one has a moral “right” over the sovereignty of others who were designed by nature to be free agents as we are.

“If we believe in absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.” Voltaire’s famous words could not be more fitting here.

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he gained a behind the scenes perspective on food industry marketing.

3 comments

  1. Unfortunately, most people do believe they have all those rights. When pressed, they go to the authority of the Bible to say that is what God wills. Arguing with faith is about useless. If people don’t have the compassion or just plain good sense to recognize how closely we are all related and that all creatures value life and freedom from pain and can act on that belief, then our best arguments fail. Oh, I forgot. Many of them don’t believe in science either or that we and other animals have a common evolution through time. Guess it would be hard to relate to our “humble brethern” in that case.

  2. Interesting you brought out the Bible argument. I am Christian and as far as I remember, God wanted us to be plant eaters to start with. It wasn’t until one of us went against God’s word (i.e. sinned) that animal flesh became “ok” for us to eat. In other words, if a bible reader gives you that argument, you just tell them that god’s ORIGINAL and perfect plan was for us to be plant eaters.

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