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Many people across the world eat meat because animals are at their disposal. However, several controversies have been raised on the moral basis, religious and health reasons with regard to killing global fauna for nourishment. There are those who justify slaughtering for food while others object to it, particularly ethical vegetarians. Supporters of animal eating claim that these creatures have no moral consideration, no feelings or soul. On the other hand, opponents emphasized the moral principle, which involves violation of animal rights to live, violation of their interests, and the act inflicting more harm on beasts than good. Nevertheless, according to Michael Pollan, a conventional ethical system cannot help people find the appropriate toolkit to use for answering the questions about animal eating (Pollan Nytimes.com). This paper will prove that the latter should not be allowed because of its consequences, which include breach of animal privileges and interests and at the same time cause substantial damage making meat consumption immoral.
The Ethical System
The best argument that can be used to oppose animal eating should be based on ethical systems. In this case, the appropriate ethics embraces a consequentialist argument, which best explains the reasons why meat consumption should not be allowed. Thus, the system is used to describe the results of this particular action with the main concern being the consequences of animal eating. The process of raising cattle for meat or food is a cruel lifestyle, which minimizes the amount of goodness created in the world. It is important to take into account the fact that beasts are like humans, they feel pain and at the same time have the right to live.
According to Singer, since people are wired to be hurt, it is not wrong to assume that animals experience as much suffering as humanity does (Pollan Nytimes.com). It means that by killing the fauna, society denies them moral consideration of pain elimination. Several studies on fauna slaughter have found that the process is not only slow, but also aching. There is no easy and fast way that has been developed to lessen the agony that living creatures feel when they are being butchered. In fact, most cattle are always killed while they are still alive with no medication given to relieve the pain. Therefore, this is a cruel act, which should be stopped because it violates animals’ rights.
When you believe that beasts are like humans and have some entitlements, then raising them for food becomes morally wrong. It means that the consequences encompass not only pain but also treating them in order to meet societal needs that clearly lead to infringement of animal privileges. Anything that is treated as a means to an end is not moral and should be avoided at all costs. To make matters worse, people do not owe such suffering; hence, they do not have any ethical consideration in the process of slaughtering.
Moreover, Singer stressed the issue of equality while addressing the reasons why meat should not be consumed. Animals are like humans; individuals are not identical because there are those who are smarter, more gifted and better looking compared to others (Pollan Nytimes.com). In this case, equality, should be a moral idea, not some sort of fact assertion. In this regard, it is important to take into account the interests of every living thing that has blood flowing through their veins. It is immoral to assume that animals do not have a soul. Regardless of whether they possess abilities like humans, they have passions, which make it wrong to exploit them as sustenance for survival; in this case, this is food. However, it is important to note that in order to apply the idea of equality on animals the same concern should be provided to them because it is a moral thing to do since it leads to less painful consequences.
The ethical principle of consequentialism is compared to utilitarian theory, but it is better than Kantian ethics when it comes to arguments against cattle slaughter. Utilitarianism argues that the best action maximizes utility in terms of the well-being of animals and people. Any act is ethical only if it relieves suffering and in this case, preventing meat eating is a way of easing pain for those creatures by minding their interests and the right to live. Furthermore, utilitarianism states that rules should be set to help people select a proper act, which will prevent negative consequences of their deeds. Where there are regulations, the public will always tend to behave properly leading to less tragic outcomes. Thus, the order advocates for vegetarianism because it is the only way to eradicate animal killing and meat consumption across the world.
On the other hand, Kantian ethics differs from consequentialist one and utilitarianism because it argues that an act does not rely on the consequences for it to be considered wrong or right. The point that matters is the ability to fulfill a duty. Hence, this argument can be used by supporters of cattle butchering for nourishment purposes. They make claims that meat eating is the tool achieve better health. Animals are excellent sources of protein, thus Kantian theory is used to support consumption of meat as human duty of ensuring that they have good physical condition. Nevertheless, the fact is that consequential approach is more ethical compared to Kantian theory and other ethical systems because it respects desires and interests of all living beings.
David Foster Wallace addressed the issue of lobsters, especially the ways in which they are boiled alive. He questioned ethics behind this action based on the fact that these animals experience distress and have a brain that transmits information to the rest of their body. A consequentialist argument does not advocate for inflicting pain to achieve a goal since this is what meat eating is concerned about. It regards any action that causes ache to be ethically immoral and unjust. Singer found that the characteristics of an act that entails harm to people or animals, do not have any moral considerations (Pollan Nytimes.com). The question is not whether these creatures can reason, feel ache, talk or even suffer; the important thing is the result of the deed, which is not decent in any way. Many people kill or consume meat without reciprocating any moral aspects and attention. Therefore, it is not proper to discriminate against animals by inflicting pain on them or by burning them alive simply because of the thoughts that they are not humans and do not have any feelings.
Environmental impacts of meat consumption and production are massive when a person looks at it pertaining to the manufacturing process (Haspel Washingtonpost.com). According to consequentialist argument, the process of meat production is cruel because it minimizes goodness created in the world through pollution. Haspel has mentioned that many vegetarians find the act of killing living creatures unacceptable because of its negative moral implications. On the other hand, agriculture is a practice, which is not healthy since it destroys the enterprise.
Adoption of Consequentialist Ethics
A consequentialist theory is adopted by people who oppose animal slaughter and meat eating because of the consequences. They believe that it is unethical for the world to continue using cattle as the food when it inflicts them more pain during killing or cooking process. Moreover, it is not moral meet common needs with the help of death of living creatures. Therefore, consequentialist ethics is adopted on specific appeals of meat consumption causing more harm on animals. It does not only contribute to environmental pollution but also violates rights and interests of fauna by hurting them bitterly. The issue of consequentialist ethics that is least appealing in regards to meat eating is living healthy lifestyle whereby people will not require any medical intervention. There is no proof that vegetarian lifestyle eliminates the chances of humans being sick.
Meat consumption can be defended basing on the fact that beasts kill and eat one another; thus, there is no morals if humans decide to treat them in the same way. In regards to ethical nature of order, animals need to murder each other to remain alive, namely they are the means to survival. According to Singer, since the concept of utilitarian and consequentialist is concerned with less suffering, animal butchering and consumption can be regarded acceptable if the farmer or conservatives make certain that the slaughtered cattle are replaced that will lead to the common good (Pollan Nytimes.com).
In conclusion, meat eating should not be allowed because of its consequences, which involve violation of rights and interests of all living beings. Thus, it causes much harm making such deeds immoral. The consequentialist theory has been adopted by many conservatives and vegetarians as a way to ensure common good and relieve animal and human suffering. However, there are those who advocate for meat consumption by making claims that members of fauna have neither moral consideration, nor feelings and soul.
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