I was reading the seventh and final book of Steven King’s Dark Tower Series when I began to wonder if he was a vegetarian, or just a devil’s advocate. He compares the eating of a deer to the eating of a human. That got me thinking. Why am I okay with eating nice, fluffy animals? Upon further consideration, I came up with the following thought experiment.
First, consider this. PETA is in the habit of showing humans in some animal form. Remember the human faces in the meat packaging? From this, and other arguments, it can be surmised that PETA makes two main arguments. You wouldn’t eat your dog, and you wouldn’t eat you neighbor. Keep in mind, science doesn’t support this. Science doesn’t think that cats and dogs are as smart as humans, even if we do ‘cherish them as companions.’
Now..the THOUGHT EXPERIMENT
Pretend for a moment, that PETA is right. Eating animals is equivalent to eating humans. Presumably, you would stop eating animals. However, as science doesn’t support this, another non-scientific claim can be made. Eating insects is the same as eating humans. Impossible? No recognizable brain patterns? Well, science would also say that animals don’t have recognizably human brain capacities, either. And plants? No brain patterns? Well, if you want to ignore science, then yes, plants have brain power too. So. You can’t eat animals or insects, as they are sentient, and so are plants. What are you going to do?
Are you going to starve? Are you going to revert to cannibalism?
Take this in another direction. You have two dogs, and you have to eat one of them to survive. Which one are you going to eat? Well, the one that you are less emotionally bonded too. The one you love less.
If the same argument about your children were made (you must eat one to survive) the choice would be obvious. Neither. You would starve before you ate your children. Would you starve before you ate your dog?
And one more thing…animals eat other animals. That’s right. The fuzzy fox eats the adorable bunny. Animals haven’t performed extensive scientific research as to whether the food they are eating is going to laugh in irony, as it considers its position in a metaphysical manner. Yet, the fox still eats the bunny. The fox doesn’t have the option to become a vegetarian, even if it suddenly realized that the bunny could love and think and want and need and feel. Is the fox evil?
And what if the animals wanted to be eaten, like Douglas Adams’ cow? Would you eat it then? Would you shoot a man who wanted to be shot?
Would you eat a helpless human being with an IQ low enough to be smaller than that of a parrot? Would you eat a human in a comma, with no brain activity? Would you eat a man who had died of natural causes?
And, as PETA asks, would you eat a sea kitten stick?
To cut all of your philosophical musings short–the whole thing is BS. Remember, at the beginning of the thought experiment, I asked you to throw out science? Well, throw it back in. Humans are emotionally adept in a way that no animal is. If you need proof of this: there is no animal that has ever shown mercy to its prey. The very fact that we show mercy when they don’t is a reason for us not to. It isn’t going down to their level: it’s the fact that animals have no concept of the idea of a level at all: we can’t teach them to follow our example.
So would I eat the sea kitten stick? Stupid question.