Why I’m not a Vegan: a Thought Experiment

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.’


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.


2 Responses to Why I’m not a Vegan: a Thought Experiment

  1. Rob says:

    Interesting in that you’ve at least thought about it, but ultimately more than a little confusing… Per your own argument, it’s okay to eat stupid people, the mentally retarded, and sociopaths. (They’re not smart, they don’t understand irony or metaphysics, and they have no mercy or sympathy for other humans.)

    You reference PETA’s advertising with the people in place of animals, but those ads make no implication about intelligence. You do. Same thing goes for your comments on ‘recognizable human brain patterns’. PETA is only saying humans are animals too, which is scientifically correct. Dragging plants into the mix is silly because by definition you must have a brain in order to have brain patterns, and while plants give off energy waves they’re not emanating from brains.

    Yes, animals eat other animals, but that’s not true for ALL animals. And the ones that do eat out of necessity because they’re not allowed in grocery stores. Whether or not an animal provides worthy conversation is irrelevant, the fox eats the bunny because it’s his only option. The advantage most humans have is one of choice. This is a choice that some people make for reasons of morality, health, and/or environmental concerns. (Did you know the beef industry has more of a detrimental effect on global warming than do all of the vehicles in the world?) And in regards to animals not showing mercy to their PREY, human hunters and slaughterhouse workers show no mercy either to THEIR prey.

    And regarding your scenario about having to eat one of your two children… if YOU starve to death BOTH of your young kids will die as well. Which in turn provides more food for the fuzzy foxes of the world…

  2. Clyde says:

    funny reading this … i’m vegan. but as you probably guess from my writings, i think organizations like PETA are stupid.

    i have made diet choices for personal reasons that have nothing to do with soft furry animals having equal rights. i cook meat for friends. i have friends that hunt. i love to fish. i have no issues with meat consumption as long as it is not me consuming it.

    it’s just a personal choice. no philosophical or any issue broader than just me.

    clearly, there are a lot of vegans out there that should just be slapped. animals are here to eat, not cuddle. trees make houses, and should not be hugged. most of those clowns, however, are the same things we experience in other of avenues of life: the vocal minority.

    i don’t discuss my diet choices with people unless they invite me to their home for dinner. i don’t want them to get cranky because i don’t eat their steak. but i love to cook, so i usually expand the plans to make dinner together. i’m usually asked to leave some recipes behind.

    so, yeah, most vegans need a B vitamin boost to get the brain working again … but not all of us.

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