Should it be considered morally wrong to kill sentient animals for their meat?

Asked by: Caploxion
  • The suffering/imposition inflicted is immoral

    The suffering and/or imposition that comes from harvesting sentient, feeling creatures (dogs, cats, cows etc.) for their meat, is immoral. There is no doubt that suffering is bad (at least in the inter-subjective sense), therefore it should be avoided wherever possible. As for killing animals that have been put to sleep, it is considered immoral to kill a sleeping person because of the imposition on life, therefore it the same should follow for other sentient, feeling creatures.

  • It is still a form of life

    Considering it is about morality,and to take away any form of life whether it be of human kind or animal then we can all consider that morally wrong. Also, I'm pretty sure that we all learned in our science classes that human beings are animals, killing other people is considered "morally wrong," why not when we kill other animals for their meat?

  • It Absolutely is

    Yes, it's absolutely morally wrong. Sometimes I hear arguments where we bring up other animals and how since they eat meat, it's okay for us to. One such example is the classic 'X animals eat other animals, so why can't we?'

    The problem with this argument is that it firstly ignores context, (There's a difference between a starving cheetah trying to hunt for food and you playing your part in the mass slaughter of millions of animals and just walking over to a grocery store with an unimaginable number of different alternatives) and secondly that it tries to piggy back our own morality from animals. I may be a vegetarian that borders on being outright misanthropic, but even I know that it's simply foolish to base our morality on how animals act. We may be animals too, but clearly with all the suffering we bring and our societal sense of morality, we simply cannot be bound to the same morality. Unlike animals. We have far greater responsibility for our actions.

    Sometimes I hear that we need to eat meat. This claim can range anywhere from simply being uninformed or downright dishonest. Again, I bring up the juxtaposition of a Cheetah starving in the wild and you with your limitless options every-time you go to a store. No, we do not need meat.

    It's not moral, it's convenient. Sometimes you have an issue like fur where it's easier to do the right thing and not cause suffering, and other times you get factory farming where the wrong thing is simply the easier option. In the end though, I think it's quite clear that you must be absolutely insane or desensitized to even try and argue that it isn't morally wrong to defend the endless mass slaughter of animals simply because they taste good. And that's society in a nutshell, isn't it? That if society makes something the standard, we become blind to the suffering it brings and we try to undermine how horrible it is. Inevitably we become completely desensitized to it from repetition.

    Honestly, how much more horrible can an act be than to absolutely devalue a living creature to the point of where they're just a product on an assembly line. But hold on, I didn't really say anything incredibly hostile or mean spirited, did I? Hmm. I guess I better do that right now before I end this post.

    You know, I can understand why people eat meat. It's unimaginably horrible and immoral, but I truly do understand. It's convenient and it's hard to give something up once you've had a taste of it. I shop at Wal-mart all the time, so it's not like I don't know how hard it is to do the right thing But you know, what I never do is try and defend my shopping at Wal-mart and claim that it's moral. Meat is murder, and so is walmart. Lets at least be honest.

  • Our ancestors survived on meat but now we can live perfectly well on a vegetarian/vegan diet.

    If everyone adopted a meat-free diet there'd a wide range of benefits to your health and the environment. Cattle ranching requires a large amount of land. This land is being obtained by deforestation of the Amazon. Growing grains and plant foods require a fraction of the land and fresh water. “If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million.

    Furthermore, meat-free diets are linked with low rate of heart disease, cancer and atherosclerosis.

  • We need recognise the link between the exploitation and cruelty to other animals and human beings propensity for war and genocide.
    Since the advent of civilization almost every nation from the smallest to the largest has struggled through periods of unbearable violence. Looking back the world finds its trail littered with the history of war and bloodshed. Almost everyone alive today has experienced nothing but war throughout their entire lives. Wherever we look it is there. World War I, World War II, Israel-Palestine, Korea, South Africa, Guatemala, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Khmer Rouge, El Salvador, Gulf War, Rwanda, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq. This list barely makes a dent in the number of wars fought in the 20th and early 21st Centuries. Over 160 million people are dead because of these wars. That is a staggering figure. And over it all hangs the fear of a massive nuclear conflagration.

    Just how much more does it take before the world stops long enough to ask how it all happened and what can be done about it? Isaac Bashevis Singer answered the latter part of the question most precisely when he wrote “as long as human beings will go on shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace…There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.”

    The means for putting an end to war is, therefore, not easy but perfectly conceivable, if we would only avail ourselves of it, and has, in fact, been staring us in the face for centuries. The exploitation and abuse of animals must be stopped. That is the simple (but, admittedly not easy to implement) answer. And if it should seem all too simple, even simpletonian, then let us take a look at the impact on the world the abuse of animals has made. That should clarify the issue.

  • The Ethical Dilema

    First we have to consider the fact that while it is true our ancestors could not survive on a vegan or in some cases a vegetarian diet, we now have the resources to do so. By greatly reducing meat consumption we can relocate grain and land for the purpose of helping
    those less fortunate survive and eat. And, at the very least, vegetarianism drastically improves health in most cases.

    The choice to eat meat is of course yours, and I fully respect it, but there are several logical reasons to choose a diet that omits meat or even animal products in general, and it would be nice if you would fully consider them.

  • The Golden Rule Applies

    It is wrong to hurt, kill and eat fellow humans because we know that fellow humans do not want this done to them - just as we ourselves do not want it done to us. Other animals also feel pain and enjoy living, None voluntarily offers to be hurt, killed and eaten. To violate them just because they are of another species is speciesism and is just as wrong as racism, sexism or any other form of discrimination and injustice.

  • Sentient means knowing

    Humans and animals alike are sentient beings. Animals are killing for food, they are not humanely killed they are tortured, they are made to watch others killed in line. They have feelings, they know fear, they give birth, they know emotion. One day in the future sentient beings will have rights, sadly it may be a long way off. I will continue to be their voice until I have no voice left. Animals are friends not food.

  • Its called evolving.

    Top of the food chain? Yes. Is nature cruel? Yes. What about the facts in history, about humans evolving from basically wild animals, to people with high intelligence. If today after 2000 years, we can develop civilised colonies, technology, discover and create, then why can't we step above the regular animal eating habits. We are not animals, and we can afford to survive without killing them. Wether you go out into the wild, get a cow, rip its skin with your jaw and bite into the flesh, or let the technology do it for you, its the same thing. We cannot call ourselves human at all, if we are just smarter versions of savage wild creatures.

  • With the invention of artificial grown and cloned meat there is no excuse to be killing animals anymore.

    Also most of the No's here have probably never killed a large animal let alone visit a slaughter house. In time it will become cheaper to put meat flavoring on slime that provides the same nutrients as real meat rather than raising animals.

    We're already moving toward that direction with pink slime in hamburgers.

    It's a very inefficient process. Raising a cow costs way more than growing food of the equivalent weight because you have to feed the cow tons of food.

  • Nature is a cruel mistress

    It's just nature's way. Humans are the apex predators of the planet, the top of the food chain (technically). So anything that is below us in the food chain is fair game (in terms of food). Morality doesn't even come into it.
    That's the crude way to look at it. It's also the way I look at it.

  • What about non vegetarians

    From ancient times meat had been a staple food for our elders and hence it should not be considered morally wrong. If that is the case what about using animals viz. Guina pigs, rabbits for testing purpose in order to invent many medicines and growing animals only for the purpose of meat?

  • By the question, it would depend.

    While I do not disagree that torturing a sentient animal for meat is cruel because it is an unnecessary pain. I do think that it is incorrect to assume "the imposition on life" argument, automatically concludes that killing animals is wrong. If we went down the list of sentient animals, people will likely choose to say that creatures farthest from humans, say a wild pig, is less morally wrong to kill and eat than a pet dog. Another distinction is that the question doesn't mention, if we had no other choice to live would it be wrong, because then we would (mostly) answer no. Under these circumstances we are still killing a sentient creature for meat because we need it.

    Therefore, I would say that it depends on the circumstances, but general no because most see the animals as lesser creatures. Also I'm sure most would agree that even if we needed to food, killing and eating a person is morally objectionable, whereas animals are not. Hence, the two should be avoided in comparisons since we hold humans under different pretense to other animals.

  • Human beings are omnivorous. It is our nature to consume human meat as.

    Humans have the capability to eat meat. We were born to consume both meat and plants. Top of the food chain means top of the world. Unless you guys want to drink from a straw off a protein shake then flesh consumption shall and will stay.
    Of course in the future, for the preservation of animals, maybe its best to consume chemical broths and not animals, or clone animals for consumption.

  • Many ignore the fact that we are animals

    We are 'built' to sustain our energy from proteins from meats. The fact of the matter is killing for meat is a natural part of life, even if humans were to stop, other animals would continue in this practise. Though we are consciously more advanced than other animals and have the power of empathy, we need to realise animals eat other animals. Thats how the world advances and basically how it works.
    However, i do believe animals should not be tortured during the procedure, we should take what we need, as fast and and clean as we can.

  • Yes its okay to eat meat

    God given us animals for food as well as plants. Its okay to kill animal to eat but torturing animal would be wrong. Idon't know what else to say right now so I will keep rambling on this long sentence to get the 50 words minimum inside here right now.

  • Living beings/animals need meat to survive.

    Most living animals need meat to survive, as it is what they eat. This has been proven countless times. Now, if you were to torture animals for meat, then that is wrong in my opinion. This is the same as eating plants- you need food, but they die in the process.

  • It is not wrong to kill animals for their meat.

    It is scientifically proven that animals eat meat to survive. It is a natural thing to eat meat. As a species of this earth we are no exception. We cannot be expected not to eat meat for it is natural. It has also been natural to kill sentient animals so we should be able to do it.

  • Of course not. People are at the top of the food chain (on land).

    Why do you think people have canine teeth? Of course people should eat meat. They are designed to. Eating meat helps people to be able to reproduce. You know, if you are going to kill a sentient being, just kill it quickly and efficiently. If people don't like to eat meat, then they can get their protein from nuts or whatever.

    Posted by: cs2
  • Morals can only come about when applying a certain action against an established set of criterion.

    For it to be considered morally wrong is a null and void statement considering that certain religions forbid it, others allow it, others forbid certain animals, while others permit it through a given time period; it all depends on what mode of belief you adhere to. That is the end of my statement.

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theta_pinch says2013-12-25T12:46:41.533
Most sentient animals aren't killed for meat. In fact all animals we eat aren't sentient. Cows, chicken, fish and other kinds of animals we eat none of those are sentient.
Caploxion says2013-12-25T12:59:54.317
Theta, what is the definition of sentience that you are using? According to the following (both widely accredited dictionaries), my implied definition of sentience is accurate:

sen·tient (snshnt, -sh-nt)
1. Having sense perception; conscious
2. Experiencing sensation or feeling.

adjective \ˈsen(t)-sh(ē-)ənt, ˈsen-tē-ənt\

: able to feel, see, hear, smell, or taste

: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings>
: aware
: finely sensitive in perception or feeling
Ryuuikari says2013-12-27T01:24:01.033
@theta_pinch I think you're mistaking "sentience" with "sapience". Put simply sentience is the ability to understand and sense things whilst sapience is the ability to think abstractly about the world. Almost every animal known to mankind is sentient but only humans (and possibly some apes and certain dolphins) are sapient.
theta_pinch says2013-12-27T02:03:20.970
Actually according to wikipedia sentience is the ability to feel, percieve,and experience things subjectively. Since subjectivity is abstract it appears you were the one who made a mistake.
Ryuuikari says2013-12-27T08:22:59.770
Did you read the rest of the wikipedia page where it says, "sentience can refer to the ability of any entity to have subjective perceptual experiences" and almost immediately afterwards it then states "This is distinct from other aspects of the mind and consciousness, such as creativity, intelligence, SAPIENCE, self-awareness, and intentionality". Do you believe that animals cannot perceive things subjectively ?
I won't make any further points since this isn't a debate topic, but to sum up I am saying you're wrong.