Human Rights vs. Animal Rights: Why I’m Ethically Okay With Eating Meat

 

I’m hesitant to post this because I know it may be a bit controversial and many of you will not agree with me. So, before I start, let’s make a respect compact. You are more than welcome to disagree with me and express your own opinion, just please do it in a respectful manner. I will try to do the same. Sound good?

My opinion on the subject of consuming animals products is one that is rarely expressed so I though I would share it with you all. It seems like some (not all though of course) people who don’t consume animal products assume that omnivores consume animal products because:

A) They are unaware of how horribly animals are treated in factories

B) They choose to ignore the unethical treatment of animals in factories

C) They think that meat is a vital part of the human diet

D) They are horrible evil meanies

Well, I actually don’t fit any of the above criteria. I am pretty aware of the unethical treatment of animals in factory production and it is not something I ignore. Also, I do not believe that animal product consumption is necessary for a human to have a healthy diet. And I like to think that I don’t fit D.

So, why do I eat meat and not feel guilty doing so? Well, it all steams from my belief that humans are superior to animals. Soul, will, intellect, ability to truly love, inherent dignity; these are things humans possess that animals do not. Hence, it breaks my heart that when someone is found guilty of abusing an animal it makes national news, yet millions of children are abused daily and no one seems to give much thought to it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not think it is okay to abuse animals. However, what upsets me is that our society gets so caught up in animal rights and ethical treatment of animals that we seemingly let ethical treatment of people fall to the wayside and don’t bother worrying about human rights.

  • an average of 5 children die daily due to abuse and neglect
  • over 1 million babies are killed in the U.S. each year through abortion
  • an estimated 18,000 children starve to death daily

I am not telling you the above statistics to upset you or make you sad. I’m telling you because I find them heartbreaking. How come these types of statistics never make the news? Sometimes it feels to me like our society has forgotten about the human person because it’s not “cool” to help people, but helping animals, now that is trendy. Of course, I know that I am over generalizing and making assumptions, plenty of people who help animals work even harder to help people.

I think it is important that we preserve a culture of life in the 21st century, when a culture of death is upon us.

The promotion of the culture of life should be the highest priority in our societies…If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.” Pope John Paul II

I am completely 100% for preserving a culture of life, but I firmly believe in first and foremost focusing on the preservation of human life. I choose to focus my full efforts on humans, on ending malnutrition, ending the killing of babies because they are unwanted, and ending the killing of the elderly because they are no longer productive members of society. 

  

 I’m not sure if that totally answers the why I eat meat question, but to put it simply, I eat meat because I value humans, human life, and human rights much more than I do that of animals.

 Please do not take this post the wrong way. I think that many vegan and vegetarians are some of the kindest, sweetest, most full-hearted people ever. I admire their dedication and convictions, regardless of the reason for going veg. I just wanted to share my thoughts and opinions on the subject with all you and get my point of view out there.

 I welcome disagreement and confrontation in the comment section, however please be respectful. If you have any questions/concerns (about this post or anything) please feel free to email me at theflourishingfoodie@yahoo.com.

What is your opinion on animal consumption? Am I overreacting about the whole “forgetting human rights thing?”

Enjoy your week and check back soon for a lighter and more upbeat post.

Blessings,

Ann Claire

22 thoughts on “Human Rights vs. Animal Rights: Why I’m Ethically Okay With Eating Meat

  1. Thank you so much for posting your thoughts in this post! I always love when bloggers write about controversial subjects;) I totally agree in that humans, by nature, are higher on the totem pole than animals are. Now that doesn’t make me an advocate for meat eating vs. non meat eating, actually I’m still trying to figure out which category I fit into right now. But I think it’s great that you are aware of what you believe and don’t force yourself to fit into one of the 4 “categories” you listed above. I can’t wait to read what all of the other comments say in response to this as well!

  2. Well written. You raise some good points. I’m a fellow meat eater however unlike you I do think it is important for human health. There has never been a culture in history to have a purely vegan diet. I do feel horribly about the way animals are treated. I think CAFO’s are not only horrific for the animals but for the workers, the consumers and the environment. In the last 6 months we have started to buy our meat directly from farmers who pasture raise their beef and pork. (We raise our own chickens for eggs.) The animals are raised outside in the sunlight, eating the diet they were meant to (grass and roots), living on open pastures as they are meant to up until their D-day. The meat actually tastes, looks and cooks very differently. This I have no problem or guilt eating. I can’t say that about commercial meat, poultry, dairy and eggs.

    • I personally do definitely feel better with some meat protein in my diet. I guess I am still kind of deciding whether I believe it is a vital part of the human diet. It certainly takes more planning and effort to not consume it. I’ve actually never tried living completely without animal products. I really admire your dedication to not eating commercially raised animals products. I would really like to start buying more farm raised meat and eggs. Thanks for your comment!

  3. NO YOU ARE NOT OVEREACTING!!! I feel the exact same way.

    ” Soul, will, intellect, ability to truly love, inherent dignity; these are things humans possess that animals do not. Hence, it breaks my heart that when someone is found guilty of abusing an animal it makes national news, yet millions of children are abused daily and no one seems to give much thought to it.”

    I loved this paragraph, because I find that a lot of animal activists are hypocrites. I know the meat industry has its problems, but that’s another issue. But the principle issue of meat-eating…well, if animals can eat other animals to survive, why can’t we? We don’t condemn cheetahs for preying on the rabbits, do we?

    I also firmly believe that we humans were created to be omnivores. We didn’t just “accidentally” decide to eat meat. Rabbits don’t accidentally eat meat, it’s just not in their nature to. Same thing with us humans, we eat meat, ate meat, because it’s in our nature to.

    So there.

  4. I don’t think I will ever go back to eating meat (except for maybe seafood), but I think it’s great that you’re getting your thoughts out there! Everyone’s so worried about animal rights (me included), but what about people rights? Last I looked, we were pretty important too ;)
    I think it’s awesome that you’ve put so much thought into this and that you support and are standing strong for what you believe. You go, girly!!! :)

  5. This is a great post, and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the subject. Coming from a vegetarian, I must say that the main reason I don’t eat meat is because of factory farming. It just doesn’t mold with my clean eating, and buying organic free range meat is far too expensive for my budget. Does that mean I won’t ever eat meat again? That’s hard to say. Does that mean I won’t cook meat for my Husband? Absolutely not – just because our beliefs aren’t the same on eating doesn’t mean he should suffer. I think that a lot of things in life (animal farming included) were intended for good, but somehow America twisted it into something horrid and disgusting for me.

  6. I really liked reading this post! Thanks for making it :)
    My reason for eating meat is similar to what you talk about here, and I never quite found the right way to say this but I think that my life/health is more important then that of an animal. I mean, I don’t have much of an appetite for animal products to begin with but when I became anemic, I knew that I had to put myself first. That’s why I started eating meat, despite words like “selfish” and “hypocritical” popping into my head.
    Have a lovely week, by the way :D

  7. Interesting post- I love hearing everyone’s opinions on the topic. I am a super softie and really, really love animals. However, I do eat meat. I don’t eat it because I think humans are superior, but because I think it is part of the natural food chain. I try to limit my intake (for health reasons, but mostly for budget reasons ;)), because the meat I do eat I try to make sure I know where it came from, how is was treated, fed, etc. That kind of meat tends to be pricier, but I’m ok with that.
    Great post!

  8. I loved this post girl!!! I love how you were so mature about the subject and how respectful you were. I agree with you completely. Animal products seem to make me feel better :) beautifully written!

  9. :) i agree. I am a meat eater, b/c of my body, it litterally needs those animal products or it’s weak. that’s just how i feel when i dont’ eat meat..but i see other points b/c of your post, and i love it!! way to go!!! :) we always buy local meat…or butcher our own.

  10. Interesting stuff and good for you for posting about this! I was a veg for quite some time, but have gone back to meat with my pregnancy (I really feel I need it for certain nutrients and protein that the baby needs). I try to eat organic/humanely treated meat whenever possible. I think everyone needs to do what is right for them- I don’t judge!

  11. Hi! I just came across your blog from moves n’ munchies and was excited to find this as the first post! I am a vegetarian but I will say that this is by far the best thought out argument for meat eating I have ever seen, excited to read your blog more!

    Caitlin

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  15. Hi Ann,

    I’m a vegan and an Animal Rights and Human Rights advocate. I stumbled across your thoughtful Blog entry about a year late (sorry about that!). :)

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. You are extremely articulate and I admire – wholeheartedly – hear what you’re saying. And I think there is truth in what you’re saying. You’re partly right. But I would raise two points:

    1) A lot of vegans and Animal Rights activists, like myself, came to their Veganism and Animal Rights through our deep belief in Human Rights. I spent most of my life an omnivore. I finally had a transformative experience (I won’t go into detail here, but it involved becoming aware of the brutality of the way that human beings use and exploit animals) that made me realize that my commitment to Human Rights was completely shallow and meaningless if it was not accompanied by a deep commitment to Animal Rights. How could I preach nonviolence and stuff my face with chicken wings? How could I talk of peace among human beings while I was making decisions that were inherently profoundly violent for animals? How could I talk of a better world while sentient beings with feelings, emotions, intelligence – beings that form bonds with each other, feel agony when their children are torn away from them, experience pain as meaningfully and sharply and profoundly as we humans – are murdered by the billions every year, for such a trivial reason as I like how they taste?

    2) When I came to the realization above, I also arrived at the following conclusion: Human Rights and Animal Rights are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they are mutually inclusive. One is meaningless without the other. Animal Rights activists and vegans who have no concern for human rights develop a rigidity and meanness that turns off many omnivores and scares potential converts. On the other side of the coin, Human Rights activists who do not care about Animal Rights often end up perpetuating a system that is based on suffering, misery, exploitation, harming innocent sentient beings (whom we as humans do not have the right to harm), and that system rests on a foundation of death. It is not pro-life, any more than those Animal Rights activists and vegans (and I know they’re out there) who have misguided – usually very twisted and hateful – misanthropic ill will toward their fellow human beings.

    Human Rights and Animal Rights are one in the same, when you think about it. The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy was right when he said: “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” Think about it. Both come from the same place within us: The ability to destroy within ourselves what makes us potentially the most noble of all species, which is the ability to feel empathy with all living beings, Human and non-human alike.

    Good luck! Again, I enjoyed your post! :)

  16. I have to say something that will offend you. I am sorry for this but I will be as kind as I can. I understand that you are a Christian? Does not it say in the Bible that animals were put on earth for humans? Therefore your belief that humans are superior to animals is justified. You believe that humans feelings, thoughts, ability to love surpasses an animals? Let me ask you a question: which species creates wars for the sake of power, greed and money? Sure animals fight for territory and for survival but humans kill innocent babies for the sake of religion, oil, beliefs, etc. We are the species that creates destructive forces that can eliminate our whole existence. Yes, we are that intelligent. Also, which species steals animals and removes them from their natural habitat to skin them alive for a designing companies fur industry?
    The Bible also says how black people are a level below white people. It also states how women are inferior to men.
    Yes, humans have the ability to create art, music, beautiful architecture, sing love songs, etc. But we are the species that manufactures guns, atom bombs, starves its own children, eats processed foods to the point of killing themselves with diabetes and heart disease, etc.
    Human Rights IS Animals Rights. Because if you are going to prefer one species over another, this mentality will seep into your everyday life. You will therefore prefer one race over another, and one gender over another, etc. I think Vegans and Animal Rights activists are the truest believers of HUMAN RIGHTS. Because they understand the link between animals and humans. I know that if I can be aware and kind and compassionate towards a species that cannot defend itself, I will be even kinder and more compassionate towards my own species.

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