My Philosophy of Vegetarianism

“My Philosophy of Vegetarianism”-J. Adam Snyder

I am flirting with the idea of possibly becoming a vegetarian, not so much due to health reasons, but because of my own philosophical reasoning.

Entertain the following thought for me:

Tomorrow the world awakes to the arrival of an advance intelligent species, who like us are capable of free-thought, art, love, technology (far above our own), and creating societies. This newly advanced species is also capable of consuming either plants, fruits, and nuts to survive or consuming meat. Unfortunately the meat they only can consume is human flesh, and while they can survive by living solely on fruits and vegetables, the majority choose to instead eat humans who they see as little more than cattle.

  Would it be wrong if they started eating us? Eating our friends and loved ones? To them, no for we are only a food source. To us however, the obvious answer is an astute yes. We feel pain, we cry , we miss those who we had relationships with. We would consider it murder and we would definitely attempt to fight back against this new species despite the fact that they are far ahead of us in both mental and technical capacity, and their own culture has laws forbidding the killing of each other but such a law doesn’t apply to humans who are, once again, only livestock in their eyes.

While I do not believe that morality is always black and white, I don’t believe it is always grey either. Animals consume other animals because they have no choice, they are motivated purely by their base instincts. Humans however, much like the advanced species in the above scenario, have a choice when it comes to sustaining themselves. We can choose to do it by either violently inflicting pain upon those species that we deem to be lesser, or we can choose to do it by consuming the natural resources that nature gives us.

Yet by choosing to kill, are we truly any better than that advanced species? We would want them to choose vegetarianism, why do we assume that animals don’t wish the same from us? Perhaps that is what makes man different from the animals, we can choose, they cannot. I am by no means suggesting that those who choose to consume meat are bad people, nor am I suggesting that I will necessarily give up meat myself. I also take no issues with hunting provided that it is done purely for food and not for sport.

I am simply posing a moral question that I have created and been debating about in my head for quite some time. There is also some debate over health issues with vegetarianism for some individuals, particularly those with a high-metabolism such as myself. Some people seem to need more protein than others to be healthy, some people however do not and would benefit from becoming vegetarians. It appears I will have to continue to do more research into this matter, both in relation to personal nutrition and philosophy.

©-J. Adam Snyder

One thought on “My Philosophy of Vegetarianism

  1. I limit meat for environmental reasons mostly, but it was initially a gradual development because I quit eating pigs due to their intelligence then cows due to their pollution. I still eat fish and poultry because I have some health issues which require me to get calories/nutrition from meat. Anyway, we don’t eat dolphins or chimps even though they are of “lesser intelligence,” it’s common in some countries to eat cats and dogs (animals which are less intelligent than pigs) so I’m not sure what we eat has much to do with the creatures being intelligent or self-aware. I recently read that manta rays are able to recognize themselves in mirrors. It seems like your ultimate question is: How do we define sapient? Here’s what wikipedia says: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom#Sapience but animal/neuro researchers still have difficulty answering this in any meaningful way.

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