We all must eat to survive. However, since becoming a vegetarian, I have heard many peoples’ justifications for eating meat. The most common excuse, “An animals’ taste coupled with its diminished cognitive capacity justifies our consumption of it” (Caouette). In other words “animals are stupid and they taste good, so I’m justified in eating them.” But if I thought human flesh tasted good, would there be any justification in killing and eating someone? Why is it in our society, eating meat is considered morally acceptable, while eating your friends isn’t? What is considered morally unacceptable?
To me, “morally acceptable” is something that does not offend other’s moral beliefs. There are moral and ethical standards, unwritten rules, enforced by society, and it is expected of us to fall in line with them. Most people have been brought up eating meat because our culture accepts it, so many don’t question it. However, once someone questions whether or not people should eat meat, arguments arise from firm meat-eating believers to justify why people should continue their current carnivorous behavior. Justifications like, “We need the protein that is provided in meat, our teeth are made for eating meat, and humans are more intelligent and more rational than animals (Yount).
Most arguments given to justify the eating of meat can also be used to justify the eating of humans. So why then has cannibalism been so fiercely condemned? Eating people would solve two major problems: over population and world hunger. Yet we don’t even consider it because it’s “beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior” (“Cannibalism”). Is eating meat considered cannibalism? Are they even on the same level? How do meat eaters differ from cannibals? Wait, what even is cannibalism?
“Cannibalism is the act or practice of humans eating the flesh or internal organs of other human beings” (“Cannibalism”). It is both widespread and has been well documented around the world, from Fiji to the...
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