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It has been argued that a moral community requires all participants to be able to make moral decisions, but animals are incapable of making moral choices (e.g., a tiger would not refrain from eating a human because it was morally wrong; it would decide whether to attack based on its survival needs, as dictated by hunger). Thus, some opponents[who?] of ethical vegetarianism argue that the analogy between killing animals and killing people is misleading. Humans are capable of culture, innovation and the sublimation of instinct in order to act in an ethical manner. Animals are not, and so are unequal to humans on a moral level. This does not excuse cruelty, but it implies animals are not morally equivalent to humans and do not possess the rights a human has. For example, killing a mouse is not the moral equivalent of committing homicide.[according to whom?]
Benjamin Franklin describes his conversion to vegetarianism in chapter one of his autobiography, but then he describes why he (periodically) ceased vegetarianism in his later life:
...in my first voyage from Boston...our people set about catching cod, and hauled up a great many. Hitherto I had stuck to my resolution of not eating animal food... But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and, when this came hot out of the frying-pan, it smelt admirably well. I balanc'd some time between principle and inclination, till I recollected that, when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs; then thought I, 'If you eat one another, I don't see why we mayn't eat you.' So I din'd upon cod very heartily, and continued to eat with other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet. So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.
The response of ethical vegetarians is that humans have a choice, whereas animals do not. Hence if hurting or killing animals is not necessary for human survival or health (as it is necessary for obligate carnivores, such as felids), humans can decide to stop doing it, and to outlaw it.
The animal rights movement, sometimes called the animal liberation movement, animal personhood, or animal advocacy movement, is a social movement which seeks an end to the rigid moral and legal distinction drawn between human and non-human animals, an end to the status of animals as property, and an end to their use in the research, food, clothing, and entertainment industries
“Man has always assumed that his is the highest form of life in the universe. There is, of course, nothing at all with which to sustain this view.”
― James Thurber
“Trying to be more than human one becomes less.”
― Marty Rubin
Dr. Ichiro Serizawa: The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around.
originally posted by: Farlander
I want to go veg, I really do. I'm not terribly troubled by the idea of killing animals for food, but I am terribly troubled when I know there's unethical treatment of them before they are slaughtered.
I agree that most foods can be replaced with a veggie alternative that tastes just as good—not necessarily identical flavor-wise, but in my opinion, equal, flavor-wise.
The main obstacle for me is cost. I'm cheap. I love saving money. And usually decent veggie alternatives are significantly more expensive. Not always, but more often than not.