Why choose to eat meat?

I ask this question, as it is in my personal opinion, one of humanities biggest *edited to remove ‘ethical’ blind spots.

With some exceptions*, Humans don’t need to eat meat, as alternatives that contain everything our body needs are available to many of us.

*The exceptions being, people who live in geographical locations where such alternatives aren’t readily available, and/or some people with for example, people with Crohn’s disease which often limits the amount of vitamins and minerals their body can absorb from foods.

As discussed and concluded before on other threads, this isn’t a question of morality.

But I still would like to to ask for some sort of justification, as to why continuing choosing to eat meat, when it is directly resulting in more non-human animals suffering, than if you simply don’t eat meat?

You of course have no obligation to provide a justification, which goes without saying.

Is it simply a lack of care for the mistreatment of non-human animals? If not, what is it?

But I still don’t see how the choice can be justified, when in my eyes the only real gain is taste pleasure.

I look forward to seeing your responses!

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What alternatives… Do you know how milk and milk products are produced… They kill cows.
What are you eating to get the nutrients that are only available from meat products? Any idea at all how your eggs are raised? What magic are you using.
Fish? Our oceans are over fished. The fish are full of mercury and pollutants. I like to fish and I can not fish the rivers of America and eat fish more than once or twice a month due to the contaminants. Are your fish magically contamination free? Back to the issue at hand…

You made the assertion that you were more moral or ethical for opting not to eat meat. Bullshit. You kill to live. It’s a fact of life. Eating less meat, no meat, or starving yourself to death, does not make you more ethical or moral.

Biology is the only justification needed.

No, you specifically argued you were more moral and ethical. Hence this entire discussion. So, you concede these points. Opting not to eat meat has nothing to do with ethics or moralty.


And now you are being an ass. Did I not tell you I would stand with you in a protest against the maltreatment of animas? Did I not concede that we could all certainly consume less meat. Did I not specifically give an example of myself consuming less meat? Eating meat is the subject and NOT the mistreatment of animals.

You can’t live on real grain. A steak, medium well, is also a taste pleasure.

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How many domesticated, commonly consumed animal species do you believe could survive human beings being vegetarians or vegans?


A good question.

I haven’t stated my position on this topic.

We stop breeding them to the point of necessity.

If humanity were to suddenly stop practising the act of consuming meat, we would have an absurdly large amount of animals, with no where to go, and they would exponentially overpopulate.

In this hypothetical scenario, we would have to cull these species to the point where their population is sustainable.

But, of course in reality, humans are far more likely to gradually decrease their consumption of meat.

So, we simply stop breeding them directly in proportion to the amount of meat needed to sustain the dwindling economical demand. Supplementing this population control with culling where it is needed.

This wouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as it first sounds, because the annual death rates directly due to the meat industry are roughly 80 billion.

That’s annually, so if we stop breeding/kill off, however much is needed, sure there would be massive amount of death, but it would be worth it, as all of these animals would die anyway, due to being consumed, at least with this last swing of the hammer, we are ceasing the blood toll from rising.

Now, of course, I haven’t failed to consider the massive implications and collateral damage this could have in various areas, employment for one example.

The meat industry accounts for a large amount of jobs globally, but because there would be a high demand for plant based products, there would be a massive surge in the requirement for agricultural workers, arguably a economically healthier and more profitable (especially for those in third world countries) profession to be in; I might add, the opportunity for growth in these areas is currently stifled by monopolising land to grow crops for the meat industry, which underpays workers heavily. (area dependant.)

I’m happy to provide clear hypothetical solutions to any other collateral damage you can think of.

If I have answered your question adequately (and I hope I have) may I make the request you provide an answer to the question I raised in my original post?

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As previously stated, you are still under the grey rock, until you address the previous points and counter arguments I have made, you also must address the fact you continue to strawman my position.

When you do this, I will happily enter discourse with you again.


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I thought you said earlier though, that huge tracts of land are being farmed for livestock feed. Are there no agricultural workers farming and processing the feed from that land? Would not those lands be used for planting/harvesting/processing human feed? How, then, do you arrive at the conclusion that there would be a massive surge in the requirement for ag workers?

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Because their would be an increase in the need for crops for human consumption.

Less people eating meat, and instead eating plants.

Thinking about that, it doesn’t work, because that amount is counted by the non-human animals consumption, I’ll retract that and readvise.

There would be an increase due to the variety of crops grown, but not as large as I initially stated, this is an oversight I hadn’t yet considered.

Even so, would the argument that large scale temporary unemployment is not as important as stopping the suffering of non-human animals hold any merit? (subjective opinion be it as it may.)

That does not address my point….ag workers displaced by no need to farm animal feed simply transfer to being ag workers for human feed.

(Note to folks late to this party. Wily cat edited the post I was responding to with the last three paragraphs you see in it after I posted the above.)

It appears you spoke before you thought. 🥹

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Here is an article that I read a while back, that is closely related to this topic, as a temporary measure until I can figure a way to close this gap you’ve pointed out.

Global elimination of meat production could save the planet | Berkeley.

Honestly, the first step in my opinion is quantifying roughly how much unemployment it would cause.

Which, is no easy feat, yet I shall attempt it.

How big is the meat industry worldwide?

The market value of the meat industry is expected to rise from 897.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 to over 1.3 trillion dollars by 2027.

Of course, this tells us nothing about how many workers there are though.

This website* states that; ‘The industry employs 5.4 million people who earn $257 billion in wages.’

*These statements appear to be backed up by peer reviewed data.

I am struggling to find global data, but I don’t see why we can’t use the US alone as a point of reference. (Correct me if I am wrong on this.)

Now, how many of those workers are growing crops specifically for the meat industry?

USDA ERS - Ag and Food Sectors and the Economy.

The difficulty in quantifying this arises, due to many agricultural workers grow crops both for human consumption and for livestock within the meat industry.

The only way I can figure this out, is if we go by mass produced, and directly scale the difference proportional to the amount workers; I believe this logically follows, due to workload?

Annoyingly, I can only seem to find statistics on each type of meat separately.

Beef consumption U.S. 2002-2021 | Statista.


Here are the statistics for Poultry and Beef in the US alone.

‘The total number of broilers produced in 2020 was 9.22 billion, up slightly from 2019. The total amount of live weight broilers produced in 2020 was 59.4 billion pounds, up 2 percent from 2019.’ (Chicken) I worked this out to be 26.9 billion metric tonnes.

In 2022, production exceeding ** 28.29 billion pounds**(Beef) 12.8m metric tonnes.

(USDA) In 2021, the forecast for pork production in 2022 was to be over 28 billion pounds. But the USDA had expected pork production for the same year to be 27.3 billion pounds . 12.6m metric tonnes

So that’s 26.9m + 12.8m + 12.6m = 52.3m metric tonnes

Of course there are other meat types, but these other types account for far less, please review this if you feel it is necessary.

*to be added to in the near future, need a short break, if you see any errors thus far, please highlight them.

Could save the planet from what exactly? I(we) eat meat simply because it’s delicious and gives us the nutrients we need. I don’t want/need any other reasons.

According to that article, green house emissions from cattle. :man_shrugging:

Not a topic I am versed in, but it has information loosely relevant to the topic.

The planet and the vast majority of it’s biomass will be just fine. It is those who sit at the top of the food chain who tend to be the most vulnerable to change.

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Morality and ethics are synonymous?


  1. moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

Why does it need to be justified if you think this “isn’t a question of morality”?


He doesn’t get it and just keeps repeating himself while making accusations of goal post moving and not addressing issues. He does not get it.

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I am clearly in a state of cognitive dissonance. I can’t reconcile my love of animals with my carnivorous diet. Meat is some of my favorite foods and I can’t summon the will power to give it up. I do eat less than I used to, but that’s due to the cost. I’m also drinking less cola for the same reason. I guess there is a plus side to inflation :slight_smile: . I’ve also broken a 40 year nail biting habit because the cap my dentist put on a front tooth isn’t sharp enough for nail biting. I seem to need all the help I can get to break my bad habits. How about sharing a favorite vegetarian recipe and I might give it a try.

This is complete BULLSHT. “:Because people eat meat they don’t care for animals.” That is your argument? Go fuck off… This is one of the most inane comments made this year. As a very simple counter, we can look at the opinion of many hunters who kill animals for food; “A good, ethical hunter does not buy a gun and shoot up an animal because they hate them, it is quite the opposite. Buying meat that comes from a factory farm (look up pictures) is not a humane way to raise and treat animals. Getting your meat from the great outdoors is getting meat the way nature intended. By having the animals live their lives their meant to live, instead of in a warehouse where they will not see the sun from the day they are born to the day they are slaughtered.”

I eat meat and also care about the mistreatment of animals. Ergo, I regard your comments as asinine as would any healty animal-loving, meat eating, person. I have no cognitive dissonance consuming meat. I am an omnivore and that is what omnivores do. WE EAT MEAT. We kill other animals to live. So do you!

You are NOT more moral. You are NOT more ethical. You do NOT care more. You simply changed your diet. No one is forcing you to eat meat, but you want to control my diet by calling me less ethical and moral. You know what you can do…


I have deliberately stayed out of this discussion due to what I might characterize as an existence dilemma. As our survival depends upon our consumption of either previously or currently, living things, some people have constructed an argument to justify the consumption of one living thing over another, mainly due to a version of anthropomorphism, in my opinion. In an attempt to behave in a manner consistent with what one identifies as moral or ethical, some people seem to experience angst over what they view as a contradiction or dichotomy, regarding the treatment of particular lifeforms. It is so much easier to kill and eat something “alien” to our mammalian identity than a life-form which possesses many of our physical characteristics. If we perceive some life-form as being “like us” and perhaps possessing awareness and/or emotions, we tend to imagine we can somehow escape the dilemma of killing to live by sparing this one.
Pardon my digression, but here…
In my late teens, as many different lifestyles were being explored, I fancied the notion of vegetarianism. I stopped eating all red meat, though I continued to justify my consumption of chicken, fish, various sea creatures, frogs, turtles, etc.
I promptly pinned a medal on my chest and proclaimed my ethical superiority.
Well, my delusion was short-lived. Reality has a way of slapping the shit out of you. Starting the process of introspection, I had to examine my attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, etc. more closely. Realizing that probably the only thing I could consume, without some death involved somewhere in the process, was salt, had a sobering, yet enlightening effect on me and I put my medal away…for a while.
I had been an occaisional hunter and an avid fisherman since I was a kid, and twenty years or so later upon returning to a much more rural lifestyle, I returned to those activities.
In my ongoing process of introspection, I came to the notion that if I was going to eat meat, I should be willing and able to kill it with no more remorse than what I would experience going to a burger joint, or quit meat due to the unethical treatment of animals in the meat industry and the disconnect which most people embrace, concerning the question of animal suffering. I also believed (justifiably) that the meat I acquired from hunting was superior in quality due to the care I took in respectful and practical processing from the moment of death on. I honed my skill as a hunter so as to minimize suffering and ideally, kill my game without their awareness of my presence. After marginally accomplishing this goal, I dug out my medal and pinned it back on my chest.
(I blush remembering some of the things I claimed about my “superior perspective”.)
My involvement with a Cherokee ceremonial grounds as a fire-keeper for several years after this time, provided an opportunity for a different perspective.
As difficult as it was, I came to an understanding and an acceptance of the reality of my human existence. I exist as a direct result of the successes of many who came before me, likely all of whom were meat-eaters, as well as practicing other behaviours some consider unacceptable today.
While I applaud the examination of our behaviours and practices which could be altered to adhere to what we individually view as moral or ethical, these are entirely subjective and really, only change the story we tell ourselves, about ourselves.
From my point of view, the ethics of meat consumption is a minuscule part of what I see as the horrendous impact the human population has wreaked on the planet. Although I don’t consider myself a misanthrope, I abhor many of the effects of humanity’s existence. If we can adopt practices which reduce the ongoing damage, count me in. However, the medal will remain in the drawer…


But your’re not dealing with the real issue. You’re just moving the goal posts. I’m not going to respond to your narrow-minded posts anymore. You are ignoring the issues. Why don’t you address the questions I asked. I am done with you!


And don’t even ask why I put “LOL” at the end of this!

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You have demonstrably been shifting the goalposts, and committing strawman fallacies.

You have made multiple errors and refused to address them when I highlight them.

At this point, what you’re doing is gaslighting.

The fact you are this incapable of accepting when you are wrong, leads me to thinking this is a case of narcissism.

and the only way to deal with narcissism, is to grey rock.

Now, I cannot say anymore on the matter of your dishonesty, so you can post your nonsense all you like, I won’t even read it, this is the last Grey rock you’ll see from me, off the cliff you go.