I had a moral dilemma for lunch. There were two queues in the refectory: one for a sinister-looking vegetarian moussaka and another for a chicken curry which looked very much like something other than a chicken curry. To paraphrase a popular vegetarian line of thought, if there are readily available dietary alternatives, then one ought to choose the ones that do not involve unnecessary animal suffering. Each time any of us eats an animal product, we probalby could just as easily have had a vegetarian dish — maybe it would take a little effort, but that’s small moral change. We’re talking about avoiding unnecessary suffering, and we should be willing to do a lot in exchange. I’ve tried to find statistics for vegetarians by country, but the numbers are all over the place. Suffice to say that a very large number of people in the West eat a very large amount of meat.
I’ve heard many arguments for vegetarianism, but I only know carnivorism in terms of replies to those arguments. If you eat meat, do you have an argument for this practice? Prima facie, don’t you need one? The debate seems to go (1) vegetarian argues for vegetariansim, (2) carnivore blasts argument. Isn’t the burden of proof on the meat-eating party? Why do you think it is right (or anyway morally acceptable) to eat meat?